Hit on in Tampa

As a moderately handsome man, I have a few of these stories, I know your plight ladies; hell, accept my apologies for every failed attempt at wooing your sisterhood. I vividly remember this one time in Tampa, Florida. I was on the bus, can’t recall where I was going, and I sat next to a rotund lady with a friendly face. Her face was friendly, not attractive; for anyone adamant about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, I did not behold beauty on that bus. On some days I wear a titanium wedding band on my left ring finger. Like an ethical fool, I always seem to reveal my farce when someone inevitably questions my marriage. Besides my bachelorhood preference, the ring subconsciously relieves pressure from conversations with females, their friends, colleagues, and so on; I’m also very well mannered, I can generously compliment, and by nature my intentions can be confused. I mention the ring because it’s been forgotten as she strikes a conversation.

We get to the fact that I arrived from New York, which is a desirable trait for all women without ties to New York; then her questions became more personal: Are you here with anyone, to see anyone, away from someone? I’m paraphrasing, I can’t be exact this far after the fact; what I do know is, I kept saying, no and no one. Finally, she asks if I want to hang out some time; I tell her, no and never. This doesn’t dissuade her from expressing her feelings; I’m flattered, and that doesn’t dissuade me from scoffing at her date proposal. My faux wedding band suddenly comes to mind, at which point I showcase it and blurt out something about my wife’s approval. Instead of referencing the omission of a wife from my previous statements, this woman proceeds to instigate an affair. These were her words, you’ll have to envision her easy callousness: if she’s not with you, then she won’t mind! Just like that. We’re not talking about *insert gorgeous woman I would briefly picture nude before rebuffing nonetheless* here. I must have blacked out after she so unceremoniously offended my matrimonial sanctity, because I recall hearing myself, like a spectator, say, I love my wife more than anyone will ever love you. And I promptly exited the bus a full stop early. Florida heat is tragic; I will always remember that walk. I’m still trying to forget that woman.

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