Flat Stanley

When she described him as a “Flat Stanley”, she referred to him as a cardboard cutout kind of a guy. Two dimensional, and quite predictable. Basically an unequivocal bore. Which, actually does fit within the Urban Dictionary definition. Flat StanleyOne who lacks size in the boob/butt region, and therefore appears paper-thin from a side view. (Definition according the Urban Dictionary.)

He had definitely sounded a lot better “on paper”. Kelly had met him through a “selective” online dating site. On his profile, Peter was, of course, more handsome, a bit taller, with more hair on his head. Apparently the photo was outdated by at least 10 years. He was an accomplished Hollywood cinematographer, and was finally ready to develop a serious relationship. It was time, he said. He was 55.

Kelly, a divorced mother of two, still had the romantic desire to find her, as she naively called it, “happily ever after”. She was enamored by the fact that he worked in the film industry, and especially because he was so well established. Her ex-husband had turned out to have severe mental problems, and by the time they divorced, Carl was unable to work and spent most of his time self-medicated with beer, staring at the tv. Her children had long gone off to college. Finally, she was ready to start a new life for herself alongside the ideal mate.

Peter came off as a take action type. The first date was dinner, and yes, he talked a lot about himself, but she didn’t mind, since nerves could sometimes cause a man to yammer on and on. She committed to giving him a chance. He was quite predictable, with the cordial texts, the dates set weekly. Dinner, and, sometimes a movie.

Kelly appreciated this stability, it felt refreshing after her tumultuous marriage. Peter seemed to have it all together. The only problem was that he hadn’t yet kissed her. After 5 dates, not even a goodnight kiss. She was flirtatious, and made it obvious that she was attracted to him. Nothing. A hug good night, and a brief kiss on the cheek. She started to question herself and wonder. But, he kept calling and inviting her on dates. Date number 7 arrived and she thought this might be the lucky number. Nope. Finally, she decided to text him a message to ask him about it. It was too awkward to ask in person. She simply wrote “We’ve been dating for weeks now, and not even a first kiss. I need to know where you want this to go?” He responded a few hours later with a note saying that he just wasn’t ready. He thought he was, but he wasn’t ready for a relationship yet. She reminded him that she was looking for something too serious, but he suggested it best that they part ways.

Kelly was pretty broken up about this. She had really had her hopes up, and she was more in love with the idea of who Peter might be, than who he truly was as an individual. Her ego took a blow and she was down for the count.

The following weekend a friend came by for a glass of wine. She brought another friend, Chantelle. Chantelle was the complete opposite of Kelly. About the same age, but never married. Chantelle was always the life of the party. She was a single dance teacher who really wished to find “the one” and settle down. She too had ventured online dating for some time now, with no luck. She jokingly called herself a “professional dater”. She was definitely well-versed in the world of online relationships. She would go on a date with any Tom, Dick or Harry, just to get a meal. Hey, sometimes it’s the only way a girls gonna eat, as she liked to say.

The three women sat on the back balcony, enjoying the evening air, and some cheap wine. A few glasses in, Kelly shared her story about Peter. As she described him, Chantelle’s smiling eyes and lilting laugh abruptly shifted. Her expression became perplexed. She placed her wine glass on little table, and took a deep breath. She interrupted to ask a few more details about his work and where he lived.

Then Chantelle sighed, and said….“Yup”, she said, “I dated that guy. For 6 months.” Kelly’s jaw dropped. It was pretty awkward.

She paused for a moment, going on to say “But, it was well over 5 years ago. He was pretty boring. All he wanted to do was come over to my place and have sex. It was nothing spectacular either. He was a “one-trick pony”, Chantelle said, rolling her eyes. Apparently, she too had wanted to find something long term, and initially, Peter had told her the same story, that he was finally “ready”. He had just turned 50 at that time. After 6 months of the same thing over and over, she realized that this was as far as it would ever go, and she needed to cut her losses and move on.

Kelly was crushed! How could this be? With her not even a kiss. Again, her ego was taking a beating. She didn’t want to know, but she asked anyway. “How was the sex?” Chantelle laughed throwing her head back, long hair flipping around. Then composed herself, looking straight at Kelly and told her it was exactly the same every time. In fact, she could barely remember it. It was just that dull.

Kelly wondered aloud amongst her friends, why hadn’t he tried to even kiss her? What did he want? They speculated various scenarios and wondered aloud why this man would date her for that long without even a kiss, while with the other girl it was only sex and nothing else. The final conclusion came down to the fact that Peter was simply put a “Flat Stanley”. Not that complicated, just a  two dimensional guy, without much substance. Once Kelly removed her ego from the equation, she was able to laugh at the entire situation and she realized that she had definitely dodged a bullet this time.

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