The Hermit Crab

I had been seeing a guy named Jerry for about six weeks in my senior year in college. We got along okay, but there was nothing special. When we graduated, we just went our separate ways. About fifteen years passed and I happen to run into Jerry again. We were both single; I had gotten divorced a few years before and he had ended a long term relationship about a year before we met up. He asked me on a date and I accepted with a smile on my face. I spent most of that afternoon getting ready, wanting to look my best. When he arrived at my door, I was disappointed to see him in old jeans and a t-shirt. I figured it was not a huge deal though, as some people just don't like dressing up. We went out to dinner and he ordered ribs, which he proceeded to tear apart with his fingers. When he was done, I was appalled to watch him wipe his hands on his pant legs. Being rude to the waitress seemed to be his hobby. He then excused himself to the men's room and returned with a large water mark down his leg. I was horrified as I saw other people in the restaurant looking at him and laughing. He yelled at them to mind their own business. I suggested we leave and as we walked to his car, I gently mentioned the water on his leg, how bad it had looked, and that was why people had been laughing. He told me he didn't care about appearances at all, he hated people in general, and the only reason he was out of his house at all was to appease me. He wanted to stay inside and never leave. He even told me he worked from home and had his groceries and other needs delivered so that he never had to deal with other people. That was a bit much for me, so I told him it had been great seeing him, but I wasn't interested in becoming a hermit with him!

— Lucinda, 38

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