I’d admired Eric from afar, admired from across the coffee shop and finally, admired him from across crisp white sheets. He made me laugh, had a great head of hair and we seemed to enjoy each other even outside of the bed. He was suave and witty, seemed relatively sophisticated and he knew his wine.
Then one day he pointed me towards his blog.
His ‘Hey, I went to Italy’ blog.
A blog for a trip? Ok, overkill maybe, but you never know with Americans, maybe it was a major life event or something. Maybe he met the pope. Or had his own ‘eat, love, pray’ experience. (without the praying).
He was a witty guy and his emails made me laugh so I assumed this would be more of the same.
It was here I realized why this guy was still single.
It wasn’t that he’d spent the trip boring the pants off people with his knowledge of Italian Renaissance painters or insisted that everyone would understand him if he JUST SPOKE LOUDLY.
No, it was his money belt.
You see Eric had traveled through Rome, Florence and the famed Cinque Terra with a money belt strapped to his stomach. From the moment he left Colorado until the moment he returned. 14 days later. Day and night, and even.. yes… in the shower. Not only did this guy wear his money belt at all times (‘pickpockets frequent the public toilets you know.. and the train stations.. and MacDonalds’) … but he also took multiple belts with him…. ‘just in case’.
Not only was he scared of being spotted as tourist, then losing his wallet and passport to a mugger, he was also scared of losing this cheap-ass piece of plastic – multiple times. In his mind, it wasn’t that he was going to get mugged. It was that he as going to get mugged multiple times. Because if you’ve been mugged once for your money belt, the first thing you need is… a new money belt. There seemed no awareness that any mugging might be due to the wearing of aforementioned money belt (the Italians being known for their acceptance of the ‘man purse’). Nothing says ‘American tourist’ like a sweaty guy in sneakers with a suspicious pregnancy bump under his t shirt.
Not only did his blog document his love of the money belt, but it’s care, washing and feeding (of those in active service and those ‘on the bench’). I swear it read like a holiday for accessories. He lamented lose threads, developing creases and sweat stains that were developing. He thought about writing to American Traveler magazine to give it a review. I’d not seen this kind of attention from him after 6 weeks of dating.
Now I loved sense and sensibility but I think there is a time and place for everything. I can accept a man who would want to carry his bills close to his person, but how about a man purse? A messenger bag? heck even an old ammo bag. A plastic money belt not only indicates a lack of taste, it signals a lack of verve. No willingness to take a risk in the face of experience. Fear. Trepidation.
And dating me? These are pretty much the price of entry.