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When alone, I think that we all, at one time or another, have done something that would be considered gross, but what about the guys (and gals) that do it in public?  Worse yet, what about the guys that do it unabashedly in front of you?

When you live with someone, of course you’re going to catch them doing gross things, even if they are considerate enough to try to hide it.  But what about when you don’t live with someone?  What about when you’re dating?  Not only does it come down to a consideration for others, but it’s just basic good hygiene.

A few months ago I stood talking to a guy in a public place when he reached down and scratched himself right in front of me and the whole world.  Now, maybe he thought, since we had such good eye contact, that my peripheral vision was rendered useless; but he was wrong.  His was not a quick “scratch, scratch” but instead a rinse and repeat, if you know what I mean.  I wanted so badly to say, “Uh, I can see you,” but I maintained the eye contact and made it a point to never, ever, never actually see what was causing such an itch.

One of my girlfriends complains about a guy wearing tight shirts and tucking them in when his stomach is less than flat.  Frankly, I’m impressed with any guy that tucks in his shirt on occasions besides when he just leaves a bathroom, so she didn’t really sell me on that one.

Then there is the nose picker.  Now, there is a time and place for everything, but on a date or anywhere in public is not the place for this.  If I see you pick it and eat it, there is no way I will ever kiss you.  Even if you gargle with rubbing alcohol, it’s not gonna happen.  So use a Kleenex or go into the bathroom.  Simply turning your head away and holding the free hand up to block my view is not going to work either.  I’m very perceptive.  I know you think you’re being discrete, but I can still see you and figure out you’re not telling a secret to an invisible person.  Don’t even think about holding my hand when you’re done.

Once I was standing at a wash station near Porta-Potties, talking to a gal friend.  A guy threw open the door to his Porta-Potty, walked right past the wash station, and hugged me with his hands that had just touched Lord-knows-what in that Porta-Potty.  Wait, it gets better.  Then he turns to my gal friend to introduce himself and holds out his hand for her to shake.  Oh, the way she looked at that hand and the seconds of hesitation that ticked by before she took it were priceless.

Lastly, there are the little gross things guys (and sometimes gals) do like burping, cutting the cheese, and making a boomer or tinkling in front of you.  Please, please, please, people, keep a little mystery.

In third grade, my dad asked me what happened in school that day, and I told him a boy cut the cheese, and I almost threw up from the smell.  They had no idea what I meant but laughed until they cried when I explained it.  By seventh grade, I “dated” the cheese-cutter for, like, a dance or however long dating is in seventh grade; so there is always hope that things will turn around for you later in life.  Unfortunately for the cheese-cutter, my dad still informs me of every time he sees him in my home town.  He even calls him “the cheese-cutter.”  So, although I may have been able to get past his initial “grossie” behavior, my dad, and probably others in your life, will never forget it.

The moral of my story is, we all may have a little “grossie” in us.  Just remember that, no matter how itchy you are, how badly your stomach is cramping, and no matter how big a bat is in your cave, please go into the bathroom to take care of it, and please wash your hands when you are done.

Happy dating!

Before The Nine Days, the third book in the Katie Collins romance serial, is also a mystery.  Coming soon!