Bad Reputation

Posted on June 6, 2012

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This story is from Karen, a 45-year-old author living in Chicago, as told to Raz:

I met Bruno at a friend’s party. He approached me, and we hit it off right away. Honestly, everything he said made me think it was meant to be. He was a doctor and his office just happened to be where my father (also a doctor) used to work, we were both in the final stages of writing a book, and both recently divorced (but not so recently that we hadn’t moved on.) He was charming and attractive, and after a great conversation, we exchanged numbers and went our separate ways to continue mingling.

Almost immediately, another guy approached me, introduced himself and asked, “Were you just talking to Bruno?”

“Yes,” I said. “Why?”

“Whatever you do, don’t go out with him.”

“What?” I was pissed. How dare this random man tell me who I could or could not date.

“Don’t repeat this,” he said. “But I was his divorce attorney for two of his three divorces, and let’s just say, I don’t blame the women.”

OK then, message received. I thanked the kind stranger, and he was on his way. About twenty minutes later, I was mid-conversation with a group of people, when the man to my left, someone I hadn’t met before, asked me, “Did I see you speaking to Bruno earlier?”

“Yes,” I said, nervous about where he was going with this.

“What an asshole,” he said. I didn’t ask for details.

I didn’t see Bruno again that night, but he did call the next morning to ask if I’d like to go out some time.

“No,” I said.

He laughed, “Why not?”

“Because,” I said, “You’re a known asshole.”

“Hmm,” he said. “You’re right.” There was a long pause. “Well, can we at least be friends?” he asked.

Despite my better judgment, I said yes. A couple days later, we went to breakfast. Of course, he had more in mind than just friendship, and we did end up trying to date. Believe it or not, it didn’t work out.

Bruno is now married to someone else, and we’ve actually stayed friends. I wish his new wife the best of luck. Fourth time’s a charm, right?

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