Story Submitted by Richard:
Janette was a young woman I met online. She was a party clown, and, in the spirit of being candid, had included two pictures of herself in clown regalia on her profile. Clowns didn't terrify me, and I'm always looking for something or someone different, so I messaged her.
She was very exuberant and wanted to meet up almost at once. She wrote, "The clowning thing always puts people off, but it's important for me to be honest about who I am and what I do." I admired that, and thought that she was very attractive outside of the clown costume, so I didn't see any harm in setting something up with her. We made plans for that week.
The night of the date rolled around, and she called me up a little bit beforehand and said, "I've got a surprise for you!"
When she met me in front of the restaurant, she was decked out, head to toe, in her full clown outfit – bright red nose, green and white floral vest, orange and yellow skirt, enormous blue shoes, and fire-engine-red hair.
She laughed like a hyena and danced around me. "Wow," I said, "You're a clown."
She said, "You knew that already, silly, silly goose!" and laughed again, a chirping, high-pitched cacophony of hell.
I glanced at the restaurant and said, "Maybe you should change before dinner?"
She shook her head and walked right in. I followed her, and met the hostess's wide-eyed gaze just inside. "One adult, one... clown," I said. The hostess turned to survey the restaurant, obviously searching for a table as far as possible away from the other diners. She found one in a corner, and that's where she seated us.
Janette didn't break character once. Everything she did, she did in a clown way, complete with the slapstick humor, overreactions, and overemphasized emotions. It would have been funny if I was her target age range, but I was an adult out on a date, and it was hard to get to know Janette the woman while she was being Freckles the clown.
In my defense, I asked her a couple of times if she could talk to me straight, and she did, each time for about ten seconds, before reverting back into banging the salt and pepper shakers together, or hitting herself in the face with her shoe, or making a funny expression at me.
Realizing that I wasn't going to get through, I decided to just go with it and have a good sense of humor about the whole thing. After all, if this was such a huge part of her life, then who was I to not be interested? I had asked her out because I was curious about her, after all.
After dinner, we went outside and she pantomimed a yawn and going to sleep. I told her, "We can say goodnight, if you want." She nodded, then took my face in her hands, rubbed my nose with hers, gave me a quick peck, and skipped off, down the sidewalk.
She wrote me an e-mail that night to thank me for being such a good sport, and she promised me that she'd be herself (as opposed to a clown) on the next date. There were two more dates, we decided to stay friends, and we still are. Still, that first date was one I won't ever forget.
Story Submitted by Richard: