Story Sent in by Sheila:
Chris was an amateur photographer who I had the pleasure of meeting online. He directed me to his portfolio, which was a collection of black and white shots, all of which incorporated sunglasses in some way. For example, there would be a picture of a stone wall with a pair of sunglasses perched atop it. Another shot had a pair of sunglasses on a sidewalk, surrounded by an O-shaped puddle of water. Some were creative, but most were, as I said, amateur. Still, he was passionate about his work, and when we met up for a lunch date, he talked about it at length.
I work part-time at a few jobs as a writer, and in his defense, he asked me about my own work, and we had a pretty good conversation going, as a whole.
We were on the subject of his photos when he said, "The ones I put online aren't all of them. I have a small subset that I keep off."
"I understand," I replied, "Saving your best work for the offline world."
He grinned. "That's not it. They're a little... rude."
I smiled, not at all curious about what that meant. "Well, I'm sure you're your own best judge."
"Want to see them? They're shots of asses and penises."
My stomach lurched a little bit. "I'm all set."
"With sunglasses," he continued, "So it's in the same vein as my other stuff. Just, you know, rude."
I sat back and thought of the most diplomatic answer I could: "Art's all about pushing the envelope, isn't it?"
He snapped his fingers. "Exactly," he said, then pulled out his phone, tapped a couple of buttons, then spun it around to show me a black and white shot of a penis amidst an equatorial jungle of hair, complete with an upside-down set of sunglasses.
"Whoa," I said, tearing away from it, "That's great. Enough of that, now."
He kept holding it up. "I thought you liked my art."
"I do. Put the penis photo away, please."
He sighed and did as I asked. "It's not my penis," he explained, "It's nothing to be afraid of. Liking an artist usually means liking everything that that artist makes. No exceptions."
"I don't know about that."
"Oh, I do."
He wasn't mean or nasty, but the whole experience just rubbed me the wrong way, and so when he contacted me a few days later, I declined his offer for a second date.
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