A Feast for Clothes

Story Sent in by Cindy:

Joe and I met online, but our schedules were so hectic that we ended up chatting for short bursts late at night, and not meeting in person until about three weeks after he sent me his introductory message. The plan was to meet in a park, take a walk until sundown, then go to a Thai place for dinner.

The main piece of my first-date outfit was a denim dress that had four tiny pockets (really more for style than substance). It was cute, and I didn't think twice about wearing it.

So we met, hugged, and strolled to a bench. I noticed that Joe seemed a bit... well, I guess the word is twitchy. He was prone to slight, sudden movements, and looked behind himself a lot. It prompted me to ask him if everything was okay, and he assured me that it was.

We sat down, talked, and not long after sitting, he pointed to one of my pockets and smiled. He asked, "What 'cha got in there?"

I replied, "Nothing. They look deeper than they are. Nothing will fit in here."

He said, "But I just heard it. You've got something in there."

I asked, "What did you hear?"

He said, "It just said something. You have your phone in there?"

My phone was in my purse. I had no idea what he was talking about. I opened up the pocket and wigged my fingers around inside of it. There was nothing there, and I told him so. That seemed to satisfy him, and we went on talking, although something about that little event made a red flag pop up.

We talked for a bit longer, and the sun went down. It was around that time that I thought about heading to dinner with him when he stared at my dress and gasped.

"There! Again!" he nearly shrieked. "You didn't hear that?"

"Hear what?" I asked, freaking out a bit, myself.

"From that pocket, again! Something said, 'Watch your meal.' What the hell do you have in there? Your phone?"

"No, my phone's in my–"

"A Tamagotchi?"

"Tamagotchi? What am I, twelve?"

"What's in that pocket?"

"Nothing!" I opened the pocket and leaned it toward him so that he could see into it. There was nothing there, at all.

He sat back. "Maybe it's under your dress, then... but I won't go there."

I asked him, "Are you okay?"

"Yes. I swear I'm not crazy. A voice from your pocket told me to watch my meal." He took an extra moment to recover, then asked me, "Ready for dinner?"

I was very ready, but also rather wary. I didn't want him to imagine my dress saying anything else. Still, maybe he had actually heard something from far off behind me and he mistook it to be coming from my pocket. I don't know. I was hungry, and I had a few weeks of decent conversations with him to go on. It seemed wrong to call things off just for something like this. At that point, anyway.

Dinner actually went well. If my dress did say anything more, then it was likely too loud in the restaurant to have heard it. It was way more popular than I thought it would be, and there was a birthday party or some sort of event at the bar. Joe and I talked, and all of the dress-talking craziness from before seemed to have been forgotten.

Well, up until we were halfway through our meals. We had reached that sort of quiet time when we were both occupied with eating. Then, he looked up at me and asked, "What?"

I said, "Hmm? I didn't say anything."

He pointed at my dress. "What did that just say?"

Oh boy... "Nothing. My dress didn't... dresses don't talk, Joe."

"It just did. I heard it. Seriously. Are you messing with me, here? Really. I need to know."

"Joe, my dress didn't say anything. I swear to God. You're hearing things."

He was silent for a few moments, then said, "You're laughing at me."

"Joe, I'm–"

He smiled and sat back. "You are. You're laughing at me." He laughed and twitched all over. "This is all a great big joke. 'Let's make Joe think he's crazy!' Ha!"

I shook my head, already realizing that nothing I could do would change his mind. "Joe, my dress didn't talk."

"Then explain to me these noises and sounds that yours is making. Look, I know you can hear it. It's coming from your dress or your body, but something that isn't your mouth is talking, and I remember before that it came from the direction of that pocket."

I struggled for words, but I simply couldn't be any more convincing than, "Joe, nothing is talking to you besides my mouth. I don't hear anything else. Honest."

He stared for a few seconds, then leaned out from his chair and surveyed the dining room. He muttered, "I'm going to get the check, and I'm going to go. I'm going to get the check, and I'm going to go. I'm going to get the check, and I'm going to go."

The waitress came over, Joe said, "Check, please," then pointed to me and said, "Her dress is talking and just won't stop!"

The waitress glanced at me, then handed Joe the check as if he said nothing at all that was crazy. I offered to help pay, and Joe replied, "I should make you pay for all of this, you asking me out with a talking freakin' dress. That's the least of what I should do..."

He paid for everything, and I thanked him. He said, "Yeah, whatever," then threw his napkin onto the table, stood up, gave me a dark look, and took off.

I checked the pocket one more time to see if there was something I had missed. Then, I saw it.

Within it, scrunched down at the bottom, a little elf cackled away. In a tiny voice he said, "We got him real good, didn't we?"

Just kidding. There was nothing in my pocket, and I never saw Joe again.


  1. Sounds like the onset of schizophrenia, honestly. How old was this guy?

  2. What's with all the hugging? Is it normal in the US to hug someone you are meeting for the first time?

    1. Um... It's pretty normal to hug upon meeting if its a first date.

    2. Maybe not in the US, but I usually hug girls i meet on a first date. Works for me...

    3. It's normal on a date, may or may not be normal in other situations, depending on circumstances.

      It's definitely a cultural thing. Hugging is rare in Japan, normal in the US and Canada, very normal in places like Italy and Greece (to the point where it's almost an insult not to). In the middle east heterosexual men hug when greeting, which would be strange nearly everywhere else.

      Big world, lots of customs and cultural differences.

    4. It's not normal if it's a first date with someone you've never met before.

    5. It can be. If you've been chatting online to some one for a while, why not a hug? Chill out, you hug-ophobes!

    6. Hugging on a first date seems overly familiar if you don't know the person. I'd guess most people here are from America so it might be different here in England.

  3. I used to date a girl who worked with early on set psychosis and she would share the tales of her day (never any names) with me. This guy sounds like he was about to have his first episode of psychosis. I doesn't necessarily mean he has schizophrenia, but I do think he needs help. I hope he's OK.

  4. Yea wats with the hugging? Why not sniff each others butts while u at it?

    As a guy, I would not go in the for the hug on the first date. But I wouldnt mind if the girl did it.


    Maybe someone should write up a protocol on first dates, or a set of protocols depending on your culture, and then u both agree before the date what protocol to use.

    What a geek i am...

    1. Especially with the butt-sniffing bit.

    2. I don't think there needs to be protocols but I agree that discussing ahead of time what kind and amount of touching you're both comfortable with would be a good idea. That would actually clear up a lot the red flags in the stories here; many are about someone being too touch too soon.

    3. It is so difficult to compute these hu-mans. They have many subroutines and their output data is so illogical. It really scrambles my circuits!

  5. Sounds like paranoid schizophrenia to me, the whole "you're laughing at me" bit is as obvious a sign as it gets.

    I do like the pitiful attempt to get her to pay at the very end. It's the cherry on the top of the craziness sundae.

  6. If my date showed up with a denim dress like it's 1982 in Iowa all over again, I would go nucking futs too.


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