It was the first date, the first time Lucy would be seeing Nick outside of the casual meets in the hallway.
She went to the beauty parlour and had her hair done, her nails and make up done and had a fantastic dress with matching shoes and jewelry that had been picked out specially by a tasteful friend.
Nick made sure to bathe because he’d been told by his room mate that he stank. He borrowed a particular cologne and dressed in a good outfit he never wore because he found it uncomfortable.
He’d been warned not to fart, belch or pick his nose, and to speak in a gentle voice.
Nick took Lucy to a fancy place he’d never been and ordered fancy food, and kept up a discussion on a topic she was interested in.
At the end of the date he took her home, and kissed her on the cheek, (as he’d been told to do by his sister).
As soon as Nick reached the car, he kicked off the shoes, opened the shirt and the belt that held his pants up and passed some gas.
Lucy came in, took off her dress, and washed her face, and hoped he had as good a time as she did.
They continued to date, making their preparations, being careful to put their fantasy me forward, and each fell in love with the other’s ‘avatar’.
They got married, and after the first month, began to see each other, the real Lucy, the real Nick, for the first time, but only in stray moments.
As time passed the stray moments became regular and after three years Lucy wondered who was this stinking slob she had married and Nick wondered who was this argumentative harpy.
That is because both had married the ‘role’ not the person.
This is why some marriages fail. The parties strive to be who they are not as if the image of who and what they are can carry them through life instead of the length of date.