Chapter 17: One Hit Blunders, Part II – The Italian Stallion and The Smoker

Welcome back to One Hit Blunders. Part II brings us to two gentlemen, The Italian Stallion and The Smoker. 

For our first story, let’s take it back to when I was still living in Orlando, around the beginning of 2018 – so, not too long before I left, but at a time when I was still kind of hoping for something, or someone, to give me a reason to stay. Which is when I met Mario, or as my friend Charlotte dubbed him, The Italian Stallion.

Mario and I matched on Tinder, and if you couldn’t tell by the name, he’s Italian. If you didn’t guess by now, I very rarely date/go after Caucasian American men for some reason. In high school, I very much went for the blonde, Abercrombie model ‘lax bro’ types, and then suddenly in college I realized that actually, I didn’t really like those kinds of guys. That’s what my friends liked, and I went along with it because it was the style back in the day. But, really, I was into dark hair, accents, and dad bods. But I digress.

So, Mario was Italian, and his pictures made him look decently tall, he had a nice smile, and overall, seemed nice. He also worked at Disney, so we had that in common, and his broken English was kind of adorable. We made plans to go out, with him inviting me to go get pizza at MidiCi because he loved it. I thought it was kind of stereotypical to go get pizza with an Italian guy, but I love pizza, and I’m not picky, so I went with it. 

We met up after talking for a few days, and honestly I was pretty excited to meet! But guess what? I had yet another height liar. Whoever Mario had to take his photos did a great job with angles because he looked about 6” taller than he actually is. He also managed to hide the fact that he was severely balding despite only being barely 30 years old. Again, not deal breakers but just be honest! 

I’m in a serious relationship with pizza.
Photo by Vincent Rivaud on

The meal itself was okay, but he spent most of it talking about how he called his family still in Italy multiple times a day. Kind of cute, but also kind of not, in my opinion. Mario just seemed like way more of a mama’s boy than I was prepared to take on. The pizza was good, though. After we ate, we walked around the shopping center for a bit and ended up getting Starbucks tea (after he told me he doesn’t like their coffee) and then it was time for me to head home. On the way back to my car, though, I saw his car… well, van. He had some sort of large white van that he bought so that he could fit his whole family in it if/when they came to visit. I’m not really into materialistic things, but a large white van is not exactly a chick magnet.

After that date not really emitting the spark I was looking for, I figured we’d just slowly drift apart, but he, apparently, did not. He kept trying to see me, and I was trying so hard to be nice about it. One day, I decided to go to Epcot with two of my coworkers, Charlotte and Bianca, after work and I was telling them that Mario worked there. I made the mistake of telling Mario that I’d be in the park, and he literally sat and waited 20 minutes after getting out of work for me to get to where he was, just to say hi. Meanwhile, Charlotte and Bianca were on my phone scrolling and swiping through Tinder to live vicariously through me. It was when they eventually met him that afternoon that Charlotte dubbed him The Italian Stallion (it was an ironic nickname, obviously). 

What makes all of this even MORE hilarious is that eventually, Mario and I drifted apart and he didn’t text me so much anymore, and then, I found out that Charlotte’s little sister, who worked in Epcot, was telling her that one of the guys she worked with was basically in love with her, asking her to move to Italy with him, or saying he’d stay here for her, and Charlotte figured out that it was Mario. So, sorry for her sister that she became the new object of his affection for a while, but it worked out for me. 

The second part of this chapter, The Smoker, is a pretty short story, to be honest. Dev was another guy that I matched with on Hinge and overall, he seemed really cool so we set up plans for a date. He brought me flowers, which was pretty adorable, and then we went to Kings to play pool and have something to eat. 

But he kept commenting on how bad I was at pool even after I had disclosed this information several times. He also drank a bit more than I would drink on a first date, personally. Then, we went to the dining portion of it and he made another comment on the fact that I ordered a burger, and because of that, he made the executive decision after I placed my order that we’d just share my fries. Um, I did not agree to that? It felt weird and like it was his way of showing his disapproval of my weight or body type, or the fact that I, you know, eat? He also clearly doesn’t know that this girl right here does NOT share her fries with just anyone. That’s something for my inner circle only.

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The conversation was lacking, but for whatever reason I agreed to go ahead and take a bit of a walk with him afterwards. On the walk, he asked me if it was okay if he smoked, I answered honestly, no. That didn’t sit well with him apparently because he was pretty cold towards me the rest of the night. Dev also took this time to start talking about how great it was when he sometimes couldn’t sleep and would go for walks late at night, and then chastised me when I said I didn’t before going on a tangent about how great it is and how I should do it, before I finally reminded him that, you know, I’m a girl so me walking around the city by myself in the middle of the night just sounds like the start of an SVU episode. 

Finally, I decided to call it a night and ordered an Uber to pick me up a couple of blocks away. He waited with me, and lit up a cigarette literally the second I got in the car. He did text me later to ask me out again, and I said thanks but no thanks, and he was very gracious about it, but ultimately smoking is a huge deal breaker for me, as are comments about what I eat. 

So, that brings us to the conclusion of Part II of One Hit Blunders. Stay tuned to see what comes up next!

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