A few pounds?
The waiter eventually brought the check in a small glass. Mr. Misrepresentation stared at it for a while, then he took out his credit card and put it into the glass.
I did nothing. I still felt angry and disappointed. After sitting there for more than an hour, making conversation and forcing myself to get through the date, I had to say something before I left.
"You know, you really don't look like your pictures."
There. I said it.
"I think I am how I describe myself," he said.
"You weren't what I was expecting at all." He needed to hear it. "When was that surfing picture of you taken?"
"Four years ago. But the caption says 2007," he said defensively.
"I don't want to be mean, really," I said. "I don't want to hurt your feelings. But right now you're setting it up for both people to get disappointed. I can't believe I'm the first person to feel this way, though I might be the first one honest enough to say it."
"I'm not a thin person," I said, "but I look like my picture." To which he responded with some faint noise in his throat as though he were vaguely implying I didn't.
Was I a horrible, superficial shrew? No, I was tired of being deceived, of being a once-hopeful dater worn down by exaggerations about height, omissions about children and divorces, and, most disappointing of all, false representation of one's readiness to be in a committed relationship. So many guys looking for some action masqueraded as seekers of relationships, of girlfriends, of "partners in crime," even soul mates. If he would lie to me about this, what else would he lie about? I needed more than physical attraction. I needed honesty.
"I'm gonna get going," I said. "Thanks for taking me out."
I stood up and grabbed my jacket.
"You're leaving?" he said, incredulous. "You're just going to walk out?"
I started to walk away, and he shouted after me, "And you're going to stick me with the bill?"
I walked as fast as I could out the door.
The next day, I went online to reconcile the image he presented with what I'd seen. Only he'd taken down every photo and put up a more recent, more accurate shot of a heavier him wearing a baggy black shirt and standing next to Wayne Knight, the comic actor who played Newman on Seinfeld. Seriously. The caption read, "What you see is what you get."
Lisa Poliak is completing a memoir, "Bossy in Bed." L.A. Affairs chronicles dating, romance and relationships. Past columns are archived at latimes.com/laaffairs. If you have comments to share or a story to tell, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.