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The Strawberry Letter: He Smells Like Grease and Moth Balls

Dear Steve and Shirley,

I met a man online, and he's a decent guy that's eight years older than I am; he's 59 and divorced, and I have never been married. When we met, we talked about everything, and I really got to know him.

I found out that he's the cafeteria manager at an office building downtown, and he loves to cook. He lied on his dating profile and said he's a chef, so I brought that up to him. All he did was brag about his cooking and said he's the best chef I'll ever meet. So, our first date was a makeshift picnic at a park by my office, and he brought all of the food. My first impression of him was not good; he looked like his profile picture, thank you, but he was all sweaty. He said he was rushing to wrap a ball of food and make it to the date on time. He smelled like grease and mothballs. Everything we ate was fried; he called it his Southern Soul Food Fest. It was a total mess, and I told him I couldn't eat that much greasy food. I told him he smelled like fried chicken, and he thought it was a compliment. I can only assume he has a problem with flying insects at home because his jeans and his jacket smelled a lot like mothballs.

On our other dates too, he must not have a vent over his stove or he might not know how to use it. I think he has great potential, and I don't want to dump him just because he smells like a short-order cook all the time. Is there a way to tell him about himself, or will it hurt his pride? He's invited me to his house, but I don't want to smell like him. What do I do?