Mr. Dread

20 min readDec 7, 2021

Karen’s mother loves to set her up on blind dates. The latest man of Karen’s dread meets her at her house, looking fairly plain and unexciting. Karen soon discovers that this time, mom may have found the right chemistry after all. Of course, if this is true, she’ll never live it down…

Written by Blanche Wheeler
Published by

The chill of November was over, and with the first of December came the cold. San Diego would soon be covered in rain and wind like everywhere else in the nation, but today was clear, and the sky the color of deep blue ice.

Traffic was moving slow on the way home from work. The radio was blasting some of my favorite songs and my hands were tapping the rhythm of them on my steering wheel. It was Friday, and the end of a long week at work, and I forgot all about the date my mom set me up for this evening, until I was pulling into my driveway. When the thought hit me, I nearly threw my car in reverse and made a run for it, but eventually I sighed to the inevitable and went inside my house to get ready.

My mom’s newest man-of-my-dread was going to be picking me up at seven. I needed a shower before I went anywhere, and I decided I would eat something as well. The last guy took me to an Indian restaurant and I discovered that while the curry wasn’t all that bad to eat, it was hell a few hours later. Thankfully my mother wasn’t an overachiever when it came to finding me dates. This was only the third one this year. If I was very lucky, it would be the last.

There was nothing wrong with my mom’s taste in men, for herself. My dad was an amazing man who loved her very dearly, and my step farther, who married my mother after my dad passed away, was equally great. I didn’t understand why she was so horrible when it came to sending men in my direction.

“You are just too hard to please,” my mother had told me once in exasperation. The man who she sent me that time was about as stimulating as watching paint dry.

Of course, there was a huge strike against finding any man through my mother, and that was I was a romantic, and truly believed that the man of my dreams was out there looking for me. Currently, he was probably in a ditch with a broken leg, but I was rooting for him to get his ass in gear and find me.

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