Deal Breakers

The horror. Ugly feet, greed, and Bon Jovi are enough to make anyone dump a mate.

"In-laws could be one for me," says Beverly, a 32-year-old pharmacist who gives off serious Velma from Scooby-Doo vibes. "I was dating someone for a while, things were getting serious, so he took me up to Ocala to meet his mom. Big mistake. His mom had a two-pack-a-day habit, had a fridge filled with nothing but Slim-Fast, and her entire house was decorated in clowns. Clown dolls, clown throw pillows, decorative clown plates, clown magnets, even clown light-switch fixtures. Luckily, I'm not phobic, but... he gave his mom a clown shot glass as a present! Plus the restaurant she chose for dinner that night was Hooters. We didn't last very long after that."

Then comes the evening's most experienced Lothario. Tom is in his 80s, tall, thin, with wispy white hair and a sweet smile. He says he was a lieutenant colonel in Korea and has been coming to Duffy's since it opened in 1955. He can prove it. On the wall nearby, he points out a color photo of him and his family sitting at the central wood bar.

His pet peeve: short women.

Wardell Brown

"When I was a young man, I thought teaching dance lessons one summer would be a great way to meet women," he says. "But none of the pretty girls needed lessons — their dance cards were filled. The women who came in were all four feet tall, 400-pound trolls with eyes longing for the touch of a man."

But Tom nevertheless snagged one cutie that summer.

"I dated Miss Kentucky. Tall, blond, smart, but couldn't dance worth a damn!"

So, was two left feet a deal breaker?

"Nah," he says with a chuckle. "When someone's that wonderful, they don't need to know how to dance."

Amen to that, Tom.

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