There are few things that bring me more joy than in hearing about disastrous dates. I think it evokes in me a combination of both empathy and relief. Empathy in the awkwardness that is dating and the realization of how crazy this ritual can be. And relief in the fact that it was not me who had to be on this awful date. I continue to be amazed by the disastrous nature of dates and have kept a sort of mental tally of especially memorable ones. Also, my posts of late have been gloomy and I need a change.
As I considered what to write this week, my roommate suggested that I write on disastrous dates. It was a light bulb moment. Well, of course. I often hear tales of dating woes. So, I began to collect some stories from my friends in hopes that they can provide the balm of laughter as well as a cautionary tale of what not to do on a date.
Recently I was talking with some friends about dating and stories of odd places people have been taken to on dates. One of the women mentioned a friend of hers from college. He had asked out a very beautiful woman for dinner. He was decently awkward, so she felt an interest in hearing how this date went. He started off by explaining how he wanted to gauge how flexible she was. Would she go with the flow or was she uptight? He decided the best way to do that was to take her to 7-11 for nachos. My friend laughed, because surely he must be joking. Nope. He was serious, even miming to her the pump pot of cheese sauce. Not surprisingly, that was the first and last date. Another first and last date was experienced by a friend who had a tag along on her first date – her date’s roommate. I mean, that’s taking the role of wingman way too far.
Another friend had an experience where a man gave all the signs that he was interested. You know, making a point to talk to her, always giving hugs, saying things like “we should go to brunch at that fancy brunch place.” Finally, after months of interactions like this, they went to a movie together. He paid for her ticket, further making a case for the fact that this was a date. They were talking before the film started when he casually mentioned how often women mistake his intentions. Women were always thinking they were on dates with him. Of course, right when this confusing statement tumbled out of his mouth, the movie began. My friend sat through the movie puzzled. They went to a park later when and she called him out asking for clarification on their outing. He said it was just friends and she made a point to let him know how confusing his messages were. Preach!
Yet another friend told tale of a disastrous date that almost was. She was asked out by a guy to go a hot yoga class. I mean, who doesn’t want to sweat like crazy while doing all the awkward stretches and bends found in yoga class…on a first date? This just sounds like a hilarious Saturday Night Live skit waiting to happen. Another almost date which had disastrous leanings happened with a friend while she was salsa dancing. Her partner used her hand to wipe the sweat from his brow. Note to self, always bring hand sanitizer when going dancing.
My brother, the dating expert, likes to entertain us with the story of a girl we’ve affectionately dubbed “BWS,” which stands for boring when sober. BWS showed up to their first date drunk. She started off being really fun and engaging, but as her buzz wore off she progressively grew more boring and lifeless.
Of course, what would a post on disastrous dates be complete without a tale from the high school years? One friend went to prom with her steady boyfriend, who proceeded to ignore her and chatted up another girl (who not surprisingly became his next girlfriend). Oh, the awkwardness and heartbreak of young love.
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but this one might take the cake. My friend reminded me of a date she had last year. Her date started lunch off by bragging how she could order whatever she wanted – his parents’ were paying. I feel as though I should also mention that this man was well into his 30’s. He was also a well-informed man, thinking Niagara Falls was located in Yosemite National parks. He ended the date, asking what the common tipping percentage was and again, brought up how his parents’ were paying. The final, although perhaps not surprising, detail was that his mom had made the date.
I’ve heard it said that insanity is doing the same thing, but anticipating a different result. Yet, we still to choose to date, in hopes that we will find a different experience. Here’s to proving the adage wrong. If not, it may be time to invest in a straitjacket.