Monday, November 19, 2007

My Worst Date

If you haven’t been paying close attention, and why would you what with all that self-righteousness clouding you egotistical tunnel vision (kidding, I love you guys), you might have missed that tomorrow is the one year anniversary of [redacted]. In some ways this makes me happy, and in some ways it makes me sick to my stomach. On the one hand, it’s another 150 posts I’ll be able to show my children someday when it’s time for them to understand why their daddy ran off to Thailand with the robot dog when they were only five years old. That’s noble. On the other, though, what have I achieved? A whole year – 365 opportunities to do something truly great like win the lottery or work at a soup kitchen, and all I have to show for it is a nice apartment, a beautiful girlfriend, a loyal dog, steady income, a modicum of praise and adulation and excellent health. Basically I’m no closer to meeting George Clooney now than I was one year ago, so what’s the point?

In celebration of my anniversary, I did the same thing I did for my last blog’s anniversary. I went through my “drafts” folder (which is a glorified “ideas” folder, containing snippets like “I wish I could write like an architect, instead it’s more like a kid with a disability”) and cleaned it out. I got rid of everything that wasn’t good (99%) and was left with this: an account of the worst date of my life. I had written it some time ago as an email to my friends but never posted here. So I figure why not retell the story here? We’ll call it closure – both on the horrific memory, and on another year of putting the English language to bad use.

The date took place in the summer of 2004. I was in the midst of a three-month long break-up with my girlfriend at the time. I met the girl (let’s call her “Penny”) through a friend one night at a bar. Penny seemed nice enough. She was cute and blonde and most people who are cute and blonde can never really be "bad" because they're starting out at 50% with cute and blonde. Unless they kill puppies and vote republican. Then, sure, they can degrade themselves exponentially. Turns out she votes republican. I was scared to ask if she'd ever killed a puppy.

Anyway, my friend told me that Penny thought I was cute and wanted to go on a date with me. Penny randomly called me a week later. I had just gotten back from an exhausting bike ride, and she asked if I was doing anything for the night. Now, anyone who knows anything about the human body will tell you that the worst time for a man to be asked out on a date that he doesn't really want to go on is directly after having endured a strenuous workout. Not only is your heart-rate sky high, but your adrenaline is pumping and your pheromones are escalated. Plus you have that overwhelming sense of accomplishment that makes you want to go out and conquer a woman because you're so strong. So I didn't want to go on the date. But in essence I said, "Sure, let's go to dinner [and then bang because I’m a man damnit]."

I take a shower and meet her downtown. I let her pick the place because it's her hood (Union Square area) and I know little to nothing about it except that there's a park there where odd people hang out and Adam Duritz is somewhere nearby, so the restaurants must be good (fatty). She ends up taking me to this bar/lounge/restaurant with one of those trendy one-word names like "Lettuce" or "Doody." It was actually a really cool place, if not a little pricey. But I figure it's the first date and I’m not in love with this girl so she'll offer to pay for her half at the end of the night and I won't fight back. By me writing that sentence, you already know that when the check came she looked at me like a child looks at their father when the check comes at Friendly's, that look being the here's-where-daddy-does-that-cool-thing-with-his-wallet look. If she even had a purse with money in it, it never saw the dim light of the corner booth. My credit card laughed at me as I put it in the bamboo box that the check came in. I, retaliating the only way I knew how, poured he rest of the wine in my glass and downed it. Ha! I showed her. I got more wine.

Indeed, the meal would turn out to be the only memorable moment of the night, because this girl started talking right after the bread was put down and didn't stop talking until I got up to go to the bathroom right after paying the check. I wouldn't be surprised if she kept on talking after I left. Talking about what? Name any interesting topic you can think of . . . Not that. Her situation with her ex boyfriend? Check. The free haircuts she gets at the salon she works at? Check. Driving up a snowy hill in Vermont in a front wheel drive car? Double check. She told that one twice. There were moments (now blurred by the next-day haze of drinking) where I distinctly remember hearing her say something and saying to myself, "Remember that so you can tell someone she said that. They won't believe you. They will be so amazed . . ." From what I can remember, we established the following truths over the course of our meal:

It is a long way between 5th and 6th avenue in midtown.

Her ex calls her sometimes, then doesn't call her sometimes. And she doesn't get this.

Having a job is good, because not having a job means you have no money.

Her roommate has Diabetes. (She refused to comment on my question as to whether there could ever be a singular "Diabete.")

She has a friend that lives in California, and a friend that lives in Florida, and a friend that lives in Texas and a friend that lives in Michigan.

There's no way that the guy who cut her hair only took off 3 inches. He definitely took off more than 3 inches.

She doesn't like shellfish but she likes salmon, shark, mahi mahi, Chilean sea bass and flounder. Not tuna.

Regardless, by the end of the night I was pretty drunk and I had just spent a lot of money on this girl so she owed me sex, or at least a blowjob. So we leave the restaurant and I don't play games:

Me: "I’ve got to get home. Want to come?"
Her: "Sure."

We hop in a cab and head up to my place. Unfortunately, she keeps on talking and by 50th street I realize I’ve made a huge mistake. I don't like this girl at all. I mean, it's not just that I don't want this girl to be my girlfriend; not just that I don't want to go on a second date with this girl; it's that I don't like her as a person, as a human mass, as a product of some offshoot of evolution. And she's coming to my home. With me.

It only gets worse from here, because we get to my place and she sits on the couch and picks up a magazine. It's my own fault really, for leaving magazines out.

It's 12:30 and I make myself a drink because I can't handle this anymore. I'm trying to calculate in my head what's an adequate amount of time this girl can sit on my couch before it's acceptable for me to say, "It's been really fun, I have to get up early tomorrow." I come up with half an hour, and then look at the clock and realize that in a half an hour it will be 1:00. Somewhere inside me I cry a little and, as she reads aloud some quote from the magazine she found particularly funny, all I can do is stare at the empty wall in front of me and wonder, "Would my neighbor hear her scream?"

12:55 rolls around and this is supposed to be over. It's supposed to be over. But at some point in the night this date turned into an assignment, or more appropriately, a tour of duty in Afghanistan. She is a terrorist and her WMD is this: "Do you mind if I stay the night? I'm beat." Perfectly timed and executed. She's dumb as a rock but her military IQ is phenomenal. I should have known she was autistic. If only she'd go into a somatic state and I could just put her in the closet or something.

All I can do is whimper and say OK, and there's even a part of me that is rejuvenated by the thought that after the lights go out and she stops talking that maybe she’ll take her shirt off and we’ll finally make a meaningful connection. But if you've been reading this story and can make even basic insights into the human condition, you know that I didn't get my rocks off and, instead, I fell asleep with my hand on her thigh (maybe my thigh) listening to her talk about her ex boyfriend.

An upside? I wasn't just on time for work the next morning. I was early. Couldn't get up and out fast enough. Corporations should hire this girl to make sure their executives are on time for all the big meetings. Just stick her with them the night before and they will be so happy to go to the meeting they'll be half an hour early and show up with a box of Krispy Kreme too.


Blogger fort knocks said...

Going dutch is the best way to do it for penny-pinchers (zing?).

Funny post.

November 19, 2007 at 4:35:00 PM EST  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Rough date. I hope I have never talked that much about stupid, pointless blather on a first date (or any date, for that matter!).

Also, is that really your dog? Um, I want it.

November 19, 2007 at 5:06:00 PM EST  
Blogger Ki Two said...

Entertaining as always. Happy Blogversary! :)

November 19, 2007 at 10:07:00 PM EST  
Blogger Wonder Woman said...

Krispy Kremes are overrated.

November 19, 2007 at 10:15:00 PM EST  
Blogger k said...

Because it is a rule that I must make my comments about me...

I wish SO BADLY that I could post about my worst date, except I have a sad and fearful suspicion that he might find the post. I don't know what to do about that. He was awful, but he didn't mean to be.

He thought he was very sweet, which made the date that much worse.

To prove how much he loved dogs, he actually got down on all fours on a public sidewalk to connect with an stranger's Lab. He was in work clothes.

Later, he invited a female friend of his ONTO OUR DATE, so that when he went to the men's room, she'd have the opportunity to try to talk him up and convince me to date him.

This was AFTER he tried, in earnest, to convince the bartender that he was from the future.

November 20, 2007 at 2:03:00 AM EST  
Blogger mindy said...

Wait, what's the follow up? Did Penny think it was a fun date? Did she call you again? Did you even MAKE OUT?


November 20, 2007 at 9:58:00 AM EST  
Blogger Julie_Gong said...

I hate the name Penny. It is worthless just like the coin.

Happy Blogversary!

November 20, 2007 at 11:27:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I wish SO BADLY that I could post about my worst date..."

you just did

November 20, 2007 at 11:27:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh dear i hope i'm never like that on dates... how scary.

November 20, 2007 at 1:19:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

weird. I thought going dutch was more common these days. Am I the only female out there who goes dutch on first date, second date and even with boyfriends?

November 20, 2007 at 2:42:00 PM EST  
Blogger Faith said...

Ok, didn't he clarify things by mentioning that she's apparently as dumb as a box of rocks? She probably doesn't have any clue about the tradition of "you ask, you pay - at least for your half" when it comes to dating.

This is why giving cute and blonde people some sort of 50% head start is a bad, bad idea. Chances are, the bespectacled redheads should be given a 75% head start in more cases than they actually are.

November 20, 2007 at 3:53:00 PM EST  
Blogger The Snark DC said...

Pfft, my worst date involved a Marine urinating in my bed.

It sounded like a gentle fountain, and was almost soothing, until I realized that he was, you know, pissing into my expensive quilt. Now he's on our Wall of Shame.

Mmm. Marines. Always making us proud.

November 20, 2007 at 4:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger Lady said...

Faith, I wholeheartedly concur.

November 21, 2007 at 11:47:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um. enjoying your post's but quick note. driving up a hill in snow is easier in a front wheel drive car than any rear as well as some 4wd depending on how the power is distributed.

September 24, 2008 at 11:32:00 PM EDT  

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