Writer of Soul-Searching Snark

Worse Date Ever


I was talking to some new acquaintances recently. Since I write romance, they were curious about my dating history. They wanted to know if having a series of good dates makes one a good romance author or if having bad dates does. Well, I have to say that you need to experience both in order to tap into the whole gamut of human emotions.

I’m pretty easy to get along with and I’m non-judgmental, so I consider a lot of dates okay that my friends freak out about…frog gigging for example. You’ve got to roll with it, you know?

I’d say the date that did the most damage happened in high school. To this day, I still feel the pain of this date. The pain of rejection never goes away. It hovers just below the surface and resurrects itself at the slightest hint of dismissal. Years of therapy later, I’m better now.

I had a major crush on this guy and I’m pretty sure my friends forced him to ask me out. I had to be 16 because Daddy wouldn’t have let me go otherwise, but I was very inexperienced in the whole dating department. It was a triple date, yet another reason Daddy let me go. We went to an ‘R’ rated movie. My friend and I got into the movie, but my date, who was a year older, got carded and we all got kicked out. That pissed the guy off. He pouted while the others figured out what to do instead. They suggested bowling.

Good God, I don’t bowl. For an introverted, geek, sashaying down the lane in front of everybody and flinging a ball wasn’t in my comfort zone. The worst blush I’ve ever had resulted from the disastrous combination of me, ugly, rented shoes and a 8# bowling ball. I awkwardly walked down the lane and drew my hand back to roll the ball down the lane and the ball dropped off my fingers and landed with a giant THUD behind me. Everyone in the bowling alley laughed. Okay, probably not everyone, but it sure felt like it. In my mind, there was a giant TV screen over the lanes showing my flub in slow-motion. Of course, that wasn’t the case, but I was still horrified. I tried to shake it off, but I was still embarrassed. I think I bowled a 32 or something equally impressive. I tried to be a good sport about it. Smiled, laughed at myself. Made some stupid jokes at my expense.

Somehow one of the couples learned of a bonfire at the lake. As if I’d be more comfortable at a kegger than a bowling alley. Remember, this was during my I-want-to-be-a-missionary stage of life. By the time we left the bowling alley, the other 2 couples were amorous. So was I, but I had no idea what to do about it. As my date and I sat on the tailgate of a truck and I pondered reaching for his hand, this girl walked over, stepped between my date’s legs and started kissing him. She pulled away and said, “Hi, I’m….” I have no idea what her name was, but to this day I remember her saying “Jezebel.” Then, she looked at me and asked, “Are you two together?”

Feigning indifference, I slid off the tailgate and joined a couple of potheads at the bonfire. Fortunately, several of us had curfews and mean daddies, so I didn’t have to wait long before it was time for us to leave. My friends were furious with my date. I acted like it didn’t bother me and told them to leave him alone. The worst part about it was at church the next day. The guy was all chatty and wanted to hold my hand. I wanted to say, “Yo, dude, you do realize you weren’t making out with me last night, right?” Instead I prayed.

Looking back on it, I realize that was the first time I used my now tried-and-true defense mechanism of rejecting a person before they rejected me. The method is so effective that I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities for friendship.

Having a date so not into me was very damaging to my young ego. Now, I’d just politely take my leave, but at age 16, I was devastated.

How about you? Any horrible dates you want to share?



Comments on: "Worse Date Ever" (31)

  1. You needed those bumpers on the lanes at the bowling alley. I have zero dating experience. I’ve dated three guys in my life. Married all three.

  2. Let me start off by saying I have nothing against bald men. As a matter of fact I love a man who’s comfortable with his baldness. But I don’t like a man in a toupée, especially when it is slipping off his head as we sit across a table from each other, attempting to get to know one another. I quickly got to know all I wanted to know. Enough said.

  3. Was that YOU in the bowling allen? Yeah, we’re all still talking about that. But actually
    you were one-uped by the tale of Abu Husan’s fart in the Thousand and One Nights. http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/fart.html

  4. I was 19, in my sophomore year at college and in my first apartment. I befriended a sixteen-year-old neighbor girl who talked me into going out with her friend. I took her to a “college party” which meant lots of drinking. When we made out in an empty bedroom, I realized she really was drunk, not just acting, like alot of teenage girls do after half a beer. We left soon after that and she threw up in my car on the way to her house. When we pulled up, there was a pickup parked in front.
    “You better leave,” she said and hurried into the house. A big guy stepped out of the truck and said, “What are you doing here?”
    “She’s pretty sick,” I said. “You better check on her.” Then I left. The neighbor girl had told me my date had an ex. It turned out she just didn’t like the guy and tried to use me to split them up. Moral of the story: If someone’s friend is too anxious for you to go out with them, question their motives.

  5. I wasn’t devastated by my bad date experience, simply angry enough to whip an octopus, because that is what my date turned out to be. At age 15, I was out to have a good time, but not interested into “making out.” I basically dated boys from my school, most of whom were courteous and respectful. We went to movies, basketball games, or danced at the outdoor dance floor in a local state park, One evening, on a double date, the fellow I was with, determined to touch me everywhere, became totally obnoxious. I actually had to physically defend myself. Telling him “no” didn’t work. The two in the back seat were getting into some heavy petting. I expressed my wish to be taken home, and they began calling me “Old Grandma.” Finally, in desperation, I opened his glove compartment, pulled out a loose shoestring, and choked the octopus. He relented, and took me home. I sprang out of that car so fast I stirred up a breeze.Whew! Narrow escape. After that, I wanted to ask for references before accepting a date.

  6. I was invited to a beach party at a fraternity brother’s beach house. He asked me to bring a lovely girl from our college and dared me to ask her. I’m not bashful. She said, “Yes.” After an hour on the beach, it was obvious the two of them had planned to hook up and leave me and his date together. His way of dumping her.

    I told her what was happening and spent the next three hours holding a bawling nineteen- year old pouring out her heart to me. She went from sad to mad to planting a passionate kiss on me. Not a happening thing! I drove her home and went home myself. I feel sick about what he did to this day.

  7. Yeah, I was young and gutsy then.Defending my virtue and all that.

  8. Love the post, Claire.

    My story: The date wasn’t bad, I was a bad date.
    Too much tequila. (can’t you hear the country song playing in the background?)
    Arriving in his pickup at his singlewide, I kicked my shoes off on the porch. Left my shirt in the living room, jettisoned my jeans in the hallway to the kitchen. Poor guy, he held my hand all night. Even with one foot on the floor the room wouldn’t stop spinning. Morning didn’t come fast enough.
    Then, he married me. 🙂

  9. I was 17. My sister and I had a double date with two guys who were cousins (to each other, not us). My daddy ALWAYS talked to boys. Pam’s date did not have on a belt. Daddy removed his and gave it to the guy. That started a very strange evening which ended with Pam and I in the outhouse and Grandpa and Grammie’s house trying to fix the zipper on my dress, which broke when my date got to be an octopus, before we went into the house. I don’t know why I didn’t learn from that experience. I ended up marrying the jerk. Glad I got out of that when I did!

  10. I can’t remember my first date. Says alot right there, doesn’t it? I did go on a blind date with a guy named Kirk Douglas. no kidding, that was his name. He was on my like white on rice. I was so stupid! Then there was the guy that was really nice, but my wig came off in his hands. Sigh. He did call me back for another date but we never hooked up for some reason.

  11. I was 19. He was 26. We worked together. We liked each other. He asked me out to dinner. I dressed up-dress, heels, makeup, the whole bit-expecting to be taken to one of the nicer restaurants. He took me to the local truck stop. I got food poisoning. It was our only date.

    Then there was the date who took me to a movie. He asked me which movie I wanted to see. I told him(Don’t remember the name of the movie, but it was PG). He thought I was joking and we ended up seeing “Fritz the Cat”. Then, after the movie, he talked about taking me to Disneyland some weekend and we could share the room. This was also a first and only date.

    I invited myself on a date with a nice guy I’d known two days. We got married a year later and we’ve been together 35 years. Some stories have happy endings.LOL

    • Diana, that’s horrible. Food poisoning? A weekend at Disneyland after one date? Sure glad you took the initiative and invited yourself on a date with the nice guy you’d known for 2 days. Congrats on 35 years of marriage. That’s quite an accomplishment! Thanks for sharing.

  12. My bad dates have run the gamut from the first date wedding proposal to the major crush asking if I was busy then fixing me up with his needy friend. Maybe I married my husband because he’s the only one whose dates were not tragic or bizarre.

    • Keli, thanks for sharing. Sounds like your husband is a keeper. But then again, maybe he didn’t have much competition. LOL. 1st date wedding proposal? WOW! That sends up some red flags, don’t it?

  13. Well, he was kind of shy at the time. If I waited around for him to ask me out(I can be a tad impatient), I might still be waiting and our kids wouldn’t have even made “twinkle in the eye” status.

    I forgot to mention the first date where the guy announced that he had a testicular condition and might have difficulty fathering children. This same guy showed up out of the blue one evening when I had a date with another guy. First guy hung around my parents’ house until I got home and then tried to quiz me on how the date went. Even my mother, who was desperate for me to provide her some grandchildren and thought Disneyland guy was quite the catch, decided that was unacceptable.

    • Diana, I learned too late in life that I should listen to my mother when it came to men. Mamas know what is right for their precious little girls. Seriously, on the first date someone announced that he couldn’t have children? Don’t you think you should be involved enough in your dating relationship to know the dude’s middle name before parenting is discussed. Amazing. Well, you should give credit for honesty even if he lacked social skills.

  14. I’m always the one late to the party! Great topic!

    When I was a freshman in college (just 18), I’d occasionally cut students hair to make some extra money. A friend had asked me if I could cut her boyfriend’s roommate’s hair so one Friday evening he came to my dorm room to have a cut. I could not believe my good luck – he was very handsome and friendly. I got to spend the next 15 minutes or so running my hands through his dark curly hair as I cut it. I was joking and flirting a little with him, hoping he’d be interested (which was way out of my comfort zone as I was typically very shy around men). When I’d finished the cut, he asked me out to a movie at the student union building the next night. I was THRILLED! He suggested we meet there and being naive, I didn’t think much of it. When I arrived, he barely spoke to me and as we walked into the theater I noticed he’d brought a book. As we sat waiting for the movie to begin, he opened his book and proceeded to completely ignore me until the movie started. We watched Clockwork Orange and I was moderately freaked out. After, we walked back to the dorms together, more because we both lived in the same direction not because he actually wanted to (or even noticed that I was still there). I wanted to talk about the movie, but I didn’t say anything to him because he was so evidently not interested in me. To this day I don’t understand why he asked me to go in the first place. Back then, I had so little dating experience that I was certain it was somehow my fault.

    • Oh, Lisa! That’s awful. What the heck was that all about? How odd. I can understand your bewilderment because I’m totally confused by the whole thing. Men are odd, aren’t they?

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