Disclaimer: This post is part of this blog’s That Tiny Tirade series. It can (and likely will) contain harsh language, scenes and storylines not suitable for children, and some content that may be unacceptable to other readers. This post may also contain strobe lighting effects.
Dating. The one activity that is disproportionately glamorized by media to the point where what you see in the movies cannot even be called a shell of the reality of the actual activity. Turn on television or movies and you’re bound to see someone meeting the man/woman of their dreams on their first date out of a horrible relationship. If there is a bad date shown, it’s nearly always an independent woman1Who is later shown to be weak when she actually does meet her dream man, but that’s another rant for another day who is on a date with a guy who either likes video games, lives with his mom, or both. Needless to say, the dichotomy provided by the entertainment industry is disappointing at best, ludicrously misleading at worst.
For those of you who are newer to this blog, I’ll be getting married later this year. I’m happy to spend the rest of my life with the woman of my dreams, settle down, maybe start a family someday, yada yada yada, white picket fence that doubles as a proximity mine to form a moat in case of a zombie invasion.
I hated dating. It was (and still is) the single most socially awkward interpersonal interaction activity that we engage in2Narrowly beating out small talk, forced lying to feign caring about something, politics, and willfully attending a Dave Matthews Band concert. While not every date or dating experience I had was bad, there were quite a few of them that went poorly. I have no desire to share all of the experiences, but at the request of you readers, I will share my top three. Names have been changed to protect the people in these stories.
3. The Blind Date With An Unexpected Surprise
A couple of weeks after I finished grad school, my then-girlfriend split up with me. While the relationship wasn’t particularly long (three months at most), said girl was a lot of firsts in my life, so I took it pretty hard. Combine that with the fact I had just moved to Arizona — a place where I knew literally no one — and was extremely cash strapped, and I was not exactly in the best of spirits.
My new manager knew this and decided it would be a great idea to set me up on a blind date. All I know was that I was going to the movies with my manager, her husband, and a girl I’d never met, Jenna. My friend talked Jenna up quite a bit, so I was excited about the date. Considering how pessimistic I’d been in the 3-4 months leading up to this date, the fact that I was excited was an accomplishment in and of itself.
I arrived at said date to find my manager and her husband already at the movie theater, just waiting on Jenna to arrive. Sure enough, she arrived just a few minutes later. Much to my surprise, Jenna was short for Jennifer3Still speaking in pseudonyms here, however her real name was short for another name, which is what knew I her by. On top of that, I had known Jenna (as Jennifer) for roughly two years — as she was my cousin’s ex-fiancee.
Once I explained the situation to my manager, everything was incredibly awkward. I left, as did Jenna. To my knowledge, Jenna never mentioned the movie theater incident to my cousin (whom she’s still friends with to this day).
2. There’s A Fine Line With Religion
I first joined an online dating site during my final semester of college, just before my 21st birthday. I found most of my dates from age 21-24 via online dating, ending up in multiple (mostly fruitless) relationships. But for every relationship that I found, there were 4-5 mediocre or terrible dates along the way.
The most…we’ll go with interesting…one of these came about roughly a year before the “date” described above with Jenna. I had met a girl — Amber — via online dating. Our first date consisted of lunch and a walk around a park, and while it wasn’t an overwhelmingly awesome date, it was good enough that we both decided to go on a second date together. We decided to meet up at her house, then walk to a bar nearby, have drinks/food there, and see where the evening took us. Throughout the evening, I learned quite a bit about Amber. She was big into “alternative spirituality”, she would occasionally dress up in Renaissance Fair regalia for fun, and she was very close with her best friend, Bob.
A few hours and a handful of drinks later, we made our way back to her house where clothes started to come off. The long walk back from the bar in the summer heat left us both sweaty, so we decided to shower together. That’s where things started to go downhill.
As I’m in the shower, I hear Amber open the shower curtain behind me. I turn around to see Amber climbing into the shower, with a dildo as big as my forearm in one hand, and a switchblade knife in the other.
“Um. What?” I think this what all the more I said…though to be fair, a “What the fuck?” may have slipped out too.
“Meet my best friend, B.O.B.”4Apparently BOB is short for Battery Operated Boyfriend, a fact that I was oblivious to prior to this encounter, she said as she held up the dildo like Rafiki held Simba in The Lion King. “We’ll involve him later. So we can fool around in here as much as you want, but if you want to have sex, I need you to cut me. The blood appeases the goddesses and allows me to cum.”
This wasn’t the first time I left a date because of something my date said that made me uncomfortable, nor is it the most awkward. Those honors belong to this next story.
1. First Date…PUNNNCH!
I’ve shared arguably the most ridiculous date story I have with some of you previously. What makes this story particularly special is because of how quickly it escalated.
As I mentioned in the previous story, I spent a fairly significant portion of my early twenties trying to find relationships through online dating. My major reason for doing so was because of the fact that my first post-college job consisted of a 9pm-6am shift Thursday-Monday. Having Tuesdays and Wednesdays off while also having a night owl schedule isn’t exactly the most conducive to meeting romantic prospects. Nevertheless, I started messaging a girl — we’ll call her Serena — who worked as a cosmetologist. She lived roughly two hours away from me, but considering my terrible run of bad relationships/dates preceding talking to Serena, I was willing to make the drive. Since Serena worked days, we decided to meet up for a lunch date at Subway5aka the second least romantic first date option, trailing only McDonald’s near her work.
We ordered our food and sat down at a round table, with Serena to my right. After a couple of minutes of small talk, I was taking a bite of my sub when I felt Serena poke my arm lightly, though intentionally, with her finger. I figured she was trying to flirt with me, so I returned the favor. A few seconds later, Serena poked my arm again, this time more forcefully. I assumed the additional force was accidental, so I poked her arm again, this time even more lightly than the first time.
I had no sooner removed my finger from her arm than I got hit in the face with a swift, closed-fist punch from Serena.
“What the fuck was that for?” I yelled, obviously in a bit of pain.
Serena shrugged her shoulders and replied, “I wanted to see a girl hit a guy for once.”
I stood up, grabbed my coat off of the back of my chair, and left. I got a text from Serena later that night asking if she could take me on a second date to apologize. Needless to say, I never answered.