Dear 100 Hour Board,
Worst date stories.
Ready, set go.
Let's see. I could tell you about my blind date to Senior Prom my junior year of high school, in which we went biking even though I told him I can't ride a bike, my date barely spoke to me the whole evening, and he was an hour and a half late picking me up for the dance (in his mom's minivan, which she drove). I could tell you about the one Tinder date I've ever gone on, which I only said yes to because the guy was bald and I thought maybe he had cancer (he didn't), and when he met me he reached up to pat me on the head and said, "Wow, you're tall," because I practically dwarfed him. I could tell you about the guy who, after one date, posted a picture of us on Facebook with some cheesy caption about how much he loved spending time with me, as if we were a couple, and when I said no to a second date he immediately unfriended me. I could tell you about the guy who just tried to debate deep doctrine with me the whole time. But I think I'll tell you the story about Library Guy.
One day I was on the main floor of the library, waiting to fill up my water bottle at the fountain by the south-end staircase. The guy getting a drink ahead of me finished and started walking up the stairs, while I filled up my water bottle. Suddenly I realized that that guy had stopped cold on the stairs and was staring at me intently. I waved and said, "Hi?" and he said I looked super familiar. As it turns out we didn't know each other at all, and he said, "I just had to make sure I hadn't met you somewhere and forgotten. One time I forgot a girl's name while we were on a date." Okay...thanks for the information. The conversation kept naturally coming to a close, and Library Guy kept finding awkward ways of prolonging it, and finally ended by asking me for my number. I'm a very non-confrontational person who's bad at saying no, so I gave it to him, and hoped he would just never use it, like the majority of guys I've ever given my number to. Alas, he immediately started texting me.
And I'm not just talking about, "Hey, what's up?" texts. These were weird texts, asking things like, "So [Alta], what kind of girl are you?" and "Were you a girls camp prankster?" I tried to give the most blase answers possible, but the weird questions just kept coming. One day as I was in class I got a text from him asking where I was, which seemed strange, and when I said in class, he sad, "Well that explains why you gave me a weird look when I just barely tried waving to you in the library. I guess I just selfishly wanted it to be you." Okay buddy, you don't have the right to selfishly want anything about me, cool your jets.
After about two weeks of intermittent texting, he called me, I didn't answer, and he left a message asking me on a date. I really didn't want to go, and my roommates advised me to tell him I had started dating someone. I was talking to my mom about it later that day, and she said that I couldn't lie to him, so the next time he called I reluctantly said yes to a date. I asked what we were doing, and he had no idea, just that he wanted to somehow spend time with me. About a day before he let me know what we were doing, and I asked if I could bring some friends along to make it a double date (to give me a safety net in case he turned out to be a serial killer). He said that sounded like a great idea, so when the day of the date came up I dragged my roommate and a guy friend along. The date itself was fine, mostly because I had friends there to talk to, but conversation with Library Guy was pretty awkward the whole time. At one point he said, "I feel like I know you pretty well by now. What's something about you that would surprise me, even with all I already know," and I responded with, "Well, I use prescription toothpaste." He sounded a little taken aback when he said, "That's not exactly what I was thinking of, but I guess that works."
After the date he immediately asked me out for a second date, but didn't seem too surprised when I turned him down. A few months later I saw him again in the library, staring at me intently just like the first time we ever met. I said hi, and he said, "Sorry, do I know you?" because as it turns out I'm utterly forgettable.
So the date itself wasn't that bad, mostly it was just everything surrounding it.
One time a guy took me to Carrabba's. Afterward, he asked if we could drive up to Squaw Peak. Ignorantly, I said yes. When we got to the top, I immediately got out of the car to start exploring because I thought that was the point of the expedition. We met some birdwatchers and talked to them for a bit. We drove back down.
It took a couple years for me to realize this was a terrible and hilarious date.
Dear 3, 2, 1,
I showed up to BYU for freshman orientation and there was this really cute girl in my orientation group. She was funny and I felt like we got along really well and I actually showed up to the rest of my orientation activities so I could talk to her. I was planning on getting her number on the last day of orientation but she didn't show up. I was greatly saddened that I had thrown away my shot with this girl, but to my surprise she happened to be in the same chemistry class as me. I had a second chance!
After a few weeks of talking, texting, and being her lab partner, I had finally worked up enough courage and determination to ask her out. I still was faced with the dilemma of what to do for the date. I couldn't think of anything, but then I found two events: a pioneer themed square dance, and an 80's dance. So I asked her out and said that we could dress normal, and then go to each event and stay at whichever one was cooler. The dances were scheduled to start at 7 pm on a Friday, but I knew that no one would actually show up right on time, so I decided that I'd pick my date up at 8:30 so people would be there when we showed up.
So I picked my date up (which actually meant just showing up at her apartment to walk with her because I didn't have a car) and we headed over to the first dance. We get there and they were just beginning to set up. So we go to the second dance and they were still setting up too! We were out of luck for both dances, so we headed over to Kiwanis park to play on the playground. After about 5 minute of swinging she turns to me and says "I think I'm going to throw up. Would you walk me home?"
I don't know whether or not she was actually sick, but I walked her home. After I dropped her off I checked my phone and it was 9:10. The date had only lasted 40 minutes! I was feeling pretty crummy about the date; both activities had failed, and my date had either gotten sick and thrown up or lied about being sick to end the date early. The icing on the cake however came when I got home and my roommate said to me "Aren't you supposed to be on a date?" I knew he was just curious, but that just reminded me how my date had totally failed. I was not a happy camper.
On the bright side though it makes for a good story! As much as I like good stories though, hopefully I won't have new ones to tell anytime soon if you catch my drift.
The only dates I've ever been on that were bad were blind dates, and most of those were just boring, not actually bad. That is, I didn't think any of the dates I asked girls on were awkward or went poorly, but I'm still single, so maybe I am the bad date. I probably would have had a bad experience with a girl that I asked out eventually, if only I asked more girls on dates, but silver linings, right?
The one really bad date that I've ever been on happened when my friend decided that I should get a Mutual before it was available on Android. So what's the solution? We'll just set up the account on her phone, she'll do the swiping and initial chatting, then get me their phone number if I'm interested. I didn't agree because I thought something would come of it; it was more of a "what's the worst that could happen?" sort of thing. So the first girl that she asks me about is really cool, according to my friend, because apparently she had met her, and she was roommates with one of our mutual friends. So I agree to go on a date, she gives me her number, and we decide to get ice cream at the Creamery on a Saturday afternoon.
She was late, which I guess was fine because she texted me about it. Then the first or second thing she says to me is, "So, do you even want to be here?" That's right, she started the date out by questioning whether I even wanted to be on it. Talk about self-esteem. According to her, my friend hadn't been very good at explaining what was going on, so she thought it was all part of losing a bet or something. Also, she said she had no idea who my friend was, and had definitely never met her before. Okay.
So we start getting to know each other.* Her explanation of what she did for work was pretty condescending, and she said my life story was weird. Then she asked what I was passionate about, and she didn't believe me when I said food. I mean, why would she? It's not like it's literally made to be enjoyed or anything. It's not like foodies are a real thing that everyone has heard of. It's not like I had already told her that I had decided at least eight years before that I wanted to study food science. She asked me to tell her about a food that I really like, so I told her about some tacos that I had recently made for dinner group. Then she's like, "Oh yeah, I did see your eyes light up when you talked about tacos, I guess you weren't lying about really liking food." Like, thanks? Maybe believe me when I tell you something next time?
So I asked her what she was passionate about, and she said story-telling. So, in the spirit of reciprocity, I asked her to tell me a story. When she asked what kind of story she should tell, I asked for a story that she had alluded to while talking about her story-telling aspirations. Turns out that was a super embarrassing story, but she told it anyway. The story was actually pretty funny, so I guess that was the one part of the date that was actually worth it.
After her story, she said that she had to go. I thanked her for her time, and she asked if I would tell my friend that the date had been terrible. Again, talk about self-esteem. When my friends asked how the date went, at first I said that it was fine but that I definitely wouldn't be going on another date with her. As time passed, I began to realize just how terribly it had gone. A few months later, I asked my friends who were her roommates if they had heard that I went on a date with her. I told them about it, and they said that they could have told me from the start that we weren't a good match. She's married now, so I'm glad that everything worked out for her.
Blind dates aren't fun. Let's just say I was much more selective about who I said yes to after that. My friend gave up trying to run my Mutual a week or two later, because her love life was enough to deal with without trying to manage mine. It was probably for the best, because she married a great guy, and I haven't been on any more blind dates. It's a win-win situation.
*And by "getting to know each other", I mean that she asked me questions faster than I could think of answers, and sometimes I managed to ask her the same questions back that she was asking me. It honestly felt more like an interrogation than any job interview I've ever been in.
I actually haven't gone on that many (read "any") absolutely cringe-worthy dates (which may or may not have to do with the fact that I haven't gone on that many dates in general, and thanks to being pretty much continually busy, I've had easy--but completely true--excuses to avoid ever going on dates with extremely awkward guys). So, the story that I shall relate was more bad due to certain circumstances rather than the guy who had asked me out.
It was technically my second date with this guy--let's call him Bob--though several months had passed since our first date. I'd gotten a phone call from him a couple days ago, asking me out for a group date with all his roommates. The theme for this date was kindergarten. Bob told me everyone was going to be dressed up in their best imitation five-year-old garb, and that there was going to be a show-and-tell I should be prepared for. So on the day of the date, I put my hair up in high pigtails, pulled on a hot pink cardigan over a striped tunic, completing the outfit with purple Converse and a blue polar fleece jacket. I looked exactly like what I was aiming for--a grownup dressed like a little kid.
Bob knocked on my apartment door precisely on time, and together we walked over to where he was parked, a leaf-strewn gutter. Turns out the leaves were hiding something sharp, for as Bob starting pulling away, it was very evident one of his tires had been popped. We made it as far as a parking lot approximately thirty feet away from where Bob had originally parked before having to pull over.
Now, before I go on with the story perhaps I should mention that I'm the type of person who always likes to be suitably dressed/put together. For nearly the past decade, I've only worn sweat pants once (I don't even have my own pair), I wear make-up even when camping, and my hair is always done; I try to look classy. Thus you can imagine the growing discomfort I felt upon being in the following places dressed up as a five year old.
Back to the story: Bob and I got out of the car and ineffectually attempted to do something to get the it safely running. As we were standing around, a huge muscled guy who looked like he was in his late 40's, Mr. Johnson, noticed our plight and came over to help. Mr. Johnson happened to have a pump in his car, which he generously used to pump up the deflated tire. Or rather, attempted to pump up. For reasons that have become lost in the depths of my non-car-savvy brain, the car pump didn't work. Bob called his parents for advice on what to do, and decided that we needed to go in to an auto shop to get the car fixed. The nearest auto shop was over 15 minutes away from where we currently were (we were already about a half hour late for the date at this point). Mr. Johnson once again offered assistance, saying he could drive us to the auto shop. While he seemed like a nice man who just wanted to help, I was still leery at the idea of getting into some stranger's car. However, Bob did not seem to share any of my reservations; he immediately agreed to the ride, and arranged for one of his roommates to come and pick us up from the shop once we were done to actually go to the date. Unsure of what to do, and figuring that things would probably be fine cause there were two of us, I reluctantly went along. Luckily for us, Mr. Johnson was indeed just a nice man who wanted to help, and not a creepy serial killer.
On the way to the auto shop, I pulled my hair out of its pigtails and did my best to try and look like a regular human being, as opposed to a 19 year old who had never actually gotten past kindergarten (a valiant attempt which more or less failed). Once we arrived, I awkwardly tailed Bob into the shop, where it oh so fortuitously (I'm hoping the sarcasm is evident here) happened that I knew the worker who ended up helping with Bob's car. Feeling very self-conscious and uncomfortable throughout the entire experience, I waited for Bob's roommate to come and pick us up, and for my public escapade as a five year old to draw to a close. Bob's roommate did indeed eventually arrive, and we went on to the actual date, which passed unremarkably, despite Bob's and my tardiness to it.
The lingering stains of awkwardness I felt faded away until the next Sunday where the guy who worked at the auto shop laughed once again upon seeing me at how uncomfortable and awkward I'd seemed on that date.
This wasn't so much the date, but the inadvertent start (and end) of one. So Guy and I had been on two dates, he asked me out on a third, but there was a miscommunication about the day. I thought the date was planned for the Saturday the next week while he assumed it was the upcoming Saturday. We hadn't figured out a time, all we knew was that we were going to watch a movie. If I knew the day he was planning, I would have cancelled, because I already had a planned event that day—the color festival.
For those who don't know, the color festival happens at the Hindu temple in Spanish Fork, and it's a huge color fight. You buy colored chalk to throw at everyone and come home looking like, well, you've been to the color festival. I didn't want my phone to get color-fied, so I left it at home.
I went to the color festival with my friends, had a blast, came home completely covered in chalk and color, and was going to take a shower when the doorbell rang.
Whoever could it be? I wondered as I walked to the door, leaving colored footprints behind me.
There stood Guy, gaping at the wonder of my splattered face and clothes.
We had a brief, awkward conversation about the miscommunication. He looked like he was about to cry. I felt pretty horrible. After he left, I checked my phone. Indeed, he had sent me a text, saying he'd pick me up at that time. (Why he didn't call to confirm when I didn't respond to his text, I'll never know.)
We never got that third date. And so, ladies and gentlemen of the Board, never forget to wait for a confirming text or call when setting up a date.
-guppy of doom