Monday, November 13, 2006

Worst date ever

As NaBloPoMo drains me and I have little to write about I thought back to my mental archives. This is the true story of a date I actually went on. I'm not proud of it, but there isn't any exaggeration here.

I'll also confess that I met the guy online, and at that time, he seemed perfectly normal. I can't remember his name, but we'll call him Carl. We exchanged a few emails, he seemed capable of intelligent conversation. Seemed being the operative word in both those sentences. I hadn't seen a picture of Carl, but he hadn't seen mine either, and while I'm far from a knockout, I can't say I usually make people run screaming in the other direction so I figured he was in the same category.

Carl asked me out after an exchange of emails, and he told me to pick any restaurant and dinner was "on him." I agreed to meet him at my favourite local restaurant which was somewhere I was comfortable, where I knew the owner, and where I knew the food would be good.

Since I lived within walking distance and it was a beautiful summer day I walked the 20 minutes to get there - we had agreed to meet at 7 sharp at his instruction.

Even at a place where you know the owners and you're warmly welcomed it's odd to sit alone, waiting. There were other patrons at other tables in the small place and I felt like they were saying "poor dear, stood up" to each other about me. My checking my watch every few minutes probably didn't help that perception. I started to get was a bit miffed to be left waiting. I even went in back to say hello to the owner and converse in some broken English with gestures. I drank my water and poured myself another.

After 20 minutes I ordered a Thai iced coffee for myself (nectar of the gods that it is) and continued to peruse the menu like I hadn't seen it a gagillion times. I figured 20 minutes was the magical time. Sure, someone can easily be late 10, even 15 minutes because of some comedy of errors like having to change at the last minute, traffic, or not being able to find your keys. It can happen to anyone, and I'm totally understanding about. Once I hit the 7:20 mark, it it crossed that indefinite line to "maybe something happened, no big deal" to "this is getting rather jerky."

I made a deal with myself that if he weren't there by 7:25 I would order a tom yum soup and leave and curse him the whole way home.

Twenty-five minutes passed, I finished my coffee with an unexpected slurp and the owner came over and I ordered my tom yum. Just then I was blinded by a flash of light. It turned out to be my date's head being hit by the sun as he walked through the double doors.

To say I found him unattractive would be to say Everest is a big mountain, or that the Arctic is cold during wintertime. He looked like Homer Simpson with his two strands of hair in a combover that was so awful I think it would give the Queer Eye guys simultaneous heart attacks. I decided, though that I wasn't going to just back out right there - he could have a sparkling personality and quick wit that could make the night enjoyable. and he seemed to have both in his emails.

He stumbled in mumbling something about "late" that didn't include "sorry" or "have you been waiting long" and I decided to wipe the slate clean with Carl the homer-esque man across the table from me. I cheerily started the conversation, asked him what he'd done so far that day, what his favourite music was, about his job general small-talkey stuff. I even tried talking about the weather, and he mostly just sat there looking at the table, stunned, unsure what to say. The conversation consisted either of me talking or silence. His facial expression didn't change with either.

When it came to ordering I had my tom yum soup and I ordered mango sticky rice for dessert (is there a more perfect food than mango sticky rice?), and he decided nothing interested him so he had plain white rice and a dish they prepared "extra bland" for him (which I translated into "no spice" for him to the puzzled owner). This is after the guy implored me with his love of Thai food. Apparently he hadn't tried it before.

Apart from the above, there were four major things that made dinner really unpleasant. He chewed with his mouth open, smacking his food and lips constantly. He licked his fork and knife like it was an ice cream cone in front of him (paging Dr. Freud). One of the few things he said that night was that my soup smelled spicy and made his nose run. That led to him blowing his nose rather explosively right at the table (and not neatly) into the napkin. The spray range on it was awful. He then reached across the table to be suave hold my hand when they cleared my plate. Yeah that didn't go anywhere as I quickly grabbed my water and put my hands in my lap, out of sneeze range. He blew his nose a few other times as well, attracting the attention of other tables that night, and I sank into my chair and tried to hide behind my soup bowl unsuccessfully. He also belched out the side of his mouth no fewer than four times without so much as an "oops" or a "hah pretty good, eh?!"

When I asked what he thought of the food he said his was "awful" and "way too spicy" and had "too many vegetables."

He did eventually start responding to things I asked him as opposed to staring at the table, but didn't bother to wait until his mouth was empty to talk. Food flew when he spoke. I recall a single grain landing in my soup and pushing it away. If Dave had done that now (as a joke) I'd have finished the soup. With this guy? No freaking way.

Mercifully the bill arrived not too long after. It sat there, unacknowledged by him for a good 20 minutes. He'd been the one to ask me out said it was "on him." I was a starving law student, he bragged in his emails about bringing money in hand over fist and not knowing what to do with it all. Despite all that, I needed to take action and end this. I decided to go to the bathroom and hope it might be taken care of when I got back. When it wasn't I grabbed it off the table and said "well since you're not going to, I'll get this," and he muttered something about "oh I'll get it next time." I almost ran to the counter to pay, thinking that would free me from the awful situation I was in more quickly. Seconds counted. The faster Visa processed this, the sooner I was outta here. Unfortunately, it wasn't the perfect cure, as when the owner went to collect our dishes, he insisted that the two mouthfuls of food he had left (seriously, two bites. honest, and he didn't like it!) and I told him I should call it a night, that I had homework to do for school. He asked if there were law school classes taught during the summer, and I acknowledged that no, there weren't.

He offered to walk me home, and I said I would be fine. I stopped to politely say goodnight at his car (no idea why in hindsight) when he suddenly moves in for the kill. Like a plecostomus to aquarium glass in a south facing window, he came toward me, mouth open, eyes closed. I thought his giant mouth was going to swallow me. I reached out for his hand to shake it (forgetting momentarily he had just sneezed entire colonies of bacteria and viruses onto it, which likely included new species never seen before) and said goodnight, knowing I would never return any of the subsequent 7 phone messages he left for me.

So that's my worst date story. What's yours?


The best date I've had? Read about it here.

9 comments:

Em said...

GROSS! I'm going to have to think about my worst date story... I certainly don't have one as bad as yours!

Henly said...

Hee hee, oh how I love internet dating stories.. what fun! See, it's stories like this that make me feel justified of my stance on internet dating. :)

Of course, I know you've had some 'ok' experiences as well! ;)

Sudiegirl said...

Eew...

I'm so sorry that happened to you.

My worst date? It had to be when I was meeting a guy I met in a personal ad, and we'd talked on the phone first...we seemed to hit it off.

We met at a local coffee bar, and he looked at me and said, "I thought you'd be thinner. You sounded thinner over the phone."

I looked right back and said, "Gee, I thought you'd be taller and have more hair. I think I'll just have water."

Some days, I wonder why I even bother.

Phoenix said...

HA! I've had a few bad internet dates, and henceforth created the no picture, no meet rule. Girls saying they're 'Average' can be a very very baaad thing. I guess now I should post MY worst date story.

ElaineMI said...

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail....it would take up too much of your blog. However, I have to share with you a date I had with this person. He drove a porsche. As we were going onto the exit ramp, which had a sharp turn to it, he drove it as fast as he could. He told me that there was also 2 kinds of porsche drivers. Live ones and dead ones. However, they make the porsche so well that there aren't that many dead porsche drivers because dead ones don't buy new porsches.....ok. Later, that evening, at an ethnic festival in Detroit, he told me that white people can live in Africa because we wear clothes to protect ourselves. Black people can live in our country because they drink milk and it has vitamin D in it. When he finally took me home, before I knew it, he had wrapped his octopus arms around me and I was gagging on his tongue. Hmmmmm, I think, after telling this story, I'm going to go brush my teeth and tongue and gargle with mouthwash again.

kittenpie said...

I really managed to pretty much avoid dating but god, I love other people's stories. So cringe-worthy, it almost seems worth it in the end jst for the story!

(and btw, said in my comments but thought I'd tell you here too - you weren't taken off my blogroll, you and a few others keep not making onto my blogroll by way of my swiss-cheesy brain! I will literally sit there looking at my template going, "Now who did I want to add here?" Someday I'll write these things down and do a proper update. Sigh.)

Mrs. Chicky said...

That was horrifying. But it makes for an excellent story. :)

BLAZER PROPHET said...

Funny story you have there.

I went on an internet date. Once. How someone could be off on their height by 8" and weight by 80 lbs is beyond me.

Teena said...

Ewwww! Sounds like a real winner.

I've had a couple bad dates. A guy who I thought was separated was actually still married and living with his wife and kids. His wife was bedridden with MS and he didn't see why he should have to put his life on hold for her because she couldn't go out with him. A real sweetie! Needless to say, he didn't get a second date.