Looking back, I would still go through with this date. I've enjoyed telling this story too many times to skip the actual experience of that dreadful evening...
When I was cute and single, I went to a LOT of dances. In fact, I started going to them when I was 15 and my older sister wanted me to go with her. I loved them! Any chance I had to meet cute boys and I was totally there.
One fateful evening, I was enjoying chatting with my gaggle of friends during a dance. We were standing close to the refreshments table. And if you have never been to a YSA dance, let me just say that you didn't go for the food. Usually, the food wasn't that great: bowl of starlight mints, chips and maybe lukewarm water with lemon slices floating in it. Nothing fancy. So we were commenting on the lack of variety in the offerings. Okay, we were mocking the dance committee for their lame choices. We decided we could come up with much better selections such as crackers with cheese, root beer floats, toasted brushetta, cherries jubilee, baked alaska! At some point, someone suggested a shrimp cocktail. I responded in the negative, announcing that shrimp was horrible.
"You don't like shrimp?"
The voice behind me was male so I turned. He was kinda cute and very tall. I turned around the rest of the way and gave him my undivided attention.
"Nope," I declared. "Pretty much don't like any seafood."
"I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't like shrimp!"
And thus, the conversation began. It stretched out into a few slow dances. As the dance concluded, I happened to be out in the hallway when I saw him again. And please, I beg you ladies to warn your single friends and younger sisters: if you initially meet someone in a darkened room, make sure you see them in the light before you dance the rest of the evening with them. Because in the light, this boy was not so cute. And covered in weird moles that I didn't see before. But I had already promised to give him my email address and he had come to collect. Dang it. Turns out that I gave him the wrong email address, left out one number. And I swear I didn't do that intentionally. At least, I don't think I did...maybe.
Anyway, he discovered that the email was wrong and with the help of the owner of the incorrect address, was able to find the correct one (dang college directories and their helpful staff...). Some of you know I am a bit touchy about grammar. I also happen to have an unnatural love of punctuation. And not using all caps when typing. This guy wrote entirely in caps with not a period, comma or semi colon in sight. It was brutal just to read his email, like translating a foreign language.
From the first contact, he said wanted to see me again. I mentioned the next dance. He suggested sooner than that...like that weekend. That weekend? Oh boy...that weekend happened to be my birthday. But since I didn't have any other prospects, I agreed to a date on my birthday and I tried to ignore the feeling of dread that started in my stomach.
I should have been watching out the window...really, I should have. If I had, then maybe I would have seen what he drove up in and then I could have hid, not answered the door, pretended he had the wrong house. But I didn't watch. It wasn't until after I had locked the door and was following him down the walkway that I saw his car. Normally, I don't really care what kind of vehicle a guy drives. The minivan I have now is about the coolest vehicle I've ever owned so I wasn't about to mock others. But this car...well, this one helped me realize that yes, a guy's car does matter at some point. This was an old fashioned muscle car and might have been pretty cool, but for a few major flaws, like the fact that windshield was taped together in several places (with different colors and types of tape) and the paint color...well, there was no paint so the color was "primer."
Being a romantic kind of girl, I waited for him to open the door for me. And he did...by using a pair of pliers that he pulled from his pocket. Instead of standing aside so I can get in, he looked rather apologetic.
"The driver's side door doesn't work," he explained and this being a first date, I didn't make mention of the fact that the passenger side door wasn't looking so good, either. "I have to slide in from this side."
He folded his lanky self and slid across the seat easily enough. It was obvious that he considered this to be normal. I got in next, sitting on a car seat that only barely met the requirements. Then I was supposed to pull the door closed behind me.
I can't really use one arm and this door was heavy! I am tugging as hard as I can but the thing ain't budging. He tried to be helpful and suggested I use both arms. I probably gave him a dirty look. I finally managed to swing it shut but it didn't close properly. I had to use his pliers to pop it back open and try again.
And? My seat belt was broken. Of course. I had to hold it across my shoulder so that is looked like I was wearing a seat belt, should an officer of the law take notice of this wreck on wheels. This date was not off to a great start. Surely things could only get better. Right?
Stay tuned next week for "Date from Hell Part 2."