Friday, November 9, 2007

Top This!

So I know I probably hyped this post a little too much yesterday, but I can't stop laughing about this story 10 years later. It makes me SO glad I'm not single anymore. For no apparent reason, let me tell you a little story about the WORST date ever.

When I was a junior in high school, my best friend's boyfriend's best friend (are you still with me?) asked me to go to his senior prom with him. Okay, we better start using some names or this could get out of hand. My best friend was Amanda. We'll call her boyfriend Brad* and his best friend John*. Now right off the bat, it's never fun to go on a double date where you're part of a couple that has basically just met and the other couple are all over each other. Plus, my best friend was basically going to be the only person I knew there since I didn't have a lot of friends in the year older than me. Plus, I was still a little sore about the fact that before Amanda and Brad starting going out, Brad had asked me out. We had all gone to a concert together and apparently I peaked his interest. He asked Amanda for my number. At the time, I was out of town on a family vacation. When I got back into town, we went out on a date, but totally didn't click. Well, later I found out that the whole time I was gone, Brad kept talking on the phone to Amanda. I guess he just couldn't stand the something like week long wait to go out with me, so he decided he was interested in Amanda instead. Whatever, I felt no real loss, especially for a guy with that little patience.

Anyway, I agreed to go to the senior prom with John. I mean, I was happy to be a date for a friend of a friend so that he didn't have to go stag to his senior prom. I'd get to be with my best friend. No big deal, right? HA!

The prom was at a country club about 1.5 hours away. His parents didn't really want him driving home from there at whatever late hour the prom would be over, so they got my parents' permission to do the following. John and I would drive down to the prom. His family would later drive down and get a hotel room. After the prom, he would share a room with his parents and I would share a room with his sister. Then we would all drive home the following morning. Seemed okay to me.

It pretty much all goes downhill from here.

Right before the dance, Amanda and Brad broke up. They wouldn't be going to the prom anymore and it was just me and John. We'd already made plans and I couldn't really back out on this guy, so I plowed ahead.

John came to pick me up. My parents are not sentimental, and certainly not about me going with some random guy to his prom, so I don't even know that we took any pictures. Then he took me to his house where somehow his parents manage to make exchanging a boutonniere and corsage and taking photos last AN HOUR!!! I barely even knew this guy, why did they want so many photos?

Finally, we were off. The car ride was passable. His A/C wasn't good enough, so I was sweaty most of the way, but other than that, fine. The dance was fairly uneventful. Painfully boring, but compared to what was ahead, boring was great! Other than having to hang out with some of his nerdy friends (think about how bad they must have been, I'm calling them nerds!), the only remarkable thing about the dance is that every time I had to slow dance with him, he stood so far away it was almost impossible to dance with him. I'm mean, I'm all about propriety, but this was just plain awkward because he stood really far away but then leaned his upper body in really close. I still can't decide if he was just that awkward or if he was a little too "excited" by our mind-numbingly boring evening together and was paranoid that I might find out.

After the prom, we started driving to the hotel. Just as we were almost at the hotel, he ran a red light and we got in a car crash. A car from the cross-traffic hit the driver's side front fender at what felt like full speed (probably about 35-40 mph on that road, so not too bad). No one was hurt. I suppose for John's sake I will admit the mitigating circumstances. It was late and we were driving on dark unfamiliar streets. (Oh yah, don't forget how "exciting" I apparently might have been.) So there I was. My shoes had been killing me, so I had taken them off and they were fairly complicated to put back on. The night had gotten a little chilly. It must have been about midnight or later. I don't know when I have ever felt more pitiful than I did standing there in the middle of some strange town with a guy I barely knew, barefoot and cold in my prom dress, waiting to give a report to the police. The actual report part was almost comical. It ran something pretty close to this: "He ran a red light. It was all John's fault." Short and sweet cruel.

Finally we got back in the car. John was extremely shaken up. Of course, who could blame him? In addition to a long night and a car accident, he was dreading facing his father whose car he had just wrecked. He asked if we could stop into a Denny's or something for some hot chocolate to give him a little time to collect his thoughts. I agreed since I felt bad for the guy. So we started looking for a restaurant that was open. This was no big town, but he was convinced there was one just around the next corner, and the next, and the next... He succeeded in getting us lost despite having me as a passenger (I have a great sense of direction). And I'm not talking about the "we took a wrong turn" kind of lost. Or the "this road doesn't go where we thought it did." Or "I know where I need to be but you can't get there from here." No, no, I'm talking about full-fledged, totally disoriented, I-don't-know-where-I-am-or-even-an-inkling-of-where-I-want-to-go-
from-here kind of lost. I think this may have been the only time in my life that I have been at all involved in navigating that this has ever happened to me.

Lost as we were, we did find the coast. This at least resembled knowing where we were. ("Look, west!") He suggested we get out of the car and walk for a bit. I'm thinking: Seriously? Well, it might be better than arguing with him more about which way to turn. I laboriously put my shoes back on and to John's credit, he let me wear his coat so I didn't actually get hypothermia. We walked along the coast. It would have been SO romantic in almost any other circumstances. But there was something more important than moonlight and the music of the crashing waves at play here. M penned a little something I like to call "M's Law." (Well, actually I refer to it using his whole first name, but you get the point.)

M's Law:
The only difference between Romeo and a stalker is the girl's opinion.

Suffice it to say, my opinion was leaning toward stalker.

We sat and attempted some "get to know you conversation." It failed miserably. A tip for all of you Johns out there. Do not bring up your obsession with taping UFO shows and watching the VHS over and over again until it wears out on a first date. Don't bring it up on any date, ever. In fact, better yet, just DON'T DO IT AT ALL!!!

Finally, I put my very sore foot down and told John I was cold and exhausted and wanted to go find the hotel. So we got back in the car and wandered around town some more and, of course, once we finally figured out where we were and how to get back to the hotel, we happened upon a Denny's. John was back to near-panic-attack levels now that the encounter with his dad was imminent. He begged for the hot chocolate we'd set out for eons ago, and I was so exhausted I'd lost the will to protest. I didn't wear a watch with my prom dress (it didn't match!) so it wasn't until we got into Denny's that I realized it was 3:30am. I ordered my hot chocolate and listened half-heartedly to John rehash the accident for the 485th time and then fret about facing his dad. I had felt bad for him back at midnight, but at this point I felt like echoing the oh-so-elegant words of Jo Dee Messina (not my usual music genre, but this is too apropos), "My give a damn's busted." I proceeded to actually fall asleep sitting there in the Denny's booth while John droned on. Eventually I roused enough to realize John was informing me that he didn't feel well. All I could think was, There goes my hope of leaving. So we sat there for who knows how long with John moping and feeling ill until he disappeared to the bathroom. He was gone a long time and I sat there half asleep while the truckers, weirdos much creepier than John, and other flora and fauna of a Denny's at that ungodly hour looked on. When John finally returned, he informed me that he had just thrown up. Like I wanted to know...

After that, it's kind of a blur. All I know is that eventually he decided he felt well enough to acquiesce to my demands that we go find the hotel. We finally stumbled up to the hotel rooms after another seemingly interminable wait for the hotel desk clerk. His dad was outside waiting for us. All his dad said was, "Where the h*** have you been?" I'd have probably said the same thing if I was his dad. At this point it was 5:30 in the morning. Fortunately, I think John's father, bless him, had a sixth sense for who was to blame because he ignored me completely and let me stumble pitifully into the hotel room for sleep, blessed sleep while confronting his son. I wonder how long John got chewed out while I blissfully slumbered? Oh well, maybe he made a tape of it and watched the VHS over and over and over again.

I know this was long, but the sheer duration of the ordeal is half the humor. So was my story worth the eye fatigue? If not, sorry. I have been on a lot of bad dates, some others of which would make good stories in and of themselves, but when you've got this story in your repertoire, why bother with anything else? So tell me, what's your worst date experience? I'd love it if someone somewhere someday had a worse story than mine...

* = names have been changed


Janssen said...

MAN that's a good story. Mine don't even come close.

I think the worst date I've ever been on was with a guy I hadn't seen or talked to since I was about 6 who found me on BYU stalker net, called me up, and insisted we go out (even though I made it quite clear I had a boyfriend). And our date that could not not take place? We walked to the Wilkinson Center, sat in some chairs upstairs and he droned on about his mission for some two hours. And then we went home. It was lovely :)

Bart Bradshaw said...

I can't remember any terrible dates (maybe I just put them out of my mind, or maybe they were only terrible for the girls?), but I did have a pretty good strategy for making boring dates more tolerable. I'd just change our plans to dinner and a movie. :)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of stalkers, I think I'll post this anonymously. :)

I suppose it is a good sign (isn't it?) that I really have to think hard to remember what bad dates I have been on. Ah, but I am starting to recollect...

There was the blind date I agreed to go on with my brother and his girlfriend (I wasn't particularly fond of her to begin with) where she just HAD to set me up with this guy because we'd be perfect for each other. Then, she insisted on taking me to meet my intended date a week beforehand because it would be good to at least become acquainted. OK, so I met him, in the dark, as his ward social was ending at some park in Provo. We chatted for about 10 seconds and had become acquainted enough that I realized, right off the bat, that the guy who showed up the night of our date was NOT the same guy I met in the park. That guy's parents showed up into town to surprise him that weekend. Instead of just cancelling our date, I was then set up with the guy behind Door #2 without giving my consent (I would have just assumed stayed home myself.) The four of us had dinner at the restaurant in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake. I don't remember anything about the rest of the date except that this guy was on BYU's Ballroom Dance Team and was the most arrogant person I've ever spent an evening with.

Or there is always THIS story:

I was invited by this guy to go with a group of people (both girls and guys, I was told) from our singles ward to see the midnight showing of X-Men. I only agreed to go because I was new in the ward and was trying to get to know people. Otherwise, I am really not into that genre of movie AT ALL. It turned out that it was just this guy and 2 or 3 of his roommates, all of whom were misfits in one sense of the word or another. I HATE to stand out in a crowd, and let's just skip the details but say that I stuck out like a sore thumb because of the way one of them was dressed (and heckled) and because the guy who invited me had a very distinguishing characteristic about him that I won't describe so as not to identify him. Anyway, we had to sit on the 2nd row at the theater, so when I wasn't sleeping, I was breaking my neck to try to see the screen and the special effects from that close up were just PAINFUL to watch. Then, when the movie finally ended and we were leaving, I ran into a guy-friend I'd grown up with and had a brief but friendly conversation with him. When I turned around, my "date" was sitting on the curb pouting because he had lost my attention to another guy. It was clear to me, only at that point, that he considered this to be a date but didn't tell me anything of the sort. I not only paid for myself but ended up paying for half of his ticket when he took my money and kept the change. Needless to say, we never "went out" again.

Ralphie said...

Utterly fantastic post G!

One of my worst dates: Some old lady in our ward twisted her grandson's arm to ask me out because she hated his girlfriend. He and his buddy were jerks to my friend and I the entire night to get back at Grannie. And I, innoccent victim, said "Heck No!" to a second date and then proceded to tell him exactly why. It was very satisfying.

s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this