Among our office pool, we’ve been sharing the highs and (some abysmal) lows of our dating adventures. Yes, some of our dates were a lot more tragedy than comedy, but even the sad ones get funny as the years go by. I don’t mean the truly tragic, mind you – I mean those moments of dating just traumatic enough to make us look really pathetic, or in a moment of tender mercy, wreak havoc on someone else’s ego.
I’ve had plenty of these moments myself. In high school my date nights always had a back-up plan. If the guy didn’t show up, I’d move on to Plan B. Plan B and I went out a lot.
For high-action (mis)adventure, however, consider the case of my friend “Emily.” Her date showed up in a stolen car. I don’t think they even got dinner before he landed in the pokey.
Actually I’ve heard several woeful date stories with a vehicle antagonist. Another friend – “Amy” – went out with a guy whose vehicle was in such a dilapidated state, the passenger seat actually rusted through and dumped her in the floorboard. That was right before the motor blew up and the tow truck hauled the rubbish away.
One of my favorite awkward moments comes from a coworker recently out of a seven-year relationship, only to be set up on a blind date with the very same person. It didn’t have the happy “Pina Colada Song” ending, though. I think there was profanity.
Most of the guys I’ve interviewed have been relatively mum on the subject of their bad date experiences, probably out of their own miserable guilt. Kudos to the one guy honest enough to tell me I’d probably get some good stories from the women he’d been out with, but strangely, he didn’t offer to put me in touch with any of them.
I hate to say it, but girls are bad too. Once we ran into my date’s ex-girlfriend at dinner. She sat her brazen self right down at our table; our cozy venue made the perfect setting to tell me details from their romantic escapades. But as low-rent as she was, she had nuttin’ on the girl who gave my boyfriend a hickey while I was looking the other way.
Of all my own personal dating mishaps, there’s one that really stands out. It’s a real crowd favorite, and I enjoy telling it at parties when I have nothing else to talk about. It loosens people up, and makes them feel better about themselves.
It goes like this. A few years ago I was out with a guy who traveled a lot for his job. The company was out of Chicago, so I didn’t question it when he got a call from his superiors to take the next plane out. He packed his bags; I dropped him off at the airport and wished him a safe flight.
Only later did I find out this guy didn’t fly to Chicago. He didn’t fly anywhere. I’d taken him to the airport to meet another girl he had flying in for the weekend!!! It was an evil scheme, dang it, but brilliant. It was the perfect plot to get rid of one girl, and get a ride to the airport to get another one. The man packed fake luggage. That’s hard to beat.
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We’ve all got some cringe-worthy moments in our dating history. But it’s Valentine’s Day, and we’re here to celebrate love in all its wonderful, imperfect forms. Real love, without motive, always makes the world better. If we keep on sending it, it’ll come back to find us. This year, Plan A is to make someone else’s Valentine’s Day special, and I love it.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Crinkled Friends!