Hey good looking, whatcha got cooking?
If I’m going to grill assorted persons about their “worst date ever,” perhaps I should first reveal mine:
…… A former playmate from my Iowa hometown called me from Madison to say he was coming to Milwaukee, and hey, would I like to go to dinner? Well, sure enough, he makes it to my house in the woods, and though it’s snowing like crazy, off we go to a candlelight dinner overlooking a small lake in romantic Kettle Moraine. Halfway through din-din (and just as I am about to lift a hunk ‘o sauerbraten to my mouth), old playmate says, “Oh, I guess I should tell you that I’m a Huber prisoner. I was sentenced for securities fraud. Don’t worry, I have a pass for tonight.”
Note: The Huber law allows prisoners a get-out-of-jail pass so they can attend to business, and I guess I was his “business.” Long story short: Driving back to my house, it’s clear we’re in the grips of a major blizzard and I don’t have the heart to condemn a Huber prisoner to a dangerous drive back to Mad City. I tell old playmate he can sleep in my extra bed and drive west the next morning.
Unfortunately, my bedroom and his were divided by a half-wall, and he had the balls to shout into my space, “Are you sure you don’t want me in your bed?” I love film noir, but sleeping with a Huber prisoner? Not unless it’s Burt Lancaster.
……. Here’s the case of a really nice guy who picked up the considerable tab for a date with a woman who drank too many ‘tinis’ pre-dinner, then lost her appetite, ate a fourth of her salad and took the entire entrée home in a doggie bag. I’m not preaching; I’m just saying that perhaps too much booze can send a date into the “worst ever” category. “The least she could have done,” says the really nice guy who works at a brewery, “was to offer some dinner conversation so I didn’t have to sit there watching her eyeballs roll round in her head.”
…….. But that tale is no worse than that of a 17-year-old who cooked a big “Southern-style” dinner (greens, grits, fried chicken, etc.), and guess who came to dinner? A date fully tanked on a gallon of sangria. “He threw up all over my dinner, then passed out naked on the bathroom floor.” She’s now 20 years old and a security guard with a fiancé who knows better.
……. Sometimes though, what seems like the worst isn’t. “It was our first date, and he told me he was taking me to the best Mexican restaurant in Tucson, where we were both attending the University of Arizona. I dressed in a gorgeous gown, put on red, ankle-strapped high heels, did my hair and had a manicure. He showed up wearing cargo shorts and a T-shirt, and the car he was driving was a beat-up Mazda that was belching smoke.
“We headed for the outskirts of Tucson, and all of a sudden he pulled off the road and into a ditch. I clutched my cell phone wondering if he was crazy and maybe I should call for help. Then in the distance, I saw a twinkling light. My date guided me across the desert in my stiletto heels, right up to a taco stand, which turned out to be the best Mexican food I’d ever eaten. We eventually married, and he does all of the cooking.”
…… A local artist known for zany encounters, recalls asking a beautiful woman to attend a “Jazz in the Park” event. In the spirit of truth-telling, he revealed prior to packing up the wine and brie for an elegant picnic, that he was HIV positive. It didn’t faze the beautiful woman who replied, “Oh, everyone has something.” Off they went, but before long, she revealed that she had shot herself in the head and survived. It was a first date to remember and, apparently, it wasn’t followed by a second one.
…… Another person reveals: When I was home from college one summer, I went out with someone I’d taken a course with in my hometown. This extravagant date involved driving to the north side of Chicago to enjoy July 4th fireworks from his brother’s condo. During the fireworks and dinner there, (oh, yes, there was no brother around, so we raided the refrigerator and wine cabinet), Mr. Parsimonious lectured me about why I should move out of my parents’ house. (Note: I was still in college at this time.) His ranting continued late into the evening — he seemed to not only exist to give this lecture, but thrived on batting Babe Ruth-style at the logical responses I tossed his way. There was clearly no end in sight as the subject also occupied the drive home, during which I experienced the wonder of warping time as he turned my perception of the 20-minute drive into at least two hours. Well, if this wasn’t enough, what makes this a truly worst date is that this person, at this time, had already graduated from college and was still living at his parents’ house himself!