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Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Worst Date I Have Ever Been On

Let’s call him Not John.

We had met a few weeks before at the winery I occasionally work at on the weekends. He was very smart, super cute and actually appreciated my vulgar sense of humor; such a trifecta is not easy to find, believe me. I had agreed to go out with him one time before on an excursion that led to Annapolis, MD and a photo on his Instagram with a caption reading “My baby ;)”. This is why I can’t have nice things.

Despite that photo and several warning signs that I was too lazy to pay attention to, I consented to a second date. I’d set Not John straight this time: we’d take it easy, see what happened, nothing serious. This would work! Only girls are the psycho ones, right?

I was meeting him at a park by the Potomac River right after work at 7 p.m. It was May, aka spring dresses were in full swing, and although my typical date outfit includes heels of some kind (so I stand a small chance of making eye contact with a person), I opted for flats since we would be in nature.  I pulled in right at 7 and sat for a minute to let Rihanna finish belting out Rude Boy. At 7:10 I gave him a call, and he said he was “so sorry, on my way, just picking up food, be right there.”

Food had been mentioned so I was totally fine with it. This gave Rihanna and I more time together to collaborate on Umbrella, S&M, and Love the Way You Lie (of which I also rapped Eminem’s part. Renaissance woman over here). I had been so taken with this personal concert that I was shocked when I checked the clock. 7:40. What the actual fuck. Where was he?

I’m not typically a serial caller, but Not John was forty minutes late, I was hungry, and since the long days of summer hadn’t quite kicked in yet, it was starting to get a little dark. “Haha (what’s so funny?), I just had to shower real quick (well I appreciate that), I’ll be right there (déjà vu).”

If I was a bigger bitch, I would’ve said, “Don’t even bother” and driven home to a trusty plate of Bagel Bites, but unfortunately I don’t have that particular bone in my body so I overenthusiastically said, “Okay!” and awkwardly sat until he pulled in a few minutes later.

He immediately won back a few points by telling me how pretty I looked and showing me the bags of food.

“We just need to walk a little to these picnic tables right by the water,” he said.

For once, flats were the right decision. We walked with our bags of yummy and chatted and he laughed at my jokes and everything was just peachy. However, as I said before, it was technically still Spring, where the sun goes down at an understandable 8 p.m., and we were on a path in the woods with no lights. We had already been walking for a little over ten minutes, so I casually asked, “So where are these picnic tables?”

“Just a little bit longer,” Not John said.

Chatting continued, fighting off gnats began, and weird nature sounds became louder. Fifteen more minutes went by, and I had a mental flash of my story being used on an episode of CSI.
“He lured her into the woods saying they were going on a ‘date’. He shot her in the head.”
“I guess it’s true. Love… *takes sunglasses off*…hurts.”

“We’ve gotta be getting close, huh?”

“Uhh yeah I think it’s right around the corner.”

Stop. Just fucking stop. “Think”? You “think”? I followed you into the jungle on a guess? Thank god we weren’t paddling on the river or else we would definitely be recreating OpenWater.

In an uncharacteristic twist of fate, I managed not to flip out and calmly suggested that if the picnic tables weren’t around the next corner we should probably turn around. Not only was I totally over it, but it was now officially dark and the rabid toads were on the prowl.

Shock of the century: the picnic tables weren’t around the next corner. We turned around, using the glow of his phone as a flashlight and my heightened survival instincts to lead us back as quickly as possible. Again, my lack of dramatic bitchiness did not allow me to bring up the fact that this was a poorly executed excuse for romance and instead, I just talked about anything else that came to mind. We covered my love for The Wedding Singer, when I got my tooth knocked out in a soccer game in sixth grade, and my disdain for Taylor Swift when he suddenly chuckles and says, “I’m so glad we’re at the point in our relationship where we can just laugh about things like this.”

Let me reiterate for anyone that’s been scanning this post for the part where we hook up in the woods (P.S. sorry to disappoint): this was our second date. Relationships take several more dates and conversations and actual feelings before they can come to fruition, and we could not have been farther from that point.   

I was shocked into silence. For the first time in my entire life I literally didn’t know what to say. I might’ve blacked out for a while because I really don’t recall the rest of the walk back to civilization, but finally we made it back to the parking lot.

“We can eat in my car,” he said.

“Exactly what I wanted to do!” I accidentally yelled, a side effect of regaining consciousness and a potential indicator of PTSD.

We ate in silence. He might have told a story or two, I’m really not sure as my sole focus was on escaping the confines of his godforsaken Acura and the night as a whole. I was forced out of my “Mmhmm”’s and nods when he says, “So I have a surprise for you.”

I swear to you I was fully prepared for an engagement ring to be pulled out at that exact moment, and my stomach fell directly to my toes in terror.

“What’s that?” I asked, wondering if the plastic knife I was using would properly sever my left hand off and if that would be an appropriate “no” to his proposal.

“I got us tickets for The Great Gatsby in Frederick at 10:20!”

Crisis somewhat averted, but a new issue emerged. From where we sat at that moment, Frederick was at least another 25-30 minutes away. Gatsby was almost two and a half hours long. My patience had already worn thinner than Nicole Richie circa 2006. I just couldn’t do it.

“Ya knowww…” I began, my go-to conversation starter phrase when I don’t feel like doing something, “…I have to work really early tomorrow, and I was going to try to get some stuff done beforehand so I’d be waking up even earlier, and I wouldn’t want to fall asleep during the movie, and…”

At this point I just trailed off and gave a fake sorry smile. This was exhausting. He sighed “Okay” and was visibly disappointed, and said we should try again the following week, which I agreed to but which I immediately knew would never happen. I couldn’t take the risk of any other costs factoring in to our divorce.

After speeding home, I showered the unfortunate nature of the evening off of my body and prepared myself for just how uncomfortable our future interactions would be. Perhaps giving the turn-your-head move went he went in for the good night kiss was a twist of the dagger in his already wounded heart, but seriously? He tried to take me on an uninformed picnic to a mystery location in the middle of the woods and then assumed he had wifed me up before I even had a chance to send a “Bail me out of this nightmare” text to my best friend, leading me to eat salad in the front seat of a car while Ginuwine crooned softly in the background.

I thought things like that only happened with people you met off of Craigslist.  

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