Diane over at Martinis for Two put up this meme/challenge and it brought back memories, many MANY memories. You could say that I started my dating career in the really bad department and slowly learned to find humor so they moved from really bad to amusing when telling my friends over drinks. It got to the point where my bad dates were way more fun than my good dates and I ended up dating a lot. (Shaun, shut up. It’s dating if I call it dating.)
My very first date forgot his wallet. That wouldn’t have been bad, but later when he tried to kiss me, a moment I was so not feeling, I zipped my jacket up too fast and caught my lower lip in the actual zipper. I bled all over the place and this somehow triggered an asthma attack in poor George. He couldn’t find his inhaler so I ended up ripping his car apart looking for his inhaler as he started to turn blue and I seriously considered calling an ambulance. It was in his coat pocket. He drove me home after that, at 10 pm.
Then there was the guy who smelled like poop. Literally. He had a metabolic issue that broke down the chemicals in his body in an unfortunate aroma. Nice guy, but I just couldn’t get past the poop.
There was the really big guy I picked up playing pool in a bar. Classy, I know, but I was accessorizing at the time and he matched my outfit – I was doing “Dive Bars” a couple of counties outside my own. Our date was a day hike. As a rule, I don’t tend to do “nature” and he is one of the reasons I never did “nature” on a date again. After about a hour’s walk into the middle of nowhere, he decided (like Diane’s guy), to be honest with me about his past. Recent past. Like 3 days past. He had just gotten out of San Quentin where he did time for aggravated assault and robbery. Apparently San Quentin wasn’t so bad. His previous stay at Pelican Bay was bad. San Quentin was like county lock-up after Pelican Bay. And as a special for our date, he had broken into a car and procured me some CDs.
The worst date would have to be a guy named John H. And it was my fault. You could say I was the bad date since I asked him out. And the gods being what they are, punished me. See, I asked him out not because I liked him, but because he had a shiny yellow Harley Davidson. A shining jewel of rebellion calling my name regardless of the man I’d have to date to get to it.
In my defense, I was 18-going-on-19 and very, very naive as to the ways of older men. Men in general, really, as I was still, uh, pure of body if not in mind and had no idea what I was doing. I had just spent a year at the university frustrating many a stoner boy. I really had no idea the games this guy thought I’d be playing. And he was 45+ year old so I think it’s only fair that he take some of the responsibility.
John H. was a truck driver and I had a summer job working for a moving company. I had spied his ride on the inside of his trailer when he was loading off our dock one day. I asked him for a ride.
This day, unfortunate as it was, my mother had arranged for me to meet the son of a family friend. He was meandering his way through medical school after deciding he no longer wanted to practice law. He had already passed the California Bar Exam and figured out that he just wasn’t meant to be a lawyer. He was attractive, young and wealthy if not a bit feckless. My mother was seeing a match.
Hahahahaha. That poor woman. Not 20 minutes after this introduction, a very loud hog pulled up in front of our manicured lawn. I heard him at least a mile away as in this neighborhood, loud motorcycles were not common. Nor was the greasy 45+year-old driver. (By the way, I never did find out his real age.)
I said my goodbyes quickly and ran out the front door. In my head it worked more like a movie, where the biker slowed down just enough so I could hop on the back and by the time my mother came out the door, all she could see was my hair flying in the breeze as we took the corner, gunning the engine.
She was faster than me.
John Henry didn’t help either. He foiled my plans by turning off the bike and coming to the door to meet my parents. He apparently had bigger plans than one ride. It didn’t seem to connect that he was actually older than my parents or how unseemly it seemed that he was dating an 18-year-old. Seriously, the fact that my mother let me go at all is a testament to the fact that she had a direct line to Ironus and knew I would pay for tormenting her so and still come home intact.
It was bad. First, my mother forbade me from even touching the bike. John Henry was fine with that as he wanted to impress my mother, who was again, younger than he was. So we went in my car. Can I just say that there is nothing an 18 year old girl and a 45 year old man have to talk about unless it’s her father and he’s grilling her about overspending or grades.
The entire night was radio silence except for the not so subtle hints that maybe we should make out. At one point he even used the “Make Love” phrase that still creeps me out to this day. It makes me do the creepy crawly dance. (pause for dance) There was none of that. It was like, eewwe.
I spent the entire night fighting him off. Seriously, I might have been safer on the bike. He wore Three Flowers in his slicked back hair and it got all over the headrest of my VW Rabbit and for the remainder of the life of that car, it smelled vaguely of felon.
When I drove us back to my house, I hopped out of the car fast. I said goodnight hoping to escape inside with a wave, but again, the adults that day were way faster. He grabbed me in a bear hug and tried to force my head up as romantically as he could. As I struggled for breath he struggled to find a way to bring my mouth up from my chest, I could hear my mother and brothers laughing.
My entire family was watching from the darkened downstairs bedroom. And giggling. My brother can tell you his side of that story to this day. It’s now an old family tale.
At that point, feeling safer than I had all night, I pushed him back, said a firm good night, thanked him for dinner and walked inside.
The next day my dad took care of it/him. And as much as I fought against the parental interference, I was so relieved. There were no more truckers that summer or ever again.