- S.B. Pearce
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were out for dinner and drinks with some friends. The subject of blind dates came up. I won't share my friend's story but it was sad and hilarious at the same time. In this age of dating apps, blind dates seem to be the norm. Rather than being introduced to a potential partner through a friend or family member, we often get to meet our next big romance or big nightmare through a cold and analytical process based upon keywords and algorithms.
My friend's experience reminded me of the few blind dates I've been subjected to. For the most part, they were simply awkward moments in time that I can easily dismiss. I am lucky. Like the one where my date barely said a word to me the entire evening. Or the one where they brought their spouse that they had initially introduced as their friend.
But there is always one, right? One date that was so colossally bad that you can damn near write a book about it. One that leaves you with a painfully long list of bullshit things you will never tolerate again, out of anybody, anywhere, or anytime. One bad date that will forever make you question if you should even bother trying to find true love anymore.
*Name has been changed to protect the ignorant. His dumbassery should be put on display as a warning to others but I'm fucking nice like that.
I was introduced to *Kyle through my brother in law. This was before cell phone and internet days so all I had was his phone number. They worked together on a job site in Missouri so meeting him in person had to be planned in advance. We ended up chatting over the phone, sight unseen, for several weeks. It seemed as if we jived pretty well together with enough common interests to hold a decent conversation.
We made plans to meet in Kansas City, MO, where they were working. My sister and I loaded up their children and drove west for a week long visit. She to see her husband and I to meet Kyle.
We arrived at the hotel late in the night so I did not get to meet Kyle until they got off work the next day. He picked me up in his super nice ride and whisked me away to his company provided apartment. He wanted to grab a quick shower before we headed out for dinner and drinks.
As soon as we were at his place, he cracked open a beer and offered one to me. This man sucked down beer as if it were the one thing keeping him alive. I drank mine slowly because...well...blind date and all...
Instead of hopping into the shower and getting dressed for our date, he suddenly decides that he wanted to install new fog lights on his vehicle. He asked me to hang out with him while he did so, and since I was an accidental captive audience, I sat on the edge of the sidewalk watching him.
Fucking riveting, I tell you.
A little boy was playing with a remote control car nearby and Kyle got excited about it. For the next thirty minutes or so, I watched my date play with the toy in the street, jumping up and down with excitement. Although in some ways sweet, my patience was wearing thin and my stomach was growling. I finally suggested that we should go grab some food and he agreed.
He skipped the shower and we took off but en route, he changed his mind and decided that he needed to wash his car, promising again that as soon as he was finished, we would head back for him to clean up and then go out.
When he said "wash his car," I foolishly imagined running through a quick wash at a gas station. Alas, I was wrong. He pulled into a car wash with special bays that allow you to not only wash your car by hand, but you can also completely detail it out from antennae to rims. I stood back as he lovingly caressed his beloved vehicle, complete with new fog lights, with a shammy. I was bored, hungry, and my beer buzz was gone.
"What can I do to help?" I offered, hoping to speed up the process.
He turned to me with a smile and said, "You just stand there and look pretty."
If you know me, then you know that his response went over like a fart in church. I was ready to end the date right then and there but I had no idea how to get in touch with my sister. I wasn't even exactly sure where I was in the city. You know, no cell phones and such. I swallowed my anger and waited as he finished babying his car.
As we were pulling out of the car wash, he had the bright idea to pick up more beer to have at his apartment while he got ready for our date. I told him that I didn't think that either of us should have any more until we had eaten but he insisted. He swung by a convenience store for another twelve pack and we headed back to his place for this now elusive shower.
The sun was almost gone when we returned. We have now been on a "date" for around five hours and I felt like I was babysitting a drunk acquaintance that I had been saddled with by some shitty friends. He continued chugging back the beer while watching a ball game and still not taking that fucking shower. His words were beginning to slur and he was stumbling around a bit. I finally put my foot down and told him that we had to get something to eat. My assertiveness worked! He finally cleaned up and dressed.
My squeaky clean date and I headed out in his squeaky clean car with new fog lights and began our search for a restaurant that would still be open. I believe my fingers may have left indentions in the passenger side oh-shit handle. He should never have been behind the wheel. I secretly alternated between screaming and praying inside my head as he swerved and careened along the interstate.
Finally, the comforting glow of an Applebee's sign appeared in the distance and I requested that we go there. I don't think I have ever exited a vehicle as quickly as I did that night. I almost kneeled prone to the ground to kiss the asphalt of the parking lot. I was shaking uncontrollably but grateful that I made it alive.
Since it was happy hour and close to closing, we were seated at the bar next to a middle aged man and his teenage son. We ordered our drinks and as we were waiting, we struck up a conversation with them. Kyle and the teenage boy broke off into their own thing, both of them gesticulating wildly as they high-fived and laughed obnoxiously about sports cars and whatever else kids talk about. I chatted quietly with the father about nineteenth century art and other adult like subjects.
Then it happened. The greatest social faux pas of them all.
My date was standing behind me, his back to me, as I faced my new dinner partner. During a quiet lull in our respective conversations, Kyle ripped a very loud fart.
I froze and stared at my new companion in horror as we both realized what Kyle had just done. This gentleman was so sweet and understanding. He quietly asked if this was really my date and I nodded my head, red with embarrassment. He patted my hand and said no more. You could tell that he was thoroughly disgusted with Kyle.
True to form, Kyle acted as if it had never happened and continued to swill more alcohol. I hoped the food would be enough to sober him up so I could get home safely. Our dinner arrived and our new friends parted ways, the father giving me a reassuring pat on the shoulder before he left.
Dinner was winding down and we were finishing our meals. I dreaded the ride but I was trapped. I had no idea where I was in the city. I couldn't just storm off to walk back to my sister's hotel. I continued the charade of politeness but was pinching my hands beneath the bar to keep myself in check. All of sudden, Kyle puts his arm around me and leans in to whisper in my ear.
"Do you know what you need?" he asked.
I really didn't want to know.
"What?" I could barely spit it out.
He takes his other hand and rubs my stomach seductively.
"My baby in your belly."
You could have knocked me over with a feather. I recovered quickly and since I was born without a filter and with a penchant for eating shoe leather, I responded in my typical fashion.
"I don't think so, dude. You already have two baby mommas and I have no interest in being a third."
Awkward doesn't even begin to describe the rest of our dinner date after that.
Of course, he is driving like a maniac again but instead of taking me back to the hotel as agreed, he took me back to his place.
He continued drinking and was trying very hard to get something started but there was no way in hell that I was going to tap that ass. I was done with Farty McFartpants and his foolishness. One hundred percent done and over it.
Then I had a brilliant idea.
I smiled coyly and said that I really needed to freshen up.
Now it was my turn to shower.
And shower I did.
For over an hour, with the door locked and him safely on the other side.
I think I may have washed my hair a half a dozen times.
I refused to emerge until I was positive that he was passed out. I quietly opened the bathroom door and was elated to see that he was definitely asleep in the living room chair in front of the blaring television.
I tiptoed into his bedroom and locked myself inside until the next morning. When he knocked, I took my good ol' sweet time answering. He had a number for my brother in law's hotel room and I called, demanding that they come pick me up immediately. I waited impatiently for them to arrive and the moment they pulled in, I jumped into their car and told them to get me the hell out there.
I never spoke to Kyle again.
But I did hear that the shit-stain had the audacity to tell my brother in law that he got busy with me.
In your dreams, Kyle. In your fucking dreams.
It's been well over twenty years and I am still outraged by how he treated me. I don't understand why he thought for one moment that his behavior was acceptable. All I know is that I refuse to put myself through such blind terror ever again.