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Knowing When To Run Vs. Masochistic Dating

Dating Horror

Knowing When To Run Vs. Masochistic Dating

15 Comments 02 November 2008

I found myself strolling down a lamp-lit street sipping hot greasy dishwater topped with whipped cream.

She was a perfectly built and initially charming redhead named Clarissa. I was back in my hometown for a few days and met her while picking up some groceries at the only grocery store in town.

We had met years earlier at a friend’s party. She had been interesting and funny. She had been with a fiancé who stuck to her like glue.

But now, arms filled with groceries, green eyes bright with conversation, she was available and very willing to join me for dinner that evening.

Red and flaggyAs I was getting ready, my mother asked me why I wouldn’t be there for dinner that evening. When I told her what I was doing, she was so happy. Apparently the respective mothers had recently had a conversation about Clarissa’s need for a guy like myself. I normally shy away from meddlesome people and should have taken the new information as a bad omen, but I didn’t. I had nothing else to do and some part of me was fascinated with the idea of finally going out with the girl of my adolescent dreams.

Red Flags:

  1. My fuel-efficient rental car wasn’t classy enough for Clarissa. She insisted that we borrow her father’s car for the evening. On pressuring her for a reason, she admitted that she didn’t want her friends to see her out in a small car. I should have run. Instead, I traded keys with her father and headed out in his entry-level Mercedes sedan.
  2. My chosen dinner spot was vetoed because Clarissa wanted nachos. I am all about adventure and trying new things. I just have trouble passing up a nice dinner at a great spot for nachos that I’ve had before and know are terrible.
  3. My lovely and fantastic creature of a date decided to spend most of our dinner talking about how easy it had been to get a high GPA in her extremely difficult Master’s program. I was interested, then depressed, then annoyed at her insistence that she, unlike many others, was a brilliant woman. I suppose I’ve always wanted the option to build faith in a person and their intellect without requiring an academic transcript.

Clarissa confirmed her status in the neighborhood by ordering hot cocoa. She told me the restaurant made delicious cocoa and promising mugs of steaming chocolate were brought to our table. The server rolled his eyes when she asked him to make the hot chocolate to go…I should have taken this as another warning.

I had driven past every red flag and hit the broken patch of road when I sipped from that large Styrofoam cup. It was whipped cream followed by extremely hot greasy dishwater with a distinct soap flavor with hints of beef and ketchup with a watery finish. I couldn’t have been happier that I had borrowed her father’s car. I watched her sip her dishwater, fervently believing that it was actually hot chocolate. She seemed a little bewildered when I pressed the keys to her father’s car into her hands and thanked her for an eventful night. My taxi ride to pick up my rental was expensive, but worth every moment of silence. When you have a gut instinct early on, do not waste the time it may take to prove your instincts correct!

My pain, your gain.

Seth.

photo: rvw

Mixed Bag

The Pig and The Jewish Girl

13 Comments 26 October 2008

So far, I’ve focused primarily on first dates. But what about when you move further into a relationship. What happens when you’ve been out many times? You know eachother’s friends. You’re just short of buying a second toothbrush to keep at his or her house because you stay over so often.

I met Jessica at a friend’s party. We were the only people not caught up in a rousing game of strip beer pong. The evident allergy held by all the contestants for the gym drove us to an adjoining room as the game progressed. I couldn’t have been luckier. I had been pushed into a room with a beautiful woman and a topic of conversation had been dropped into my lap. Namely, my feelings about the overweight drunks in the next room spilling beer on their nakedness. I asked her name, her address, her favorite position in bed…I’m kidding. We made small college talk and agreed to meet up in a few days for afternoon coffee. Jessica seemed like a winner. But I still wasn’t willing to give up an evening I could possibly spend in a better way.

Our conversation over coffee was revealing.

  1. We both laughed without trying. Neither struggled to maintain a conversation that was interesting and amusing.
  2. We unintentionally ordered the same drink. I had arrived early to get a good table and purchased a hot caramel apple cider. I left $10 with the barista to pay for her drink. In a small college town with only one coffee shop, I was unable to mix it up for a casual conversation. In this case, it was handy that I knew the barista. Looking back, I wonder if he told her what I’d ordered!
  3. We had both been raised in devoutly religous homes. Mine, a conservative Christian, her’s strict Jewish. At first this seemed like common ground. It ended up being our undoing.

Three months later, we were grocery shopping together. The plan was to pick up things to make dinner at her apartment. Always the the one pushing for efficiency, we split up to get the last few items on our list. I found her, moments later. As I placed the bottle of wine and box of crackers in the cart next to the package of thick-sliced bacon. Then it registered: BACON!

Photo by shawnzam

Photo by shawnzam

“Jess, I didn’t think you ate pork.” I said.
“I decided I’d never had it and wanted to try it. You’ll help me cook it?” She replied.

Now that I’m older and, hopefully a bit wiser, I’d never say what I said next:

“I can, but do you think its smart to throw away 20 plus years of tradition without any thought?”

If you’re going to make a practice of dating intelligent individuals: Do not make the mistake I did and slice your own head off by questioning their intellect, upbringing, and food choices in one breath.

We went to her place for dinner. The tension was palpable as we cleaned up and I found some school-related excuse to leave promptly. I called her the next day. She had to go and I didn’t apologize for the previous night. I highly recommend learning how to say you’re sorry, if you don’t already. Practice in the mirror, on random strangers you’ve purposely offended, or on friends. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of thinking there are so many people in the world that it’s okay to be offensive and walk away. I wish I hadn’t.

I’ve not seen Jessica since. I wonder how she liked the bacon. I really hope she didn’t microwave it.

My pain, your gain!

Seth

#4

5 Ways I’ve Ruined Dates

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