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Design Language

Story Sent in by Vicki:

I took a pottery class a while ago and met Alvin. He seemed pretty reserved but opened up when I complimented him on his work. We spoke a lot more after that, and once we exchanged numbers it wasn't too long before we wound up on a date.

I was surprised when he pulled out a wrapped box and gave it to me. "You really didn't have to bring me a gift," I told him, "but thank you!"

It was a small, beautiful vase. Very symmetric and professionally crafted. I was really impressed. "Did you make this?" I asked him.

"Yes, with my own wheel," he replied.

I turned it over and over in my hands until I spotted the H&M price tag on the bottom. Oh.

I looked up at him as if to say, "Care to explain?" but he kept beaming at me as if it wasn't there. So I said, "I really appreciate it."

He nodded and said, "I know you can find the same one at H&M but they stole my design so I thought you'd like an original."

When we sat down to dinner, he picked up his water glass and gave it a good look. He said, "This is also one of my designs. Whoever stole it from me's pocketing millions."

"Are your designs stolen frequently?" I asked with mock concern.

"All the time," he said, then threatened, "You'd better not steal any of them, otherwise," he drew his finger across his neck.

I said, "I won't. Don't worry."

Looking back, I should've left then and there, but I didn't want him to think that I was running away to "steal his ideas." So I stuck around for dinner, listened to him mutter on a bit about people who stole his ideas and product designs, and then we went our separate ways.

When he asked me out again, I seemed to have something better to do with my time.


Please and Spank You

Story Sent in by Vernon:

I met Molly online and we wound up at dinner together. It didn't take a Sherlock Holmes to observe that her attention fastened onto our waiter immediately, and her gaze lingered on him long after he had left our table.

Was I being paranoid? No, because she commented to me in a low voice, "What I wouldn't give to spank him."


"Our waiter. Have you seen his ass?"

I asked her, "Should I leave you two alone?"

She then said, "Don't be like that. Are you really insecure or something?"

"Not at all. Just not used to women making comments like that about other guys when I'm on dates with them, is all."

She said, "Well if we're gonna date, you'd better get used to it."


That was our only date.


The True Taste of Summer

Story Sent in by Heather:

On one of the hottest summer days I can remember, I was on a first date with Robert. He took me to a food truck lot and we grabbed lunch and lemonades.

I was content to eat and drink, but Robert studied his lemonade closely.

"What's wrong?" I finally asked him.

"Is this lemonade or urine?" he asked.

We had both ordered lemonades from the same place and it tasted like lemonade to me. "I'm pretty sure it's lemonade," I said.

"No, it's urine," he said, then stood up with the cup and went back to the food truck.

I drank down my own lemonade and watched from a little ways away as he exchanged some words with the truck people. I saw him throw out his lemonade and storm away.

He didn't return. Maybe he planned to, but after over 15 minutes of waiting I decided to finish my lemonade and lunch and then leave. I felt bad for this troubled fellow but I was able to box up his food and bring it home with me. So it wasn't a total loss.


Rock Off

Story Sent in by Franklin:

Christina was a dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty from Romania. We met in college and went on a few dates before going official.

Not long after we became exclusive, the all-night phone calls started. She'd call me and we'd talk for hours and hours. It was nice at first but I had other things I wanted to do, like homework and friends and drinking with aforementioned friends and so on.

One time it was 11pm and I still had some reading to do. I told her I needed to go, and she became short and curt and practically hung up on me.

When I called her the next day she acted like it didn't happen, so I assumed everything was hunky-dory. That night it seemed as though I was in for yet another all-night talk when I told her around 8:30pm that I was going out with some friends.

"Okay!" she said, "Where are we going?"

"Uh... um... just some guy friends and I were going to hang out."

"Where? I'll meet you!"

So she met up with us at the bar. I think everyone had a good time, but I really just wanted it to be a night out with the guys. And as soon as I made it home? Yep. She called.

I told her that I was heading to bed. That seemed to upset her, but after explaining in fine detail that I needed sleep after a busy day, she seemed to understand and let me off early.

The next morning I checked my phone and saw that she called me at 2:30am, 2:34am, and again at 5:10am. She left no messages. I called her phone and left a message for her. I hoped everything was okay.

When she called me back she said that everything was fine. She had "just wanted to talk."

"At 2:30 in the morning? I was asleep."

"But I'm your girlfriend. You should want to talk to me."

"I was asleep."


It was at that point that I realized that Christina may not have been as mentally stable as I had once thought. I figured that maybe she was under some stress and that was what it was all about.

Anyway, not long after that a friend of mine from high school was through town and I planned to have dinner with her. I left Christina a message to let her know that I had dinner plans. I had a nice time out with my friend. I didn't hear from Christina that night, and so I went to bed.

I woke the next morning with over 100 missed calls from Christina. No messages. I decided not to call her back and see what happened.

She called again and I picked up. "Did you get my calls?" she asked.

"I saw you called a few times. What's up?"

"What's up? What's up? We're through! That's what's up!" She hung up on me. Okay.

Less than a minute later she called back. "Aren't you going to call me back to stop me from breaking us up?"

"It hadn't occurred to me to do that. Should I?"

"Ugh!" She hung up again.

Less than a minute later she called once more. I didn't pick it up but she left a voicemail. "I'm coming over."

I wasn't going to run from her, and so I was there when she came by. I opened the door but didn't let her in, saying, "You just broke up with me. I'm in a fragile emotional state right now. I don't think you should come in."

"Why are you being like this?" she demanded, "You're not thinking of me at all."

"I know, and it's liberating," I said. "Excuse me." I closed the door on her.

She pounded on it and rang the bell a few times. I informed my fellow subletters about the situation and when it was time for me to head out for the day, I went out the back.

When I returned from classes and lab, she was still on the front porch. It was seven hours later.

"Now we can talk," she said.

"Now I have homework. Excuse me." I slipped past her and went inside.

When I tried to close the door, she attempted to force her way in and I had to shove her back. She screamed, "Rape!" but no amount of fictional rape could stop me from shutting the door in her face and locking it.

The next morning, bright and early, she was back at the front door. "I'm not leaving until we talk."

Although I was in and out a lot over the following days, she was there whenever I returned home. I have no idea how she ate, slept, or went to the bathroom during that time. My only explanation is that she likely knew my schedule well enough to time her visits. But even during the weekend when my schedule was erratic, she was always there.

Finally, one of my housemates said that he was tired of her being there and always staring at the door, so he was going to call the cops. I asked him to let me speak with her, first.

I went to the door and said, "Christina, we're going to call the police. I think you should go."

"I'm not leaving until you come out here and face me like a man."

We called the cops. They swung by, spoke to her, and they all left.

That night, I received a few dozen missed calls from her, but still no messages. The calls became less frequent as the weeks went on, and they finally dropped off altogether.

I heard that she took the following semester off. She returned to school the semester after that, but only for a few weeks before leaving college for good. Last I heard, she moved to Minnesota to marry the lead singer of some rock band and have his five kids.



Story Sent in by Claudia:

James took me out to a ritzy restaurant. He ordered us a couple glasses of wine, and we toasted each other with the glass goblets.

Instead of just clinking the glasses together once, like a normal person, he toasted my goblet several times. On the last time, his glass cracked. After studying his glass for a few moments, he said, "If you still expect me to drink out of this, you have another thing coming."

I said, "I don't expect you to drink out of it at all. It's cracked!"

"What the hell is wrong with you?" he asked, "It's a cracked glass! I'm not drinking out of it."

I said, "And I don't expect you to!"

"I don't believe this. You want me to drink broken glass! You do! This is just another passive-aggressive woman stunt. Tell you what: you do it. You drink out of it, first." He held the glass out to me.


"Then we have nothing further to discuss," he said, then shouted out loud, "Check please!"

I drank down my own wine (why wouldn't I?) and I left him at the table before he could even ask if I would help him pay.