11/24/2017

Blackest Friday

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Story Sent in by Cara:

I went to high school with Henry and he and I had dated here and there and made out a few times. The summer after we had graduated high school we hung out a lot and promised to stay in touch when we went off to college, and we did. When Thanksgiving break rolled around, he asked me if I wanted to go to the local strip mall on Black Friday. I liked people watching and so I was all in.

Our first stop was a pet store. Neither Henry nor I had any pets so I wasn't sure what he was doing in there. He led me down the chew toy aisle, grabbed a few stuffed toys, and shoved them down his pants.

"What're you doing?" I hissed at him. The guy was shoplifting in plain sight.

He said, "C'mere," and then grabbed me tight and kissed me. Then he said, "Next," and hurried out of the store.

He then led me into a bookstore, went down the sci-fi aisle, grabbed some paperback books, and stuffed them down his pants. "I'm holiday shopping," he explained to me right before grabbing me and kissing me again.

"You're shoplifting," I said.

"Quiet! You want people to hear? The point is for them to not know I'm doing it. What do you want?"

I said, "I want you to stop shoplifting."

He replied, "No, I mean what do you want for Christmas? Let's go get it. Now."

I said, "I want you to stop stealing from these stores."

He said, "A big-screen TV? Some really nice book? An iPhone? Just pick something."

I repeated, "I want you to stop stealing."

He said, "That's it? That's all you want for Christmas?"

"Yes."

He shrugged, said, "Okay," and pulled all the stuffed things and books out of his pants and left them in a pile in the aisle. He then said, "Find your own way home," and hurried away from me.

"I drove here myself!" I called after him. I then put the books back on the shelves and brought the stuffed toys (with some explanation) back to the pet store. For all I know, Henry went right back to those places on his own and re-stole everything, but at least he wouldn't do it with me in tow.

*

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11/21/2017

Franksgiving

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Story Sent in by Dino:

I hadn't been dating Willa for too long when we invited each other to each other's family Thanksgivings. We stopped by her family's dinner and then went to mine. I had a long-time friend from grade school who always held a Thanksgiving cookout in his backyard with hot dogs later in the Thanksgiving evening, so I asked Willa if she wanted to join me for that. She said she did and so we went.

We were already pretty full from our families' dinners but went mainly just to hang out with friends. Willa seemed to be just fine on our way there and even when we arrived. My friend greeted us with open arms and with hot dogs. I accepted mine gratefully. Willa, though...

"What's that?" she asked.

"A hot dog," my friend said.

Willa said, "For Thanksgiving? Where's the turkey?"

I had told Willa that this would be a hot dog cookout kind of thing. She knew what to expect and had seemed fine with it on the way over. But she apparently wasn't fine with it anymore. My friend said, "I have some turkey dogs I can cook up, or some veggie ones if you want."

Willa said, "If there's no turkey, it's not Thanksgiving!" She then upended the plate that my friend held out for her, sending the hot dog to the ground. She then yelled at my friend, "You ruined Thanksgiving!" and stormed out of the backyard.

I was left to embarrassingly run after her and ask her what was wrong. She said to me, "You bring me to a place on Thanksgiving that doesn't even have turkey? Are you insane?"

Was I the crazy one, here? I had told her at least a couple of times that this was going to be a hot dog cookout. And I reminded her of that. She told me, "You sound insane. Listen to yourself! Where's the goddamn turkey?"

I offered turkey dogs to her, but she wasn't having it. She demanded that I take her home and so I did. Then I went right back to my friend's place and enjoyed what I could of the time that I had.

The next day, Willa emailed me a friendly message as if she hadn't gone nuts the day before. I decided to not write her back until she apologized to me for her behavior. It's been about eight years, so I'd say my chances of that apology are pretty low.

*

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11/17/2017

Drone and Groan

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Story Sent in by Claire:

Jeff asked me out on a date to a big park where he was going to show me his camera drone. He showed me the controls and I played around with it a lot, myself.

He retook the controls and told me to stand still and spread my legs a little bit. I was in a dress that went down to my ankles and he controlled the drone to a hover above the ground and tried to sail it between my legs.

I stopped him right there. "A camera drone between my legs? I don't think so." I laughed, trying to make his creepy request seem like a joke or whatever. I thought I was giving him an easy out. Perhaps even a way to recover.

Instead he said, "It's a first date so I know we won't go all the way. So I should get just a little something, right?"

I laughed, less with humor and more with pity. I told him, "I don't think so."

He then rammed the drone into my right ankle. It hurt! I jumped back and kicked at the drone. It fell to the ground. Jeff cried out and ran for the drone and yelled, "You're paying for this, swine!"

I said, "Make me. I'll say you tried to fly it up my skirt. Which you did." He then grabbed his drone and stormed away. Not long afterward, he emailed a "bill" to me for $7,000 for his drone plus "emotional suffering." I laughed a final time as I deleted the email and blocked any further messages from him.

*

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11/14/2017

And That's How We Got Our Coffee Cup Tree

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Story Sent in by Nick:

For a date, Mae invited me to help her plant some flowers in a nearby community garden. We had a good time and then went out for coffee. It was a nice day so we took our drinks to go and we walked around the neighborhood, back in the direction of the garden.

We entered the garden and Mae picked up a spade, dug a hole, and put her coffee cup inside the hole. She then buried it.

I asked her what she was doing and she said that she was planting coffee. I pressed her for more of an explanation and she said that she had read an article that said that if you buried a coffee cup with coffee grinds still within it, it would eventually sprout into a coffee plant.

I laughed out loud at this but she was very serious. I told her that she was effectively littering and possibly hurting other plants in that area. She ignored me and we continued our walk. But I was seriously concerned for her mental state and so I ended the date as genially as possible.

Later that day, just after sunset, I returned to the garden to dig up the coffee cup. I know it was just one cup, but it stuck in my mind and I just wanted to throw it away. Call me OCD. Whatever. It was litter and it was an otherwise nice community garden. I threw the cup away and put the dirt back the way it had been before.

The next day Mae called me and asked, "Did you dig up the coffee cup I planted yesterday?"

"No," I replied.

She said, "Well someone did and now I have to go out and buy a whole other cup of coffee. But I don't understand why it was dug up and nothing else around it was dug up. It's like someone went there to dig up just that cup."

I asked, "How do you know it's not there anymore? Did you actually go and dig up that area again?"

She replied, "I wanted to see if it was sprouting, yet. It's supposed to take no time at all and when it didn't sprout this morning I got suspicious."

I said, "You know that coffee doesn't grow from used coffee cups, right? That article you read was false."

She paused on the line and asked, "What article?"

I was done with her at that point, but I was sure to call and leave a message with the community organization that managed the garden. I gave them Mae's information and let them know that there was a good chance that she'd try to bury more garbage in the plots.

*

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11/10/2017

Frozen

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Story Sent in by Lisa:

Bob messaged me on a dating site and we chatted for a little while. He asked me if he could bring me to an awesome frozen yogurt place that he liked a lot. He was so excited about it that I had to indulge him. He gave me an address and told me to meet him there. I looked it up and was a bit confused. It seemed like the address was in some industrial area and according to Google Maps, at least, there was no ice cream or frozen yogurt place nearby.

I double-checked with Bob to make sure he had given me the right address and he assured me that he had.

I arrived in a parking lot for what seemed to be a warehouse and Bob showed up shortly thereafter. There was no frozen yogurt place in sight and so my curiosity (and trepidation) were at a height. Bob carried a small plastic grocery bag and he handed it to me.

"Frozen yogurt," he said.

I looked in the bag. It was a couple of plastic cups of grocery-store yogurt. Like Yoplait or something. And they were frozen rock solid. Frozen. Yogurt. Ha ha. Very funny.

Bob then said, "They're your problem, now," and then hurried back to his car and drove off.

*

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11/07/2017

Pretty Ugly

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Story Sent in by John:

Kelly brought her high school yearbook to our first date. Over dinner she flipped through it, opened it to the page with her senior photo, and asked me, "Was I prettier then or am I prettier now?"

I told her, "You're prettier now."

She liked that answer. She closed the yearbook, said, "Good," and put it away.

About five minutes later she asked me, "Am I prettier now or was I prettier five minutes ago?"

I said, "You're even prettier now."

She gave me a nice smile and I hoped she'd thenceforth shut up with the prettiness questions.

A little bit after that, she asked, "Am I prettier now or was I prettier the last time I asked you how pretty I was?"

I replied, "Honestly, I think you're pretty now, five minutes ago, and even back in high school." I thought that was a pretty good answer.

Apparently, it wasn't. She gave me a horrified look and opened up her yearbook and said, "I was an ugly, pock-marked mess in high school! You mean to tell me that you think this is pretty?" She pointed to her high school photo, which wasn't really at all ugly or pock-marked.

I said, "I think you're pretty. Can we end the discussion?"

She slammed the yearbook closed and said, "Never mind. You think I'm ugly. All there is to it."

I said, "I don't," but I must not have been convincing, or else I was tired of the conversation. But she didn't take that well, either.

She said, "No, I'm the ugliest girl you've ever seen. You might as well just come out and say it. You've said everything but."

I said, "Okay. How's your soup?"

She replied, "Perfect for an ugly girl."

After dinner we took a brief walk and she asked, "Are you sure you're okay being seen with someone so ugly? I don't want to embarrass you or anything."

I said, "I think you look fine. If anything about you will embarrass me, it'll be your personality."

She totally flipped out at that. She said that she had a loving, good-natured, wonderful personality and that I'd do well to grow up. Yes, I'll be noting that. And that was our only date.

*

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11/03/2017

Be Carefuller What You Wish For

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Story Sent in by Sophia:

At dinner on a first date with Jack, he asked me about my acting experience. I had acted in plays in high school, college, and for some local theatre productions. He said that he could guess which shows I had been in. He said, "42nd Street, Joseph, Anything Goes, and Oklahoma. Am I right?"

He was. He said, "I looked you up online before the date. You went to Zion Hill Nursery School, Went to Burroughs Middle School until sixth grade, then went to another school I don't know, then went to Springfield High, then went to Washington University in St. Louis, studied writing... how am I doing, so far?"

I was stunned. I mean, I have no idea how he even knew some of this stuff. Like my nursery school? How would that info even be online anywhere? But he wasn't done:

"You dated a guy named Todd and a guy named Carl in college and maybe beyond. Long term relationships, though I don't know for how long. Your parents divorced in 2010 and you're closer with your mother. Want me to keep going?"

He was right about everything. And it wasn't impressive - it was creepy! I asked him, "Where did you find all this?"

He stood up and said, "Maybe from now on, you'll be carefuller online." He then left the restaurant, sticking me with the bill.

*

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