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...Didn't Sit Well

Story Sent in by Amanda:

Kevin arrived for our date with a small, dark red pillow under his arm. I thought that maybe he had come from meditating or something similar, and I asked him about it.

"Meditating? No. It's my ass pillow," he said.

I asked, "What's an ass pillow?"

He said, "A pillow. For ass. Ready to eat?"

Shortly thereafter, a host seated us in a booth at a nice restaurant, and Kevin sat on his pillow. During dinner he adjusted it a few times but otherwise it didn't really distract from anything.

After a little bit, I asked him again about it. He conceded that it was just to make him more comfortable when he sat down. That made sense, although it was unusual.

Dinner ended and he paid. I thanked him and when it was time to leave, he was sure to remember his pillow. That's when the weird hit.

He pressed his pillow to his face and took a deep, longing sniff.

"Ahhh," he said, then held it in my direction. "Want to try?"

"A... sniff?" I asked, a bit more than horrified. "No... thanks. I'm okay."

He nodded like it was the answer he expected. We walked out together and he asked me if I wanted to do anything else. I told him I was tired and that I was ready to call it a night. He was otherwise very nice, but that whole pillow thing just...


Draining Day

Story Sent in by Richard:

I spoke briefly online with Jean before our first date. We met in front of a local sporting goods store (local landmark). One of the first things she said to me?

"You don't look a thing like your pictures."

On the contrary, I look exactly like my pictures. They're all from within the past year. I asked her to illuminate for me what she felt was different.

She pulled out her phone and said, "I was kind of expecting you to look more like this."

When she showed me her phone, I saw that it bore a photo of a smiling Denzel Washington. All well and good, but Denzel Washington is an over-six-foot African-American while I'm 5'10" and white.

I asked, "You think I looked like Denzel in my online photos?"

She said, "Maybe it was the lighting, but yeah."

The lighting had nothing to do with it. I said, "Well, I don't look like Denzel. Still up for dinner?"

"Not really. Sorry. All this disappointment has just drained me."

"Are you really serious?"

"Yes. Sorry."

I was confused at first. Then I realized that she was clearly a few cards short of a full deck. So no big loss.


Soldier Off

Story Sent in by Heather:

Brad was actually personable and responsive in his online messages. There was no mention of military service on his profile, but he showed up to the cafe for our date in full army fatigues anyway. I asked him, "Are you in the military?"

In response he stood up straight, saluted, said, "Ten-hut!" and marched in a circle all the way around the cafe before coming to a stop right in front of me.

I asked him, "So... are you still enlisted?"

In response he again stood erect, saluted, barked, "Ten-hut!" and again marched around the cafe, drawing stares of confusion from all patrons (including myself).

When he stopped in front of me again, I asked him if he wanted to order something. He didn't say anything but sat down and looked over the menu. When we were both ready he signaled a waitress over and we ordered. He didn't speak to me so much as he just stared ahead at nothing. I soon gave up trying to speak to him.

When our food came he wolfed it down and I asked him, jokingly, if this food was better than the army's.

He jumped out of his seat, pulled enough cash out of his pocket to cover the entire tab, slammed it on the table, stood up straight, saluted, said, "Ten-hut!" then marched right out of the cafe without another word.

If he reads this, then thanks for the meal.


The Battle of the Five Parties

Story Sent in by Marc:

In college, I had a date with Shawn on a Tuesday night. It went well and that following weekend my friend Sandra was throwing a party that I really wanted to attend. I mentioned it to Shawn and he said he was game. He even said he'd pick me up so we could arrive together. Nice!

Pick me up he did, and he drove me to a party... only not the one about which I had told him.

"This isn't Sandra's," I said.

"It's the party I want to go to," he said.

I didn't know anybody at this party. It was in a seedy area. I didn't want to be there. I said, "You said it was cool if we went to Sandra's."

He said, "Let's hang out at this one for a bit, then we can go to Sandra's."

We hung out at this shady party for a little while. People were crazy drunk and then someone broke out the pills. I told Shawn that I really wanted to go. He said that he was having a good time, even though he wasn't drinking or popping anything.

Finally, I gave him an ultimatum: we leave or I leave.

He made a fuss but ultimately drove me to a party... another one that wasn't Sandra's.

"Take me to Sandra's!" I told him, "You said you'd go there with me."

"I just want to check this place out," he told me.

This other party wasn't as crazy as the first one but it was super lame. As in people actually just drinking tea and sleeping on couches kind of lame. I asked Shawn, "Do you even know anybody here?"

He said, "Some of my friends were supposed to stop by. We'll wait here 'til they do."

Right. Sure. Whatever. I called Jacob, a friend of mine who I knew was going to Sandra's, and explained the situation to him. I asked him if, out of the goodness of his heart, he'd pick me up.

Jacob spun by, picked me up, and took me to Sandra's. I felt a little bad about leaving Shawn at snore-fest, but I wanted to be at Sandra's, he told me he'd go there with me, and it seemed as though the only way I'd make it there would be without him.

I had a great time at Sandra's. I was there for a little bit when Shawn texted me, "Come outside."

I texted him back, "Come inside."

When he didn't reply to that, I went outside to see if he was there. He was. He said, "This party looks stupid. I know a better one."

I said, "The first one you took me to was too crazy, the second one was more boring than my aunt's porcelain figurine collection. I'm really happy right here."

He said, "I need you at this other one. I promised my friends you'd show."

I said, "How far is it?"

"Just a couple blocks. You can go in, go right out, and I'll drive you back here. Everyone wants to meet you. I told them all about you. Come on."

Taking the bait, I told Sandra that I'd likely be back shortly, I jumped into Shawn's car, and he drove me more than a couple blocks away to a party where there were a bunch of people clapping in time with two guys playing ukuleles. No one there seemed interested in even speaking to Shawn, much less me.

I took him aside and asked him, "Who are these people?"

He said, "The Christian Fellowship. Isn't this tight?"

They were cordial, but no one made us feel altogether welcome. I asked Shawn, "I thought you said they 'really wanted' to meet me."

He said, "I figured they would. Dunno what their problem is. We can leave if you want. Have our own party tonight, I guess."

I said, "Maybe you can drive me back to Sandra's and we can just have a good time there, together."

"No!" he almost shouted, "I'm not going to Sandra's! You're like obsessed with Sandra! Why don't you just marry her, you love her parties so friggin' much?"

"It's more fun than any two of what you brought me to, tonight! If you don't drive me, I'm walking."

He said, "Fine! Walk!" Attention was drawn our way and Shawn turned to the Christians and said, "He's going to walk to Sandra's! Let's all make fun of him!"

No one made fun of anybody. I walked a half-hour to Sandra's and she embraced me again with open arms. She and I are still friends. Shawn and I? Not so much.


Better to Be Beard than Loved

Story Sent in by Elizabeth:

In all of Gus's profile photos he had a beard. It looked good and I told him so. After a week and a half we agreed to meet in real life at a lounge.

I nearly didn't recognize him when he introduced himself, as he had completely shaved off his beard. He looked really different. Still good, but it was just unexpected. He sat down and I remarked about it and asked him why he had shaved it off.

He said that he had an idea for something thoughtful and he produced a freezer bag. Within it were what could only be described as his beard trimmings. He held the bag in my direction. Parts of it were even smeared with a little shaving cream.

He said, "You said you really liked it, so I thought this would be something fun. Maybe even a little off-the-wall."

Yeah. A little. I told him that I preferred it on his face.

He shook the bag and replied that there was "plenty more where this came from."

I ended up politely declining his offer of beard. We ordered drinks and made hurried small talk. After the drink, I wished him goodnight and went straight home.