Submitted by Kate:
Kyle and I had known each other for years while we both lived in the same small tourist town. I was married at the time, and he was recently divorced; Kyle frequented my business and we had some great conversations about books, music, art, politics and life. Eventually my husband and I moved to another state where we split up.
Kyle and I had stayed in random touch via e-mail, and at one point (after my divorce), Kyle admitted to having been attracted to me when we'd lived in the same town. I admitted the same, and so began our brief but intense long-distance flirtation.
Soon we were talking every night on the phone, and Kyle began asking me to come stay with him for the weekend. He described having wine by the fire, romantic walks on the beach and dinner at a fantastic ocean-view restaurant. He lived, however, 9 hours away by car, or a short flight plus a two hour drive form the nearest airport. We agreed that I should fly and he said he'd come to the city and pick me up at the airport.
Red flag number one: when it came time to actually purchase the plane ticket, he said "Well, you probably make more money than I do right now..." Because he was a struggling writer, I let that slide and paid for the ticket myself. I'm a working woman; why make the man pay for everything?
Red flag number two: Two days before the trip, he called to say that he wouldn't be able to pick me up after all; could I just rent a car and drive over? Okay, why make him drive 4 hours round trip, right?
Red flag number three: The restaurant he'd promised to take me to was mysteriously closed on a Friday night, so we ended up in a dingy little sports bar with greasy food and shitty beer. Kyle did a terrible job of pretending NOT to watch the football game on the big-screen television over my right shoulder, just barely managing a conversation.
Red flag number four: As we left his house the next morning to head to the beach, Kyle backed into my rental car, which I'd parked the night before (as he watched) off to the side of his driveway. After putting a nice big dent in the side of the car, he said "Why did you park it there? Nobody ever parks there!"
We went on a fairly silent and obviously tense walk, but as soon as we got back to his house, I grabbed my bag and said "You know, I think I'm just going to go home today." He seemed genuinely surprised and offered me an autographed copy of his latest book. "No thanks," I said.
Watching him grow smaller in my rear-view mirror was the best part of that "date."
Oh and no, he did not offer to pay (or even help pay) for the repair to the rental car he'd rammed. Loser.
Submitted by Kate: