Submitted by Chris:
Pauline was six years younger than I was. We sent e-mails back and forth, called each other up, and decided to meet in person. One weird thing about her: she seemed in a rush to impress me, so much so that she came off as a bit arrogant. I'll give an example: I told her that I had a few relationships that ended bad. Her response?
"Well, you don't know what a bad ending is to a relationship. I've had so many that I'm a bit of an expert on them."
I'm sure she didn't mean to come off sounding "I'm better than you," but it wasn't just evidenced in this exchange. Anyway, I figured that there would be nothing wrong with giving her a shot.
On the date, any amount of haughtiness that she inadvertently showed me before went through the roof. The girl was dead set on proving to me how much wiser she was. I felt like this went way past simple nervousness.
I told her, "I had a rough patch with my dad when I was in my mid-teens, but things are mostly better now."
Her response? "You had dad problems? The problems that I've had could fill a book! I'm like the go-to girl among my friends whenever they have problems with their parents, since I've had almost every situation happen to me."
Okay then. Uh... a good friend of mine passed away in high school.
"You think that's rough? Three of my friends have committed suicide, two are still in a mental institution, and I'm the 'crisis person' of another one."
What a lively competition we were having. I told her, "Wow. You've sure had a lot happen to you."
She agreed wholeheartedly. "I've had more things happen to me at 25 than most people in their entire lives!"
That statement was a monumental turn-off. What a stupid thing for an upper-middle-class white girl from Kenilworth (Illinois) to presume. Maybe I should've given her another chance, or maybe she was just super-nervous. Either way, I wrote her off at that moment, and nothing more she said in our "bad-lives-pentathlon" made me feel anything more than a desire to stop spending time with her.
Someone with more experience.
Submitted by Chris: