Story Sent in by Eunice:
I'm terrified of snakes. This came up in conversation with Darren over the dating site on which we met.
"I understand," he wrote, "A lot of people are. It's nothing to be ashamed of." He was very nice to me about it, and I liked everything else he had to say enough to say yes when he asked me out to dinner.
I put on a nice dress. He showed up wearing a ball cap and a t-shirt, both of which had pictures of snakes on them.
Before even saying hello, he pointed to them and said, "Check it out. Snakes!"
I was fine with pictures of them, but I had to ask, "Why would you wear those things?"
He replied, "To get you over your fear. To make you tough. Any of the above."
"Wow," I said, "How insensitive of you."
He replied, "These aren't real snakes, just a hat a shirt!"
"Someone was paying attention in first grade. Can we sit down, now?"
We sat down at a booth and placed our drink orders. He reached into his pocket, then threw a small rubber snake at me. I screamed.
"Quiet!" he said, "We're in a restaurant. Besides, it's fake. Here," and then he pulled out another and threw it at me.
At that point, I was done. I jumped out of the booth and said, "This is not going to work. Good night."
He stood up, removed his cap, and came up to me. "I'm really sorry. I honest-to-god was just trying to help you. I'm not a therapist, so I wasn't sure what the best way to do it would be. I'm so, so sorry. Seriously. Stay. I won't do anymore fake snake crap. Promise."
He seemed genuinely upset, and if his heart was in the right place, then perhaps I could afford to give him one last chance.
The rest of dinner went fine, and snakes didn't come up once. Afterward, we took a quick walk around the block. As we strolled down a main road, a guy stepped out of a car, and Darren greeted him like a friend.
He said, "Hey, Luke! This is Eunice." Luke shook my hand, and Darren asked Luke, "Did you bring him?"
Luke nodded and opened his rear passenger door.
"Bring who?" I asked.
The sound of clanging metal came from the where Luke was wrangling something out of the back seat. I caught a glance at it and said, "Oh my God. A snake!"
I stuck around an instant longer to see Luke attempting to pull out a boa constrictor. I bolted down the road, and I heard someone laugh behind me, although I couldn't tell if it was Darren or Luke.
I made it home, sweaty and exhausted. Darren left a message on my voicemail that said, "Hey Eunice. Not sure what the fuss was all about. I was just trying to toughen you up! So you can call to apologize, I guess..."
He's still waiting on that.