Story Sent in by Malcolm:
Miranda suggested a picnic, and I suggested stargazing. We combined the two into our first date. From the get-go, there were problems. When I first set up the blanket, she asked me to set it up elsewhere, because, as she put it, "My ex and I slept together here once."
So I sent the blanket up in another part of the field. We had our homemade dinner, and watched as the stars peeped out.
She pointed to a constellation. "That's Cassiopeia," she said, "Queen of the night sky."
I didn't say anything in response. She turned to me and asked, "What did I just say?"
"Uh, that Cassiopeia's the queen of the night sky. Right?"
"Just wanted to make sure that you were listening." She pointed elsewhere in the sky "That's Cepheus, the king."
I nodded in response. She asked, "Are you even listening? How do I know if you're listening if you don't respond to what I say?"
"Cepheus, the king," I said. "I'm just listening."
"It's a little disrespectful, I'm not going to lie. I like it when people respond to me, you know, sound impressed."
"I am impressed. Do I really need to ooh and ahh every time you say something?"
She pointed to three constellations rapidly. "That's Orion, that's Hercules, that's Zeus."
"Zeus isn't a constellation."
She snapped, "Shut the fuck up. He is."
She turned to me and asked, "What were the last three constellations that I mentioned?"
"Hercules and Orion. Zeus isn't a—"
"Wrong! Completely wrong! And you got the order wrong, too. I swear to God, it's like you don't even listen!"
"I listen. It's not my fault that you don't know your constellations."
A pause on her end, then, "Get off the blanket."
"It's my blanket."
She stood up and brushed herself off. "You just don't know when to shut up. Fine. Enjoy the stars by yourself!"
I should have let her go at that, but instead, I stood up to stop her. "Don't go, Miranda. Over a stupid little thing like this?"
"Listening to me is stupid?" she asked, "Well you know what? You're a smelly Spanish ass!"
I blinked "I'm not Spanish."
She threw up her hands. "Okay, you don't get it. You're stupid. Okay, I'm done."
She picked up her picnic basket and stormed off, toward the park's parking lot, in a huff. I called after her, but she didn't turn back. Looking back, I'm very glad of that.