Run, NOLA, Run

Story Sent in by Kenneth:

I had just started a new job in New Orleans and had set up my first online date in that area. Melissa and I had planned to go out for drinks. She showed up in a dark red sweatsuit. Interesting choice of apparel, but I didn't think much of it, beside its strangeness. And the smell that accompanied it.

"I just came from a run," she said, out of breath. She ordered a beer and sat next to me at the bar.

"A run?" I asked, "If you wanted to, I guess, freshen up, before coming here, then you could've called. I would've waited."

She looked down at what she was wearing, as if noticing for the first time that she wasn't dressed up. She said, "I feel freshened up. Nothing like a run, you know?"

The smell was pretty bad. Still, I didn't want to be rude and so we clinked our beers together and drank. She went on, "Besides, I always heard that guys like girls who work out."

"We do. It's just–"

She hit my arm. "Want to go for a run after this?"

I was in a dress shirt and nice pants, and didn't have a change of clothes with me. I said, "I might be able to jog with you a little ways, but–"

She hit my arm again. "Great!" She downed her beer in less than a minute, then said, "Race you to the door!"

She stood and jogged to the bar entrance. I finished my beer, put money down (she didn't offer to pay, but it didn't come out to much), and joined her at the doorway. We left together and jogged a bit down the sidewalk.

It was a good speed at first, but she went faster and faster, and I wasn't really wearing the right footwear.

She said, panting, "I just feel like running! Like, running and never stopping!"

I kept pace, but wanted to stop running. It's not what I had signed up for, in any event. I asked her, "Maybe we can head back and get dinner?"

She said, "Not until we get to the state line, boy!" then hit my arm again and tore ahead, as if a pack of famished wolves were after her. I stopped running and waited for her to come back. When she didn't, I texted her, "Coming back?"

She replied, "When I'm done RUNNING."

She never came back. She might just be running forever.


A Bitter Young Man Has Now Taken the Torch

(Greetings. Are you a writer? I've a blog for that: jaredsinkwell.blogspot.com. Thanks for checking it out! - JMG)

Story Sent in by Doretha:

Al and I met online and spoke for a few weeks before we met. We had a lot in common, and I was uncharacteristically smitten with him before we had even met. We'd be on the phone for hours, talking about movies, politics, our pasts, and so on. I found myself structuring my days around when he'd call, and the memories from that part of our "relationship" were all pleasant, despite not having yet met in person.

On our first date, he showed up to the restaurant with another young woman, about my age. Bewildered, I sat down to the table and he introduced her: "This is Pamela. My girlfriend."

"Girlfriend?" I asked, then thought about saying a few more things before deciding to just up and leave.

Al chased me outside and stopped me. "It's not what you think," he said, "She's only my girlfriend right now, but I'm going to stop seeing her soon. She knows that. I know that, and now you know that. This is me passing the torch to you! Don't you get it?"

"No," I said, blinking to fight back tears. He hugged me, but I shoved him away. "What are you talking about?"

He said, "I have a girlfriend now. She and I both want to break up. Tonight. Right here. But to do that and to get my new girlfriend, who I'd like to be you, I want her to pass the torch. The torch of being my girlfriend."

His explanation didn't really help. "What?"

He groaned and said, "It's really clear. She's my girlfriend. She and I are breaking up. I want you as my new girlfriend. She's going to pass the torch to you tonight, she'll stop being my girlfriend, and you'll start. Like an Olympic relay."

"Pass the torch?"

He laughed. "Not an actual torch. It's pretend! She'll say something like, 'I am no longer Al's girlfriend,' and you'll say something like, 'Now I am his girlfriend,' and that's it. She'll get up and go and you'll sit with me and we'll have our first dinner together."

Was this the same sane-sounding guy I had spent all those hours talking to, interested in, and by whom I had been enraptured? That couldn't be. And besides, if this was so important to him, then why didn't he mention it at all while we were planning the date? Something stank. I didn't like the situation, and I left him standing there, torch un-passed.

I didn't answer his calls, and he wrote me a long, involved email in which he related his whole dating history, and how one girl had always "passed the torch" to another, and how I was the first "unreasonable one" to refuse the offer. He wrote about how great he was and how he could probably do better than me, and so on. I was just glad to be rid of his nonsense.


Man, You'll Be a Woman Soon

Story Sent in by Lucas:

Tonya and I were on the same dating site, and I messaged her after reading her profile. She shot back a message with a line that said, "Are your pictures really pictures of you? You look like Brad Pitt."

For the record, the pictures I used on my profile were 100% of me, and I do not believe that I look a thing like Brad Pitt. I figured that she was just trying to compliment me, and I thanked her in my next message. She didn't mention it again.

On our date, I arranged to meet her at an Italian restaurant that she had wanted to try. When she saw me for the first time, in front of the place, she shook my hand and said, "You don't look a thing like Brad Pitt."

I replied, "I'm glad that we both have that in common. It's nice to meet you."

"Yeah," she said, "I kind of need a Brad Pitt fix, now. I have a DVD player in my car." She glanced behind herself, presumably at where she had parked.

I asked, "Want to do dinner, first? I know you've been looking forward to trying this place."

She replied, "Actually, I want to watch Brad Pitt in something. Do you have any of his movies?"

"On me? No. I didn't bring any DVDs."

She looked around and said, "I know where a Redbox is. I'll be back in a couple of hours. Wait for me?"

She turned and headed back towards the way she had come. I jogged alongside her and asked, "Are you being serious, here?" At that point, I was pretty sure (or at least I hoped) that she wasn't.

She said, "I'm sure. I thought you looked like Brad Pitt online, so I got really excited and now I get here and you don't look like him, which is okay, but I wanted to have my Brad Pitt fix tonight, so I'm going to a Redbox to get my fix. It's a girl thing."

"It is?"

She replied, the last thing she ever said to me, "Once you're a girl, you'll understand."

"Once I'm a girl? You know something I don't?"

She didn't answer. I let her turn the corner and go. If and when I'm a girl, I hope I'm given a bit more sense than Tonya had.


Life's a Drag Race

Story Sent in by Cleta:

My first date with Brad was at a children's soap box derby with a decent crowd. He had a son from a prior relationship, and his son was racing that day. Brad had to give me a one-armed hug when he met me, as he had a beer in his other hand. In fact, Brad was never without a beer in that hand for the entire time, like an action figure who came with a hard-wired accessory.

Brad's son was supposed to have raced in the second race of the day, but there was a problem with his racer and the organizers kept pushing him back into subsequent races. Brad hadn't built his son's car: Brad's ex and her boyfriend had done it, and they were the ones in the pit, opening the car and seeing what was wrong.

Brad himself, to help his son, drank beer and pointed out middle-aged women in the crowd that his eight-year-old son ought to go up to and ask out.

I distanced myself more and more from Brad, and I don't even think he noticed that I ended up sitting in a further-away section. I suppose I might have left, but I was there to see this kid race, and I guess I wanted to cheer for him, once he made it onto the road. I felt bad for him.

Brad's son's car was finally repaired, it lined up with other racers, pop went the starting gun, and off they all went.

Brad's son's car veered immediately off into the tire wall that bounded the course. Brad screamed, "Aw, come on!" then leaped onto the course, dragged his son's racer so that it pointed in the right direction, and jumped back.

His son flew forward again, and again, it veered into the side of the course.

This time, in front of everyone, Brad screamed a mighty roar of disappointment, drank down some beer, pointed to the crowd, yelled, "You suck!" to no one in particular (although if his son had overheard, he probably thought that it was meant for him) and tottered off, away from the course, the crowd, and me. He didn't come back, or if he did, then I didn't see, as I left shortly thereafter.


Cavemen Among Us

Story Sent in by Raymond:

Sharon and I were on our second date, which we had planned to consist of a walk in a park, lunch, and a tandem martial arts class (she had a gift certificate for a lesson).

Not long after meeting and greeting each other in the park, she asked me, "I have some friends coming over to meet you. Is that cool? It won't take too long."

I supposed there was nothing wrong with meeting her friends, if that was important to her, and I told her I'd do it.

For some reason, I had expected a group of young women, but instead, only one girl, who looked about 10 years younger than we were, and a staring, dark-eyed guy showed up.

"This is Dana," Sharon said, introducing, "And this is Mack. He's my ex, but Dana's dating him now." She then pointed at Dana's sandals. "Oh my God! I love your sandals! And your toes! Great color!"

Then the two of them spun into a long, exclusive conversation about their nails, hair, feet, hands, and skin. Mack and I, it seemed, were forgotten about. Having that in common, I turned to this guy who had apparently dated the very girl I was dating. It was a little awkward, but I thought it would be smart to be personable.

"Mack, what do you do?" I asked him, thinking it a harmless question.

He replied, with a straight face and rapidly clenching fists, "I beat the shit out of assholes who date Sharon. You?"

Although Sharon and Dana were gabbing close by, it seemed as though they hadn't heard Mack's words. I stood my ground. "But aren't you with Dana, now?"

He said, for all intents and purposes as if we were alone, "Dana's just a thing. I want Sharon back, and I'll get her. Understand?"

Mack twitched. I said to him, "But I'm dating her, now," then turned to the girls and attempted to join their conversation, however unqualified I was to do so.

In a flash, Mack grabbed Dana away and dragged her towards a nearby tree, where the two of them exchanged some heated words in a whisper. I said to Sharon, "He's trouble. He said he wanted you back."

Sharon shrugged. "That's Mack. He'll get over it."

Dana, who apparently had won the argument, finished saying something that looked withering to Mack, then came over to us and said, "Want to do lunch? Mack said he'd behave."

Mack shoved past Dana, picked Sharon up, over his shoulder, and carried her off, as if he meant to abduct her away for his very own. I went after them, but Sharon kicked, flailed, and slapped at him enough so that he put her down. He screamed in her face and stormed away. He turned to us and said, "I'll be back for you... for all of you!" then continued on his defeated walk of fury.

Dana turned to me and said, "That's Mack. I'll let you guys have your lunch." She gave us hugs goodbye and left us, in a different direction than the one in which Mack had gone.

For the rest of the date, I looked over my shoulder every few seconds. Mack didn't return, and Sharon seemed almost to have forgotten that the incident happened. Aside from her saying, "I'm fine. Let's talk about something different," after I asked if she was okay, she didn't mention anything else about it. The rest of the date, that aside, went fine.

Sharon sent me an email a day later, saying that she was going back to dating Mack, and that she wished me luck. No accounting for taste, I guess.


Tit for Tat

Story Sent in by Christina:

Andrew and I met online, spoke for a while, and finally made it out to a first date dinner at a very fancy restaurant. It was one of those places where they had one server for the drinks, one for appetizers, one for the main course, and a different one for dessert.

Let me put out there that I didn't ask him to take me to that place: he had offered it.

"I can't get over this place," I remember telling him, not long after sitting down. He smiled, and the first server handed us the menus. As soon as I opened mine, my heart nearly stopped. $29 for the cheapest appetizer? Main courses upwards of $200?

I glanced up at Andrew, whose eyes, staring at the menu, seemed to be bugging out of their sockets.

I said, "Oh my God... we don't have to eat here. It'll be close to a thousand-dollar check, and that's even if we skip dessert!"

Andrew looked like a condemned prisoner. He said, "No, no. I said we should go here, and we'll do it."

His use of "we" made me wonder if that meant that he wanted us to split the check. I'd have been 100% okay with leaving that place, going somewhere cheaper, and splitting things. However, as a 20-something with rent and bills to pay, spending over a month's budget of food on a single dinner struck me as ludicrous.

I said, "I can't afford to spend this much. Seriously. Let's go."

"We're not going anywhere," he said, scanning the menu and not looking at me. "If you can't afford to help, then I'll have to pay for it all. Nothing to worry about."

I felt like he was letting his pride overwhelm his good sense. From what I knew of him (he was a public school teacher), he wasn't super-wealthy, or even sort-of-wealthy. There was really no need at all for him, or really anyone, to spend that much on dinner.

"Really," I said, "I appreciate the sentiment, but I honest to God won't care if we go somewhere else." Honestly, if he had chosen to go someplace else, I guarantee I would've found that far more attractive than what he did next.

He pointed to a duck dish on the menu and said, "Have you looked at that? That looks good." Had he not heard a word I had just said? He took his menu back and groaned and moaned, likely at the prices.

The drink waiter came by and we both ordered waters. The appetizer waiter came by, and I ordered the $29 appetizer (what looked to be a simple house salad), intending for that to be the only thing I'd order, and further, I would insist on paying for it.

He ordered the same thing, and we didn't order anything else. He was silent the entire time, and when the check came, as I had intended, I offered him the money for my appetizer.

He said, "No. I'll pay for it. I'll pay for everything in the entire world, ever!" He put his card into the check folio and slammed it onto the table. When the check waiter came over to grab it, Andrew barked, "My money!" at him, and as the waiter took it away, Andrew said, "My goddamn money!"

The waiter returned with the receipt for Andrew to sign, and Andrew grumbled, "Damn women, making me spend all my goddamn money..."

"Hey. You insisted on coming here, staying here, and paying for this. Name one thing I made you do."

"You've got tits," he said, slamming the folio closed and standing up. "Tits made me do it."

He walked out. My tits and I left shortly thereafter, once we had regained composure.


Brace to the Finish

Story Sent in by Stephen:

Just after sitting down to dinner, Leah asked me if I wanted to go on a sort of "quest." I thought she had a fun and spontaneous idea, so I told her I was game.

After a rushed dinner (on her part — I'd never seen a person engulf a meal so fast), I followed her, by car, to her neighborhood, and we parked outside her house.

I followed her to her front door and she asked, "She needs to think that only one person is home, so when I take a step, you have to take a step, too."

"What? Who?"

"My mother. I'll distract her while you go upstairs to her jewelry box. There's something in there I want. It's a—"

"You want me to steal something from your mother's jewelry box?"

Her eyes went wide. "Not so loud! I have it all planned out. I talk to her in the kitchen, she yells at me as usual, and while she's making a lot of noise, you go upstairs and grab this bracelet. It's a—"

"No way."

"Ugh! Okay, then will you feel better talking to her yourself while I go upstairs to get the bracelet? I'm sure you'll have loads to discuss."

"I'm not helping you steal a bracelet from your mother."

She whined, "But I want it! This is the best plan I thought of to get it. She watches me like a hawk inside the house. She always calls for me when she can't see me, just so she can know where I am."

I blew some air out of my cheeks. "Any idea why she behaves like that?"

Leah replied, "Probably because I stole three of her rings a few months ago."

I shook my head at her. "I'm not helping. Sorry."

"You're a pussy," she said, entering the house, "I don't need you. I want that bracelet, and I'll have it."

She went into her house but left the door open behind her, as if I was going to change my mind and help her, after all. I didn't. I left and never spoke to her again.


Beer Factor

Story Sent in by Tricia:

On our first date, Keith, a 24-year-old, took me out to a bar with a front-facing patio, right on the street. We sat down with our drinks at the table, and not two minutes later, a group of loud frat guys arrived and sat next to us.

They ordered beer after beer, chanted, "Drink! Drink! Drink!" over and over, and overall made it impossible for Keith and I to carry on a conversation.

I shouted to him, over the din, "Want to move?"

He took a few big gulps of his beer, wiped his mouth, and said, "Reminds me of college, woo hoo!"

He stood up, nearly knocking his chair to the ground, left me at the table, and actually joined the frat guys at their merrymaking.

He said, "I bet I can drink any of you bastards under the table!"

They laughed. Some of them shouted, "Drink! Drink! Drink!" and they poured him a beer from a pitcher. He downed it at once, and they refilled it. "Drink! Drink! Drink!"

Did he think I'd be impressed? I watched a couple of minutes of this before I took his arm and said, "Come on, Keith. Let's go."

"Have some beer!" he slurred to me, handing me a full plastic cup, spilling it all over my blouse. He and his new frat buddies laughed. He turned to them and said, "Whoops! Guess I'm not getting any tonight!"

They all laughed again. One or two shouted, "Drink! Drink!" into their suds.

I was sopping wet and had to go. But first, I replied to him, "You're getting something," and upended the nearby beer pitcher, which was only about half-full, onto his head.

I slammed it back on the table and hurried off before I could even see his reaction, although the aghast "Oh!" that went up from his buddies at the table made his likely reaction clear enough.

He didn't follow me, I made it home, cleaned myself up, and went to bed. I wasn't getting any either, that night, but at least I likely went to sleep a bit more satisfied than he did.


No Sex in Any Room

Story Sent in by James:

Ruth and I had been on a few dates, and I loved spending time with her. We'd been seeing each other for a few weeks when I took her out on a date to a restaurant right on a river, at sunset. She was smiling the whole time, and everything was great.

We hadn't slept together yet. She said she'd had some bad experiences, and I told her I'd let her take the lead on that. That night, though, by the river, she looked so good and it was hard to think about anything other than holding her. I whispered to her, "You look so beautiful," and she took my hand and held it for most of the rest of dinner.

Hand-in-hand, we walked back to my car (I had picked her up) and my next idea was to go for a walk downtown and hit up an antique store that she said she had wanted to visit.

Once the door to my car shut, she turned to me and said, "We're not having sex in your car."

I cracked a smile, thinking, still, that she was joking. I said, "I hadn't planned on it."

She was silent.

When we stepped out of the car, downtown, she turned to me and said, "We're not having sex, here on the street."

"Or in the car," I reminded her, still thinking that she was kidding around. She didn't smile or give any indication that she was joking, but it seemed such a strange thing to say that I played along as if it was a joke.

We walked into the antique store and she turned to me yet again and said, "We're not having sex in this store," loud enough for the woman behind the counter and the five or so other customers to hear.

I replied, hoping that she was just setting me up for some kind of punchline, "If I were to have sex in any antique store, it wouldn't be in this one."

The woman behind the counter, rolling with it, quipped, "Pity."

Ruth darted in amongst the aisles and tables, seemingly wanting to put some distance between us. Concerned, I followed her and asked, "Hey, is everything okay?"

She said, "Yeah. Why?"

I said, "All these sex comments... are you just kidding around? I don't think I get it."

She replied, "What's that? Sex? That's right. You don't get it. And you never will!" Once again, she said it loud enough for everyone to hear, and she spun around, but as she did, she hit into a blue, glass vase, and it shattered onto the floor.

The woman behind the counter marched over to us and said, "You'll have to pay for that."

Ruth ran for the back of the store and pushed the rear door open. An alarm rang. The woman pushed past me, pulled the door closed, and the alarm stopped. She pointed to the mess and said, "You paying for this?"

All eyes were on me. All eyes that knew I was dating someone crazy who never gave me sex. I told the woman, "Look, I didn't break it. But I can give you that girl's name, number, and address."

"I'm serious," the woman said, "I'll call the police."

"Call them. Give them her information. I'll write it down for you." I did as I said, and left the store. I waited by my car for a while, as Ruth lived eight miles away, and I wasn't sure how else she'd make it home at that time of night. I tried calling her once, she didn't pick up, so I gave up on her and made for home.

Surprisingly, she called me the next day to ask me if I wanted to hang out. No mention at all of the previous night's behavior.

As I said, we had great times together up until that point, so I wanted to at least get to the bottom of what had happened. I asked her, "Yeah, maybe we can meet and talk about last night. Want to grab lunch at Rudy's?"

A pause from her end of the phone, then, "If you think I'm going to sleep with you at Rudy's, then fuck off."

Click. The end.


Stupid Dead

Story Sent in by Helen:

Barry wanted to sneak into a graveyard on our first date. "My family's all buried there," he joked, "Maybe we can see their ghosts."

After a hurried dinner, we drove, parked our cars, walked across a set of train tracks, hopped a fence, and strolled down the moonlit cemetery paths. It was an old burying ground, extensive, and had been around for at least 150 years.

"Let me show you where my family's buried," he said, and led me through the tombstones.

We eventually stopped at a plot marked, "Griffis." Barry's last name, however, was Cano.

"This is your family?" I asked him.

He turned to me with a weird smile and said, "We're all family, here. Human family. We're all related when you go far enough back. Everyone in the graveyard is related to me. And you."

"They are. But is this your immediate family's plot?"

He shrugged and sat down on one of the graves. "Who knows? I forgot where they were buried years ago. I've never been here without other family members."

He reached for me. The night air was chilly and I involuntarily shuddered. I said, "Should we keep looking?"

He replied, "I'm done looking. Forever." He reached for me again.

I said, "Let's keep walking."

He said, "If you don't come make out with me here, I'll lie down and die."

I hesitated, and so he lay down, crossed his arms over his chest, and closed his eyes.

"Come on, Barry," I said. He remained still. I went on, "It's cold out. Let's keep going."

"Come here and give me the kiss of life," he said, "And then I'll wake and take you anywhere."

I didn't want to kiss him, but I also didn't want to leave him there. I leaned over him and kissed the top of his head, hoping that that would fulfill his wish.

"Raaaaagh!" he yelled and grabbed for me. I jumped away and ran down the path, away from him, and out of the cemetery.

I circled back to my car, but not before he had texted me, "THE DEAD SEE YOU. THE DEAD ARE COMING FOR YOU NOW."

I jumped into my car, locked the doors, turned the keys, and then I heard a tremendous thump. Barry, who had apparently made it back to our parked cars first, had actually jumped onto the roof of my car. He pounded on it.

My first thought was to slip the car into drive and take off, but I didn't want to actually injure him at high speed or drive over him or whatever. Instead, I grabbed a jack I had under my seat, screamed as loud as I could, jumped out of my car, and swung it at him (without the intent to hit him).

He tore away and I drove off before he could come back.


One Man's Toilet

Story Sent in by Morrie:

This happened my freshman year of college. I was already seated at a table at a restaurant, waiting, when Veronica burst in, nearly collided with the host, and plopped down across from me at the table.

"Sorry I'm late," she said breathlessly. She truly appeared as if she had just run 10 miles. "You'll never believe what I saw on the way over here."

"A criminally obese naked guy? That would explain why you ran here."

She said, "Better. I saw a homeless guy shit right into a trash can!"

I replied, "And that's better... how?"

She tugged at my sleeve. "You want to take a look?"

I was incredulous. "At homeless-man shit?"

"Yeah! I mean, we wouldn't have to get too close—"

"Aside from sex with a criminally obese naked man, I can think of nothing I'd like less. Maybe at least we could have dinner, first."

She sat back in her seat and said, "Okay, Mr. No-Sense-Of-Adventure. Have it your way."

She was sullen and silent through the rest of dinner. Afterward, when we walked out of the eatery together, she suddenly took on a second wind. She said, "Okay, are you ready now?"

"For what? To go see that trash can? How about I take your word for it?"

"Ugh, fine," she said, then extended her hand. "Nice meeting you."

That was my first and last blind date.


The Ex-Files

Story Sent in by Kerry:

Joe and I were on a walk on an early spring day after our first date dinner. We had met online, chatted for hours over the phone, and dinner went well. I really wanted him to like me, because I liked him a good amount already.

We passed a metal file cabinet on a curb in front of a house. Evidently, someone was throwing it away.

He said, "What a weird place to keep your files." He then opened up each drawer and looked inside. "Just hunting for treasure, honey."

The drawers were empty, and he slammed the last drawer shut. "Damn," he said, "I was hoping that there'd be something in there that they forgot to take out. Something romantic that I could've given you."

Huh? What was he talking about? "Like what?" I asked.

He scowled at the cabinet. "I dunno. Flowers or something. I hate this stupid cabinet!" He kicked it. "Ow!" he yelled, "Argh! My foot!"

I went to him and took him by the shoulder. "Are you okay?" I asked.

"Better than ever!" he said, then actually kicked the cabinet with his other foot. "Got it!" he yelled, and I moved away from him. He went on, "I kicked it in a way that it wouldn't hurt my foot again."

Ignoring his sudden idiocy onset, I asked, "Are you going to be okay?"

He replied, "I just totally want to punch this cabinet out. Is that cool? Will you be impressed if I totally lay the smackdown on this guy?"

I shook my head. "Let's just keep going, if you're okay to walk."

He was, although he made a big show of dragging his foot that had first kicked the cabinet. He turned back to it and said, "I've never liked file cabinets. You hear me?" He then turned to me and said, "When we get married, if I ever catch you with a file cabinet in our house, you're heading for a divorce. We clear?"

"We're not getting married, though," I informed him, "Let me walk you to your car."

He shut up for the rest of the walk. We reached his car and he drove away. Thank goodness.


It's a Tough Job Market for Everyone

Story Sent in by Danny:

I took Susan out to a really nice hotel buffet for our first date. As we ate and spoke, she shook her long red hair around, then ran her hands through it, then took out a brush and brushed it.

Her hair had looked fine, and I asked her, "Do you have a knot or tangle or something?"

"Yeah," she replied, "I'm sorry, it's driving me nuts "

She excused herself and made for the bathroom. I picked at my food until she returned. She had an application with her, and she pulled a pen out of her purse and filled the application out, right there at the table.

She said, "It's an application to work here. Seems like a fun place, doesn't it?"

She diligently filled it out right there, in the middle of our date. I asked her, "You did some Americorps work, right?" in an effort to steer us back to the date.

She replied, "I'll put that down here. Don't worry."

"No, I mean, I was curious about it."

"Hold on. I have to finish this application." She pulled out her phone and called a number. A moment later, into the phone, she said, "Mom, I need you to bring me a copy of my resume. I have them stacked up on my desk. Beneath the koala. Yeah, can you bring one here? Yes, now. Thanks."

She hung up, then stood and said, "I'll be right back. My mom's meeting me outside with something."

I asked, "Can't she call you when she arrives? You don't want to wait in here with me?"

She said, "Then my phone would ring at the table and that would be rude. Back in a few!"

She left me there and didn't come back for a while. I thought about paying for the whole thing and just leaving, but that would have required that I pay for the whole thing. I had planned on it at first, but I had also not counted on Susan being so rude. So wait I did.

She came back with a smile but without an apology. "I gave it to the manager. He said he'd let me know!"

She picked at her food, then said, "This food is cold."

"You were gone a while," I reminded her, "It okay if we split this?"

She gave me a look as if to say that it was anything but okay. Still, she agreed, and as I had already thrown in the towel at that point, I didn't have much else to say for the rest of dinner.

On our way out, though, she stopped me and said, "I have a question for the manager. Be right back!"

She tapped my wrist and scampered away. Once she was gone, I left. I think I had already indulged her enough, by that point. I half-wonder if I ever go back there if she'll be the one cutting the turkey or doling out mashed red potatoes.


(Greetings, ABCotD readers. Still on a road trip across America. Posts will still appear every day, although the daily timing might be wonky for a bit. Then again, depending on my Internet access, you may not notice a blip at all. If I'm traveling through your area and anyone wants to grab a coffee, then give me a shout at abadcaseofthedates at gmail dot com. Today, I'll be in the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area. Off toward Austin tomorrow. - Jared)


Not-So-Bright Shadows

Story Sent in by Emma:

Richard's online profile looked good at first glance. He had posted about seven photos of himself, six of which were normal, but the seventh was of him with long black hair, black nail polish, black lipstick, and white skin. It was captioned, "Me in my gothy years." He looked like a cheap Marilyn Manson Halloween costume, and as we spoke more, he explained that he used to be into such things, but wasn't anymore.

When we finally met, he showed up with long black hair, black nail polish, black lips, and very pale skin.

"Is this a joke?" I asked him, realizing that for him to have gone through the trouble to appear such, it was likely not a joke at all.

"Nah. I decided to break it out for you tonight. You said you liked the look."

"I never said that. Not once. I asked about it, but—"

"Well, one of us must have misunderstood the other, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't me. Let's take a walk."

Not wanting to be rude, but racking my brain for anything I might have said that sounded like, "It would be awesome if you showed up looking like Severus Snape," I walked alongside him in the waning daylight.

Trouble struck when we passed a family with a couple of kids. One of the children stared as we passed and remarked to her parents, "Is that a boy or a girl?"

Richard stopped, looked at me, and whispered, "Did that kid just ask if I was a boy or girl?"

I smiled, trying to make light of it, but Richard wasn't in a lighthearted mood. He turned around to face the family and announced, "I have an enormous penis, but judgment, it seems, comes in all shapes and sizes."

Horrified, I stepped back, trying to disassociate myself with him. The family hurried off and Richard turned to me. "Can you believe that shit? And that's the generation that'll be running the country someday."

I stepped away from him. "Are you nuts? Talking to little kids like that?"

"It's not my fault that they're stupid."

"They're little kids!"

He asked, "Is this your way of telling me that you think we're incompatible?"

Without hesitation, "Yes."

"All right, then."

He put out his hand, I shook it, he gave me a military salute, turned on his heels, and marched away. I spent most of the rest of the night trying to remember if I had said anything to him, ever, that he could have taken as an excuse to dress up. To this day, I've come up blank.


Come Back to the Five and Dime

Story Sent in by Peter:

Dorothy and I hung out in a main town square for our first date. There was an art gallery nearby, and before dinner, we stopped in to look at the art.

While I glanced at each one for a few moments, with none really sticking out, she stopped and stared at a photo of a guy who looked like a facsimile of James Dean from Rebel Without a Cause. It didn't strike me as anything special, but Dorothy was apparently entranced by the photo and beguiled by its $250 price tag.

She popped it off the wall and brought it right up to the counter. "I'll take it!" she said to the gallery clerk.

The clerk was more than happy to scan Dorothy's card. I didn't say anything, but she must have read the confusion on my face. Dorothy said, "He's beautiful," meaning the photo.

"He certainly is. Very James Dean," the gallery clerk said.

"He's gorgeous," Dorothy went on, "Who is he?"

"A model, I suppose," the clerk said.

"How can I find out for sure? Can I contact the artist?"

The clerk said, "The artist's info is on the back of the frame. He should have a card on there."

Sure enough, the artist had taped his business card on the back. As the clerk wrapped up the photo, Dorothy called the number, seemingly forgetting that I was there.

She said, apparently into voicemail, "Hi, This is Dorothy. I just bought your gorgeous photo of the James Dean guy. I have to know who he is. I feel like I already know him, but I want to meet him and spend the rest of my life with him."

All this time, Dorothy didn't so much as glance at me once. The gallery clerk paid her insanity no mind and handed her the wrapped photo in a shopping bag. He thanked her.

Without waiting for me, Dorothy left the gallery, still talking into the phone, extolling the virtues of the photo, over and over, saying, "I have to know who this guy is. He's gorgeous."

She finally hung up and I caught up with her. I asked, "I'd ask if you wanted to do dinner, but you seem to already have a date." I pointed to the photo in the bag.

She glanced at it and said, "Hm? Oh, yeah. No, I think I'm going to dedicate my life to finding this guy. Sorry!" She kissed my cheek and left me standing there. I have no clue as to whether or not she ever tracked that James-Dean-wannabe down.


The Master at Work

Story Sent in by Josephine:

Todd and I spoke for a bit less than a week before he invited me out to dinner at one of my favorite local bistros. I arrived first and sat at a table to wait for him.

I didn't have long to wait. Not two minutes later, he ran in, and I couldn't help but notice instantly that his t-shirt and jeans were on backwards. He slammed his hands on the table before me and leaned over it. His eyes were bloodshot. He said, "I have 20 minutes to live."

The first thing I could think of to say was, "That sucks."

He breathed close and said, "We've gotta have sex now or never."

I nodded. "Indeed we do. Where should we do it?"

He licked his lips and stared, as if not anticipating such a positive reaction. He looked around, under the table, and across the restaurant. "The bathroom," he said, "There's probably a lock on the door. I'm really sorry about this."

"It's okay!" I said with a smile, "Meet me in there, naked. We shouldn't go in together or they'll suspect something."

He obviously suspected something. "How do I know you'll follow me in there?"

I leaned close to him and said, "I cannot wait to have my mouth all over your body."

He grinned, nodded quickly, and made for the bathroom, already fiddling with his pants.

I left.


A Chair-Raising Experience

Story Sent in by Daniel:

Angela and I had been seeing each other for a couple of months when we made plans to have a late lunch at a nice, mom-and-pop diner where I had brought her around the time when we had started dating. I arrived there first, and after 15 minutes, I called to see where she was.

No answer. I left a voicemail and tried her again a few minutes later. Still no answer. After waiting close to an hour and trying her once more (this was unlike her), I took a drive to her place, not far off.

No one was home, but there was an overturned rocking chair on her porch. I had never recalled seeing a rocking chair there before, much less an overturned one. Nothing else seemed amiss, and I tried her phone once more. No answer. Without much else to do, I went home.

I didn't hear from her that whole day, and that night, I even called a mutual friend, to see if he had heard anything from her, but he hadn't. Concerned, but trying to remain positive that there was a reasonable explanation, I went to bed.

The next morning, there was an overturned rocking chair on my front porch. It was different from the one that had been on her porch. It was much older-looking, had chipped white paint, and was larger.

I immediately called Angela. No response. I drove to her house. No one was home, but the rocking chair was gone. I decided to wait there, and after a little while, she pulled into her driveway and walked right up to me. She looked as if she had been awake for 72 hours. "What's up?" she asked, as if nothing was wrong.

"Where have you been?" I asked, "We had plans yesterday. And do you know anything about these rocking chairs?"

She stepped away from me as if I had physically threatened her. "Plans yesterday? With a rocking chair?"

I said, "There was a rocking chair here, yesterday, when I came to see you after you didn't show up for our date. It's gone now, but–"

"I don't own a rocking chair. Sorry."

"There's one on my porch. It was overturned in the same way. You're telling me you don't know anything about it?"

She said, "Show me."

She climbed into my car and we returned to my porch. The large rocking chair was gone.

"It was here," I said.

"You're insane," she said, "I should break up with you for this. I'm exhausted."

I didn't mention above that, with the camera on my phone, I had taken photos of the rocking chair on my porch from two angles. I pulled it up and showed it to her. Her eyes widened, but she said, "You could've gotten that rocking chair from anyplace. Do you have any idea what's happened to me over the past day?"

"No. Why don't you tell me?"

"Drive me home. I want to go home and go to bed, and then maybe I'll call you."

I dropped her off at her house and returned home. I resolved to not contact her until she reached out to me, first. It's been four years, and at this point, I'm guessing I'll never find out what the rocking-chair affair was all about.


Click here to help victims of the Colorado wildfire. Select the Mile High Chapter.


Where the Sun Don't Shine

Story Sent in by Sheila:

Chris was an amateur photographer who I had the pleasure of meeting online. He directed me to his portfolio, which was a collection of black and white shots, all of which incorporated sunglasses in some way. For example, there would be a picture of a stone wall with a pair of sunglasses perched atop it. Another shot had a pair of sunglasses on a sidewalk, surrounded by an O-shaped puddle of water. Some were creative, but most were, as I said, amateur. Still, he was passionate about his work, and when we met up for a lunch date, he talked about it at length.

I work part-time at a few jobs as a writer, and in his defense, he asked me about my own work, and we had a pretty good conversation going, as a whole.

We were on the subject of his photos when he said, "The ones I put online aren't all of them. I have a small subset that I keep off."

"I understand," I replied, "Saving your best work for the offline world."

He grinned. "That's not it. They're a little... rude."

I smiled, not at all curious about what that meant. "Well, I'm sure you're your own best judge."

"Want to see them? They're shots of asses and penises."

My stomach lurched a little bit. "I'm all set."

"With sunglasses," he continued, "So it's in the same vein as my other stuff. Just, you know, rude."

I sat back and thought of the most diplomatic answer I could: "Art's all about pushing the envelope, isn't it?"

He snapped his fingers. "Exactly," he said, then pulled out his phone, tapped a couple of buttons, then spun it around to show me a black and white shot of a penis amidst an equatorial jungle of hair, complete with an upside-down set of sunglasses.

"Whoa," I said, tearing away from it, "That's great. Enough of that, now."

He kept holding it up. "I thought you liked my art."

"I do. Put the penis photo away, please."

He sighed and did as I asked. "It's not my penis," he explained, "It's nothing to be afraid of. Liking an artist usually means liking everything that that artist makes. No exceptions."

"I don't know about that."

"Oh, I do."

He wasn't mean or nasty, but the whole experience just rubbed me the wrong way, and so when he contacted me a few days later, I declined his offer for a second date.


Click here to help victims of the Colorado wildfire. Select the Mile High Chapter.


But We Can Still Hook Up if You Want

Email Sent in by Nora:

(Nora says: "There's a bit of a story here. About 3 years ago I went on three dates with a slightly younger man of a different race and religion than I am. The only reason this is important is I was shocked to get such a bigoted, close-minded message from someone open enough to do that. Anyway the third date didn't end well and I broke off contact. This came three months later.")

Put Our Heads Together

Story Sent in by Nick:

For our first date, Sarah suggested that I pick the place for dinner, and she offered to pick the post-dinner activity. It sounded like a fun idea. I took her out to an American-fare place that I remembered she said she liked, and afterward, she named a bar with pool tables and we went there.

While there, she likely had about a gallon of alcohol, and she was all over me for a little while. That was, until another guy showed up, a long-haired, wiry guy she evidently recognized as...

"Arthur!" she squealed and gave him a colossal hug. She launched right into talking to him, so I had to introduce myself.

He ordered us a round of drinks, but I took him aside and told him, "I think Sarah's had enough."

Arthur laughed and said, "She's a big girl," and passed her a shot.

Sarah, who was already acting like a bewildered monkey, became even more intoxicated. I told her, "I think you've had enough." Arthur heard me say that, and immediately ordered her another shot. I noticed him encroaching closer and closer to her, playing with her hair, rubbing her back, and so on.

I told the bartender, "I think Sarah's had enough," but even that fell on deaf ears. Confident, then, that I had done everything I could, I finished my own drink and turned to see Sarah kissing Arthur, his hand squarely on her ass.

Well, date over. I called a cab company, informed Sarah that a cab was coming to pick her up, paid my tab, and left. I doubt she even noticed I was gone.

Two hours later, she called me. "Heeeey," she thundered into the phone, "Can you pick me up? Arthur hit a guardrail!"

I had to laugh, but contained most of it. I asked, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," she said, as if my concern was completely unwarranted, "Come pick me up."

"Why didn't you take the cab I called for you?"

She said, "I don't remember you doing that. We're stuck out here and we lost our cell phones. Come pick us up!"

"If your cell phone is lost, then how are you calling me?"

She snorted. "Pick us up before the cops show up. There's no way Arthur's passing a breath test. His pants zipper's stuck!"

"I think you're on your own."

She laughed, "Good, good. When will you be here? We crashed because I was giving him road head. I didn't want to swallow so I picked my head up but he forced me down and so he crashed!" She laughed again. What a winner I was dealing with.

"I have to go, Sarah."

"Okeeee. See you soon." We hung up.

At five in the morning, she texted, "Where are u?" but I was already well on my way to forgetting her by then.


Store Contest

Story Sent in by Mary:

Jeffrey gave me an address at which to meet him for date number one. It was a gas station and convenience store. When I arrived, I called him, thinking that I had the place wrong. He said, "Nope, that's right. They have a table and chairs just inside the front door. Meet you there!" He hung up.

I went inside and indeed, next to the ice cream cooler and potato chip rack, there was a torn bridge table and two folding chairs that had definitely seen better days. A few customers were strolling up and down the aisles. I wondered why he had wanted to meet there, and I paced the aisles, myself.

He came in with a stuffed canvas bag and a clipboard. "Hey," he said, giving me a one-armed hug, "Let's sit down." He walked toward the table and chairs.

I asked him, "Where are we going to dinner?"

He replied, "That depends on you. Have a seat."

Both seats were stained, one with dark splotches, one with lighter ones, but neither looked like the sort of seat I really wanted to use. He put his bag on the table, sat down on the dark-stained chair, and motioned to the other one.

"Can we just go to dinner?" I asked.

He said, "You know, I feel a lot more comfortable sitting here, just to start. I'm sorry, I kind of want to do this."

"Do what?"

"Have a seat and I'll tell you."

"Tell me, and I might have a seat. Is this a date or isn't it?"

He stood up and stepped closer to me with the clipboard. He showed it to me. It had a hand-written list of local restaurants. He pointed up and down the list and said, "Where someone likes to eat says a lot about their personality. So tell me, Mary: where do you want to go for dinner?"

I pointed to an Italian place I knew of, less then a couple of miles away. He said, "I wanted to see if you were fun-loving, which is why I'd prefer dinner here, at this table. We can get anything you want in the store. What do you say?"

I replied, "I don't really want to eat at a gas station, tonight."

He nodded, then sat back down and said, "How about this: I eat here, you go to your little restaurant, and then we reconvene and compare notes? Food, price, ambiance, et cetera."

"You don't want to do dinner together?" I asked.

"If it's here."

I left him there.

The next day, he sent me an email that said, "If I wanted to mail you something, what's the address to which I could personally deliver it? I don't trust the postal service with something of such gravity."

I didn't respond, even though it might have meant that I was missing out on something as important as a free bag of chips or a gas station hot dog.


(Greetings, ABCotD readers. Still on a road trip across America. Posts will still appear every day, although the daily timing might be a bit wonky for a few weeks. Then again, depending on my Internet access, you may not notice a blip at all. If I'm traveling through your area and anyone wants to grab a coffee, then give me a shout at abadcaseofthedates at gmail dot com. Today, I'll be along I-70 (eastbound) through Utah, and tomorrow I'll be in the Denver area. - Jared)


Mother Trucker

Story Sent in by Todd:

Jasmine was really into flamingos and so I bought her a little rubber flamingo key chain and gave it to her on our first date.

She said, "A little thing to spruce up the truck. Thank you."

I asked, "You drive a truck?"

She replied, "I sort of live in one. For now. It's one of a few abandoned rigs at a local truck stop. Only a matter of time before they're cleared out, though, so I've got to find someplace else."

"You live in an abandoned truck?"

She nodded with a bit too much excitement about it. "Yeah. My ex was abusive and so one night when he slept I cleared out all my stuff and went to live there. Just until he stops looking for me."

"You can't go live with your family?"

She replied, "No. He and I were cousins. It would be awkward. My mother's on my side. She leaves me groceries in specific drop locations that I switch up. Everyone else in the family thinks I'm being a drama queen, but in a big, Greek family, the guy's word is always trusted over the woman."

"How bad was it? The police would probably see it differently."

She said, "Three guys in my family are in the police. My ex can get away with just about anything. You done asking me personal questions, Geraldo?"

I replied, "You were the one who said that you lived in a truck and why. I can't help but be curious, but we can change the subject."

She said, "Why would you want to change the subject? You don't feel sorry for me? I don't fuckin' believe this. I live in a truck!"

"There's no need to raise your voice."

"And you just give me a flamingo key chain! I can't eat it, can I? It's not going to keep me warm at night. Here, take it!" She threw it at me from across the table, then stood up and said, "I have to get home, now. Don't want to go walking back alone to a truck stop where every guy probably wants to rape me."

I stopped myself from stopping her, said, "Goodnight," and let her go. I still stuck around the place to have dinner by myself, a sort of consolation for the craziness.


'Til the Fat Man Sings

Story Sent in by Nadia:

Grant was a fellow singer in the music program at my college. We'd rehearse duets together, and one day, after a practice, he kissed me. I hadn't expected it, but he was cute and supportive, so I looked forward to learning more about him as a prospective romantic partner.

For our first date, he offered to pick me up at my on-campus apartment. He arrived early and I let him in as I finished readying. He brought me a bouquet of wildflowers, which was a very sweet gesture. He then strode into my living room and sang Verdi's La donna è mobile. I hurried back to my bathroom to finish up, then realized that I had forgotten to close my door.

I returned to the living room to find him without his shirt and his pants halfway down his ankles. And he was still singing the whole time!

"Grant! What are you doing?" I asked.

"Disrobing, my lady," he said.

I said, "Why? Put your clothes back on!"

He looked at his discarded shirt, then grabbed it and pulled it on. I watched as he yanked his pants up, turned, and made for the door.

I called, "Wait! Where are you going?"

"Away," he said, then left and slammed the door behind him.

He never practiced with me again.


Die Mounds and Rust

Story Sent in by Steven:

Christine, who was in grad school for business, and I spoke online for a week before meeting in person. I asked her out to dinner, and we met in a restaurant's vestibule.

As she walked in, she munched on a Mounds bar and stuffed it into her purse. I said, "Mounds? Yum."

She smiled and said, "It's a habit that needs to die." She hugged me, then asked, "Do you have your car here?"

"I drove here. Do you need a ride or something?"

She asked, "Can I take a look at it? It's just a thing I have. It won't take more than a second."

Strange sort of thing to have, but I led her to my car, which was parked in a metered lot across the street.

She walked around it and stared at a small patch of rust just over the rear, passenger-side wheel. "Rust!" she said.

I nodded in agreement. She extended a hand to me and said, "Okay, well it was nice meeting you."

I didn't take her hand. "What's this? You're upset about rust on my car?"

"Among other things."

"What other things?"

She took her hand away, shouldered her purse, said, "Just goodnight," and left me standing there. Best I can figure, she thought that rust on my car made her think that I was a "lower class" sort of guy. What do you think?


Pi in the Sky

Original Art by Craig Boldman - www.craigboldman.com

Story Sent in by Amy:

Marc and I met on a dating site and most of our first bunch of emails were all about movies. We sent each other recommendations. He turned me on to Sam Peckinpah's work, and I introduced him to Darren Aronofsky. He rented Pi and would not shut up about it:

"Oh my God the part with the black and white and the numbers and the drill and the woman and the Jews and the black and white oh my God what the hell did I just see what happened?"

Not long after, we ended up on a date together. It was meant to be your standard dinner and see-what-happens, but Marc clearly had something different in mind. We met up in front of a restaurant, but he said, "Follow me. Trust me on this."

I accompanied him to a park across the street from the restaurant. Once we were there, he grabbed my hands and said, "One day my mother told me never to look at the sun, and then one day I did!"

He then beatboxed the Clint Mansell score to the film as best as he could (which wasn't that great): "Bffh-bidda-bff-bicka-wicka-wicka-bff-dicka-bff-dicka-bff-bff-bfffh!" and swung me around and around. I was in heels and so I tore away from him as quickly as I could, but he grabbed for me again, and again I ripped away.

"Marc!" I said, "I'm glad you liked Pi so much, but I'm not really up for dancing to it."

"One day my mother told me never to look at the sun, and then one day I did!" He then spun around by himself and beatboxed away. Once he was done, he said, "Okay, so dinner! Bffh-bidda-bff-bicka-wicka-wicka-bff-dicka-bff-dicka-bff-bff-bfffh!" and he ran across the street to the restaurant, not even waiting for me.

Thinking that I had somehow agreed to a date with a five-year-old, I still wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, his messages made him sound pretty smart, and aside from a few moments in which he seemed a bit immature, nothing really prepared me for this sort of behavior.

At dinner, he pretty much did behave himself, but by that, I mean that he punctuated most of his actions with a softer, more subdued Clint Mansell beatboxing. I tried to distract him from his childish behavior by asking him questions, but he replied to each with a short answer and some dismissive beatboxing.

He insisted on picking up the check, then asked me if I wanted to go back to his house to watch Pi. I politely declined. He asked me again, and I declined again. He asked me a third time, and I declined, a little less politely.

He then pointed at me, beatboxed louder than he had before, stood up, and leaned in suddenly to kiss me. I pushed him away, but he didn't miss a beat. He kept making those spit-laden noises with his mouth as he danced his way out of the restaurant and out of my life for good.


An Institute You Can Disparage

Story Sent in by Daniel:

I met Emma online and asked her out to dinner for our first date. The conversation went from typical small talk to, unexpectedly, Emma asking, "Could you see yourself marrying me?"

I replied, "We've known each other for 10 minutes."

She said, "So? In some countries, the men don't meet the woman they're going to marry until the day of the wedding. Arranged marriages."

"But not in this country. Isn't it better to get to know someone and let things happen naturally?"

She replied, "So you're saying that you can't see yourself marrying me. Is that it?"

"Based on knowing you for a couple of weeks online and a few minutes in person? No. But why don't we take our time and—"

She became a bit flustered. "So why am I even here now? If there's no chance that this will progress to marriage?"

"There isn't no chance, but we need to spend more time together to figure it out, don't we?"

She ran her hand through her hair. "I have it figured out. Don't know what the hell you're waiting for, but whatever. I mean, I'm nice, you seem to like me, and we get along. What else do you need?"

I replied, "Someone patient enough to realize that it might take more time than that for most people."

"If I got us a justice of the peace, right here, tonight, would you go through with it? I know a justice of the peace, and have his number on my phone. If you'd just—"

"I'm not marrying anyone tonight."

She spat, "I bet if a Playboy model walked through the door, you'd fall over yourself to propose to her."

I laughed. "And if a Playgirl model walked through the door? Without knowing anything else about the guy, you'd just propose to him, yourself? Just like that?"

She said, "You bet your ass I would. Good-looking and well-off."

"And so that's what you think of me?"

She said, "No. You're just the first guy in a year to message me. But never mind. You don't want to get married, obviously—"

"To you."

"—so let's just cut our losses and finish this waste of time in peace."

Shorty thereafter, when the waiter came to take our orders, she actually proposed to him. He (I'm guessing) pretended to be flattered, but turned her down when she told him that she was serious. I stuck around, hoping for some additional comedy on her part, but she was largely silent for the rest of dinner. Unsurprisingly, that was our only date.


(Greetings, ABCotD readers. Still on a road trip across America. Posts will still appear every day, although the daily timing might be a bit wonky for a few weeks. Then again, depending on my Internet access, you may not notice a blip at all. If I'm traveling through your area and anyone wants to grab a coffee, then give me a shout at abadcaseofthedates at gmail dot com. Today, I'll be through northeastern Wyoming. Amazingly, website stats say that at least one of you lives there. Tomorrow, more Wyoming, then into Utah. - Jared)


Where Have You Bean?

Story Sent in by Darlene:

Robert and I had been on a few dates within the course of two weeks. One night, after a nice dinner out, he invited me to his place for dessert and a movie.

When we arrived at his place, he offered me a slice of blueberry pie and put on a pot of coffee. We ate the pie while sitting in his living room, and he departed for a moment to retrieve the coffee.

He returned to me with a mug full of... coffee beans. Coffee beans in water. They hadn't even been ground. Hmm.

I asked, with a smile, "Were you planning to grind the coffee?"

He took the mug from me and said, "Oh gosh, I'm sorry. Let me–I'll be right back."

He carried the mug back into the kitchen with him, and returned a moment later in his coat.

"I'll–I'll be right back," he said.

He was leaving me alone at his place? Where was he going? Before I could even make the words out (this was so fast and unexpected), he made for his door and left. I texted him, "Everything ok?" and he replied, "be right back."

I looked through his movie collection, browsed the books on his shelf, and sat back down. I then took a photography book from his shelf and flipped through it.

After I had flipped through five such books, it was about a half-hour later. I called him and he answered. I asked, "Coming back soon? Where are you?"

He said, "Oh, Darlene! I'm so sorry. I forgot. Listen, let me raincheck this. I'm–I'm out and–"

"You're not coming back? Are you serious?"

"Darlene? Hey, yeah, I'm having trouble hearing you. Just lock up the doorknob lock, I trust you. I trust you, Darlene. Just lock up and I'll catch up with you later on."

He hung up before I could say, "No you won't." As he asked, though, I locked up. Never saw him again after that nonsense.


Can't Get it Up

Story Sent in by Charlie:

I asked Laura out on an unusual first date: kite flying. She wrote, "I haven't flown a kite since I was a kid! I love it!" Score, I thought. I didn't own a kite, but it was cheap enough at my local toy store. I offered to pick one up for her and she told me to "surprise her" with the kite I chose for her.

I picked out one with a green dragon image and a yellow and red spiky tail that trailed off the kite. The one I picked out for her was a wavy rainbow design on a field of black. When I presented it to her in the park in which we had agreed to meet, she very nearly squealed, and hugged it to herself. What a great idea for a date, I thought. This will be great.

My kite took off without much of a problem. There was a light wind, and I sailed it up pretty high.

Laura's kite slammed against the ground repeatedly. I offered to help her, as I noticed that she was jerking the string around too much. She replied, "It's like riding a bike! I'll figure it out."

Well, my dragon swooped and dove and careened through the sky. It was my intent that we'd fly kites, talk, then grab some lunch. I noted, however, that Laura couldn't seem to work out her kite. It crashed and crashed and crashed again.

I offered once more to help, and she said, gruffly, "I think I'll get it by myself, thank you."

At one point it sailed up, and I was overjoyed that she had finally worked it out. Then, once more, it slammed into the ground. Laura groaned loudly, stomped over to it, threw it into the sky, and screamed, "Fly, damn it!"

It didn't. She scooped up the kite, dumped it into my hands, and said, "Thanks for the defective kite, asshole!"

She stared at me, and I wasn't sure if she was expecting an apology out of me for the "defective" kite, or if she was just completely nuts. I opted to reel in my kite, set it down, pick up hers, and set it aloft.

The first try, it hit the ground, and she laughed. The second time, it sailed up high, and she shut up. I handed her the spool and she grabbed it from me. She jerked it around, and it smashed against the ground a moment later. I couldn't stifle a laugh. She threw her spool down, then said, "I'm done with kites. You ready for lunch?"

I was ready for lunch, but I was done with her. "I don't really sense a connection, here," I said, and that was essentially that.


Dinner. Drinks. Chainsaw.

Story Sent in by Margie:

Paul, who I met over a dating site, seemed like a sane guy who was really into home improvement. He sent me several before and after pictures of his garage, which he was very proud of having cleaned. The after pictures showed various tools and machines, neatly hung on hooks or otherwise organized.

"First date in my garage?" he asked in an email, which I took to be a joke.

When he asked it again ("You didn't reply to my suggestion about our first date in my garage"), I replied that I was probably leaning towards a more traditional first date: dinner, drinks, something fun we could both do together, and so on.

"But I cleaned out my garage. You even said how nice it looked. I can set up a table, some chairs, it's right on the street..."

It was unusual, but it was the last point, the bit about it being right on the street, that made me feel more comfortable. I didn't receive any bad vibes from Paul, but having a just-the-two-of-us dinner in a (mostly) public area made me feel better than going to a garage in the middle of nowhere, or tucked away behind a house. I agreed to it.

When I arrived, I saw that he did indeed set it up very nicely: a small table and tablecloth, two nice chairs, and even a small bouquet centerpiece. Unusual, absolutely, but I was up for something a bit different, it seemed, after all.

We were in the middle of eating a chicken dinner that he had made when a kid who looked to be about 15 walked by us and stopped and stared.

Paul said, "Get out of here, Van. Not tonight."

The kid stalked off. I asked Paul, "Who was that?"

Paul said, "Van. Neighborhood kid. Got some problems, but I let him help me out around the house. He's a halfway decent mechanic, and..." and Paul went on, and I soon forgot all about Van.

That was, until Van returned about five minutes later, with a bright blue exercise ball. He ran close and hurled it at us. It smashed against the table and our meals clattered to the ground.

He made as if to run, but Paul was on him in a second. He tackled Van to the ground and beat him bloody, which only sent Paul madder. He shrieked, "And I just cleaned this garage! Now your goddman blood is all over it! Your goddamn blood is all over my garage!"

I screamed for Paul to stop, and he did, but then he grabbed a chainsaw from where it hung from a hook. He turned it on and brandished it at Van, who tore away faster than a falcon.

Paul turned to me and switched the chainsaw off. I must have been a weepy mess. He stepped toward me and I backed away. He laughed. "Don't worry! I wasn't going to use it on him, and I'm not going to use it on you." He hung it up, but I was done for the night. I bid him goodbye, he apologized profusely, but there was no way I was going to stay there another minute.


(Greetings, ABCotD readers. Still on a road trip across America. Posts will still appear every day, although the daily timing might be a bit wonky for a few weeks. Then again, depending on my Internet access, you may not notice a blip at all. If I'm traveling through your area and anyone wants to grab a coffee, then give me a shout at abadcaseofthedates at gmail dot com. Today, I'll be through Chicago and possibly northeastern Iowa. Tomorrow, Iowa into eastern South Dakota, then across to the Badlands. - Jared)


And Thus My Feet Remained Un-Licked

Story Sent in by Jan:

On my first date with Molly, she handed me her iPhone, which was opened up to a specific album titled, "Da Guyz!" As I scrolled through the photos, I discovered picture upon picture of dudes I didn't recognize, some with her, some without her. Some with their hats turned backward, some making silly little gang signs at the camera. About ten guys, in all.

"Who are they?" I asked her.

"Guys I've dated," she replied, "Just thought you'd want to see."

I asked, "Why would I want to see them?"

She reached for her phone and said, like she was talking to a nitwit, "You're the guy, not me."

I handed it back to her and asked, "Is it my turn, now, to show you an album of women I've dated? I didn't make a special album, but I can show your their Facebook profiles."

"No. I showed it to you because guys are always comparing themselves to who's come before them. This is just my way of making it easy. Thank you, Molly." Her last sentence was a rather clear hint that she wanted me to thank her for the honor of allowing me to see those ridiculous photos.

I wasn't in a thankful mood, though, and so I kept my mouth shut. She said, "Thank you, Molly," and then again, more insistent, "Thank you, Molly."

"If I wanted to see pictures of random dudes, I'd do an Internet search for 'random dudes.' I don't really care who you've dated before–"


"And I'm certainly not going to thank you for showing me the pictures. Request denied."

She grit her teeth and said, "Thank you, Molly."

"Request denied."

"Thank you, Molly."

"Request denied."

She said, "You are the biggest asshole I've ever met. Most guys would be licking my feet in gratitude."

I pulled out my own phone. "I told you: I'll show you the profiles of the women I've dated. We can lick each other's feet."

"I'm not licking your feet or anything else of yours," she said hotly, "I don't think this is going to work out."

I couldn't have agreed more, and we parted ways.


(Greetings, ABCotD readers. I'm on a road trip across America. Posts will still appear every day, although the daily timing might be a bit wonky for a few weeks. Then again, depending on my Internet access, you may not notice a blip at all. If I'm traveling through your area and anyone wants to grab a coffee, then give me a shout at abadcaseofthedates at gmail dot com. Today, I'll be through northeastern Ohio and Michigan, along the I-96 corridor. - Jared)


Charm, Thy Name Is Not

Story Sent in by Miranda:

John insisted on paying for dinner on our first date, and I thanked him for being so nice and polite. After dinner was over, he put an arm around my waist and asked, "Want to come back to my place and shag?"

I said, "No, thanks. We just met."

He said, "Or we can do it in my car, if you'd prefer."


He stepped away and waved his arms around. "Why the hell did I just pay for dinner?"

I replied, "Because you're an idiot for thinking that I'm a prostitute?"

He said, "But I didn't pay you. I didn't give you a cent tonight."

I explained, "You bought me dinner. I don't sleep with guys just for buying me dinner."

He said, "But dinner is food, and you need food to live. I just gave you something you needed and now you're turning me down from something I want? Where's the logic in that?"

I said, "A significant emotional investment isn't required when eating dinner."

"So? Sex is any different? I promise to not have any significant emotional whatever to you. Don't worry about that. Let's just do it. I could probably get any woman I want."

"Then go get another woman."

"I want you."

"Thanks, but not on a first date. Or, at this point, any date."

He said, "I'll never pay for dinner for you again."

"Whatever." I walked off, but he shouted after me, "Next time we go out, you'll see! You'll want me to pay for something and I'll say, 'Hey, remember that time I just wanted to screw and you said no?' Maybe then you'll do me, maybe then–"

Anything else he said was lost to the winds. I wanted to be away from him as quickly as possible, but he sent me text after text: "CUM ON DO ME PLZ" and "WATS WRONG WIT U? I JUST WANNA LAY. LOL."

After a day and a half, I called him up and said, "All right. Fine. I'm ready."

I could hear him lick his lips and the excitement in his voice. "You mean it? Really?"

"Sure. I'm ready. To call my uncle, who's a cop, to tell him that you're harassing me. I'm going to fill out a police report. Can you give me a ride?"

Silence, then he hung up. Didn't hear from him again.

Content Policy

A Bad Case of the Dates reserves the right to publish or not publish any submitted content at any time, and by submitting content to A Bad Case of the Dates, you retain original copyright, but are granting us the right to post, edit, and/or republish your content forever and in any media throughout the universe. If Zeta Reticulans come down from their home planet to harvest bad dating stories, you could become an intergalactic megastar. Go you!

A Bad Case of the Dates is not responsible for user comments. We also reserve the right to delete any comments at any time and for any reason. We're hoping to not have to, though.

Aching to reach us? abadcaseofthedates at gmail dot com.