Onions: Good to Read, Worse to Date

Submitted by Deana:

My worst date ever was my one-year anniversary with my first boyfriend. I was 17 and he was 19, and being young and poor we decided to go to the Art Institute (I think it was free day) and follow it up with medium-nice Italian dinner.

The date started out fine (he hadn't showered in a while and he was late, but I was used to that). As we were leaving the museum, a woman came up to us on the big steps by the lions, waving a copy of the Onion.

She tried to sell it to me, claiming that the money was going to a women's shelter. Knowing that anyone actually raising money for a shelter would have some kind of ID, I declined, so she turned to my date.

As the woman hustled my boyfriend, I knew what she was doing, but I:

a) felt like an asshole refusing to give a homeless woman money and then telling my date to blow her off right in front of her, and
b) figured he'd be mad if I pointed it out.

Flustered, he said all he had was a ten-dollar bill, and could he please have change? The woman agreed, but as soon as the bill was in her hand she wouldn't stop talking about how the money was going to a good cause, etc. etc., until my date gave up and she left with his $10.

When she left, I said, "You know the Onion is a free paper, right?" and pointed to the metal dispenser thing down on the sidewalk, filled with free Onions, where she'd likely gotten the paper.

He got so mad at his own lack of street smarts that he stomped away, all pouty, leaving me to follow blocks behind him, and wouldn't talk to me on the whole train ride to the restaurant. I was THIS CLOSE to ducking down a cross street and going home, ditching him and the dinner, but I chickened out.

Shame, too. I dated him for another six months after that. At least he taught me about standards.


  1. I bet the "good cause" was a bottle of vodka!

  2. Paying for something free is a rite of passage in America.

  3. You sound like the bad dade who let her boyfriend give away 10 dollars.

  4. This story is really scraping the bottom of the bad-date barrell.

  5. This isn't a bad date, just a lame relationship.

  6. I tought the story would have been about him not showering for awhile.

  7. he was probably just trying to impress you by buying it. I'm from the suburbs of chicago (where i'm sure this took place) and even I have enough street sense not to buy those from the bums.


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