The Banal Menace

Submitted by Bernadette:

Chris was a blast from the past.  Since I'd last heard from him, he'd moved to another city, gotten married, and then divorced, so he was looking for a bit of fun when he contacted me.  It had been over ten years; I remembered him somewhat vaguely but fondly, so I invited him up for the weekend.  So far so good.

As it turns out, Chris hated his job and his home life was still in shambles, so we moved past those to his new passion - film.  Actually, Star Wars fan films.  He eagerly offered to show me his own on his laptop.

Wanting to be supportive, I checked them out.  They were painfully amateurish and slow-paced, each one full of Star Wars inside jokes that I didn't get.  After hanging with it for as long as I could muster, I finally called it a night, saying I was tired, and put him in the guest room.  Better luck tomorrow.

Or not.  After a passably enjoyable breakfast, we retired to the living room over coffee.  Now, I'll be the first to admit the room was a mess, mainly due to the approach of Christmas.  At a lull in the conversation, he picked up all the toys that were waiting to be wrapped and stacked them in a corner.

I tried to laugh it off, and said, "What are you doing?"

"Cleaning up.  See, now we have some clear surfaces."

Then he picked up all the ornament boxes and stacked them in another pile.  Oooh-kay.  I guess my housekeeping didn't agree with him.

After that, I'm sorry to say, I was pretty put off and realized that I wasn't going to get past it.  I salvaged the weekend as best I could by bringing him out to meet some of my friends who are a bit nerdier than I am.  He seemed to have a good time, retired to the guest room again, and on Sunday morning, he left.

Two days later I got a long e-mail from him explaining that he had decided that a relationship with me wasn't a great idea, although I was still one of his favorite people.  Why thank you!


  1. So.. he's a star wars fan and he offered to tidy up your messy living room? Yeah sounds like a terrible date. Agreed - there didn't seem to be any chemistry. But what were you expecting after inviting someone you hadn't seen in 10 years over for a whole weekend?

  2. How is this a bad date? You aren't into his hobbies, your room was a mess and he helped you clean up some, then he nicely emailed you saying he enjoys your company and thinks your a nice girl but it's not going to work out as more than a friendship. No you two aren't suited for one another but doesn't sound like a bad date.
    How did this even get posted? This site that hard up for material?

  3. Post a link to the said videos and let US be the judge of their quality.

    ...plus you admit the room was a mess, and this guy cleaned it up.

    You obviously need someone more... typical.

  4. I think this is the most civil, diplomatic exchange I've seen on this website. If anything, I say bravo to the two of you for one, realizing there's no chemistry and not trying desperately (like several submissions have their opposite date show) and two, just still being good friends. His email and your letting him stay the weekend are just... too good-natured, its adorable.

    Also, I mean, he could just be a neat-freak. It happens to a lot of people. I know when I get to know someone well I have a weird tendency to organize things immediately in front of me—books, cooking ware on a table, and other stuff.

  5. Interesting. Well, I grant you that there was no chemistry. I just remembered him as cuter and more interesting than he was.

    However, I still think it's weird that someone would take it upon themselves to start "cleaning up" someone else's house. It's not like he offered to do the dishes. Suppose you were visiting a student. Would you stack up their books that were open on the dining room table without asking? Suppose they were planning to go back to studying them later? It's the same thing.

  6. If you couldn't even clean the place up when you were having guests over...well, I'd hate to have seen what the bathroom looked like.


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