It's Your Mom. She Sounds Upset.

Story Submitted by Carla:

I had recently turned 18 and moved away to college when I met Andy, a handsome, 24-year-old grad student.  When he asked me out to dinner, I was excited to accept.

Our date was at a restaurant, and once we were seated, we found that we had a lot in common. We were so immersed in conversation that we forgot to look at the menu, and it took us a long time to eat and order just because we were having so much fun talking.

In the middle of our meal, the hostess came up to me, looking upset and confused. "Excuse me," she asked me, "are you Ms. Larson?"

I replied, "Yes."

She said, "Your mother's on our phone."

Worried that something might be really wrong, I apologized to Andy and followed her to the hostess stand to take the call. On the way there, I checked my phone, and suddenly realized what had happened.

Earlier that day, I had told my mother that I was going out on a date.  Having perhaps heard some bad date stories of her own, my mother had been nervous for my safety and asked me to give her my date's name, his number, and the name of the restaurant in case something happened.  She worried too much sometimes but had always been respectful of my freedom and privacy, so I had agreed.

Apparently, since I'd been out with Andy for a few hours and hadn't checked in, my mother had become convinced that something horrible had happened to me. My phone, which had been on silent, was bursting with missed calls and increasingly frantic texts.

When I took the call at the hostess stand, my mother was so relieved to hear from me that I couldn't tell at first what she was saying. After a minute it became clear that she had been afraid after she couldn't get in touch with me or with Andy and so had called the restaurant and was about to call the police...

Wait. She called Andy? With a sinking feeling, I turned to look across the room for Andy, and sure enough, he was looking at his own phone with an expression of horror.

I hurried back to the table, apologized profusely, and tried to explain the situation.  To his credit, Andy was very nice about it and laughed it off. Still, I was embarrassed and I'm sure he was uncomfortable, and we finished our meals quickly and quietly. I was young and really liked him and had vague hopes that it might have been salvageable, but I wasn't really surprised when I never heard from him again. I was totally the bad date!

I still think that when you're going somewhere with a near-stranger it's safest to make sure someone knows where you're going and who you're with, but these days I make sure that I give my dates' contact info to my best friend, and leave my mom out of it!


  1. As an administrator who works with freshmen college students, I can assure you that this sort of thing happens all the time. I once had a mom leave a late-night voice mail on my work number informing me that she hadn't heard from her daughter in ten days, but she had just gotten a call from her, so she wanted to let us know that everything was ok. Never even left a name.

  2. Oh, it's too bad he held you responsible for someone else's behavior. (I know people do this all the time, but it still torques me off. It's completely illogical.)

  3. Ha ha, I like this story - I can definitely relate.

  4. @Kat

    At what point does this sound like he's holding her responsible? It sounds much more likely that he doesn't want to get into a relationship with a girl who's mother requires her to keep in constant phone contact or she calls the police.

    Pick her up from school? Better call her mother first.
    Surprise picnic in the country? Better call her mother first.
    Proposal on the beach? Better call her mother first.

    Yeah, f*ck that.

  5. It's like they say... you can never be paranoid enough to ruin the quality of your own life, those around you, and even random strangers, and still manage to avoid a damn thing.

  6. Maybe OP was the "bad date," but a little understanding on the date's part? I agree with Kat.

  7. @theMediator: if she had consistently poor boundaries with her mother, you'd have a point, but there's no way to know that from one date. Plus, she apologized, and was clearly mortified, so he knows that she doesn't think it's normal or okay.

    If it happened again on the second date, I'd be outta there too.

  8. I have experiences of mothers being too involved in dating like this, not with teenagers either, fully grown adults.

  9. @Kat

    You're right, but I'm still leaning on this being more than a one time occasion. It only took a FEW HOURS of being out of phone contact before her mom was considering phoning the police.

    Seriously, what would you think about a date that had to call their mom before AND after a movie, after dinner, and after dessert?

  10. ^That she was 18 and shouldn't be dating someone six years older?

  11. But she DIDN'T call her mom throughout the date, nor did she "have" to. Her mom flipped out, yes, but that wasn't her doing. It apparently took her by surprise, too.

    Also, she's 18, which means just barely "out of the nest" as far as mom is concerned. Some parents have trouble adjusting to the idea that their kid is not a kid anymore and is going to be making decisions on their own. What I saw in the story is that the OP and her mom are NOT on the same page. The OP was behaving in an independent fashion, not attempting to accommodate mom's over-protectiveness.

    Mom may settle down as she gets used to the fact that her daughter is independent of her now. Even if she doesn't, I don't see a huge problem if the OP creates and maintains firm boundaries. Which, apparently, she's already doing, since she's not giving her dates' contact info to her mom anymore.


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