Call Jane Goodall

Story Sent in by Fern:

David was a guy I met online.  If his profile was any indicator, he was a calm, composed, straight-laced guy who had been too busy establishing his career (he was an attorney in a big firm) to pay attention to his love life.

"Forgive me if this is blunt," he wrote in his introductory message, "I've been out of the 'game' for awhile, but your profile has seriously interested me more than anyone else's.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I've written to two other people, but I have to confess that you've generated a very clear picture of yourself through your words."

He was nice, and he was handsome, and so we talked for a little while, first by email and then by phone.  He asked me out a little less than a month after his first message.  He was nervous and so awkward that I couldn't help but say yes.  He made me smile.

We agreed to meet outdoors, in front of a town library.  I wore a nice first-date outfit, but he showed up in a full suit and tie.  I had to laugh.

"You didn't have to go all formal," I reassured him, "A date isn't like going to a job."

He looked down at his clothes and smiled back.  "Sorry," he replied, "I really wanted to look good for you."

I said, "I think you look great."

We took a walk for about 20 minutes to nowhere in particular, just up and down the main street and side roads.  He barely spoke at all, and he seemed seriously put off.  I did my best to make him feel comfortable, cracking jokes, asking about his work, and so on.  He answered me, but always as if he didn't really want to.

It was almost dinnertime, and I asked him where he wanted to go.  He stopped walking and turned to me.  He said, "I'm sorry.  This is my first date in years.  I feel like I'm really disappointing you."

I was sympathetic, but couldn't stop myself from losing some interest.  I replied, "It's okay.  Try to relax.  I'm not judging you."

He said, "There's one thing I can think of to do, to relax."

"What's that?"

He raised his hands, then put them on my shoulders.  I thought that he was going to try and force a kiss, and I was ready to turn my face away, but instead, he shook me.  He shook me like a rag doll.  He shook me like he wanted to win first prize at the international shaking contest.  He shook me like he wanted to hurt me.

I spun from his grasp, landing an open palm on his face.  We were both too shocked to say anything, but he ran away, on his heels, down the street.

I never heard from him again, not even an apology.  His profile vanished from the site shortly thereafter.  I guess that's when happens when you learn first-date etiquette from gorilla documentaries.


  1. Perhaps this is a case of people using sayings I've never heard before, but how does one run on their heels? Don't people usually run on the balls of their feet? I can't picture this actually happening.

  2. Did this result in a case of Shaken Lady Syndrome?

  3. See ladies? Just because someone puts a gorilla in a nice suit does NOT make it datable!

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  6. @Connie, perhaps she meant "IN his heels." If he showed up in full suit and tie, then he was most likely wearing formal shoes as well, the kind with a slight heel to them.

  7. If a man showed up for a date with me in heels, I don't think I could stop myself from bringing it up. Unless your name is Prince, it's kinda bizarre. Even then....

  8. To "turn on one's heels" means to spin around quickly and dart off in the opposite direction....i.e., 'I turned on my heels and ran away from creepy overdressed lawyer.'

  9. to be on someones heels is to follow very close behind i.e. "I was hot on the heels of an overdressed lawyer because I wanted him to shake it, shake it all night long."

  10. I left it as, "he ran on his heels," because I think that may very well have been how she meant it. The image of someone running breakneck down a sidewalk, bouncing from heel to heel, was comical. Try it!

  11. He was an AC/DC fan. OP wasn't.

  12. This is perfectly normal behavior people.

    'Cause then there was this boy whose
    Parents made him come directly home right after school
    And when they went to their church
    They shook and lurched all over the church floor
    He couldn't quite explain it
    They'd always just gone there.

    Yep there's always such a kid at every school.

    1. I appreciated this to the point that I couldn't read the rest of the comments until I had mentally sung this verse.

  13. "He was nervous and so awkward that I couldn't help but say yes."

    And that would be your first mistake. OK, not every guy is Cary Grant, but damn, if he can't even feign normalcy for one short phone call, what did you really suspect your date with him would be like... or worse, your eventual life together?

  14. ^ Lots of people get nervous in first date situations, and I can see how it would be easy for the OP to assume it was just normal shyness that most people warm out of after a little while. That kinda of honest shyness can be kind of charming in a date.

    Then the crazy struck.

  15. I still don't understand where the gorilla reference at the end of her story came from. There was no mention of gorillas prior to that phrase, and as far as I know (which, granted, isn't much), gorillas don't go around shaking one another.

  16. ^ I know, and FYI gorillas are taught etiquette at Madame Kong's Etiquette Charm Finishing School & usually tend to fist bump.

  17. Perhaps she could make better first impressions by not laughing at him on sight and insulting his attire. If the situation had been reversed and he insulted her, it's be a whole different ball game, eh?


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