House of the Troubled

Story Sent in by Aaron:

Natalie and I were out to dinner together on our first date and I'd say that it was a good time. We had plenty to talk about and I seemed to make her laugh regularly.

Out of the blue, she asked me, "Who's Josie?"

I asked her back, "I don't know. Who's Josie? Should I know?"

She asked, "Well, do you know a Josie?"

I did, in college, but I hadn't spoken to her much since then. I told Natalie, "In college, but that's it."

"How did things end between you two?"

I said, "We didn't date." She looked very confused but didn't say anything. I asked her, "Why are we even talking about her? Or was she the Josie you were referring to?"

"There were other Josies?"


"I'd like to meet her. Do you still have her contact info?"

It was then my turn to be confused. "Why would you want to contact her?"

"To just, you know, feel out the competition."

"There is no competition. She and I never dated."

Natalie didn't reply, and we were quiet for a little bit until I changed the subject to ask about her family. It seemed as though she had forgotten all about Josie, and I breathed a silent sigh of relief.

Near the end of dinner, she took out her smartphone and typed into it. I asked her, "Everything okay?"

"You'll see," she said.

After a few minutes, a smile appeared on her face and she looked up at me. "We have after-dinner plans!" she announced.

"Cool. What are we doing?" I asked.

She gave me a bigger smile and replied, "It's a surprise."

Once we were out of the restaurant, she asked me, "Up for a walk? It's a little over a half-mile."

It was warm out, and I was intrigued, and had all but forgotten the earlier exchange about Josie. I followed where Natalie led. She seemed to be in a great mood, and we had a lively walk.

We turned a few corners into a quiet neighborhood and she asked me, "Look familiar?"

It didn't. I might have driven through the area once or twice before, but I didn't have any specific memories of it. She stopped in front of a beige house with black shutters and dark windows. I had no recollections of it at all, and I asked Natalie, "Should it?"

She nodded and said, "It's Josie's house."

I stepped away and said, "I've never been here, and what the hell does Josie have to do with anything? I haven't seen her in years, she and I never dated, I don't know whose house this is…"

I went on in my honest denials, and Natalie screamed over me, "This is Josie's house! I looked it up! You go in there and tell her to come out right now and we'll settle this! I've had it with her and it's your fault we're here and now we settle this! All right? I'm done!" She finished with tears in her eyes.

I said, as calmly as I could, "Natalie, I have no clue whose house this is. If it does belong to someone named Josie then I'm pretty positive that it's a different one than the one who was my acquaintance in college."

Natalie went up the front walk and rang the bell. I backed further away from the house. I watched as she hit the bell repeatedly. No one answered or came out.

"Natalie," I said, "Come on. Let's go. Please." In response, she rang the doorbell again and again.

"Natalie, I'm leaving if you don't stop."

She held up a finger as if to tell me to wait a moment, but I was through. I strode away, left her there, and returned home.

While Natalie and I didn't end up on another date, the whole experience did inspire me to reconnect with the real Josie, and we've become closer friends as a result.


  1. Looks like SOMEONE did some internet snooping before their date.

  2. I find it almost absurd that there are this many emotionally disturbed people in the world.

  3. "Why yes, I absolutely LOVE being confronted by first dates about women I knew years ago whom I never dated. Sure, let's knock on the door of this person you don't know and I haven't seen in years... I'm sure it will be a blast! But to make it more fair, let's get ahold of one of your ex-boyfriends too... and maybe the four of us can party together."

    Seriously, no one has ever tried this approach?

  4. I think Josie orchestrated the entire thing. She hired this "Natalie" (probably a professinal actress) and had the whole date set up all for the purpose of having you want to reconnect with her again because if she had contacted you out of the blue that would've been like totes wierd & a tad creepy..

  5. THIS is the sort of Internet snooping that is NOT okay.

  6. Maybe she got results for the wrong guy? We've had that one happen before.

    Also, if asked "Who's Josie" my gut instinct would be to reply "A pussycat"

  7. Even though I saw it coming I still laughed at what she did, man that was one disturbed girl.


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