The Problem with Experimental Theatre

Story Sent in by Lawrence:

Marion and I met at a friend's party. Armed with her number, I called her a few times over the course of that following week, and it turned out that we had a lot in common.

Our first date was to be attendance at an experimental play (in which one of Marion's friends acted) followed by lunch. The play was a retelling of the Cupid/Psyche myth, but everyone was wearing the same thing (togas and white face paint) and repeated every line twice. I didn't really enjoy it, but I appreciated the effort.

Directly afterward, when Marion asked me if I liked it, I told her that I did. She introduced me to her friend, Ashley, who had acted in it. Ashley subsequently invited herself along to lunch with us, which irritated me. However, Marion was all in favor of the idea, and I thought that if having Ashley along made her more comfortable, then that was, for the present, fine.

To her credit, Ashley stayed pretty quiet throughout lunch, and when she did speak, she asked me questions about myself that were likely her way of feeling me out for Marion's sake. The way I saw it, if Marion liked what she heard, so much the better for me.

It was Marion herself who changed the topic to the play. She asked Ashley some perfunctory questions, and Ashley answered them, but by repeating the answers twice, like the way the lines in the play had been performed.

Marion asked, "When did you start rehearsals?"

Ashley replied, "Three and a half months ago. Three and a half months ago."

Marion giggled at that, then asked, "Did they make you rehearse the kissing scene?"

Ashley said, "Everything up until the kiss. Everything up until the kiss. But Jack wanted to rehearse it. But Jack wanted to rehearse it."

Jack, I gathered, was the name of the actor that Ashley had kissed during the play.

Marion giggled again, this time for a bit longer, as if Ashley had said something genuinely funny. She asked, "Any tongue action?"

Ashley replied, "I gave him a little, yeah. I gave him a little, yeah. Figured why not. Figured why not."

Marion laughed, long and hard. I asked Ashley, "What was with the repeating everything twice, during the show? I didn't get it."

"It was experimental. It was experimental."

"What was the... point of the experiment?"

"It's just experimental. It's just experimental."

I asked, "And why are you repeating everything, now?"

Marion cut in, "Are you going to just all-out make out with him on the last performance?"

Ashley replied to Marion, "Probably. Probably. He's a good kisser. He's a good kisser."

I asked, "Why are you repeating everything now?"

"Just because. Just because."

It was irritating, but Marion was having a blast. Every time Ashley said something twice, it was like she had told the funniest joke in the world, and I was the only one who didn't understand it.

Ashley repeated everything twice for the remainder of the meal, even about things that didn't have to do with the play. When the check came, she said to Marion and I, "I don't have any money. I don't have any money."

Marion laughed. I remained serious and replied, "Too bad. Too bad."

Marion stopped laughing and gave me a really angry look. She patted Ashley's hand and said to her, "Don't worry. I've got you covered."

"Thank you. Thank you."

Marion giggled again, which I had found had become just as annoying as Ashley's constant repetitions.

After lunch, we all walked outside and Ashley excused herself ("Nice meeting you, Larry. Nice meeting you, Larry.").

Marion then turned to me with rage in her eyes. She said, "Were you that disrespectful on purpose?"

"Disrespectful? I was very polite the entire time to the third person on our date."

"Were you that disrespectful on purpose?"

"I... what? I just answered that."

"I think you came off pretty rude to my friend. I think you came off pretty rude to my friend."

Something snapped in me at that moment. I had no idea what Marion was thinking, but it was pretty obvious that I was being played. I said, "Screw you, screw you," and left her standing there like an idiot. I didn't hear from her, of course, but if I did, I'd have expected an email that would've been twice as long as it needed to be.


  1. OP, if you'd been more tolerant, you could have been with four women. OP, if you'd been more tolerant, you could have been with four women.

    1. Call me a bad lay, but coming twice would have been a pain.

  2. I would love to hear a rebuttal for this one. It sounds like the OP was so annoyed that there was a third wheel on the date that he was was going to have a bad time no matter what. When he said "To her credit Ashley stayed pretty quiet throughout lunch and when she did speak, she asked questions about me" you can tell that this douchebag is only interested in himself.

    He became annoyed when the conversation was not about him. He couldn't even play along when the girls were having silly fun by repeating things. I am confused about why OP doesn't realize that he was the bad date.

    1. Come off it, those girls were annoying as hell. I'd be lucky to last through the play, let alone the date with the third wheel who kept repeating herself.


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