Free Country, Hidden Costs

(My friend Tucker is creative, humorous, and warm. He is also a quadriplegic. Click here to help him continue to be awesome. -JMG)

Story Sent in by Armando:

I had been going out with Helen for a little while when we were invited to my friend Joseph's house for a party. There was a swimming pool and I reminded Helen to bring a bathing suit.

When I picked her up she had a small bag with her that I assumed contained her suit. On the way there she was chatty and friendly and I had no indication that anything was wrong. When we arrived at the party all seemed well and I went out to the pool to see my friends and I assumed that Helen would join me out there.

After a short time of chatting, I became aware that Helen wasn't outside with the rest of us. Perhaps she was changing. But she was gone a while. I went inside to look for her and I found her alone in my friend's downstairs den, plopped in front of a big-screen TV, watching wrestling.

"Hey," she said to me like nothing was out of the ordinary.

I asked her, "Coming outside?"

She said, "No. I just ordered some wrestling."

She had apparently just ordered at least a couple of wrestling programs with my friend's remote. Without any kind of permission. Seeking clarity, I asked, "How much was each one?"

She said, "I dunno. Like $19? It's okay. Your friend's loaded."

Not really the point. Helen then said, "You go up and have fun. I'll be down here." As she said that, she looked through more wrestling listings and their prices.

"Don't order more!" I told her.

She said, "It's a free country."

I responded by pulling the plug from my friend's TV set and taking it away.

"What are you doing? I ordered wrestling!" Helen demanded.

"It's a free country," I replied.

"You put that back! I want to watch wrestling! Go upstairs with your retard friends and leave me alone!"

"What's wrong with you?" I asked. She had never behaved like this before. Had I said something to upset her? Was it her time of the month? What was her malfunction?

"Plug it back in! Go back upstairs and leave me alone! Leave me alone!" She punched at my chest.

I shoved her away, hard. I said, "You get the hell out of here. I don't care if you have to call a friend or a taxi or what. We're done. I'm going upstairs to tell Joseph what you did. I suggest leaving."

She began to cry, but I had had it with her completely out-of-left-field behavior. I did indeed go upstairs to apologize to Joseph and offered to pay for the programs that Helen had ordered. By the tine we returned downstairs, she was gone. I plugged the TV back in and Joseph was able to call his cable company and cancel the orders.

On Joseph's request, I searched the house for Helen, as I had no idea if she was just hiding somewhere to do something else stupid and crazy. She was nowhere to be found and I assumed that she had left, quite likely on foot. Maybe she called a cab to pick her up from somewhere down the road. Whatever. It didn't matter to me at that point. Once you go crazy and violent, there's no salvaging things.

I had a great time at the party and Helen has hardly crossed my mind since then.


  1. Look, OP, Helen sounds crazy and all, but the "her time of the month" comment is super offensive. There are crazy people of both sexes, and not every woman (in fact very very few of us) are raging lunatics just because we're on our periods. Next time you tell this story, why don't you leave the misogyny at home?

    1. Sounds like it's someone's special time of the month. (Bad joke, sorry. But you set me up for it)

    2. No she really didn't.

    3. I'm offended that you're offended.

  2. Having a period is rad. I can't wait to go on my monthly crime spree. I just turn up to court, tell 'em, "it's that dang time of the month again" and all the men in the room nod sagely as I skip on out of there.

  3. Maybe she wanted to re-enact what she saw on wrestling with you OP. She could have had her bikini on underneath and was hoping for some kind of sexy wrestling montage?

  4. Ah, yes... menstruation; that time of the month that causes women to uncontrollably purchase bad PPV and punch at chests...

  5. You must have felt so helpless down there in that basement OP. All those raging hormones with Vince McMahon screaming in the background. All you could do was keep repeating your mantra.

  6. As a woman that routinely refers to men I find to be assholes "dicks", I hardly take offense when a guy returns the favor by making a period joke when a chick loses her mind. Actually, I found his comment funny, if not particularly classy. Women like Megan who jump on any chance they can find to take offense at something and throw the word "misogyny" around are part the reason feminists are getting such a bad rap lately.

    Duck, on the other hand, you have my respect. THAT'S how you handle a joke like that. Sarcasm is always the answer. Or at least the funniest. *high fives*

    Also, how incredibly inconsiderate can you be?!? And for WRESTLING?? You can't even see John Cena so why bother watching? "Oh yeah I stole his mother's jewelry. So what? They're loaded! Oh yeah I stole that little kids candy. So what? His parents will just buy him more!" This chick is a dick.

  7. Ok Briana (since we are throwing names around and apparently attacking each other)... I'm happy you categorize women by "kind", and I'm really glad you know what "kind" of a woman I am, and I am so glad you brought the fact that I am giving feminists a bad rap to my attention. Shame on me! After all, you are totally right that there is only one way to handle "jokes like that"- calling a spade a spade is clearly stupid, and super lame since it isn't funny. Because in the fight for equality, women must be funny. It matters soooo much. Calling people dicks is a great idea too, it totally raises your credibility, and besides, who doesn't love a tit for tat?
    And no, I'm not on my period people. But I'm still eating chocolate.

    1. How's the WiFi strength under your bridge? I imagine a modern troll would need to keep up with the latest tumblr posts.

    2. Hilarious! I love you!

    3. *Pulls up couch and starts eating popcorn*

    4. Popcorn is such a good idea right now...

    5. Long time reader, first time responder.
      Sounds to me like the OP handled this date well, It's a bit surprising she could even order anything on his tv unless she knew him well enough to answer the security questions, or his account number for that matter. But I'm glad you got her out of there. Sure is an odd story for future tales to pals.
      And ladies, we gotta pull together here and stand united for womankind. You know what they say, make pies not war.

    6. Ermahgerd, Meggers and Bananas are TOTALLY GONNA MAKE OUT!!!11!

    7. I find the "that time of the month" offensive too, but not for the normal reasons. It was either intended to be a joke, but it's old and no longer that funny and is the equivalent of the "guys won't stop and ask for directions" joke/stereotype, and I'm offended that you didn't bother trying to come up with something funnier. Or he is totally serious, which indicates that he has ZERO knowledge of women, which saddens more than it offends, but is right up there with fully grown men not understanding why women can pee without removing their tampon or if ovulating means that you're on your period.

    8. You fine ladies can be offended all you want, but it's absolutely true that women have been known to do weird things simply because it's that time of the month. Similarly, men do stupid things merely because they have a penis. Its the mark of our species, be mature and honest about it, and embrace it.

      However, once the OP found out what his date had done, he should NOT have left this woman alone in his friend's house. He should have escorted her off of the premises to prevent her from doing any more damage. Who knows how crazy she could have gone, especially alone, no matter for how long.

  8. In the spirit of many stories of the past, I say she wanted out of the relationship and thought of an absolutely asinine way to break up. That, or she was absolutely crazy and thought a party meant she could do as she wished with his things.

  9. Shauna, are you insinuating that women are only good for staying in the kitchen and making pies while MEN are the only ones suited for war?? next you'll be saying women shouldn't be allowed combat positions! Oh god I can't believe the levels of misogyny I'm forced to deal with on this site specifically created for the sole purpose of sharing bad dating stories!! GOD!! I can't think of a single BETTER place to assert my opinions on what is and isn't offensive!

    Seriously though, there's a left and right to every argument concerning the treatment of gender. I PERSONALLY, in my own OPINION, believe that the same stereotypes and gender roles that put women down put men down, too. Men that share their feelings or cry are considered weak, and almost every insult a guy can be given has something to say against his manhood. Equal rights shohldnt be about fighting for womankind or standing up to misogyny, but rather removing the negativity BOTH genders face. A woman shouldn't be less attractive if her breasts and hips aren't the right shape and her hair is cut short, and a man shouldn't be less manly if he's emotional or lanky or overweight. Instead of trying to start a fight, we should be trying to start a conversation.

    *steps off of soap box* I still think this chick was being a dick.

  10. Hah, actually when I wrote it, it was supposed to be a typo joke, but then I left it because of the sexist implication it stood for. I thought it was hilarious! :D Make pies, not war... Hahah! Also whats wrong with pie? have you got a problem with PIE?! >:o Watch it, lady! Pie is for everybody!

    But seriously, I saw and agree with both Megan and Briana.
    Some women don't enjoy remarks that they must be on their period to justify being terrors. Understandable. Also I agree that you can't take that stuff too seriously. Sometimes it actually is just meant to be funny and nothing more.

    I have to say that Briana's last statement was very well said. I couldn't agree more that men are also held by these very same standards, and it leaves you with something to really ponder.

    That said, This chicka was bad news, but it also sounds like your friend is really cool about the whole thing. He's a good guy, keep him. And you never know if he can get you out of the next bad date.

    1. ;) I know you were jokinh I just couldn't help turning my sarcasm up to 11. Much love shauna!

  11. Long time lurker, love the regulars on this site.
    To be fair, the minute the OP said that Helen didn't show up at the swimming pool, and was carrying a small bag with her, I kinda had the feeling it might've been her time of the month, too.

  12. OP handled this situation very well, and was a great friend to Joseph. I'm glad he offered to pay for the pay per view.

  13. OP handled this situation very well, and was a great friend to Joseph. I'm glad he offered to pay for the pay per view.


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