I’m going to very quickly tell you what the worst date I ever went on was. And since I’m already being a dick by posting this online, I won’t use the girl’s name. I’ll just call her Barf. Or not, because that’s also really mean, so I’ll just go with Girl X.
This is at least maybe 5 years ago, and Girl X and I were not really dating. I also wouldn’t say we were really friends, but we did have one of those stupid and tense sorta-relationships that teenagers have. That being the case, we were fighting around the time that we went on this date. I don’t remember what we were fighting about, because I couldn’t care less, but I guess she was trying to make nice with me, because she told me that she wanted me to go out for dinner with her in the city. I was working at TGI Fridays when she texted me that, and even though I was grumpy with her for whatever reason, and even though I generally find going to New York to be a pain in the ass, I agreed. Because who knows, maybe it would be nice or maybe even romantic. She said she knew a great little place, and that I would love it.
I picked her up that night, and we took a train into the city. Let me quickly say that even now, at 24, I can’t navigate NY very well, but especially then, I had NO idea where anything was, or how to use the subway. So Girl X is taking me on the subway and we’re just talking and having a good, if somewhat tense, conversation. Eventually we made it to the cute little place she knew of.
She took me to the Chevys near Time Square.
Chevys.I worked at a TGI Fridays at the time, basically the exact same kind of place. I felt like I was at work.
I smiled as well as I could, while internalizing “the fuck?” This is a nice little place?
Dinner was ok I guess. Frankly I don’t really remember any of it, because of what happened afterward. For the sake of the story, let me quickly suggest that it was 10:40, and that there was a train back to Jersey leaving at 11:00. It was the equivalent of that. Girl X checked her watch and look at me worried. She told me that we needed to catch that 11:00 train, so we’ll have to run. I’m fat now, I was fat then, I didn’t want to run. I asked her if we could just catch a later train, because the trains generally run for a couple more hours. With no explanation, she said no. So we ran through New York like idiots. Dodging and weaving through the other people who are walking like normal people usually do. We barely caught the train, got back to Jersey, and I was ready to split off from Girl X, but then I remembered I had driven her to the train station, so I had to drive her back.
This isn’t horrible of me, but I’m still not proud of it. I was so fed up with Girl X that for the drive home, I cranked my iPod and sang, just so that there wouldn’t be a chance for conversation. That was probably the worst date I've ever been on.
Now here’s a story about me being a total loser and idiot. Around when I was 18, my family had six pets: three dogs and three cats. That being the case, every year there were a good few weeks in a row where I’d have to take the pets to the vet for their checkups. At the vet’s office, there was a really cute nurse who I always got along with. Now, I generally try not to be too presumptuous, so even though she and I would chat and laugh, I assumed that it was just friendly banter. I was mostly making fun of dogs for being afraid of her, and she would laugh and say she was used to it. On maybe the third visit that year, the nurse asked me if I’d like to maybe meet up with her at the local dog park on Friday.
All of a sudden, I realized that we weren’t just making small talk, we were flirting! I would have been disappointed by my fucking stupidity if I wasn’t so stoked that a nurse was asking me out, so:
"Yes. I would like to go to the park with you."
I was so caught up in the magic of love that I was back at my house before I realized that:
1.) I never got her phone number
2.) I didn’t even know her name
Obviously I couldn’t call the vet’s office and ask what her name was, so I just started using the code name Mulva in my head while waiting for Friday to come.
That day I made it to the dog park early, which was no mean feat considering that I took my fat lazy dog Jewel. She was half basset hound and really slug-like, so the fact that I managed to get her out the door to the park early meant that I was way over-eager.
I may as well have been wearing a suit with a flower in the lapel. I may as well have had my hair slicked. I looked like I was trying to look nice. So I was there, all the other dog people were put off by me, and I waited. I waited a realllly long time.
She stood me up.
At this point, I realized that it really isn’t worth it to get so goofy about a date, I was actually glad she stood me up, because I was about to embarrass myself. I considered it a freebie and a lesson, so I went home feeling semi-okay.
Unfortunately, because of how many damn pets we have, I had to go to the vet the very next day. On the drive over, I learned another lesson: dating sucks. I didn’t want to have to see the girl that stood me up! Not because I was in pain or something, but because I didn’t want to have to have her looking at me awkwardly. I’d just as soon pretend it never happened, but I was certain she wouldn’t. I wasn’t looking forward to the appointment.
Incredibly, the moment that I stepped through the door, Mulva ran up to me to apologize. She said that her friend had been attacked by her dog, so she couldn’t come. That took me by surprise. At first I was going to assume that she was lying, but let on that I believed the lie just to make everything okay again. Then I was going to pretend that none of this had ever happened. But I was taken aback, as she looked legitimately apologetic, and that's a crazy thing to lie about, so I believed her. Even still, I wasn’t about to ask her out or anything. The appointment went like normal, we still flirted, and then I was walking to the door, thinking that clearly nothing was going to happen, and I was a little bummed. Just then, she called out my name, I turned around, she put a little note in my hand, said, “I have to go assist the doctor, but call me!” and ran away. The note had her name and phone number on it. But I’m still going to call her Mulva.
Now we jump to one year later.
It was again time for me to start taking all those stinkin’ animals to the vet, and on the drive over, I started thinking about Mulva, and wondering if she still worked there. She did, and we joked and flirted a little bit, even though it was awkward after all that time. But it was cool.
On the drive back, I thought about all the events of the previous year and about how I was actually kind of cool back then. This older hot nurse was asking me out, and even when she stood me up, I never begged her to give me another shot, which I probably should have. She was definitely too good for me, and I started thinking that if she and I still flirt and stuff, I should just flat out ask her to dinner. Because of all the animals I have, I figured I’d just do it on my next appointment. I psyched myself up to do just that.
Then I started wondering why things never really took shape between me and Mulva the previous year. I couldn’t remember how it all ended…And then…I did. She gave me her number on that piece of paper, and that was it.
I never called her! What the fuck, why didn’t I call her?
Suddenly I didn’t feel like a cool badass about to ask out a nurse. Instead, I felt like an asshole who never called this girl who kept asking me out! At the vet’s, it wasn’t awkward because it had been a year since we’d seen each other, it was awkward because she thought I was a dick!
Well, I calmed myself down, and I reasoned out that since I still had her phone number, and since I couldn’t really change the past, maybe I would just wait a day, call her, and ask her out. I figured I could just come up with some reason why I didn’t call or something. I didn’t really know, but I figured it would be okay.
The next day, I scrolled to her name on my phone, steeled my nerves, and called.
The phone rang. And rang. And rang. I started getting nervous that maybe she didn’t have the same number anymore. Finally, someone answered,
Me: “Hi, is [Mulva] there?”
Me: “I’m trying to reach [Mulva].”
Man: “Uh, sorry. No hablo inglés”
That’s when I realized…
Me: “Sorry, thank you.”
I hung up. And my heart sank. I remembered. I DID call her last year…but THAT guy answered the phone! I must have put the wrong number in my phone!
So…I’m pretty sure I made my sister go back to the vet’s in my place, the next week. I never saw Mulva again. And thank god for that, because that would have been really uncomfortable.
Now tell me the worst date you’ve ever been on.