We have all had them. They appear in all sizes, tall and short, fat and slim. Sometimes we arrange them, other are arranged by well intended friends. When you first contact them, it seems that it is going to be a great and wonderful evening, and somewhere along the way something goes terribly wrong. I am speaking of the bad date.
It is not really a bad date, just one that may not meet the expectations that you both set up. Maybe it was he did not look like his picture or the way he described himself. It could be that there are some unresolved issues that he needs to be addressed. It could be that he has said something in the phone conversation, but you were hungry so you said, it’s just dinner, it can’t be that bad.
You don’t agree to go on the date is knowing that it will be a disaster. Actually the fact that you have a date is a cause to celebrate. It takes a lot of work to get to this point. First there has to be initial contact made. It is popular to do this though the internet…dating sites, message boards, or emails. It could also be that one of you mustered up enough nerve to approach the other in a place like the gas station, grocery store, neighborhood bar, or bus stop. And there is always the set-up by your friends or family. After that initial contact, arrangements were made to meet at a very public location, either alone or with a group of friends. Now the preparation can begin.
What are you ever going to wear? You go through everything in your closet and determine there is nothing there to wear, so you must buy a new that flatters your figure in every way. A new outfit means new shoes, which means new purse, and new make-up and new underwear…(well you never know…lol). We need to start catching up on the latest news so we will be able to have tantalizing conversation. There are now twenty-four hour news channels for this, with whatever liberal or conservative slant you like. I personally like a balance…lol. What season is it? By that I mean sports season. Watching the latest edition of Sports Center will help you in this area. Now that we are up to date on current events and sports, the rest of the evening will be filled with your charm and newly bought good looks. You are inviting, enticing, well versed, look good.
What could go wrong? Let’s look at a few examples:
In an effort to show that I was not a dating snob, I went to dinner with a gentleman that was not a guy I would usually go out with. We had talked by email, and had graduated to phone, and he was a bit strange. Yes, there were some glaring signals that I really would not enjoy going out with him, but I did not let this stop me, but it should have. One red flag was when he sent his picture, he had his pants all the way up to his chest, and he was wearing a pocket protector. Another sign was when I asked him what he liked to do for fun, he responded by saying that he would record the previous weeks episodes of Jeopardy and then watch them all on Saturdays. Yet I still agreed to meet him at a local Italian restaurant where he said would be wearing his name tag from work so I would know who he was. Well, sure enough, there he was, sitting in this beautiful Italian restaurant with his name tag on and…yep, a pocket protector. To remember our very special first date, he gave me a Strawberry Shortcake thank you card.
After meeting on line, and several conversations with a gentleman by phone, I decided to meet him for dinner, drinks, and a movie. Now, that is quite a lot to do on a first date, but hey, if you combine the dinner and drinks, you can always get out of the movie part if it does not seem to be a good match. Now, this guy told me that he was 5’9”, or at least that is what I thought he said. I am 5’ 7” in heels I can be 5’9”, and since I had just bought a new pair of shoes, I was good to go, or so I thought. I have a habit of getting to the restaurant early to see if I can spot my “intended” before I walk in the door. I see this man get out of his car and walk towards the restaurant. He looks exactly as he described with the exception that he was not 5’9” he was more like 5’5”!!! What the heck?? So much for my cute heels, good thing I had my flats in the car, I was still taller than him…lol.
A friend decided to set me up with her boyfriend’s best friend. Her boyfriend seemed to be ok, so his friend could not be that bad. We met at his house for a Hawaiian themed meal. (Did I mention that it was November and we were in Chicago????) He met us at the door in a very loud Hawaiian shirt. The drink for the evening was Pina Coladas which he attempted to make with real pineapples and real coconuts. Ok, I said to myself, maybe I am being too hard on him, he is doing his best to entertain and impress me. Later in the evening we sat in his living room listening to music. He puts on a CD of the opera Romeo and Juliet done by the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Being a lover of music, I decided to give him points on his choice of music, since everything else had been a disaster. That was when Mr. Bad Date showed up. He cranked up the music as loud as it could get and screamed at the top of his lungs “this song was playing when that bitch left me and took my children”. I looked at my girlfriend and said, we are leaving and we are leaving now. As a memento of our evening, he gave me some postage stamps so that I could write him a letter.
Actually, when I look back on it, these really were interesting little adventures in the big scheme of things. They were just first dates, that did not lead to other dates. No more and no less. I discovered that men who have issues with their ex-wives are probably not men that I want to get involved with. And I discovered that even if I buy him a new wardrobe, it won’t change a boring personality. So maybe instead of considering them bad dates, I should think of them as a new adventure in the ever evolving quest for finding new friends. Besides I got a good Italian dinner with strawberry guy, when I was hungry…
So I raise my glass to many, many bad dates. Eventually, when you look back over them, they will make you laugh, and that is always a good thing.