On the radio this morning, they were asking people to call in with their bad date stories. I didn’t want the prize, so I didn’t call, but it got me thinking about what would be my worst date. Most of the callers had stories about cars breaking down and leaving wallets at home, and I have a couple of those, too, but in general, I don’t have many bad date stories. Mainly because I haven’t had a lot of dates. That doesn’t mean I have gone out with a bunch of great guys, just that I didn’t actually “date” much. I grew up in a small town, so you generally ended up, “going steady” right away and that was that. There wasn’t a whole lot of actual dating. And in college, well. . .you know.
Anyway, my worst date ever was with a guy named Steve. I had just moved to the city, after two years at Amish Party College and one semester at home commuting to a local PSU branch campus. I knew no one, and was anxious to find some friends. My brand new roommate and I ended up becoming very close, but at the time she had a serious boyfriend and was with him constantly, so I was on my own. I found a local bar that had a Dead Night and figured that was the best way to meet people like me. Since I have never had a problem going out by myself, I headed there that night.
I had a good time, drinking and dancing and mingling. I met a lot of people and was really glad I decided to go (it ended up being a weekly thing for many years to come). A couple of times during the night, I noticed a guy (Steve) looking at me. He was kind of cute, so I figured what the hell and walked over to say hello. He seemed pretty cool and we ended up hanging out the rest of the night. He asked me to go out to see a Dead cover band that weekend and I said yes.
On Saturday, when he picked me up he said we had to go pick up his brother and a friend first. OK – no problem. It might be a little odd to have extras on a first date, but this was a hippie first date, so not that out there. And in fact, I wasn’t really sure if I should look at it as a date. Plus – it kept the more casual, no pressure kind of feeling to the date – no problem.
We get to his brother’s house and go in and sit down in the living room to have a few beers before we head to the show because it’s early. And suddenly, his brother comes out of the other room with a huge garbage bag and dumps the contents on the coffee table. The contents? Mushrooms. No, not portabellas, but psychedelic mushrooms. I about had a heart attack. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t the mushrooms that freaked me out – I was used to that stuff. It was the huge quantity of them, sitting right out in the open. And his front door is wide open. And looks out onto a main street, with lots of traffic and pedestrians and I saw at least one cop go by right before. I was a little paranoid, since a friend of mine had recently been arrested and served jail time for a similar incident of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. So I was a bit nervous that we would be arrested imminently.
Fortunately we got out of there before that happened and headed to the bar. I was having a good time listening to the band (Sandoz – they became a favorite after that night) and dancing. But after a while, I started feeling a little sick – dizzy and nauseous. I told Steve I was going to head outside for some air. And he left me out there all night . Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t expect him to hold my hand, and I wasn’t sick enough to want to make everyone leave and take me home. I was perfc5ly fin sitting outside for a while. But it might have been nice if he had checked on e at least once – especially when even the other random strangers there were checking on me.
Anyway – I finally felt better and went back in, but it was near time to go. We left and dropped off the brother and friend back at Mushroom Central. In the way back to my place, we drove through downtown, a very scary gang banger looking guy crossed the street in front of us. For some reason, this pissed Steve off. So he started screaming at the guy, and flipping him off. The guy stopped directly in front of our car and just looked at us with a cold, evil look. So Steve apparently decides that this would be the perfect time to throw out a racial slur. The guy started reaching into a pocket and I don’t know – maybe he was going to offer us a mint, but I was thinking “gungungungun”. I had to beg him to please shut up and drive away. Luckily, he did, before we both got shot.
I was a nervous wreck at this point and couldn’t wait to get away form this idiot. And then, when we get to my apartment, he double parks outside the place – not even taking the car out of drive – to drop me off. This was fine by me, since I wanted to get as far from him as fast as I can. So I said goodbye and as I was getting out of the car yelling – screaming – at me because I didn’t invite him up to sleep with him! No seriously – he actually said that he expected to come in and have sex. WTF??? I mean, even if I did want to sleep with him, by not even parking the damned car, he pretty much ruled that out. He was a truly charming guy.