Our first stories will involve cheap dates, not in the good sense. I'll condense all these a bit so I can get more in. For the full stories and more Worst Dates — including three that somehow resulted in marriage — go to my blog at themorningcall.com.
They wouldn't be worrying about that tonight, she assured him, hoping he was just nervous. Still, as they walked around Bethlehem, she found herself struggling to figure out how to tell him nicely that she didn't want to see him again. When they got back to her car, he asked what she thought about him. She told him he seemed like an OK guy, but she saw no future for them as a couple.
He freaked out, demanding details of his faults, offering to fix whatever was wrong and complaining all the way back to Allentown. She dropped him at his car, went inside the restaurant to escape — and discovered he was following her into the bar, demanding that she reimburse him for her dinner. [I guess he likes his dates to have a money-back guarantee.] "I gladly did!" she said.
Another woman told me about one of her sister's bad dates. This guy has been asking her out and she finally agreed to his request to take her to dinner. They ordered and ate. "I'll leave the tip," she said generously, and he said, "OK." But when the bill arrived, he pulled out his "buy one entree, get one free" coupon — and used it for his own dinner! She paid for her own, plus the tip.
I'm sure some women find thriftiness to be an admirable quality, but this probably is taking it too far.
Here's a disaster of an entirely differently kind.
A woman I'll call Susan climbed into her date's snappy convertible on a warm evening, and they began driving to a restaurant about 20 miles away. She had borrowed her dress from a friend who was smaller than she. "About halfway there, I leaned forward to push in the cigarette lighter and felt the nylon zipper go. The dress was open from my neck down to my butt." It took her five miles to get up the nerve to tell him he had to turn around, and her whole family was sitting outside when they got back to the house. "They wondered why we came back so early and why I was wearing his suit jacket on such a hot night. I was so embarrassed!"
A man we'll call Jack wrote: "I dated a woman via AOL who was absolutely stunning. However, when I met her (fittingly at a farmer's market), she not only gained a few pounds, she gained a few HUNDRED pounds, enough that her car sighed with relief when she got out with her amazingly stressed Spandex pants on. She must have seen the look of despair on my face and she said, 'I can see you're not pleased, don't be so superficial (as she attacked a bag of Fritos stashed next to her).' I just threw up my arms and left. I'm such a superficial guy!"
Whatever you think of his fast getaway, this strikes me as a better illustration of the dangers of dishonesty than of the fact that men are pigs. Tricking someone with an unrepresentative photo of yourself is a bad idea.
Here's a really strange one, which I got via Facebook: "The nite I lost my virginity? I had a spider monkey and she used to go out on dates with me. [I sought an explanation for that, but never got one.] Anyway, went to drive-in and was doing the hokey pokey in the back seat. When we came up for air there were at least 20 people around the car talking to my monkey and watching us. Needless to say, we got banned from Jessup drive-in!! lol."
That's a scary story for all kinds of reasons.
This last one I like mostly for the punch line. A guy told me he was matched with a nice woman through a computer dating service, and over dinner, she asked if he wondered why she never had been married. Turns out she had been a nun for 20 years.
"That kind of put a damper on it for me," he wrote. "Definitely a case where you didn't want to get on bad terms with her ex."
Bill White's commentary appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays