Dispatches

The Bad-Date Contest

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A Viable Strategy

Send us the story of your worst date ever, in 500 words or less. The funniest, most enlighteningly tragic tales will win prizes. We'll post entries on this page regularly, through the contest deadline (Friday, May 25).

FIRST PRIZE
–   Permanent glory on Nerve
–   A year's membership to Nerve Premium
–   The top ten of Nerve's 50 Best Date Movies (see the article posting soon!) on DVD
–   A copy of Nerve's forthcoming Bad Sex story collection (to be published later this year by Chronicle Books)

SECOND AND THIRD PRIZE
–   Permanent glory on Nerve
–   The top five of Nerve's Best Date Movies on DVD
–   A copy of Nerve's Bad Sex collection

HONORABLE MENTION
–   Permanent glory on Nerve
–   A copy of Nerve's Bad Sex collection

FIRST PRIZE

"A Bad Date Isn't Always The Other Guy's Fault" by bandanna

Okay: I should have watched my drinking. But it was the heaviest summer evening, and I'd never had sangria before — I assumed it would affect me like wine. Four pitchers of the tangy, refreshing stuff later, I was barely legal to walk down the sidewalk in my second-date slut shoes.

Amal was drunk too, and we cackled wildly when I tripped over a sandwich board listing fifty-dollar specials outside the patio area of the restaurant, taking him down with me. Our waiter stepped over the low topiary wall to help untangle us from the sign and with a patient smile offered to call us a cab (Amal's exorbitant tip may have bought us some tolerance). I wasn't sure I should be in a confined space just yet, so we opted to walk for a few blocks as the first blob of orange pulp rose in my throat and I struggled to swallow it back down.

We trotted past the high-end bowling alley, arms linked. Wouldn't it be wild, my date suggested, if we got a lane? I giggled and agreed: having made peace with the bobbing bits of brandy-soaked fruit in my belly, I was ready for some beers.

On a Saturday at eleven, though, the wait for a lane was hopeless. "It could happen," the bored guy at the reservations desk said, and he handed us a pager. I put on my bowling shoes right away and started soliciting billiards opponents by shouting "I could've made that shot with a blindfold and a dick in my mouth!" and calling them "vaginas". Amal, meanwhile, brought over a second tray of shots and beers, having dropped the first one in a great crash when he was suddenly distracted by the black lights and descending disco balls of "galactic bowling", a three-song, twice-nightly ritual where the waitresses distribute candy-colored afro wigs and encourage everyone to boogie.

I downed two Kamikazes and began to dance wildly, ripping a green wig from the head of a surprised woman doing a watered-down Hustle with a group of work friends. Amal helped me onto a billiards table and shouted for the whole bar to come and see "this hot bitch".

After the management asked us to leave, and I had emptied my churning stomach onto their silly outdoor carpet, Amal made the best suggestion I'd ever heard: go back to his place with a bucket of chicken. We took a cab to the suburbs to find a drive-through KFC. By the time we made it back to his apartment, we were exhausted and starving. To my delight, I found an Absolutely Fabulous DVD and we tore into the chicken with animalistic ferocity.

Later, it was my pleasure to give Amal a drunken blowjob, laying across his lap on the couch with Ab Fab on the screen before us. I threaded my fingers through his ample chest hair and felt several dropped pieces of chicken skin. He was too drunk for my exertions to have much effect, but I could tell he was enjoying it by the agreeable noises he made. I gave up, however, when I pushed the hair out of my face and saw what he was actually enjoying: with one arm around me and another cradling the bucket, he focused intently upon the drumstick at his lips, happily gnawing on a bit of gristle.

SECOND PRIZE

Most people would take meeting at a mental hospital as warning enough, but, as a patient there myself, I had no room to judge.

A week after we were released, Danielle picked me up for dinner and a party. At her house Danielle gave a tour — a much-needed icebreaker since we had little in common outside of the hospital. "Those two are thrown away," she mentioned pointing to a knife rack missing two knives. "One was from when I attempted suicide and the other from when my mom attempted."

The mother-daughter suicide knives was freaky, even by mental patient standards, but the remainder of the tour went without incident so I put it out of mind for the moment.

There was a knock at the door — her ex. He let himself in past Danielle. "What are you kids up to?"

"We're going out to dinner, together." Danielle responded.

"Great! I haven't eaten. How about the three of us grab a bite? I'll drive."

Being on enemy grounds without any escape, and unsure that Danielle would agree if I stood up for her, I let her decide our plan. As Danielle's ex chauffeured us around in the back of his Civic, I gave her looks. She responded by turning over her hands in the traditional "I don't know what to do" symbol.

Her ex received a call.

"Hey, whatcha you up to? Me? I'm going to dinner with my girlfriend and her friend."

I shot Danielle a look. "What?!?!?" I mouthed.

"He's not my boyfriend," she whispered, "I swear." Then turning to her ex, "I'm not your girlfriend!"

"Sure you are, baby, whatcha talking about?"

Amazing.

During dinner, Danielle and I ate in awkward silence while her "boyfriend" carried on as if nothing was awry. I had to admire his persistence.

At the party Danielle's ex introduced me as her friend so there would be no confusion. He even offered to be the designated driver to take me home. Had I taken him up on the offer I might have actually enjoyed some of the evening, but I figured I would rather stay sober than risk being stranded with these nuts.

Eventually, Danielle and her ex began arguing outside. I sat inside with six drunk/high strangers.

"This happens all the time" the girl to my right remarked, waving her cigarette in their direction. "They'll be at it all night."

"He's kicking my car!" Danielle screamed, bursting through the door. I didn't care what he did to her car as long as it remained drivable.

While Danielle complained, her ex stole her keys and took off with her jeep. I laid back, resigned to the reality I might never escape.

An hour of bad TV later, Danielle returned. "He" was gone and we could enjoy the party. Eleven p.m. Too late for me, I lied. I wasn't sticking around to see what else might happen.

We kissed goodnight. She promised to call. I smiled politely. — Nicholas Fernandez

THIRD PRIZE

Seriously by Adriana E. Ramirez

I went on a date with some guy named Michael, who's a friend of a friend who contacted me via email and who I vaguely remember meeting once, sort of. He decided to take me to a brewery and restaurant where he decided he would "teach me about beer." He was average looking enough, pleasant enough, and polite enough at the beginning. Things seemed to be going well. Until he got comfortable. Really comfortable.

"You know, you look like Salma Hayek. I bet your pussy tastes like candy."

I believe my jaw actually dropped. We had been talking about our careers, the difficulties of moving to a new city, blah blah blah. So, I thought, maybe I misheard, maybe he misspoke. I should not freak out. I should give this guy a chance. Maybe it's a test. "How will she react to me saying that her pussy tastes like candy?"

"So. You're Mexican? You ever been to Tia-juana? Isn't it pathetic how those kids try to tug your sleeves and sell you Chiclets. Then they swarm if you give one of them money. It's like, whoa kids. No dinero for you. I mean… Chiclets! Can't they sell Orbit or something. Who chews Chiclets anymore? Right? You hearing me? Oh. Were you one of those kids? Jesus, I'm sorry. HA!"

Suddenly I understood. He thought he was being funny. And charming. Great. I pulled out pen and paper, because I needed to write this stuff down.

"You going to write a story about me? That's great. I want to be the handsome love interest."

I just looked at him. "Sure," I muttered, "you're the hero."

Other favorites include:

"Could you drink your beer any slower? Geez. It's taken you forty-five minutes to drink that thing [a pint of the stoutiest stout ever while I was eating]. You want the kiddies menu? Hey, Sergei [the waiter] do you have a kiddie beer menu? Cuz we got a slow one here. She's hot and slow. All over."

"So, I gotta tell you, I'm not a twenty-seven-year-old grad student. I'm a thirty-five-year-old clinical-trial pharmacist. But that's kinda like the same thing. Except I get drugs. But I don't do them, nope to dope!"

"I stopped doing coke because I was afraid of getting STDs after my best friend got beat up by a thirty-nine year old he was fucking to get drugs. What a crack whore faggot! Didn't even know it wasn't a bitch he was fucking!"

What about me suggests that this is okay? Is it my candor? Or the fact that I laugh at everything, even when I'm totally uncomfortable, so it allows people to truly be themselves? Just because a man buys me drinks and two orders of pierogies doesn't mean I'll fuck him.

"What do you mean we have to leave? It's not even prisoner's bedtime."

It may not have been "prisoner's bedtime," but it was definitely time to break out.

HONORABLE MENTION

I was seventeen and still in love with my ex-boyfriend. It was the summer after high school graduation and he was doing acid every weekend with the Bulgarian drummer from his band. I'd never tried it, so I convinced him to let me tag along. It was the Fourth of July. We had a pretty awesome time wandering around downtown, watching the fireworks, but then it got really late. He was too freaked out to drive his car, so with his typical care and consideration for others he persuaded me to do it. I brought the two of us back to his deserted house at twenty miles an hour. Once we got there, he pitched a theatrical screaming fit because one of the keys on his piano was stuck. Then we had sex, which lasted about thirty seconds. Upon ejaculation he leaped out of bed with the condom and stuck it under the bathroom faucet to see it if had any leaks, because he was convinced it was broken. Then he told me he had never loved me, and called the girlfriend before me at five in the morning to tell her he had always loved her. I fell asleep on the living-room floor, and when I woke up, I had missed my shift and was fired from my summer job. But at least my parents never found out.

— Anna_a

THE ENTRIES:

My Date with Refund Woman by Robert 4343

Five years ago. She's a Match.com date from New Jersey. She comes into Manhattan, and I take her to a French provincial restaurant. She has an odd, twitchy, borderline-crazy affect, and spends virtually the entire dinner looking down into her plate while we're talking instead of making any eye contact. There's no doubt the date is going nowhere, but hey, those are the risks. So the check comes, and I pick it up (it was about $100). She says she wants to pay her half. I say, "Thank you, but you came into the City, and I picked the restaurant, so I'm happy to treat." No, she insists on paying half. Well, I'm a feminist, so what the heck? I tally it up, we pay, we walk out, I put her in a cab, and we're done — until the next day, when I get the following e-mail and two voice mails to the same effect:

"Robert: Since I didn't chose the restaurant, and it was more expensive than I would have opted for — I was thinking a drink, or at most an appetizer — and your company was not much fun, I would like to get some of my money back. It really was way too expensive for a first date (and not a very good one). You can send the money to my home address [address deleted to protect the guilty]."

I was tempted to write back and say, "Sorry, all sales are final. No returns or refunds allowed." But she was so obviously nuts that I thought I'd better simply not respond. It was the only time I ever worried I might be dealing with a mentally unbalanced stalker. But luckily I never heard from her again.

 

My Dinner With Sven by Bandanna

Sven was bipolar: he told me so on our first date. I was sitting on his bed, struggling to pull my boot off so I could adjust my sock before our walk to the restaurant. "I just wanted to explain in case I start to act . . . weird," he told me. He explained that he had stopped taking his medication recently and was "unpredictable".

"It's no big deal," I said.

Sven was attractive to me in many ways: He was twenty-five and a lifelong student, currently working on his second Ph.D. (I love a man without a plan). His room was full of books and he was a published author. He had a nice bicycle and skinny arms. He'd been my Friendster for a few months before we decided to meet up, exchanging witticisms.

Next Sven introduced me to his very nice roommate, who offered me a beer. "Sure," I said, and sat on the arm of the couch while I sipped it. Sven vanished into the bathroom and returned a moment later with a jumbo-sized, sealed bottle of Pepto-Bismol, which he proceeded to open and consume in great gulps. He then put on his coat and motioned to the door, so I followed suit with my Negro Modelo, finishing it too quickly and giving myself the hiccups.

"Do you . . . have a stomachache?" I asked Sven, as we took off at a brisk pace.

"I'll tell you at the restaurant," he said cryptically.

The waiter set down the wine list and I reached for it, but Sven handed it right back. "I don't drink," he said to me. "Oh… but if you want to."

"No, water will be fine," I said through gritted teeth.

Before we had opened our menus, Sven explained. "I don't drink alcohol because I have a rare stomach disorder. I drank when I was younger, but on a trip to Germany once I suddenly came down with terrible diarrhea. Awful. Just… everywhere."

I sipped my water and wished he would stop saying "diarrhea".

He went on. "I was dehydrated from all the diarrhea, so I went to the hospital. And guess what? Rare stomach disorder. So rare they named it after me!"

During dinner, he found opportunity to mention diarrhea several more times. He also asked me about my profile pictures.

"You seem thinner in some of them," he said.

"I've gained some weight recently," I agreed lightly. It was true — since I'd gotten my stressful job, I'd put on around ten pounds.

"Maybe you gained weight so that men will find you less attractive," he mused, downing his fourth glass of water.

As we left, Sven handed me a copy of his book to read while he visited the men's room. I was able to read twenty or so pages of bizarre scatologically-obsessed surrealist garbage before he came out, his eyes watering and looking smug. "I think I got it all out," he said, referring to his dinner.

After that night, I did call him — but not for another date. Upon my arrival home I realized that he had stolen my wallet from the pocket of my coat. He admitted that he had, but, he said, "Only so I could photocopy your license." I told him to keep it.

***

The Tongue by Katie Blais

I have had my share of bad dates, but there is one that takes the cake. I met a guy at a bar one night, he seemed pretty normal. We made out at the end of the night and we exchanged numbers. He texted me the next day to see if I wanted to hang out. It was Sunday; I thought why not. Well, I got to his house, we had a few drinks, and I was thinking this was the precursor to the date. Oh no. This was the date, and after a few beers, when we were sitting watching TV, he leaned over and told me he wanted to have sex. I laughed it off and said I didn't have sex on the first date. He said, okay …. how about you just take off your clothes? I told him I didn't really like hanging out naked. I should have left at this point, but for some reason I didn't. We went back to watching TV, started kissing, ended up in his bedroom where he told me he wanted to — and this is verbatim — "fall asleep with his tongue in my cunt." At this point, I started laughing, reached for my clothes, and left. I never talked to him again, but to this day I still have a mental picture of a guy sleeping with his tongue in my nether region. I can't think of anything more uncomfortable.

***

Bad Date With Squirrel Boy by Erica Sarr

Though the back story is equally tragic/hysterical, here is the actual date.

I meet him at his place. While in the car, he starts rattling off a list of restaurants we can go to because he's got coupons. I tell him to choose, which leads us to a greasy Cajun pit stop where my charming date spits out a bite of frog leg on me when I tell him what it is.

We go to drop the leftovers at his place because he wants to show off his apartment (Yeah, sure you do). While giving me the tour, he tries to give me a kiss, which might have been okay, but goes from kiss to hand between the legs faster than a Lear jet. This earns him a smack. In an attempt to regain smoothness, he goes to his computer, cued to the music video for "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin. Cheesy '80s music in a room literally wallpapered with Star Wars figures and leopard-print sheets on the bed. Be still my beating heart.

As I start to leave, his dad comes home. I get shunted onto the balcony while Romeo gets a lecture for having girls over without permission. He's twenty-seven and obviously never mentioned living with daddy. However, after his loud reprimand, I agree to go for one drink because he looks so humiliated.

The chosen locale is a dingy karaoke bar where he is a regular and the bartender keeps replacing my drink whenever my back is turned. I finally notice when my rum and coke is completely clear and impossibly strong. My date takes a sip and replies, "No, it's good. You can't taste the rohypnol." Not funny. He then dedicates a song "to his pretty date." The song? "The Ballad of Chasey Lane" by the Bloodhound Gang. Again, not funny.

I demand to go get my car, but when I stand up, I'm quite sure I'm drunk. Unfortunately, cabs are impossible in our town, so I'll have to get home myself. We head back to his place, where I go directly into the bathroom to douse myself with cold water to sober up enough to drive.

I come out to our hero, naked, stroking the most unprepossessing male equipment I've ever seen. Perhaps I'm spoiled, but "sad" was the only adjective that came to mind viewing this tiny creature sheltering under a heretofore well-disguised gut, like a squirrel under a boulder.

"It's okay, baby. It's a Chihuahua cock. It'll bark and scare all those big black dicks away."

"What?"

"Or I could fuck you up the ass. Come on, you won't even feel it."

I grabbed my purse and bolted. The next day, he called all our friends, saying what a success the date was. As icing on the cake, when I said I wasn't interested in going out again, he burst into full on sobbing and hung up.

What's scary is I have other dates that may tie this one.

 

***

I was 22. He was 27. He was a trust-fund baby. I'm not sure if he had ever had a "real" job in his entire life. It was a blind date set up by an ex boss. He shows up at my apartment looking like Francis from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Okay, whatever. He's not drop-dead handsome by any means, but maybe he's a nice guy.

We share greetings, he comes into the apartment. Usual "nice place, how long ya lived here" routine. He sits down to roll a joint. As he's about to light it, he looks at me and tells me "I don't put out on the first date. Just so you know." I say, "Wow. That's cute. You think you're gonna get lucky.' Generally I like a bit of cockiness, but he was not attractive enough for me to tolerate it.

He drives us to this hole-in-the-wall Mexican bar/restaurant. He sits across from me at the table, and we make small talk. I'm thinking this is going nowhere. Fast. Three women enter the bar and sit at the table behind him. He gets up from his side of the table and sits in the chair next to me to get a better look at the women. I'm pretty much ready to go at that time but he insists, "No, it's early. Have another drink." Orders three beers (These were on top of the two he'd already had at that point and the three he had drunk before he even got to my apartment). The bar has a lovely mariachi band playing, and he proceeds to ask them, rather loudly, if they can play a Van Halen song (Roth, not Hagar). "I'll give you $20. C'mon, play it". Those poor guys. They play the song and when it's over, I get up and tell him I think just gonna take off.

(Oh, have I mentioned that I was completely broke? He had driven us there, so I have no car. I have my purse, my cellphone and no cash. I couldn't even have took the bus to get home. I try to call my roommate at the time to see if he'll come pick me up but he's not home. I am literally stuck here. With him.)

I walk into the parking lot, and Romeo follows me (drink in hand still, waiters in full sprint to get the drink back inside). After minutes of disbelieving that I wasn't having a good time, wondering how I couldn't be having fun with *HIM* and assuring me that he is, indeed, NOT drunk, he suggests I drive his truck back to my apartment. I couldn't drive a standard at that time.

We argue and he hops in the truck. And drives off. He leaves me in the middle of the parking lot. Nice.

He calls me ten minutes later and apologizes and offers to get his dad's plane and take me to Paris for breakfast the next morning. I couldn't believe it.

I politely declined.

— Sarah R.

***

Sussudio by Matt Hilgers

Match.com some, oh, say six years ago. Her picture was cute and pert and her bio refreshingly authentic. I open the door, and she spreads her arms wide in a practiced, flourishing "ta-da!" that can be roughly translated as "Yes, this is what I really look like, and yes, I do this all the time because I'm slightly evil, and furthermore, yes, I am monitoring your expression and body language right now to see how you will handle this because it amuses me." Generally I am not a good judge of how I appear to others, but on this occasion I know my body language, facial expression and general aura are politely saying four words: I need a drink.

We are at a bar and she warns me that she "tells it like it is". It has been my experience that people who say this either a) have a deep-seated inferiority and are constantly being brusque to deflect attention; or b) are too self-centered to be bothered with tact. During the course of the forty-five minute monologue that follows, I discover she is both a) and b). I did not pay full attention; I admit this. I have empathy enough not to say, "Wow, you are not my type, and I'm going to go inside and masturbate about someone who is" and slam the door shut. I am good-natured enough to know that people like to be heard, and if you give them the chance they will tell you something interesting. And…what the hell, you know? Why not?

Then she asked me if anyone ever told me I looked like Phil Collins.

***

Seriously by Adriana E. Ramirez

I went on a date with some guy named Michael, who's a friend of a friend who contacted me via email and who I vaguely remember meeting once, sort of. He decided to take me to a brewery and restaurant where he decided he would "teach me about beer." He was average looking enough, pleasant enough, and polite enough at the beginning. Things seemed to be going well. Until he got comfortable. Really comfortable.

"You know, you look like Salma Hayek. I bet your pussy tastes like candy."

I believe my jaw actually dropped. We had been talking about our careers, the difficulties of moving to a new city, blah blah blah. So, I thought, maybe I misheard, maybe he misspoke. I should not freak out. I should give this guy a chance. Maybe it's a test. "How will she react to me saying that her pussy tastes like candy?"

"So. You're Mexican? You ever been to Tia-juana? Isn't it pathetic how those kids try to tug your sleeves and sell you Chiclets. Then they swarm if you give one of them money. It's like, whoa kids. No dinero for you. I mean… Chiclets! Can't they sell Orbit or something. Who chews Chiclets anymore? Right? You hearing me? Oh. Were you one of those kids? Jesus, I'm sorry. HA!"

Suddenly I understood. He thought he was being funny. And charming. Great. I pulled out pen and paper, because I needed to write this stuff down.

"You going to write a story about me? That's great. I want to be the handsome love interest."

I just looked at him. "Sure," I muttered, "you're the hero."

Other favorites include:

"Could you drink your beer any slower? Geez. It's taken you forty-five minutes to drink that thing [a pint of the stoutiest stout ever while I was eating]. You want the kiddies menu? Hey, Sergei [the waiter] do you have a kiddie beer menu? Cuz we got a slow one here. She's hot and slow. All over."

"So, I gotta tell you, I'm not a twenty-seven-year-old grad student. I'm a thirty-five-year-old clinical-trial pharmacist. But that's kinda like the same thing. Except I get drugs. But I don't do them, nope to dope!"

"I stopped doing coke because I was afraid of getting STDs after my best friend got beat up by a thirty-nine year old he was fucking to get drugs. What a crack whore faggot! Didn't even know it wasn't a bitch he was fucking!"

What about me suggests that this is okay? Is it my candor? Or the fact that I laugh at everything, even when I'm totally uncomfortable, so it allows people to truly be themselves? Just because a man buys me drinks and two orders of pierogies doesn't mean I'll fuck him.

"What do you mean we have to leave? It's not even prisoner's bedtime."

It may not have been "prisoner's bedtime," but it was definitely time to break out.

 

***

I met Dieter online, and we arranged to meet for dinner and a movie. We met at a coffee shop next door to the movie theatre and brief introductions and niceties followed. Then he sat down and said, "I just want to make it clear that there won't be any exchange of money at the end of the evening."

Shocked, I agreed he wouldn't be paying me, and he apologized and told me a couple of stories about girls who had hung all over him, gone back to his place, and on their way out the door had said, "That'll be $300."

Given that, I decided to be generous and understanding. He asked what I did, and when I told him I was a web designer, he declared rather proudly that he had his own web server. Furthermore, he had three pet rabbits and had built them their own web site, which apparently even involved getting the rabbits' approval. He added dramatically, "Of course, I have other sites on my server too, but . . . I don't want to talk about those."

I asked him what he did. He was an accountant. Since it was March, it was his busy time of year. "The rest of the year is pretty slow and quiet for me, but luckily I have other sources of income, but . . . I don't want to talk about that."

When we arrived at the movie theatre ticket booth, I pulled my wallet from my purse. Dieter said, "I'll pay for the movie tickets. For now."

Wondering what "for now" meant, I let him pay and he offered concessions and I declined. He then went on for five minutes in a very loud voice about how glad he was I didn't want concessions because they were a rip-off.

I spent the entire movie squished into the side of the seat far away from him, with both hands resting on the opposite armrest .

For dinner, Dieter took me to Boston Market. At the counter, he ordered two meals. I thought he was ordering for me, so I stopped him. "Oh, I'm not ordering for you," he said. "I'm really hungry."

Dieter walked away from the counter to find a seat. Apparently, it was my turn to pay for dinner — which with his two ridiculously large meals was well over the amount he had spent on movie tickets.

I hunched over my dinner and shoveled in my food as quickly as I could. Dieter went on about his personal crusade to end prostitution on Craigslist and how he was hounding the Hollywood police department to put a stop to it. He said, "I've become very familiar with the Hollywood and Vine area lately, but . . . I don't want to talk about why."

We finally left the restaurant and headed back toward the movie theatre. "I'm parked up here to the left," he said. "Oh, I'm to the right. I can cross the street now! Better go before I have to wait through the light! See you later!" I called over my shoulder as I ran across the street.

— Natalie MacLees

***

I'd been out with this girl a twice before. She was hot: body of a dancer, face of a model and attitude of Marilyn Monroe. Only problem was she liked to drink — a lot — and she liked male attention. So after dinner and a few rounds of pool at a bar, she's smashed and starts flirting, actively, with other guys at the bar, ignoring me completely. I tell her I'm leaving. She chases me out of the bar trying to apologize. I agree to drive her home, only because I brought her. During the drive, she starts crying and declaring her love for me! Love? This is our third date and she was sitting in another guy's lap whispering in his ear! At this point, I think she's not even feeling all the shots the other guys bought her. I pull over and tell her it's just not going to work out. After a half-hour of crying and begging, she gives up, but asks one favor: Not to take her home tonight. She doesn't want her five-year-old son to see her so drunk. Fine, I'm a single parent too, and she's way too drunk to care for a child anyway.

By the time we get to my place she's passed out, I can't wake her. So I have to carry her into the house and up the stairs to the bedroom. I tuck her in and crawl in bed next to her and crash.

A few hours later, I awake in the dark hearing the sound of water pouring. I jump up and flip on a light, expecting to catch my dog in the act of peeing on my bedroom floor. Only it's my date, squatting in the middle of my floor, with her undies around her ankles and her skirt pulled up, just letting the dam burst. I call out her name. I yell her name. No response, she's asleep. So I toss a towel under her and wait. She really had to pee. When she's done, she gets back into bed and zonks out again. I took her home the next morning and never saw her again. She remembered the break-up in the car, and the reason why. I didn't ask if she remembered peeing on my floor.

— Charles Freeland

***

Yellow, Just Like Galliano by Sara Percy

I'd never been the girl to grow moist over a man in uniform, but figured I had nothing to lose and agreed to go out on a date with a cop.

Not surprisingly, he spent the entire drive to the restaurant talking about himself and his job.

"I feel really comfortable with you. Like I can tell you anything," he said and proceeded to tell me about all the women who hit on him while he's on patrol and how he once hooked up with one while he was working. He hadn't been able to finish up, but had happily driven around the rest of his shift with the smell of her pussy on his fingers.

I tried to change the subject, asking what he'd done before he was a cop. He told me he served in Bosnia. Unfamiliar with anything military-related, all I could muster was "that must have been tough."

"The toughest part," he replied, "was the lack of sex." Apparently, he and all the guys in his unit used to go into the port-a-potty at their camp to jerk off. On one particularly hot day, despite it smelling like "a thousand exploding assholes" in there, he decided to spank it anyway.

Beaming with pride, "it hit the ceiling of the port-a-potty, man! It was awesome. Then, I realized I had to clean it all up before the next guy came in."

Unsure if the pun was intended, I didn't dare ask, not wanting to encourage him.

"Do you know what I learned while I was in Bosnia?"

"I can't even begin to imagine." I replied.

He pointed at the rows of bottles behind the bar. "See the Galliano over there on the left?"

"Yes."

"Well, I bet you didn't know that dog jizz is yellow just like Galliano."

Almost certain I was on some sort of Jackass version of Candid Camera, I couldn't help but ask, "How is it that you know that?"

One night, they'd all been playing poker with the stray dog they'd adopted lying under the table, when he'd felt something hit his leg. Looking down, he realized that the dog with full "eraser dick" had just jizzed on him and that it was bright yellow. Before he could clean himself, the dog began to lick it off. Disgusted, but not really wanting to do it himself, he let him continue until it was all gone.

What can one possibly say to that? There are no words. In shock, I remained mute as he paid the bill.

When we got up to go, he pointed at my purse and whistled: "I bet that purse probably cost more than everything I'm wearing put together or maybe even one of my truck payments. What kind of purse is that?"

It was pretty much the only question he'd asked me all night. And I was only too happy to answer. "Dior by Galliano…of course."

 

Stranded by Reese's Pieces


I was twenty, and fairly clueless. I met Marty online; he was in his late twenties. He lived about three hours away from me. We went out once and I had fun, so we planned a second date. He called me on the day we were to meet to tell me that his car had broken down as he was leaving the highway. He was only about twenty minutes from my house. I was living with my aunt and uncle at the time, and they went with me to pick him up.

I was hoping we'd go out to dinner or something, but he immediately hit it off with my aunt and uncle and decided to give them an impromptu concert in the living room (he was a singer/songwriter). They loved his music — I thought it was lame — and they decided he was surely the guy for me. I was beginning to have my doubts. But as they cheerfully applauded him, they said, to my horror, "that was wonderful! Feel free to stay with us as long as you need to!"

He spent the next several days literally following me around the house. I'd turn around and he would be about a foot behind me at all times. It was very unnerving. I tried to take him to the mall for something to do, and when we walked by a jewelry store with a big engagement-ring display, he put his arm around me and said "I'll be taking you in there someday."

This was technically our second date.

Finally, after an excruciating couple of days, his car was fixed and he left. I knew I'd never want to see him again, so I began to ignore his emails.

A couple of weeks later, it was my twenty-first birthday. I was spending it hung over, puking and talking on the phone with my mother, who was crying because I would apparently "end up an alcoholic just like everyone in your father's family!" I'd spent the previous evening drunkenly hitting on a crush, Jason, in various embarrassing ways. I heard a call-waiting beep and switched over. A man was on the line, singing "Happy Birthday" to me in Italian. Jason was the only person who I knew spoke Italian, so I was thrilled and said "I can't believe you're doing this after I was so drunk and throwing myself at you last night!" There was a pause. "Who do you think this is?" the man asked.

"Um…I guess it's not Jason?"

"Jason??? Who the hell is Jason? This is Marty, bitch!"

Well, at least I was rid of him.

***

I don't generally date "suits." That is, men in finance, real estate and the like. In New York City anyway, they seem to have a penchant for jerkiness, incredible dullness or some winning combination of the two.

Anyhow, against my better judgment, I accepted an invitation for drinks with an investment banker. Call it an exercise in tolerance. Or masochism. We met at a swanky hotel lounge and he proceeded to give me his resume, totally unbidden. Ivy League undergrad, graduate and Ph.D. programs; the name of a well-known actress he dated; the fact that he orders designer shirts in size XS — "to better show off my physique." We even touched upon the size of his… bank account. (I assume that since he did not somehow work penis size into the conversation, he was short on bragging rights in that arena.) I received a lecture on the evils of fatties in America. Followed by a dissertation on the genetic superiority of tall people, despite the fact that we are both short (and he was clearly still bitter about it). Shockingly, I did NOT hand him my soaking wet panties on the spot.

It was like spending the evening with a bad '80s movie villain: impossibly snobby, too-tight khakis, blandest haircut possible, and appropriately weasel-like features.

We spent our time together with my body language shouting for him to keep back, but he wasn't hearing any of it. (Note to men: if a woman sits turned away from you, be concerned. And if she wedges her purse between you on the couch at one point, do NOT casually pick it up and move it to the floor.) I considered fleeing directly from the bathroom, but politeness forbade it, and I finished out the night like a trooper.

Starving artists never looked so good.

— Kim Nicole

***

I used to date a lot of standup comedians. I swore them off several years ago to marry a man who turns out to be gay. The joke is on me. So when I meet Stan the Funny Man, I figure I don't have much to lose.

We meet online. and because I'm legally married (at the time) and living with my ex-husband-to-be as a roommate, I feel compelled to share this information with every guy I date so they won't feel duped. As a poor freelance writer, I don't have much choice until my circumstances improve. Stan is cool with my situation and after weeks of communications, he invites me to dinner.

Meeting him in a dumpy restaurant, I order a glass of red wine. He insists on water only. After a few pleasantries, my wine arrives and he reaches under the table to produce a briefcase. "Do you like being a writer? Do you think you're good at it?"

"Yes, why?"

"I'm going to have a smoke. Read this and tell me what you think."

He plops a thick manuscript before me and walks outside to enjoy his Marlboro Light. I am upset for two reasons: The first one was because I'd made it very clear I didn't date smokers. The second one — who brings a manuscript to a date and expects it to be read by right there?

Trying to give a "straight" guy a chance, I figure I'll politely read a few pages. I am horrified. In three pages, he shares stories about being repeatedly raped by his grandfather as a boy, divorcing his "cunt" ex-wife because she can't handle it and struggling with alcohol and drugs. It said he'd moved from Las Vegas to Maryland because he'd burned every bridge at every comedy club from LA to New York and he needs a fresh start. An interesting story, perhaps. A good writer — he is not.

He returns and asks, "What do you think?"

Before I finish answering ("Interesting, but you need an editor"), he is calling me a liar and saying that I'm not being honest. He then attacks me for continuing to live my gay husband. He tells me I need therapy and to lose weight. He says I'm not very attractive and he doesn't know why he agreed to meet me. That's all I need to hear. I leave and throw my wine at him staining his white shirt, I hope.

A few months later, while perusing the personals on Craigslist.com, I see Stan the Funny Man again. This time he is looking for a woman to strap on a dildo and fuck him. A quick trip to the "Men for Men" page and he's there, too, looking for a guy to fuck him. I click on the "Writing" section and he is looking for an editor.

Too bad they don't have a "Therapist Wanted" section.

— Kat Hudson

***

I was seventeen and still in love with my ex-boyfriend. It was the summer after high school graduation and he was doing acid every weekend with the Bulgarian drummer from his band. I'd never tried it, so I convinced him to let me tag along. It was the Fourth of July. We had a pretty awesome time wandering around downtown, watching the fireworks, but then it got really late. He was too freaked out to drive his car, so with his typical care and consideration for others he persuaded me to do it. I brought the two of us back to his deserted house at twenty miles an hour. Once we got there, he pitched a theatrical screaming fit because one of the keys on his piano was stuck. Then we had sex, which lasted about thirty seconds. Upon ejaculation he leaped out of bed with the condom and stuck it under the bathroom faucet to see it if had any leaks, because he was convinced it was broken. Then he told me he had never loved me, and called the girlfriend before me at five in the morning to tell her he had always loved her. I fell asleep on the living-room floor, and when I woke up, I had missed my shift and was fired from my summer job. But at least my parents never found out.

— Anna_a

***

Peter, a.k.a Trainwreck by Anonymous

A recent first date comes to mind where all rules of acceptable conduct were broken. Let's go down this glorious list of the evening's events:

Male counterpart starts the evening off downing multiple scotches on the rocks with dinner (tapas and scotch, ew!). By scotch three, is shit-faced and incredibly rude to waiter and I have to sit, smile and repeatedly thank waiter for everything as the ass I'm with is scolding him that he's not doing his job properly.

Dinner starts to get interesting when he commences an unprompted description of his porn collection. Male counterpart thinks his saving grace is that he "doesn't watch it, but just collects it!" Subjects turn to strip clubs and how he likes to visit them occasionally, alone. I ask if he likes to go when he is in a happy relationship and he describes how he sometimes thinks about them while he's in bed with women because "doesn't everybody?!". Charming.

After dinner, we head to a local bar where he launches into a long-winded litany about the many, many evils of his ex-girlfriend (again, unprompted), muttering expletives about her under his breath. I assure him that he really doesn't need to share all these details. It falls on deaf ears.

Male counterpart leans over to kiss me, I figure I'll go for it since he's pretty darn cute and I'll probably never see him again. His hand makes its way around my waist and oh, tries to mosey its way down into the front of my pants. When I ask him what the hell he thinks he's doing, male counterpart whispers "open your legs…"

Takes a shot of tequila and follows that with two martinis.

Male counterpart not-so-slyly checks out cute blonde bartender numerous times during the course of the evening.

He gets up to use the bathroom, I see there's a line for the bathroom, he leaves the establishment. Returns five minutes later, I ask "where did you go?". He points to the phone booth outside the bar and snickers "I really had to go so I went behind that phone booth." Ewwww.

Back at male counterpart's place (trying to give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe that nerves got the best of him?) and after a makeout session, I take a look around his apartment and at his MP3 collection on his Mac. He whispers in my ear "wanna see some porn?"

I turn around to find him taking his pants off. I exclaim, "What are you doing?" He complains that the pants are uncomfortable. I go to the bathroom. Come out to find him sprawled on the couch, drinking Orangina and dribbling it down his chest while watching BBC America. Feel repulsed. Want to leave immediately.

As I'm trying to make my exit, he runs up to me sloppily yelling that he has to help me catch a cab and to wait a sec while he puts something on. He runs to the door in nothing but dress shoes and orange boxers (and a spare tire if you ask me). I wrestle him away from the door and tell him I'm fine and run down the hallway, he's half-naked in dress shoes, yelling after me that he had a great time and to call him.

The next morning I got an email inviting me to see a show with him. No mention of the previous evening. Either he's a blackout drunk or thinks he can treat all women like shit, either way I don't want to find out.

***

The Farmer by Anna_A

August before junior year, my college roommate had gotten involved with an organic farmer when she was leading freshmen on a back-to-the-land orientation program, harvesting apples or something. One night, he said he'd come into town in his truck and drive her to a Lucinda Williams concert all the way in western Massachusetts. She begged me to come with her. We met up at a falafel restaurant.

Farmer Bill was burly, black beard, literally in overalls, probably forty but with some notional sex appeal. But he had brought a friend — Phil — this disgusting, wizened guy in a dirty parka. He had the terrible teeth and gray skin of a serious smoker and said he was a vitamin salesman. Throughout dinner he kept putting his hand on my thigh and making dirty jokes about coeds.

On the way to the concert we smoked pot that Farmer Bill had grown, out of an apple he had also grown. The old dudes couldn't hold their THC. They got all weepy, complaining about their wives. Phil actually uttered the line, "My wife doesn't understand me." Meanwhile, we're rattling down the highway in an old Ford Explorer doing at least eighty, and I'm praying we get pulled over so we can go home. But I really wanted to see Lucinda. Only that night she pulled a Loretta Lynn, stopping in the middle of half her songs, rambling incoherently onstage. I went to bed that night completely infected with misery.

***

"A Bad Date Isn't Always The Other Guy's Fault" by bandanna

Okay: I should have watched my drinking. But it was the heaviest summer evening, and I'd never had sangria before — I assumed it would affect me like wine. Four pitchers of the tangy, refreshing stuff later, I was barely legal to walk down the sidewalk in my second-date slut shoes.

Amal was drunk too, and we cackled wildly when I tripped over a sandwich board listing fifty-dollar specials outside the patio area of the restaurant, taking him down with me. Our waiter stepped over the low topiary wall to help untangle us from the sign and with a patient smile offered to call us a cab (Amal's exorbitant tip may have bought us some tolerance). I wasn't sure I should be in a confined space just yet, so we opted to walk for a few blocks as the first blob of orange pulp rose in my throat and I struggled to swallow it back down.

We trotted past the high-end bowling alley, arms linked. Wouldn't it be wild, my date suggested, if we got a lane? I giggled and agreed: having made peace with the bobbing bits of brandy-soaked fruit in my belly, I was ready for some beers.

On a Saturday at eleven, though, the wait for a lane was hopeless. "It could happen," the bored guy at the reservations desk said, and he handed us a pager. I put on my bowling shoes right away and started soliciting billiards opponents by shouting "I could've made that shot with a blindfold and a dick in my mouth!" and calling them "vaginas". Amal, meanwhile, brought over a second tray of shots and beers, having dropped the first one in a great crash when he was suddenly distracted by the black lights and descending disco balls of "galactic bowling", a three-song, twice-nightly ritual where the waitresses distribute candy-colored afro wigs and encourage everyone to boogie.

I downed two Kamikazes and began to dance wildly, ripping a green wig from the head of a surprised woman doing a watered-down Hustle with a group of work friends. Amal helped me onto a billiards table and shouted for the whole bar to come and see "this hot bitch".

After the management asked us to leave, and I had emptied my churning stomach onto their silly outdoor carpet, Amal made the best suggestion I'd ever heard: go back to his place with a bucket of chicken. We took a cab to the suburbs to find a drive-through KFC. By the time we made it back to his apartment, we were exhausted and starving. To my delight, I found an Absolutely Fabulous DVD and we tore into the chicken with animalistic ferocity.

Later, it was my pleasure to give Amal a drunken blowjob, laying across his lap on the couch with Ab Fab on the screen before us. I threaded my fingers through his ample chest hair and felt several dropped pieces of chicken skin. He was too drunk for my exertions to have much effect, but I could tell he was enjoying it by the agreeable noises he made. I gave up, however, when I pushed the hair out of my face and saw what he was actually enjoying: with one arm around me and another cradling the bucket, he focused intently upon the drumstick at his lips, happily gnawing on a bit of gristle.

I shrugged and reached in for a wing.

***

 

The Duel by White Flag

Aussim [name changed because I've blocked this guy's real one from all retrievable memory] and I interfaced on Nerve.com. He seemed normal and I accepted his offer to go out for drinks. We went to a fun dive bar in Greenpoint and he still seemed normal, so I accepted his dinner proposal. Everything was going well until he brought up the war in Iraq…

I stated that the people who live in Iraq will be affected by the American occupation for decades to come. Aussim vehemently denied this. He argued that the Iraqi people would have been experiencing violence due to a civil war, so the American presence there didn't really matter. To rebut, I pointed to Halliburton's reconstruction monopoly, detention camps such as Guantanamo Bay and the wall recently constructed in Baghdad.

These facts enraged Aussim and caused our discussion to escalate into a loud and heated fight. I repeatedly tried to defuse the situation feeling that a crowded restaurant was not the place to stake out a political battle, but Aussim pressed on. He even told me that my arguments were illogical and that I was misinformed. In a last ditch effort to call a truce I suggested that we should "agree to disagree." Aussim's reaction: "I hate when obnoxious white people think that they know what life is like in the Middle East." My terse response: "When your friends ask you how our date went I want you to remember to tell them that you called me obnoxious."

An awful silence took camp at our table. Scrambling to change the subject to something lighter and to fill the bleak moments until the check arrived I asked, "So…what do your parents do?" His reply: "My father works for Exxon Mobil."

The cease-fire between Aussim and myself officially commenced with a quick and awkward goodbye outside the restaurant. There was peace in my life until three days later when I received an e-bomb from him asking if I'd like to go out again. I thought Aussim's wanting to date a person who he screamed at, maligned and offended not normal, so I declined. Although I had resigned the date to the chronicles of the utterly mismatched, I still felt somewhat annoyed by Aussim's full on public belligerence and wanted to change my Nerve headline to: "…between I-rock and a hard place." I never did augment my headline, because then I really would have been an obnoxious white person.

***

"A" Student

I don't normally date my students, but Robin is 27, has huge tits and a southern accent, and besides, this isn't a date. She's in my English 101 class at the college where I'm an adjunct, and all she writes about is being lonely. Easy, I think, and she agrees it'd be a good idea for me to stop by her place on the weekend and show her around Phoenix.

She buzzes me into her apartment complex and opens the door with her hair pulled back into a ponytail, a half-drunk smile slid over wine-purple teeth, and her fingers hooked around her dog's collar. "Hurry," she says and leans back against the force of her Labrador lunging toward my nuts.

I step in and set the bottle of wine I blindly picked-out from the sale rack at Safeway and back into the corner of the kitchen, looking for a blunt object I can take the dog down with if I have to.

"GARY!" I hope she's talking to the dog, which continues to growl and snap his jaws at me. "GARY! Knock 'er off, my little pooper-puppy."

"?"

"He's my baby," Robin explains, and I notice she's a little wobbly on her feet. "But I think he was abused, so if you want him to respect you, you have to yell at him in a mean voice, ok? Try it…"

There's really no other option at this point, so I yell in my deepest, most aggressive, what-I-imagine-animal-abusers-sound-like voice at Gary, and he calms down. In fact, he lies on his stomach and rolls his eyes up at Robin who is kissing him repeatedly behind his ears.

"See?"

We finish her bottle of wine and start on the one I brought. After an hour of complaining about working at a Cingular kiosk, she jumps up and logs onto her MySpace page. "Look at what this guy said about me," she said then clicked onto an image of her in a genie costume from last Halloween, her red bra and panties showing through the material, and Gary sitting at attention be her side, his tongue hanging over his bottom teeth. I've said five, maybe six, words at this point.

Before I can suggest we go to a bar instead of surfing MySpace, she throws a Ministry of Sound CD on, and out blasts the techno. Robin gyrates her hips around, lets her hair out, and then stutter-steps backward until her ass is in my face where I'm sitting on the couch. I can't tell if I like it or not when Gary starts getting excited. Robin bends over and wraps her hands around her ankles, shaking her ass until she falls over. Her eyes are half-closed and she slurs something about loving "G-bomb" and then laughs uncontrollably. I step over the two of them, slip outside, and walk toward my car with the sound of Gary scratching his nails on the door growing fainter behind me.

***

Bad Blue Blood

Tall, six-foot-five, and with hair still covering all of his head and none of his back, this well-situated lawyer worked for a prominent law firm. He came from an upper-crusty, boarding-school background with old money lineage. He sounded promising. Relieved that he was in his mid-thirties, I looked forward to having a mature and intelligent conversation during our first date. We met on a Wednesday, at an easy-to-escape, nondescript, one-drink kind of bar. No chance to bump into friends. The initial conversation went very well: he sized up my attractiveness as I assessed his intelligence. We both passed phase one and went on to dinner. As a lawyer he had an affinity to argue and to draw conclusions. Since I only ordered a large entrée salad, he stated that I was anorexic. I told him that I had eaten a bit before so that I wouldn't be drinking on an empty stomach. He continued to declare my anorexia as he projected his own guilt for ordering an entrée and two appetizers. As I got into the game of arguing, we discussed politics, history, literature and then began the bar crawl.

Sitting snug on a small banquette at a busy, trendy bar, he began to order shots of Jagermeister. I refused them, he ignored me. So as he tilted his head back to down the shot, I dumped mine into a nearby abandoned cup. He couldn't conceive that I didn't want to drink Jager and continued to order more. I began to panic as my dumpster cup got nearly full. Unfortunately, his intoxication kicked in and the pennies began to fly. I sat stunned sober watching this graduate-degreed, button-down-collared guy fling pennies at innocent drunks leaning against the bar. From my corner I'd see them flinch, turn, then look back, confused, toward the bartender. As I questioned what he was doing, round two had already begun. With a penny balanced on his thumb, he'd fire up his index finger and send it off, airborne toward its next victim. Eventually, one guy figured out the source. So my date, in perfect lawyer fashion, approached the bar and quietly proceeded to flick the guy's baseball cap off his head. I sat shocked, wondering how I got there. Since my date was so big, the employee's looked to me to help and get him out without a fight. Once outside, he turned to me to ask, "So my place or yours?" — L. Taylor

***

Second Job

My worst date and I met at work, and immediately there were sparks. After weeks of flirting and one drunken makeout, we finally went out together after work. It started out fine. I never for a second considered dating him; for me, this was all about slumming, and I thought I had found the perfect candidate. He was born and raised in Southie (think Good Will Hunting) and had ugly stupid tattoos, and hadn't finished college (I have been known for dumping guys that I think aren't smart enough for me). Except he wasn't a total asshole. He was really nice to me. After we went to a bar and my date stopped a 300-lb. man from literally carrying me off to "make me his woman" I knew he was a genuinely nice guy, and I could act out all my slumming fantasies without worrying that he was going to hurt me.

When I got to his apartment, I was surprised at how enormous it was, especially considering that we worked at the same place, and I still needed my parents to pay my rent. While we were lying in bed, we started to talk. I brought up cocaine, and how I thought it was a waste of money. He casually mentioned that he used to deal it in a small college town out west until the cops came after him and he ran out of places to hide. After that he moved back home. I think the phrase he used was: "They knew who I was, they didn't know where I was, though."

After I asked some direct questions and got vague, evasive answers, I concluded (correctly) that he was still dealing and suddenly comprehension dawned: the large apartment, the expensive car, the tattoos: DRUG DEALER! Then I realized there was, probably at the very least, one gun in the apartment. Now, my escapades with guys are quite legendary where I come from, but this was more slumming than I bargained for. The thing is though, even though after I left his apartment I still had to see him at work, and he confronted me, quite weepily, about how much I hurt his feelings when I gave him a vague excuse for not returning his phone calls. He was the weepiest coke dealer I've ever met. — s.e.d.

***

Most people would take meeting at a mental hospital as warning enough, but, as a patient there myself, I had no room to judge.

A week after we were released, Danielle picked me up for dinner and a party. At her house Danielle gave a tour — a much-needed icebreaker since we had little in common outside of the hospital. "Those two are thrown away," she mentioned pointing to a knife rack missing two knives. "One was from when I attempted suicide and the other from when my mom attempted."

The mother-daughter suicide knives was freaky, even by mental patient standards, but the remainder of the tour went without incident so I put it out of mind for the moment.

There was a knock at the door — her ex. He let himself in past Danielle. "What are you kids up to?"

"We're going out to dinner, together." Danielle responded.

"Great! I haven't eaten. How about the three of us grab a bite? I'll drive."

Being on enemy grounds without any escape, and unsure that Danielle would agree if I stood up for her, I let her decide our plan. As Danielle's ex chauffeured us around in the back of his Civic, I gave her looks. She responded by turning over her hands in the traditional "I don't know what to do" symbol.

Her ex received a call.

"Hey, whatcha you up to? Me? I'm going to dinner with my girlfriend and her friend."

I shot Danielle a look. "What?!?!?" I mouthed.

"He's not my boyfriend," she whispered, "I swear." Then turning to her ex, "I'm not your girlfriend!"

"Sure you are, baby, whatcha talking about?"

Amazing.

During dinner, Danielle and I ate in awkward silence while her "boyfriend" carried on as if nothing was awry. I had to admire his persistence.

At the party Danielle's ex introduced me as her friend so there would be no confusion. He even offered to be the designated driver to take me home. Had I taken him up on the offer I might have actually enjoyed some of the evening, but I figured I would rather stay sober than risk being stranded with these nuts.

Eventually, Danielle and her ex began arguing outside. I sat inside with six drunk/high strangers.

"This happens all the time" the girl to my right remarked, waving her cigarette in their direction. "They'll be at it all night."

"He's kicking my car!" Danielle screamed, bursting through the door. I didn't care what he did to her car as long as it remained drivable.

While Danielle complained, her ex stole her keys and took off with her jeep. I laid back, resigned to the reality I might never escape.

An hour of bad TV later, Danielle returned. "He" was gone and we could enjoy the party. Eleven p.m. Too late for me, I lied. I wasn't sticking around to see what else might happen.

We kissed goodnight. She promised to call. I smiled politely. — Nicholas Fernandez

 

***

My evening with evolution man

During my semester in Spain, a classmate took it upon herself to fix me up with one of her boyfriend's friends, reasoning that dating a native would help my infantile Spanish. She had the man in question and her boyfriend over at her host parents' for drinks and I arrived late and half in the bag after futilely trying to talk her out of this arrangement. He gave me the customary kisses and I sat beside him, looking over exactly what she'd set me up with. The man had hair everywhere and the protruding bottom lip that I can only say placed him somewhere on the far left of the evolutionary chart. After five minutes of painfully slow small talk (he knew no English) and several whiskey and waters, he was trying to take my bra off as what I swear was a furry tongue scratched the roof of my mouth. My classmate had already taken off with her boyfriend, despite my pleading glances, so I cut him off. I used the best of my broken Spanish to ask what the hell was going, but it didn't register as his hands wound up in my pants. I escaped, going to get another drink and phoning my friends for advice as to how to get out of the situation tactfully. I wanted to tell him something to the effect of "I will never be drunk enough to willingly sleep with you," but we were having some problems with the translation. Moments later I had a plan, but returned to find him unzipping his pants. At this point I simply shouted out 'goodnight' to my classmate and fled as he tried to kiss me goodnight.

***

My Date With A Sucker-Punch by RockWriterGuy

This story comes from when I was in college at a small private school in the Midwest. I swear I'm not making it up.

I met this girl in Model UN club. She was an Indian international student who'd grown up in Singapore, sweet and shy and, ahem, quite "well-proportioned." I asked her out to dinner and was very surprised when she said yes. (Surprised, that is, given I'm kind of a geek — as if you couldn't tell from the phrase "I met this girl in Model UN club.")

Neither of us had a car. But it wasn't that far from campus to downtown, and the evening was nice, so walking wasn't a problem. This also meant that we had time to talk and get to know one another. We hadn't left the bounds of campus before this sweet, shy thing told me she had boyfriends in Singapore and Canada — and was promised to marry to a guy back in India. Sheesh — so much for the delicate flower of my fantasies. Eventually, she somehow got on to the topic of how violent American society is. I assured her that life in America wasn't like Hollywood made it out to be — that small towns, like the one we were in, were really safe.

As we reached downtown, a couple of townies started yelling at us from across the street. See, as small as this town was, the college was tiny — and, thus, wasn't big enough to turn the surrounding community into a "college town." It was still pretty hick — and the hicks hated us college students, what with our expensive book-learnin' and disinclination toward meth use. Normally I'd ignore it, but they started shouting racist slurs at my date. I was going to take it up with them, but she said to let it go. And I did … after flying them the one-fingered salute. One of them ran over and shoved me. I shoved back. After a couple rounds of this, my date said something and I turned briefly. The guy took the opportunity to sucker-punch me in the jaw and run away.

Yes, this all happened about five minutes after I'd assured her America wasn't actually that violent.

We finally got to the restaurant and were seated. The waitress brought our menus. We studied them like there was going to be a test, since it was a lot easier than talking. The waitress returned — but, before we could order, she suddenly burst into tears and ran out of the restaurant. I still don't know why. My date and I just stared at each other for a moment — then we cracked up. Because what else could you do by that point?

After I took her home, we hardly exchanged more than two words ever again. She eventually hooked up with a Pakistani guy, so maybe our date furthered the cause of world peace a little. Then again, probably not.