Those of you who know me know that my husband is a rockstar. We are human so we don’t have a perfect marriage but it is pretty dang wonderful and while I have no shame in shouting from the rooftops about our love, I think sometimes it can be encouraging or weirdly helpful to hear about some not so perfect times too. SO… for this post, I thought I’d flip this year’s theme of dating on its head and instead of talking about a lovely date I went on with my husband, I thought I’d share some dating horror stories from the days before I met him. (Honey, if you are reading this you may be amused but you may just prefer to skip this post… water under the whatever and whatnot…) The rest of you- brace yourselves for some of my most awkward/embarassing/frustrating moments.I’d like to start by saying that I was encouraged not to date in high school. Overall this was fine because the private Catholic school I went to was a little intense and I was plenty busy with the arts and with homework and whatnot, but never was I happier about this than when I got to hear my sister’s cringeworthy date story, which she has thankfully given me permission to share as the opener to this blog.
*When my sister was just entering high school (or possibly her final year of jr. high? either way, she was young and it has been a while now) she at one point in time dated the brother of one of my friends. One time they were hanging out and he asked her to go on a date to: TACO BELL. Not bashing on taco bell, I promise. I know very strong marriages where taco bell is a well respected late night run. My sister was not in the mood for any food, let alone fast food, but she was talked into it. Once she got there, he talked her into coming in with him, ordered, and only then did he mention to her that he didn’t have any money and needed her to pay for the meal… Looking back, my sister is now not so sure this even qualifies as a “date” but she did reenact it for me in a video she placed in a care package while I was away at Pepperdine. It was a video file that featured her as a barbie doll and the guy she was dating as a clown doll. And I remember thinking- well, that sure makes me glad that I didn’t waste my time dating through high school. Guess I dodged the bad date bullet.
HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA NOPE. Not at all true. So here is a sampling of the proverbial frogs I dated before finding my prince charming:
*That time basketball ruined my date but saved me SO much time: When I decided to graduate from my undergraduate college a year early, I had a pretty strange year back home in Arizona. If I’d have graduated with my friends I started college with I might have stayed a year or two in LA or perhaps moved East right away, which is what I did after that “gap” year. I worked office jobs and did random theatre and then worked at Starbucks and for the most part just had a really strange year. I also tried to enjoy the newness of being 21 years old. This is why I thought I would really enjoy a date night out to a sports bar. I figured if things weren’t going well we could always divert the conversation to basketball and enjoy the game. After all, we’re in Phoenix, at least we’ll have Suns fandom in common right? Nope. This date may as well have been over before it began because as I turned an awkward pause towards Suns talk this guy asked if I was a Kurt Thomas fan… which I thought was a little weird since he wasn’t on our team that season but I went along with it… until he admitted that he was a big fan of him playing on “his team” that year. That was when it hit me that he was a Spurs fan. I decided to be honest and admit that I didn’t think it was going to work out between us and he tried to make a joke of buying me double drinks and the most expensive thing on the menu if I told the waiter I thought Horry was the best player in the league. Since the straightforward thing wasn’t getting my point across I excused myself to the bathroom, texted a co-worker that I needed her to pull the whole call me and pretend there’s an emergency you need me for at work so I can ditch out on this date, and made a mental note that the rule about always driving yourself to a first date is a winner. On the upside- I ended up having a really fun night with that coworker and later that basketball season we ran into Amare Stoudemire on my birthday and he bought me a drink to celebrate my 22nd. Moral of the story: Good Things Come to Those who Never Date a Spurs Fan (sorry Texas readers)
*That time I didn’t realize it was a date: I say “that time” like it only happened once. Enough said.
*My foreign romance that wasn’t: I had the privilege of doing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival twice. The second time I had become brave enough to wander out a bit more on my own. I went out twice with a handsome Scottish man who seemed like a ton of fun… until he started becoming very persistent that I take a train home with him to the countryside. He was a lot less fun after that. Though I did get to say one of the most melodramatic lines of my life thanks to this experience- when trying to kindly come up with creative ways to say no (because I wasn’t quite the awesome feminist I am now and was still highly concerned with not hurting anyone’s feelings above all else) I mentioned that it would be impossible to get a train back in time for my show I was performing the next morning. My parting words to him as I ran down the road to my flat was, “Sorry, I’m an actress before I“m a woman!” What the heck does that even mean?! I don’t know, but I”m pretty sure it belongs in some sort of ridiculous script… making a mental note for the future.
*My Not So Sex and the City Date: I wasn’t sure if this story actually belonged in this post because the date itself actually went really really well. One of very few from my time in New York that did… until the end of the date when I was literally called a freak for still being a virgin in my 20s. And informed that no one was going to want to date me if I stuck to that and I should let a guy know that before he payed for dinner. (I wish present day me could go back and go on a feminist rampage. Me from back then pretty much just turned beet red and said ok, well… I better get to bed, I have mass in the morning… #catholiclife)
*The I’ll show myself out let’s pretend this wasn’t a date date: Another NYC story- this guy I worked with seemed super charming and we had always talked about how we were both Italian. The difference being he’d actually been to Italy and spoke a little Italian which, at the time, I thought was really cool. So I was delighted when he invited me to come to his apartment, watch a movie, and that he would make me lunch and teach me some Italian… we worked the night shift so lunch was really the best thing to work with our schedule since I had to be at work at 6:30. He was in the middle of cooking and telling me how we should get going a little early so he could walk me to work and buy me gelato (sounds so swoon worthy right?) when all of a sudden a girl comes into the apartment sobbing and he gets this deer in the headlights look on his face. You guessed it- the girl was his live in girlfriend. And she was home early because she had just been laid off. And she was so upset it actually took her a few exruciatingly long awkward moments to realize I was even there, but when she did as I was awkwardly gathering up my purse she turned back to the guy and said, “Who the hell is that and what is she doing here?!” To which I replied, um….. just a coworker see ya!” A few days later the guy tried to explain that he was “about to break up with her” but the lying and the fact that he never mentioned her in the first place was a big enough warning sign for me! NOPE NOPE NOPE…
There were other unpleasant times on the road to finding my husband, I even considered becoming a nun and leaving the dating world behind and I STILL get kind of awkward just thinking about (PLEASE tell me I’m not alone in the dating nightmares?) but looking back now they are all just excellent reasons to be thankful everyday for the fabulous man God blessed me with as a husband. I couldn’t ask for a better partner and I’m so glad that every date night (or day) with him is a wonderful one, no matter what we do on the date itself.