Sometimes when I get bored at work, I'll go to "Askreddit" and poke around for a while. It's not exactly the most highbrow of all reading material, I suppose, but it's fun to read answers to the questions from lots of different kinds of people and it passes the time that I'd otherwise be using to stare at the ceiling and question my life choices! :)
Yesterday someone posted the question "What was your worst date?" or something similar. I read through a lot of them, which made me cringe in sympathy for many of those strangers. In the process I remembered my own worst date, which I hadn't thought about in years. Well, I call it the worst date, but that might be a bit dire. It was certainly the weirdest and most awkward date I can remember though, and that has to count for something!
I never dated a ton. I had boyfriends that tended to stick around for a while when I had them, but I didn't go on "single-serving" dates much at all. That's what happens when you live in a small community. Your dating pool is a bit more limited than it might otherwise be, so unless you wanted to pass around boyfriends like trading cards (and to be fair, some of that did go on at my high school, heh) you didn't get a wide range of folks to date. That's not to say that there wasn't a lot of really great guys that I knew, but I went to a K-12 school and basically grew up with most of them and I was good friends with a lot of them which would have made dating weird. You know how it is.
Anyway, I digress.
Once I graduated high school and ventured beyond the borders of my community (like the Viking Adventuress I was always meant to be, I guess) I did meet a few nice guys and went out on a couple of those single-serving dates. Most of them were fine. There's a reason you only go out with some people once or twice, obviously, but none of those dates were really all that memorable. The one in question was one of the last dates I went on before I started dating Steve seriously.
I'm going to call this guy Ben (to protect the innocent.) I met him while working at the Sprocket (ptooey) and he was not, strictly speaking, my type. Ben was a tall, gangly guy; a former basketball player from one of the rich-kid neighboring county schools, and he was very....enthusiastic...about everything. Imagine a morning show radio DJ crossed with a personal trainer. But he was sweet, though, and funny, and also not gay - which due to recent experience was an important detail for me at that point in time. I don't remember how he asked me out, just that suddenly we had a date one night. Ok, then!
We met at work and our adventure began! We went to dinner, although I can't remember where. I'm sure it was one of those places young people went at the time, like Olive Garden or Applebee's. The reason I don't remember where we went wasn't because it was boring, but because I spent most of the meal watching in horror as Ben destroyed his dinner in a manner I generally associate with Great White sharks. See, Ben had braces. I don't know if you've ever had braces, but eating can be difficult because you have to learn to eat in a way that you don't get food, or your lips, caught in the things. His technique was to chew with his mouth WIDE open, which allowed anyone sitting on the opposite side of the table to see whatever he was eating floating around inside his mouth like clothes in a glass door washing machine. He also liked to talk while he ate, so the food not only swished around in his wide open maw, but bits of it would fly out and land on the table. There was ranch dressing involved. *shudder*
Next we went on a walking tour of downtown Huntsville, at night, to look at church windows or some such thing. You guys know I love stained glass windows, but the churches were all dark inside, so we were basically walking around in the dark in places that (I know now) aren't all that safe. Now, I like the idea of walking around and looking at architecture very much, but A) I'd like to be doing it in a place where I wouldn't get mugged, B) I'd like to be able to see what we're looking at and C) he never told me what we'd be doing, so I was wearing tall sandals that weren't made for walking long distances, so my feet were killing me after a couple of blocks and I kept tripping. He seemed oblivious of the situation and I was too shy to say anything about it, so we just kept on walking.
Lastly we decided to go and see a movie. It was a sequel to a movie I'd never seen before, but I didn't want to complain because he seemed psyched for it. It was a movie about dinosaurs. Anyway, even thought I didn't really know what was going on with the movie, it wasn't all that bad. I was able to rest my feet a bit, which was nice. He also wasn't trying to put his hands on me in any, which was good, but that made what happened next even stranger. During a part of the movie that was supposed to be "Scary" he grabbed me in a headlock. It wasn't a "he had his arm around me and it tightened a bit" sort of thing, but a legit out-of-nowhere headlock and he pulled me across the armrest of my chair. It has been suggested, by one person or another, that Ben was trying to get in on some of that "Alanis Morrisette Theater Action," if you know what I mean, but I don't think that was it. If so, it would have been the strangest 0 to 60 that I'd ever witnessed. He also wasn't trying to kiss me or anything like that, he just seemed to think it was appropriate to put his date in a sudden headlock during the movie. I was too stunned to do anything, but he let me go pretty soon afterwards. Unfortunately, in that strange scuffle, one of my earrings disappeared. Steve's dad* had gone to Italy on a work trip and had brought me back a pretty pair of silver and blue earrings, and when I realized one was missing, I was pissed. Put me in a headlock for some reason I can deal with, but I felt terrible to have lost part of a gift, so for the next few minutes, we scrabbled around on a dirty theater floor looking for it all to no avail. After the movie was finished, Ben drove me back to the SpRocket (ptooey) and left me at my car, and unless I'm mistaken, he was completely oblivious that we had just had the strangest, most tone deaf date in my whole history of dating! He didn't try to kiss me goodnight, thank goodness, because I was still having flashbacks to him eating dinner and I'm fairly certain I would have thrown up. Ben and I did not go out again.
For all I know, I was his worst date, too. I can hear it now "She barely talked at dinner, she lagged behind me the whole time I was trying to show her the church windows, AND she didn't seem to have a clue what to do when I put her in the 'First Date Headlock!' Such a waste of time. Duuuuuude." (Yeah, I'm pretty sure he would have added the dude.)
The strangest part of the whole night was when I got back home and was changing for bed. The earring that I lost in the theater was in my bra. Not just, like, hooked on to it, but way down inside one of the cups of my bra, and y'all, I was wearing a turtleneck sweater that night and Ben didn't get his hands inside that sweater, so how did my earring get inside of it? As weird as that night was, I can only assume it was aliens.
So that was the, if not worst, certainly the most uncomfortable date I'd ever gone on. One day, maybe I'll tell you about the best one. SPOILER: It wasn't with Steve! Shhhhh, don't tell. He doesn't read my blog!
*Yes, I was sort of dating Steve already when I went out with Ben. I was unaware at the time we were not supposed to be dating other people. That was an awkward conversation.