Break ups. Man, am I sure glad I never have to go through them again. Lately, it seems all of my friends have been going through horrible break ups or horrible run ins with the exes. I listen to their stories and gasp in unbelief at the stupidity of their one time true loves, and the cruelty of ending a relationship. No one seems to walk away unscathed. Instead, it seems like the longer you play the dating game, the more cynical and guarded you become. It's a mean cycle. You want to date to find the right one, but in time you have become so distrustful of the possibility of the right one you can't even figure out which way is up and which way is down.
I suppose sitting in my married state someone would consider me "the lucky one." I got out, I got married and now I get to sit on the sidelines and watch the rat race continue. But, even though I'm removed it doesn't erase the very tangible memories of past relationships. Of course, I had my fair share of heartbreaks and disappointments. However, as I look back I mostly cringe at the memories of my shear ambivalence towards dating. I guess that's the only way I could cope with the oncoming feelings of cynicism and hopelessness from past experiences. And maybe I was just lazy. Nonetheless, dating was a true experience.
The following are my favorite memories:
1. I was once set up with this guy who knew my grandfather. I know, right there I should have said no. Anyway, we were talking on the phone before the date and he said he was 24. I was 24 as well and had said I didn't date people younger than me. The following day we went to dinner and he said to me, while we were eating, "It sure is great to be out with a real woman." Almost choking on my dinner, I replied, "What do you mean 'a real woman?'" He then said, (like a total moron might I add) "Well, being so mature for 21, I usually have a hard time relating to girls my age." 21? hmmm...I know a small detail, but the "real woman" comment was something I could not get over.
2. I was set up on this date by Jason my brother. He seemed like a cool guy. Active, energetic and not bad looking. However, before every date (there was three) he would tell me to eat beforehand. Sometimes this sort of made sense because we would go do physical activities. And other times it just seemed like he was being cheap. One night his cheapness came to light. We went skateboarding, sorry, longboarding down this huge hill. For those of you who don't know, longboarding consists of taking your precious life, placing it on a wobbly board and traveling at mock speed down a hill. I know it sounds too good to be true. Anyway, one night we did this dreadful activity...which actually makes you quite tired (from clenching all your nerves simultaneously) and I, stupidly, came to the date with an empty stomach. So, when he asked if I was hungry I innocently said yes. We then proceeded to head to the grocery store where he bought an on sale carton of ice cream that was so frosted over from being in the back I thought they were going to give it to us for free, a store brand candy bar (not a big one, just a little taste) and we were off. When we got in the car I asked what we were doing for food. He said, "milk shakes." Hmmm. We then got back to his place and made this water downed milk shakes that held some loose pieces of candybar. It was basically like drinking spoiled cold milk with a taste of bad chocolate. After being totally filled up I told him I get up early and left. Well, headed straight for McDonalds.
3. Number Three actually needs to be its own posting. Let's just say Request-o-Matic almost made me give up dating for good.
4. Number four has to entail the worst first kiss I ever got. Well, there's a guy in high school who will always reign as the worst, but this was right up there. Actually, when I think about it, I actually suffered twice. The worst first kiss would have to be from this guy who told me he hated first kisses. He lamented how over-hyped they became and only led to disappointment. (Yep, I was super stoked to kiss this guy) So there we stood after a great date, and as I'm talking he lands one on me. I was so taken aback and so surprised by his delivery that when he pulled away I started to laugh. I laughed because not only was a horrible kiss but he literally did it while I was in mid-story. So, I guess I proved his point on that one.
Second, worst first kiss goes to another poor guy. We went out to dinner and then to a movie. During the movie I felt like I was going to throw up. I just kept closing my eyes and hoping it would all end. As we headed home, I kept telling him how sick I felt. Okay, this was also a technique I used to use to ensure I wouldn't have to kiss someone at the end of the night. I hated those situations. Three dates, three dinners, three movies...crap equals one kiss? Anyway, we got to the door and as I'm literally slumped up against the wall he pulls me in and kisses me. I thought I was going to throw up in his mouth. Which really would have served him right for going in for the kill even when I threw up the 911 flag.
5. Okay this is the last one. Because, I'm just getting mean and the only one being entertained here is me. Okay, I got to think of the best. Number 3 is in its own league. But a close second would have to...okay I can't rank them. It's too hard. The worst date I was ever on would have to be with this guy this girl in my ward set me up with. She talked him up, and I bought it. All of it. He came to the door and was the complete opposite of what she said. She said tall, he was short, she said hot, he was not, she said he was athletic, he was not an athlete etc. Anyway, I had said yes, so I shut the door to my laughing roommates' faces and headed for the car. He took me to this restaurant and the wait was 90 minutes. I simply turned around and said we could find another place. He wouldn't have it. Instead, he wanted to wait the entire 90 minutes. And waited we did. I can't express the awkwardness that was between us during those 90 minutes. A. I don't do well when I'm hungry. B. I don't do well with people who don't have a sense of humor. Anyway, we finally get our table and as the waitress is taking our order my date decides to re-read the entire menu. I'm about to kill him. As he is reading, my waitress looks at me and mouths, "blind date?" I nod and she mouths, "I'm so sorry. He's a total tool." I couldn't have said it better myself. After our long dinner he wanted to see a movie. We had missed the first show because he wanted to wait two hours for dinner. The next showing was in an hour. Yep, you guessed it...we waited. I know what you are wondering...and yes, I made out with him like crazy for that hour.
6. Okay one more. This goes to the most misguided confident man I've ever met. He literally stands 5"5 maybe. We went up to Park City for dinner and I couldn't stop laughing the entire time. He literally had his seat way back and he was clawing at the peddles to reach them. I wanted to reach over and pull this child out of the driver's seat and drive him home. When we got to Park City I told him I would eat anything but Asian. At the time I was really suffering from Migraines and the doctors were thinking Asian food and MSG were bad for me. So where did we go for dinner? Asian. What a cute little guy. The worst part of the night was I saw someone I knew and she was like, "who's the little pocket rocket?"
Dating...it ain't for the faint hearted.