The Worst Date Ever
The worst date I ever had I got out of the way when I was relatively young. I was 18 and working at the media center on the campus of State Mental Hospital University. The media center was in the communications department, so we catered mostly to the journalism and broadcast journalism majors, but we also delivered audiovisual equipment all over campus.
This meant that sometimes I had to carry whole television sets up and down stairs in buildings that were so old that there were no elevators available. This doesn’t seem like such a big deal now, but keep in mind these weren’t plasmas or LCD screens. These were old school cathode ray tube TVs, my friend. I only dropped one once. I think it was because I forgot to wrap up the cord, and I stepped on it. I got lucky because the TV still worked afterward.
It was actually a pretty cool job. I met a lot of people. I learned how to setup filmstrips and operate slide projectors and how to play films. I learned how to splice and repair film and how to edit videotape. I learned this on professional videotape, the old school ¾ inch kind. And I became the official spokesmodel for many college guy’s assignments to make a fake TV commercial.
There were several other students working part-time at the media center. I wasn’t the only one. I think we probably had ten or twelve people on staff. Only two of us were women. I think the carrying TVs thing might have had something to do with that, and I wasn’t a brawny woman by any stretch of the imagination. But I guess carrying TV sets is intimidating. I know it was my least favorite part of the job.
One day one of the guys I worked with at the media center decided to ask me out. His name was Andrew, and yes, that’s his real name. I won’t give you his last name. Andrew was a nice enough guy, but I didn’t find him particularly appealing. I worked with my best friend, a closeted gay man, and he said I should go ahead and go out with Andrew under the philosophy of giving a guy a fair shot. So, I couldn’t argue with that logic and told Andrew I’d go out with him.
Here’s where it starts to get dodgy. Andrew gets on a computer and types up a letter giving me options for our first date. Scarily enough, ladies and gentlemen, I still own said letter, obviously printed on a dot matrix printer. I will spare you the entirety of said letter. I’ll just recreate the best parts.
Bonjour! I’m sorry I’ve not been able to get in and make plans for this weekend. I have been a bit busy, and I know you have also, but please let me know when is the best time. What do you like doing, etc would really help me plan for this weekend.
Okay, here are a few of the things we can do. Check the ones that you like or would like to do and I’ll see what I can do to get this weekend in order.
Friday, November 9, 1989
2-5 pm : I work at the Nursing Department
Give me about one hour to shower and get myself ready.
Here are your options for this evening.
- All you can eat SEA FOOD dinner in Guthrie
- Movie (Look Who’s Talking)/(Lethan Weapon II)/ etc.
- Run out of gas
- Go shopping
Here’s where I stop with the letter, but I’ve tried to faithfully reproduce it with all its glorious punctuation intact. I give the guy points for presenting me options, but this wasn’t something we could have discussed over the phone? Plus, the rest of the letter goes on to describe the rest of the options for the rest of the whole weekend. We were going on a first date, and scarily, he was giving me an itinerary as if he were the cruise director for a weekend excursion. One date! I agreed to one date!
My favorite part of the letter is that he left it out on the counter for everyone we worked with to see, and since everyone we worked with meant mostly guys I got one hell of a razzing, especially about the running out of gas option. I’m pretty sure that he left the letter open and out on the counter for everyone to see because he wanted everyone to know that he was dating me. It didn’t have to be top secret, but one date does not a relationship make.
I chose the movie option on Friday night. This was safe. I figured he couldn’t mess it up too badly. I figured wrong. First off, he was about 45 minutes late picking me up. He didn’t call to explain that he would be late. When he finally picked me up I found out that he had absolutely no plans for the evening. Our first stop was to his parents’. Andrew’s parents were missionaries, and he was adopted. Andrew’s parents had many, many children. Andrew’s parents lived with another church couple who also had many, many children.
Ostensibly, the reason we went to Andrew’s parents was so that he could get a newspaper with the movie times. The real reason was so that he could beg to use a nicer car on his date. I overheard this conversation but pretended that I didn’t. I got grilled by dozens of little monkeys on whether or not I was Andrew’s girlfriend. The younger ones climbed on me like a trellis and sat down next to me on the couch and showed me their booboos and special talents. I think we were there for at least a half hour until Andrew gave up on getting the nicer car.
I was a little confused about why the nicer car was so important since it had served us well enough in getting us from my house to his parent’s home, and also, I had accepted a date with him not knowing or caring what kind of car he drove. The evening got worse before it got better. We did finally decide on a movie: Look Who’s Talking. We got dinner. The conversation was stilted, but at least the movie was alright.
There was something about Andrew that just didn’t sit well with me. I remember it as hands down the worst date I ever had in my entire life. After that date I did agree to do something with him again as friends, and he asked me to play on some kind of bowling league. I had never been bowling in my life (something I warned him about ahead of time), and he was very competitive against this other team. As you might guess, this was awkward. But if you add in the fact that every single time I went to pick up my bowling ball Andrew used it as an excuse to grab my ass, it went beyond awkward. I said I would never again go do anything with that creep, and I kept my word.