Saturday, December 27, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
For the record, the reason I thought of this was due to some of our good friends, Amos and Julie. Last week they took us out to dinner at Outback Stake House (thanks, you guys, again…it was great!!!!) but it got me to thinking… I had only ever been to this particular restaurant one other time before and it was definitely something I would never forget. Just thinking about it made me get those bad-memory-body-chills and grunt a little in agony. I am sure many of you have had experiences similar to this…you know remembering “that one” incident which stretches your social politeness to its outer limits and makes every minute that goes by like a tiny hammer beating against your temples. OR the boredom and awkwardness can’t seem to get any worse and then out of the blue, your date does something that miraculously takes it to the tenth power. Maybe you know what I am alluding to, but if you haven’t figured it out, I’m referring to my worst date ever! I have honestly been pretty lucky in the dating arena but this one was a huge exception. The story goes like this:
It was the summer before my senior year of high school. A guy I had met a few times at large social gatherings (we’ll call him Bob) got my number and asked me out for the next day. I said yes. From what I knew of him he seemed like a pretty cool guy…it might be fun. Well, the next day came and I was ready to go by 5:30 (as he requested) even though it did seem a little early. BUT this made it interesting, surely with a time set so early in the "date hours" there would be a great plan in place! I was anxious to see what it was. Well…here came the first (although minor) red flag. After he picked me up and we got in his car, he turned to face me in his seat and asked, “So…what you wanna’ do tonight?”
(Quick note: these words are not verbatim—my memory isn’t that good—but it is pretty close)
Me: “Oh…I get to decide, huh?! Well, I don’t really mind, why don’t you tell me what you were thinking
Bob: “I wasn’t really thinking actually.
Finally, after what felt like at least a minute I replied uncomfortably, “OK…ummm…let’s think…” (In my head I’m saying…WHAT? It’s 5:30 and you don’t have anything planned? Are we just going to sit and stare at each other all night?)
Bob then proceeded to sit the drivers seat, without turning the key to start the engine, while creepily eyeing me and not saying a word.
By now we had been in my parent’s driveway for about 5 minutes. I swear I saw my mom peek through the window with a confused expression
Finally, I responded by saying, "Well, I guess…if it’s okay with you, we can go get some dinner or something?” I was hungry—again, with the time being what it was—but I hated having to suggest it. I felt bad, but I figured we are all nervous on first dates, it’s alright. I though that surely it would get better.
Well, he agreed dinner seemed like a good plan so he suggested we go to Outback Stake House. I said it sounded great…I had never been there, so we began driving to Provo. He turned on some Coldplay, which I love, and I thought that maybe this isn’t so bad after all…just an awkward start. Not a big deal. As we were driving I started the conversation by asking him what he was planning to do in school. (He was a year older than me and would be going to BYU in the fall). That part went like this:
Me: "So, what are you planning to study at BYU?”
Bob looked at me and smiled. Didn’t say anything and then looked back to the road. Thinking that he didn’t hear me right, I asked him again.
Alright…I guess he doesn’t like to talk, or …something. After about 10 minutes, still in silence, we finally made it to a stop light. Once the car was stationary Bob suddenly flung his hands off the steering wheel with his digits outstretched in true “spirit finger” form and waved them wildly around his head.
WHOAH! My gosh...what the...
Looking pleased with himself, Bob then said, “A neurosurgeon, that’s what I want to be.” I was so confused…what the heck just happened?! Then Bob says, as he puts the car back in gear because the light turned green, “See what I just did with my hands?”
Me: Yep (HOLY COW!!)
Bob: “It’s so amazing that all I had to do was tell my hands to do that, and in one instant they respond. It’s so cool…that’s why I want to be a neurosurgeon.”
Me: Cool (Good gracious…)
Bob then proceeded to tell me about brain waves and electrical impulses…I was desperate to get to Outback Stake House and was so relieved to be out in public once we got there. The dinner part wasn’t terrible considering all that had happened in the car. The conversation went all right, mostly him talking about his mom and his plans for BYU. He occasionally performed the “finger trick” (which is what I now call it) and laughed like it was an inside joke between the two of us. At one point he did it as our waitress brought some drinks. She asked him if he had seen a bug or something.
After dinner he asked what I would like to do. It was only about or so…I wanted to go home…clearly we didn’t have much in common. But I didn’t want to be rude so I just shrugged my shoulders. He decided to play mini-golf at Trafalga and I obliged. Nothing too outrageous happened here. It was just awkward…limited conversation. It was like pulling teeth to get him to talk about things other than neurosurgery. Well, on the last whole of mini-golf you can win a free game if you putt the ball into the correct hole. As luck would have it, Bob won a game! He said it was a sign that we were meant to go out again. Out loud I just snickered, but I'm pretty sure I tasted vomit in my mouth. When we were done it was about and I felt that the date was at its end and I was elated to be going home.
Bob had other plans.
He asked what I would like to do after mini-golf and I told him I needed to get home soon...I told him I had an early morning the next day or something. He seemed disappointed but agreed. However, he asked if we could stop at his mom’s office before we left
When we got there, his mom was sitting in a tiny office with a desk that took up ¾ of the room. There was one chair sitting right next to her and book shelves taking up the remainder of the space. As soon as he saw his mom, Bob immediately plopped himself down on the chair and gave his mom a greeting (which, to me, was the most disturbing and shocking thing that had been imprinted on my mind up to that point in my life.) He literally gave her a kiss on the mouth that, I swear, lasted for at least 3 seconds. Count it out: ONE-ONE THOUSAND…TWO-ONE THOUSAND…THREE-ONE THOUSAND.
It’s just not...natural.
He and his mom then proceeded to go into a tirade about his good-for-nothing father and how she needed to speed up the divorce somehow. It lasted about 15 minutes, during which time I wondered the hall of the building, all the while thinking about the different medieval torture methods that didn't have jack squat compared to this. I eventually found a vending machine and bought myself a root beer for something to do. After that I went back to the office and as Bob was getting ready to leave, he finally acknowledged my existence and introduced me to his mom. We waved cordially to each other and then Bob and I were off again. This time the conversation in the car was mostly about his dad. I uncomfortably sipped my root beer.
As we were nearing American Fork he decided it might be fun to show me his new car “toy”. It was one of those police scanner thingies but his could actually make siren sounds.
Bob: “Want to see what happens when I turn it on?”
Me: “Not really”
Bob decided I didn’t really know how to have fun so he turned it on anyway and started surpassing the speed limit by about 20 miles. The sudden jolt made me spill the root beer down the front of my white shirt. Bob continued to giggle freakishly at his game. Well, thanks heavens that only lasted for about 5 minutes and, although I was scared for my life, it did help us reach American fork sooner. As we neared my home I got increasingly more animated at the thought of being safe within the confines of my room but he interpreted this as enjoyment and decided to stop at McDonalds. For dessert, so I thought…
Bob: “Mind if we go in and see some people I work with?”
Me: “Oh! You work here? No, that’s okay, I’ll stay here.”
Bob: “It’ll be just a minute.”
Me: “I have root beer down the front of my shirt.”
Bob: “I’ll get you some napkins.”
We walked in and he then proceeded to tell his co-workers to gather round. Once they did, he introduced me as his date and asked what they thought. At this point I started looking around for the cameras, surely this couldn’t be real. I HAD to be on some local hidden camera show. No such luck…instead his co-workers just stood there as awkwardly as me. I could see the pity in their eyes.
Well, I don’t know exactly how but eventually I got him to take me home and during the doorstep scene he asked if he could ask me out again. I told him I didn’t think it was a good idea. He smiled and said he’d give me a call in a few days and...he did. I, at that point, had gathered enough gumption to tell him in no uncertain terms that, although I appreciated his efforts, we would not be going out again…ever.
So, that was my worst date ever! It is definitely fun to walk down memory lane sometimes. It sure makes me so grateful I am done with that scene. It also makes me love my dear husband so much more...I am eternally grateful to you for saving me from horrid date nightmares and unpleasant courtship rituals! Hope some of you enjoyed that and maybe it brought some not-so-fond, but somewhat humorous memories of your own. I’d love to hear them if you have them.