Nov 8, 2012

Writer’s Block: Failed Chemistry

Question: What was the worst date you ever had, and what made it so bad?

The absolute worst date I have ever been on was one set up between me and someone I worked with. I knew from several brief conversations we would have very little in common, yet I still agreed because I was being bullied by other coworkers to give this kid a chance. So I did it. He invited me along with some of his friends to dinner, dessert, and card games. It didn't help that at the time I was interested and sort of dating someone else. So even gearing up for this date proved to be a problem. 

The night started off with my date picking me up. He was dressed nice, I was dressed nice, but that was about the extent of nice. The minute I clambered into his station wagon with middle seats that could spin and face the rear I knew things were about to get very awkward. In the car were the others joining us on this date. Turned out they all grew up in the same neighborhood and had been friends forever. Immediately I was disengaged; being left out of every inside joke and childhood memories

Next we ate dinner at a hole in the wall Peruvian restaurant. Again, he and his gang had eaten there several times and I was the Peruvian cuisine virgin. I had no idea what to order or how to order it, and my date was no help at all. They all gushed and raved about the food while I picked delicately at my some kind of meat on a stick feeling completely unimpressed. I was asked a couple of questions about what I was studying at BYU and such, but it was fleeting and I was shy. 

Then we made the rounds to one of the gang's parents' house. I cannot for the life of me remember why we stopped, but I remember it feeling completely forced and foreign for me to trudge along their all too familiar stomping grounds. I was introduced to the parents while everyone else shuffled around the house. I think we were trying to find a board game to take along with us, or something to that extent. After about 20 minutes of their laughing, reminiscing, and searching we came up with a couple of games and moved on to our next destination. 

This next stop happened to be the home of one of the gang's older married sibling. Their house was about five blocks from my parents' and I just kept thinking how much I wanted to just run away. I cannot even begin to explain the weirdness and awkwardness that followed. I was bombarded on all sides with more inside jokes I didn't get, but still tried to laugh at. I completely sucked at board/card games and was making an utter fool of myself that way. I drank so much water at dinner and was starting to really feel the pressure on my bladder, but didn't have the guts to ask for the restroom. I was uncomfortable and felt completely unwelcome.

When I was out the first round of four games in a row I finally did the only survival tactic I knew, and it was a bad, inconsiderate thing too. I started texting the other guy I was regularly dating, telling him what an awful date I was on. I wanted it to end, and on they played. I wanted it to stop, and on they laughed. I wanted to just go home, but dreaded getting back inside the refrigerator on wheels. 

Finally the gaming died down and my date took me home. I gave him a quick and almost stern hug, thanked him for the date, and shot into my house. The next few days at work were a misery while all of my coworkers goaded me and tried to pry information from me about the date. Luckily I think my texting gave the kid a hint I wasn't all that interested and he left me alone.

That day I learned the hard way that peer pressure sucks, that bringing along an outsider date to a night of insider jokes is not a good combo, and I should never, ever play card games to try and impress someone. 


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