I’m sure we can all agree that venturing into the dating world can sometimes feel like entering the Twilight Zone. We’ve all tried to navigate it at one time or another, and everyone undoubtedly has a horror story to share; some even have physical and emotional battle scars. These experiences can leave many frustrated, discouraged and leery of ever dating again. But don’t worry, you are not alone. Let me recount a few harrowing stories of my own which will surely make your own trials pale by comparison.
The Longest Dinner of my Life: He approached me at the photocopier at work one day and asked me to dinner. I hardly knew the guy. He worked in a different part of the building, but I was caught off--guard and said yes. “Great,” he replied. "I'll make you dinner." So I was committed and couldn’t back down. On the night of the date, I was ten minutes early and stood in the lobby. I was unusually nervous and had a monster headache from the stress, so I paced the lobby floor for the next ten minutes, stretching out my back. Then I did some neck rolls, shoulder rolls, and even flexed my arms. Afterwards, I felt much better. I buzzed him at exactly seven pm. I took the elevator up, knocked on the door and he promptly opened it. And there it was in horrifying reality: a big-screen tv which had the security camera on with a shot of the lobby. "Yeah, I turned on the security camera to watch for you in order to let you in," he said. "I was wondering what you were doing.” It was the longest dinner of my life as he kept turning away, quietly laughing at me.
The Stalker: We are all familiar with this type of guy. I met mine at a housewarming party. He was an old, graying man, who I actually thought was the landlord. None of my friends could figure out where he had come from. He shadowed me the entire evening, waiting, lurking: a silent presence hovering in the background, never saying a word, only watching intently. It was unnerving. He’d mysteriously appear in whichever circle I was in, quietly observing me. Then our movements became strangely synchronized: I would sit down-so would he. I would reach for a snack-so would he. I was ready to go home-so was he! The absolute worst part? People’s mouths dropped open because they thought we were leaving together! I was mortified. He walked me to my car, then asked for my number. We all know what the outcome to that was. Frequent phone calls from him that I let go directly to voicemail, then promptly deleted.
The Transformer: I met him on the bus in Mexico City; warm, friendly and engaging. I never imagined he would end up shunning me on our date. He invited me to a market outside of the city the next Saturday. I was expecting a nice, pleasant stroll, but on that day, (which happened to be the first day of spring), he pointed out to me that it was Spring Equinox, and that it was customary to climb the towering mountain looming in the background. Wow! He never mentioned anything about scaling a mountain. I was wearing flip-flops but I tried to be a good sport. The climb proved to be treacherous. The air began to thin, and there was the hot, searing Mexican sun to contend with, burning my unprotected skin. Yet suddenly, he was on a mission trying to beat his last year’s hiking time. He would run past me, showing off that the altitude wasn’t affecting him, trotting past me, grinning and waving to me like an idiot. This went on for four hours. I was infuriated. Then one of my flip-flops fell off a ledge down a steep, jagged slope. I was without one shoe and only halfway up the mountain! Luckily, another hiker had an extra pair of sneakers in his knapsack and saved the day. Then, at the restaurant that evening, when the mariachi band appeared, he invited himself up on stage, bellowing out song after song after song, as I sat by myself eating my dinner.
The Reckless Driver: He rear-ended me during rush hour one afternoon and was charged with reckless driving. But some people truly have no shame. The next day my phone started ringing, his voice on the other end, wanting to know about my plans for the weekend. As if the whiplash wasn’t painful enough! Worse still, he got my phone number from the police report. Truly pathetic. Meanwhile, the insurance company was considering writing off my car! I burst out crying. A car I had paid $17,000 for and worked so hard to pay off, was now going to be written off! I was considering legal action while he thought we should be dating.
I’m sure you must be feeling much better about your own dating fiascos by now. I’ve given up on dating and embraced my impending spinsterhood. I now look forward to a solitary existence playing bingo, quilting and birdwatching.