Here's a bad date that goes back to when I lived in Seattle. It was my last year there, but I didn't know it yet. It was also before I met the best boyfriend ever, DD. I was living in a group house on the border of Fremont and Wallingford (right around the corner from the old Archie McPhee). I went to a party at our neighbors' where I met a fellow named Jim, who asked for my number. A few days later he asked me out.
When we talked he proposed that we go to a nice restaurant and a comedy club. I worried because I couldn't afford such a fancy date. I was a VISTA volunteer with an annual "stipend" of a little over $8,000 a year. I qualified for food stamps. I could go to my mom's for dinner, and she helped me out financially if I needed it, but I was making it about 95% on my own. I felt compelled to say something. "That all sounds great, but it's a bit out of my price range. Unless you're going to pay for everything, maybe we could do something a bit more economical."
He said, "It's on me, of course. That was always my intention."
I said, "Ok, great, but we don't have to do all that."
He said, "Do you want to?"
"Sure, it sounds like fun."
He said, "It's a date then."
The restaurant was so-so. I had fish and it was undercooked. It wasn't a sushi restaurant. He did most of the talking and it was rather dull. I asked about Jim's family--he was estranged from them and bitter. He had siblings he hadn't spoken to in years. He'd had his colors done. I remember thinking, "there is something wrong with a 30-year-old man who has his colors done." That's the other thing. He was old! Thirty years old! Well, I was 22 at the time and he sure seemed old. The thing was, he acted old. He had a bunch of money from leaving a job at Microsoft. He had his own software company. He wouldn't explain what they did. Probably thought I wouldn't understand. He also had a list of what he was looking for in a woman. Dark hair, likes to travel, had her own career. There were ten things on the list. Appalling. After dinner, we went to the comedy club. I'd never been to one before...come to think of it, I haven't been to one since. It was mildly amusing, but he draped his arm on the back of my chair so I spent the evening sitting uncomfortably straight and forward. When he dropped me home I almost jumped out of the car. He didn't call again and I was glad.
After our date (or maybe before?), Jim called the neighbor who'd had the party (JB). He and JB started dating. I didn't know this until I ran into JB by chance at a park in our neighborhood a few months later. I hadn't heard from her because Jim told her that I said I didn't like her. I never mentioned her to Jim. Apparently, he didn't call me again because I was too "low class." The evidence? I liked baseball (still do--I have tickets for all the National vs. Mariners games already). JB dated Jim for about six months. She finally broke up with him after he called her fat (she wasn't fat--not skinny, but a long walk from fat). (JB is now happily married with a beautiful son.) I found myself relieved that I'd made the right call on this guy. Instincts, you served me well. But, I felt bad that JB had to suffer through six months with that loser. The worst thing was that he'd kept us apart deliberately. Bastard.