Sunday, February 03, 2008

Making the Best of It

I have a confession to make. Today, when I should have been paying attention to the lesson in Sunday School, I was thinking instead of awkward first dates.

The impetus for my non-religious thoughts came from a brief conversation I'd had with Steve the night before while I was watching part of a reality show that chronicled a first date. I was really rooting for the couple; maybe they would find true love! But, alas, the date did NOT go well. There were long, uncomfortable pauses, jokes that fell flat, jokes that were misunderstood, more long pauses, an attempt to be impressive by speaking in a foreign language, and I was cringing at the painfulness of it all when Steve sat down beside me and asked why I was making faces at the TV.

"It's so painful!" I exclaimed, explaining what I was watching.

Then I rewound the date (I heart TiVo) so Steve could watch it from the beginning. We sat and cringed together until the commercial break, and then Steve said:

"You know, there are plenty of good reasons not to engage in polygamy, but having to go on awkward first dates again is foremost among them."

A good point.

So today I found myself thinking of the awkward first dates in my past. There was the guy whose mom called him on his cell in the middle of the date to ask how it was going. There was the guy who wore so much cologne that I was so completely nauseous by the time we arrived at the restaurant that I couldn't focus on anything he said the entire evening because I was putting all my effort into breathing through my mouth so that I wouldn't keel over from the fumes. And there was the guy who invited me to a party at his place, but all the other people he invited didn't show up (mysterious!), and so he had to "make the best of it" and have a candlelight dinner for just the two of us, followed by repeated offers of a backrub.

And then I started thinking of my blogger friends, and how much I would enjoy it if they shared their awkward dating stories, so that we could all cringe together.

Won't you please share?


Azúcar said...

How about the guy who took me house hunting on our first date?

steve said...

I remember one date where we were having a really nice time walking at night in front of the Del Coronado hotel in San Diego, everything was going fine, and then she asked me about guns, and I told her I was a member of the NRA, and then Emmie looked at me like I was nuts, and it went downhill from there... Oh, never mind.

Emmie said...

Talk about awkward . . .

Emmie said...

Wow. Have you written a blog entry about that? It's a story that needs to be told (and I need to read it)!

~j. said...

Blind date, set up by some guy who I knew from student government ("My roommate would be perfect for you!"). "Collin" (his real name) showed up at my apt. door, which was open, and announced while loudly chomping his gum, "I'm Collin. You ready?" We climbed into the (small) backseat of a car (in the front was another of his roommates [Tim] & Tim's girlfriend). We drove around talking about what to do. That was the date. At one point, on State Street, a Paula Abdul song came on the radio, at which point I threw up a little, but Tim, who was driving, turned around to Collin and yelled, "Straight Up, Dude! All right!" They flashed each other thumbs up signs and we listened to that song, which was very loud. We ended up at the Wendy's by campus where Collin ordered fries and, after he had them asked me, "Did you want anything?" I declined, to which he replied, "Good, I didn't want to waste any money on you or anything."

Jannah (Ferguson) Au said...

I can think of two very awkward first dates,
one was in high school, before we could drive, the boy had his mother pick me herself, and drop me at the theatre, where we watched "Dances with Wolves" which you may remember was an incredibly long movie. From the time the mother picked me up, to the time they dropped me home an entirety of three words were spoken to me, "Hello", "Here", "see'ya"
- ok that's actually 4 words.

The other was at the Y, where a very popular young man asked me on a date and told me we were meeting up with his friends. We show up and it turns out to be an after rehearsal gathering of the cast of the Scottish Play which you may remember doesn't have very many female parts. Fifteen or so men and only one other girl was there if I remember correctly, (Hey Merideth).
Of course the most awkward part of it was all mine, you see, this guy had already dated several people I knew fairly well, and had followed a pattern of romancing them starting by picking them up with a rose on the seat of his car, ending with his hot tub and a back rub at his place, the exact same pattern, for 3 girls!
The truly akward part of my date was that I got delivered safely home without even so much as a rose petal.

Sarah said...

Hey Em! How about the Prom date that told me we couldn't go get ice cream after the dance because he had diarrhea? And then proceeded to keep his rear planted firmly in his chair while I got out and walked myself to the door (I should probably be glad for that part!).

c jane said...

Having just worked in the YW program for a few years, I know that "hanging out" is becoming prohibited as a socially, Mormonically acceptable way to date, but oh how it waters-down the "first date" experience.

I've been sitting here trying to recall the horrific first dates of my past, but I can't conjure up any memory. Is this healthy suppression?

What a great topic.

TmeggenT said...

How about the time that my "date" ended up bringing along his brother and another female friend for the evening. Then, he proceeded to hold the other girl's hand in the back seat during the ride home. Talk about awkward! Oh, wait a minute . . . wasn't that girl . . . YOU??? That was fun. I still love ya, though, Em, and only had to go to a couple years counseling to get over the experience. °Ü°

Blondie said...

It's a toss up between the guy who was wearing more make up than me and the guy who was deemed "perfect for me" by the person who set us up because we both had the same major in college (Hello!! I was an elementary education major--El Ed guys are weird! This guy was no exception.)

Emmie said...

It was so nice of him to ask you if you wanted anything. I wonder how he would have responded if you had said yes?

Oh Jannah, just think of how differently your life would have turned out if ONLY you had gotten that back rub in the hot tub . . .

Hey you! Such a sad story (on your Prom, no less!), but so funny. At least he was honest . . .

C Jane,
I'd never thought of that, but it's so true - the "hang out" date really does alleviate the intensity of first dates. (There should be a footnote about this in The Strength of the Youth pamphlet, je pense.)

Oh, dear. That night was so bizarre! I believe that I thought I was on a date with the brother until your date jumped into the back seat with me and held my hand! I vividly remember our phone call afterwards: "What was THAT all about?!?" That boy was such a source of confusion for multiple girls.

P.S. I'm glad you still love me.

P.P.S. Send me your therapy bills.

Did I know about the guy who wore makeup??

rebrob said...

I went out with a guy who came through my check-out line numerous times one day. As soon as I got in the car, he slapped his hand down a little too high above my bare knee, (I was wearing shorts), and said: "You're mine tonight." Though that was a little awkward, we then went to play tennis, which I thought was safe enough. Afterwards, I was dying of thirst (it was in the middle of a Utah summer) and he was kind enough to purchase us a gatorade at a local convenience store with two straws. He then laid out a blanket at a lonely spot at a local park and we drank the gatorade as it was getting dark. (I know, romantic.) I was getting nervous, so I asked him if he'd like to come to my house for ice cream (as I knew there would be more people there.) While we were sitting on the couch in my livingroom eating ice cream, he wrapped his leg or somehow intertwined his leg, in one swift movement I might add, with my leg. I stood up VERY quickly and told him I could take his empty bowl to the kitchen. Luckily, he went home shortly afterward.

cotton_in_the_medicine_bottles said...

At Dixie College I went through some kind of "I dare myself" phase and entered the "D" Queen pageant. The "D" Day dance was fast approaching and I had no date. I was hoping that a certain young man would ask me who was friends with another friend (Darci) of mine. Darci asked me if I had a date for the dance and I said no and she said she knew someone who wanted to ask me. "Hooray!" I thought. But it was not to be. Later that evening, Darci's older brother called to ask me out. "Big D" the heavyweight wrestler. Darci and I had been friends since birth, but I had spent several growing up years in Arizona, so my last memory of Big D was him taking the clothes off our Barbie dolls and molesting them. But I was always taught to not turn down a date.
For our date we went to the athletics department awards dinner with his parents(enthralling for me), then to the dance to which I wore my competition gown (I was hot.), then we went for a drive while he entertained me with the crazy statistics of his baseball card collection. Ours was a match made in heaven. So, why, when he walked me to my door and asked, "How 'bout a kiss?" did I respond, "How 'bout a hug?" and duck quickly inside the security of my living room?
Incidentally, I was not crowned D Queen and that boy I wanted to go with? He went with Darci.

Annette Lyon said...

There was the guy who spent most of our one and only date talking about how desperately he wanted to get married and how his fiance had recently dumped him.

Yet he was very jealous of my cha cha partner, thinking we were going out.

I thought he was silly to be jealous . . . but then oh yeah. I ended up marrying my partner. :D

Carolyn said...

We were to meet at a restaurant for dinner. He does not show. I phone my office voice mail (this was before cell phones were issued to humans at birth), and hear a message saying "Sorry, can't make it. I have to go on a drug bust."

We go to dinner. I request that Mr. DEA agent leave his gun in the car. He is very nice but we find out we have nothing in common and different views on life. (Examples: His favorite movie is Pulp Fiction; I'm more of a Jane Austen gal. He tells me about the losers he arrested in the drug bust; I'm asking if they took social services people with them to look after the kids who were traumatized by the whole scene. And probably most important: I love great food and great restaurants; he could have been happy with Kraft Mac & Cheese.) This relationship never had a chance.

p.s. My current husband is a fabulous cook and does not carry a side arm.

Katrina said...

Very fun topic! I came over at cjane's recommendation.

I had an awful blind date just after I graduated from BYU but was still living in Provo for a bit. The guy picked me up and we went to dinner at like 5! He was worried about it being busy but because we got there so early, we were done by about 5:35. He had tickets for Divine Comedy... but not until 9! So we went back to his apartment to meet up with more of his friends.

When we first got there no one was there and I asked to use his restroom. He paused awkwardly and said I couldn't because of the honor code! (Now I think the honor code is great and I agreed to live by it while I was student, however, I never felt bad about using the bathroom in a guy's apartment as long as there weren't naked boys walking around nearby. And no one else was even there.) So he made me go ask some random girls who lived nearby if I could used their restroom.

After a while of very awkward conversation finally his friends start showing up, but NO ONE else was on a date. It was just a bunch of random people. We played some game and then FINALLY left for the show. Which was not even that funny. Plus, I was so tired during it, I kept dozing off. Luckily, he drove me home right after and I never heard from him again!

dishes and laundry said...

I had a guy pick me up on a MOPED that he had borrowed from his roommate. No helmets, but of course I hopped on and we moped-ed off. He crashed into a curb and we both fell off. Skinned hands+bad kisser (yeah, I was a kissing tramp)= no second date.

Justine said...

Once set up on a date with a guy who was at least an entire foot shorter than me, drove a low rider pimped out car, and didn't speak a lick of English (I think he was Thai). It was a very quiet evening (except for the really loud car). But he was a University student (the insane impetus for setting us up), like I was, so clearly we should've hit it off!

Justine said...

Did I mention that he tried to catch and kill a chicken for our dinner? He chased this chicken around his back yard for fully 30 minutes before giving up -- THANKFULLY. Can you imagine? I've tried to imagine what would have happened if he'd caught it. Would we have plucked it together? Gutted it? ACK!!! Painful even to remember.

Mo and Jayme said...

You don't know me, but I couldn't resist. My worst date was the time I was set up by my roommate's boyfriend and when we went to pick up my date, he had brought along an old mission companion. Then those two got into a different car to meet us at the restaurant. I told Roommates Boyfriend to take me back home and he instead dropped off my roommate at Wal-Mart to buy candy, parked in the parking lot and refused to leave until I agreed to come on the date (I was literally in tears). I eventually did go but not until I made the Boyfriend give me $20.00 to pay for my own meal. I have since kicked myself for not just jumping out of the car and calling someone for a ride home.

(just a side-note. I was also going the next week to see my "not boyfriend"/future husband off at the airport for a 2 year mission. The only reason I agreed to the date in the first place was because he told me "I will be more mad if you don't date while I'm gone than if you do". I think I'll make him buy me flowers for that one)

ktb said...

This is making me nervous for my big trek around the country going on first dates. The camera and the free meal better ease the pain ...

Whit Ing said...

I too am here by cjane's recommendation and this subject has kept me laughing (but quietly because my loud toddler is going down for a nap right now).

My awkward first date ended up being fine, seeing as we are married now. But it was still pretty awkward.

He had a firepit in his backyard at the bachelor pad he and his friends were renting on Center St. My parents had recently cut down an old pine tree in their yard and we used those logs for the fire. They were covered in sap and so when we would set one on the fire, it would make these awesome blue and green flames and then once it burned past the sap, the old wood would smoke up like the dickens. So we would just throw on another log.

Well, sooner than later, we saw the fire department pull up with the lights and sounds and all. They came bolting over the fence ready to put out the fire because apparently it is illegal to have fires within city limits. Good one, honey.

I went home with my hair and my clothes smelling like Girl's Camp. My date still had the guts to call me the next day and then he still had the guts to marry me later on.

leslie j said...

c jane brought me here, and since many of you are married, I want you to thank the good Lord that you no longer have to suffer through first dates, some of us do. :(

I had a date, I don't even remember his name who took me to the typical dinner/movie deal. We had a pleasant dinner, at China Lily in SLC, then we walked over the theatre, to watch some movie, I don't even remember what it was, what I do remember is that he bought Raisinettes (ick) and during the course of the movie he wanted me to SUCK THEM OUT OF HIS FINGERS.

So darned bizarre. After the movie he told me he wanted to suck my belly button. Suffice it to say, I dismissed him, and screened two weeks of calls from him.

Sometimes being single is better than marrying a raisinette sucking fetish guy!


i i eee said...

I'm almost 27, unmarried, and I really don't have any bad date stories, since there are no dates to be had.

I've had a few doozies back in the day, but nothing that remarkable. Although I did have one guy claim ownership over one of my boobs. That was just a little too forward for me on a first date.

Emmie said...

Oh my dear ladies,
Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderfully horrific stories. (And a big thanks to the lovely C Jane for sending so many of you my way!) I am loving every terrible detail, be it romantic Gatorate sipping, drug bust excuses, Honor Code bathroom violations, crashing mopeds, visits from the fire department, dates with a Barbie doll molester, dates who try to catch and kill a chicken, dates that involve Wal-Mart parking lots, and dates that involve men with Raisinette fetishes (sometimes there are no words . . .)

Emmie said...

i i eee,
Only one of them? Maybe he thought it was a little too forward to claim both on a first date?

Emmie said...

Your story reminded me of another story which involves you: Did I ever tell you about the date dance I went to in high school, and the whole night my date was pining over you? We'd be slow dancing, and he'd say stuff like, "Look at Annette. She's so beautiful. I can't believe she's with him. This is so hard for me. Sigh." It was ridiculous. I shall email you his name so you know of whom I type.

compulsive writer said...

My prom was the most awkward first date. You know it's been bad when the guy shakes your hand (and I wasn't even living in Utah) and then you let your dog kiss you goodnight.

The MomBabe said...

mine is too long. but I totally posted it

I'm loving this, by the way.

anniebobannie said...

I can't decide. It will tell you, you can vote....Deal???

1. The one who not so discretely picked his nose, examined it and ATE IT during a movie.(multiple times)

2. The one who told me I was too fat to bring home to meet his folks becasue they would think he was "settleing" for less than he was worth.

3. The one who's first question was which temple WE should get married in. When I responded none of them he asked if I had any friends who wanted to get married because he really wanted to get married.

4. The one who only ate nuts and berries and someday hoped to live in the wilderness.

5. The one who asked me which of my two best friends I thought was hotter and who would be most likely to date him.

6. The one who interviewed me about the do's and don'ts of online dating.

7. The one who drooled when he laughed and said things like "Kwispie Kweme".

8. The one who yelled at me for having US Weekly at my home stating that nothing will chase the spirit out of your house faster. (good thing my roomate's Victoria's Secret catalog was hidden.)

9. The one who kept asking what size ring I wore and then asked to try them on....

10. The one with Halitosis so bad that when he came in for that first kiss made me dry-heave.

I know it is a wonder that I kept dating at all.

Emmie said...

These are so awesome. And there must be some guys out there (besides my husband) who have their own stories to share.

And if you haven't read this one, you really need to.

Lynnette said...

You don't know me - but I just had to comment between bursts of laughter! I'm loving all these stories.

It was a month before I left for college. He picks me up and tells me we're driving to Ogden (at least an hour away) to meet up with a former mission companion and his WIFE. There was some crazy construction going on it took more like 2 hours to get there. Once there we just "hang out" at their apartment - no food and I was STARVING - listening to them exchange old mission stories. Finally we leave and I fall asleep on the way home, only to be awakened by a very bumpy ride. I look around and we are in the middle of dirt field. (It's like 1 a.m. at this point.) He stops, puts on some slow music and goes, "would you like to dance?" I'm starving, half-asleep, and slow dancing in a dirt field! I took great solace in the fact I was moving away in a month.

Emily said...

Oh my gosh, thank you for making me laugh.

I have a litany of BAD date experiences, but perhaps the most awkward happened a week after my wisdom teeth were removed, and I had just gotten a new medication for throwing up due to dry sockets blah blah blah (wisdom teeth removal from hell). This guy from work picked me up at around 10 and we were driving 45 minutes away to a city with a large fountain to watch the fountain (hello!) when my tongue started swelling. And swelling, and swelling. . . until my tongue is about three times the normal size, I cannot contain it within my mouth, I cannot talk, I am most likely drooling everywhere, my jaw is locking, and I think I am going to die. He finally (finally!) gives up the dream of the fountain-watching and turns around and makes the long trek back to my house, where my mom calls my oral surgeon and this date insists on going to meet my oral surgeon with us at his office at 11 pm on a Saturday night. Whereupon I got a big ol' dose of Benadryl and fell right asleep.

I have often wondered about the version of this story that he tells his friends.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cotton in the medicine bottle. I think you should have been pronounced "D" queen. Please notice the D's..d.d.d.d.d.

cotton_in_the_medicine_bottles said...
At Dixie College
"I dare myself" phase and entered the "D" Queen pageant.
The "D" Day dance
no date.
Darci asked me if I had a date for the dance Darci's older brother called to ask me out. "Big D" the heavyweight wrestler.
down a date.
department awards dinner
for a drive
to the door
duck quickly
crowned D Queen and that boy I wanted to go with? He went with Darci.

Anonymous said...

I was out of the country and missed most of the comments until now. But what a delightful thread you've begun, Em!

Most of my awkward dates are too painful to recall. The following anecdote may qualify as interesting, however:

I absolutely will NOT name any names, but I attended a certain Passion play in the Marghetts with the most brilliant, unique actor at the Y who was friends with pretty much the entire cast. I really liked this person a lot, so I kept leaving my hand at my side and turned up in hopes that he would hold it (as it was a second date, and he did the asking this time). He did not hold it, though, and when the entire cast decided to go and play at Denny's, he offered to take me home because he didn't "want to go to that place." So as I was wondering all evening what on earth I had done wrong, he took me home and proceeded to Denny's where he could discuss me (and other things, I'm sure) with female cast members. I guess I should've been kind of flattered when I heard that (just two days later), but really I was just a little bewildered at the whole fibbing part. I don't believe we ever discussed it, though, and we did date again after that.

Happily mismatches often fall apart. He was grown up (sort of - the fibbing thing is not to be ignored) and I was not, and his true love was just two semesters away while mine was 5 years away. But the story still makes me a little queasy if I think about it too long. To be honest, though, it's probably just HFAC life that makes me queasy.

-Love, an adoring Russian sister (I.S.)

Jen said...

I recall a date at BYU with with someone I'd might have met once before. I quickly realized that we had been invited as some sort of chaperone/chauffeur. After an awkward dinner, we started driving around (my date was driving)looking at big houses while the other couple made out in the backseat. Awkward.

Another awkward moment was when I was at a church activity with my now-husband and making small talk. I asked him if he knew my brother. He responded that yes, he did as both I and my brother had spent an evening at his house awhile back. I managed to recall the evening, but had no recollection whatsoever of him.

On our second date, he produced a framed picture of me, him, my brother and his friend taken that evening as proof. Awkward. He may have not been memorable then, but he is unforgettable now.

On a similar thread, I've posted a creepy encounter (too long for this comment)on my blog ( and would love to read others.

samiam said...

There was the high school date dance where I only invited the guy because he was friends with the group of guys my friends were asking. He proceeded to go AWOL almost the entire dance and one of my friends and her date ended up hanging out with me for moral support. I fell asleep during the movie we watched afterward (Pretator) just so I could get to the end of that date faster. Ironically enough, it was my very best date-dance picture (next to the my junior prom as a senior one with you of course!)

Emily said...

One more, since I guess I love to talk about myself so much:

A big bunch of girls got together and asked out some guys for a date on Halloween night, where we went to an old farm warehouse and had a picnic of Halloweeny foods. My friend and I asked these two very cute skater punk would-be-emo-if-emo-existed-then guys. One of them came on the date dressed up like Robert Smith from the Cure, makeup and crazy hair and all. The other group of girls asked a group of very jock-y, football-y guys from another school. When we all arrived at the warehouse and the picnic began, our emo guys told us, "Uh, those guys tried to beat us up not too long ago."


Amy-Alisa said...

Awkward date with a guy I had met once who didn't offer to pay for dinner but turned his back to me at the register, put his head on my shoulder during the movie, followed me to the car in the parking garage from his apartment and wanted a goodnight kiss. Ewww. said...

I've had a few, but my aunt's takes the cake. I kid you not, she was set up as a favor to my great-grandmother's in-home caregiver, who later stole from her and was fired. This lady had a son who was trying to come back into the fold, and he asked her out, but he'd had his license revoked (DUI) so his mom had to drive them. Then, they proceeded, with Mom in tow, to an AA meeting.

I know there was more, but that's all I can remember. Still, beat that!

Teachinfourth said...

You don’t know me, but we share a common friend, cjane. I just couldn’t help but notice that there are so many postings about girls’ bad dates, but few from the guys’ perspective…I feel that I need to make it known that there are also some freakishly strange women out there…

One memorable ‘first date’ which wasn’t really a date was when a girl from my ward, I’ll call her “Becky,” invited herself to go out with me. She wasn’t ready when I went to pick her up, and then I paid for dinner as well. The next day she called to ask, “where our relationship was.” After a conversation about our evening and how she was the one who’d invited herself out, she proceeded to tell me all of the reasons why I was still single…

One girl asked me out on a first date using her little sister who was a student at my school at the time. “My sister thinks you’re cute and wants to know if you’ll go on a date with her.” (3rd grader asking here). Talk about AWKWARD! In addition, the event this older sister had planned was hanging out at her folks’ house for her cousins birthday party with her entire extended family there. Luckily, I’d called a friend before the “date” who promised to call me 30 minutes into the festivities as my “escape hatch” if I needed to abort date. When she called, 15 minutes late, I was saddened to leave because of my “work-related emergency.” I went home and thought about slashing my wrists…

However, one of the worst experiences I’ve had in the first date world is from the girl who turned out to be a stalker and told ALL of her friends (as well as members of my ward) how we were “going out” and had been ‘secretly dating’ for months. In addition, she told everyone that she had a shoebox full of love letters I’d written to her (none of which I’d written) where I’d made known my deep worship of her. She also tried to spy into my apartment on the 3rd floor of the building where I lived when I ended up moving. She found my new house because I saw her on the sidewalk when I was walking home and she followed me to see where I’d moved.

I could go on, but it’s too painful. Sad that all three of these were in Provo.