Friday, July 11, 2008

The Worst Date Ever or Why Not to Go Out With a Guy You Met at a Bar

When I was in college, I was an absolute angel. I didn’t drink, smoke, didn’t even have sex. I led the high school girls’ Bible study and went to church every Sunday. Aw. I did go out to dance clubs, though, because I love to dance.

There was a club in Knoxville we went to often because they had 18+ nights. Sometimes they played rave music, and people were “dancing” with glowsticks…if you can call it that…it looks more like miming. I went once wearing a pair of black vinyl pants (work it, girl), and guys kept touching my ass. After a few guys did it, I lashed out at one and smacked his hand. I yelled that I wasn’t wearing the pants so he’d grab my ass and that he should ask permission the next time. I was so loud that a bouncer came over to throw us out, until I explained what happened, and he told the guy, “Dude. That’s not cool.”

One night, I went out with friends and met a guy. We talked about music, and he mentioned he liked the blues so I said yeah, I like Robert Johnson. He was in love and had to have my phone number.

There's something about giving your number out. I almost never expect to hear from a guy I give my number to, but when I do, even if I’m not interested (which, let’s face it, most of the time I’m not), I feel a little thrill. Ooo, I’m wanted. Even now, I like it. So the first time I gave my phone number to a guy I met a bar, imagine the thrill when he called and asked me out. We met at a bar in the Old City, and I brought my roommate and he had a friend too. I was immediately turned off because he’s wearing black sweatpants and a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. Not exactly my style. But I didn't want to judge a book by its cover.

Now before you start questioning me, I was about 19 or 20 years old and new to all this dating business. The attention was intoxicating…and really, still is. What red-blooded American woman isn’t flattered by attention? Truthfully, we even like it when construction workers hoot and holler. I mean, how hot is a guy who’s not into you? Not Hot. Boring.

So I shrugged my instincts away. I think he said he’d been working or helping a friend paint, and I accepted that excuse because I wanted to. We played pool for an hour or so until our friends were ready to leave. I told my roommate I’d be alright.

He and I played another game before deciding to drive down the road to a bar where they had live music. A singer/songwriter playing cover songs. We sat at a little table near the front. Absentmindedly, I started rubbing my shoulder. He asked if I was sore, and I explained that I had a tough yoga class the other day and still had a little tightness.

He wanted to help, and before I could respond, began massaging me. In public. I politely thanked him and tried to get him to stop. “Oh great, thanks. It feels better.” When suddenly, he pulls a tiny bottle of mint scented lotion out of his sweatpants pocket and starts to rub the lotion into my shoulders. “It puts the lotion on its skin!”

I don’t want to know what else he’s going to pull out of those pockets. People are staring at us, the musician skips a cord in his cover of American Pie, and it is time. to. go. I'm embarrassed, creeped out and smell like mint. I manage to get him outside and tell him I need to go home. “Where can I drop you off? Where does your friend live?”

He kisses me. Ew. There is nothing worse than kissing someone you don’t want to be kissing. I think it’s one of Dante’s levels of hell. “So where do I drop you off?” He shrugs and says he’ll just stay with me.

Again, I am 19 or 20, and this is my first date with a random from a bar. Even so, I know better. He is not going home with me. “No…you can’t do that. You’re not staying with me. Where do I need to take you?”

He does his best to persuade me and fails. He finally directs me to where his friend lives, and when we get to the apartment, says, “Oh darn. I don’t see his car. He must not be here.” This is before cell phones, mind you. Or at least before many people had them. Zack Morris did have that awesome briefcase phone, but very few of us in the real world were rocking them yet.

He starts up again with, “I should just stay with you. I’ll sleep on the couch if you want. I don’t mind. I just want to be near you.” Aw, I just want to be far, far away from you.

We drive to a gas station where I force him to use the payphone to call a cab.

I’m relieved the date is over, but he continues to call me. I know there’s something not right with this one. I track down a friend of mine who went to high school with the guy, and my friend makes me promise I will never see or talk to Lotion Guy again. I agree. My friend says he was charged with date rape. Thank God, I was smart enough not to let him come home with me. I’m sufficiently freaked and thank my friend for looking out for me. I also promise myself I will never go out with a guy from a bar again. A promise I even kept for a few years.

But Lotion Guy doesn't give up. He calls and calls. One time he calls my apartment, and my roommate and I see the caller id and start laughing about him and his mint scented lotion. Suddenly we hear beeps. We look at each other, look around us, wondering what could be making that noise. And realize that we accidentally answered the phone. And Lotion Guy has been listening to us make fun of him for a full 5-10 minutes before deciding to let us know by punching buttons on the phone. Our eyes widen, and we hang up.

He keeps calling until weeks later I start dating someone new and make that guy answer the phone. I overhear the conversation as New Guy tells Lotion Guy, “Yes, we’re dating now…Thank you…Yeah, she is a great girl…Ok, I’ll tell her…Goodbye.” Lotion Guy wished us the best. And was never heard from again. Let this be a lesson to you, ladies. Sometimes it is ok to judge a book by its cover. Or at least by the scent of his lotion.


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