100 Bad Dates: #2

Date #2 was my high school heartthrob. He was more The Geek than Jake Ryan, but a boy had never so much looked at me before, and I had a serious case of Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed and wasn’t picky.

Date #2 was my high school heartthrob. He was more The Geek than Jake Ryan (did you know that Anthony Michael Hall didn’t technically have a credited name in that movie?), but a boy had never so much looked at me before, and I had a serious case of Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed and wasn’t picky (as a woman, I know that The Geeks are much hotter than Jake Ryans, but I was just a girl).

We met on a party bus that a local radio station had rented to shuttle contest winners to a concert. I had been the 69th (I know!) caller one day, he a few days later. We were the only young people there (both with our moms) so we sat near each other and talked. We were surprised to find out we attended the same high school, as we’d never seen each other. He was a grade behind, but I prided myself on quiet observation of everyone who haunted that space. Even then, I was nosey wallpaper. I’m not sure how it happened, but our girlfriend/boyfriend status was established sometime during the concert and we started school the next Monday morning as a couple.

We had a whirlwind, two-week courtship during which I saw Date #2 every day, save for the ones he spent working at Chuck E. Cheese behind the prize counter (I, myself, slung soft serve at the local Dairy Queen). On one date, I was fortunate enough to meet his father, who said right to my face, “You look just like that chick from Facts of Life. Wassername? You know, the fat one.” Charmer! Also, it only took a few smooches for me to realize a) he was a bad kisser (and I had no idea what a good kisser was) and b) he had a chronic case of halitosis. Oh, and he had four jokes in his repertoire and repeated them, ad nauseum. Alas, I was but a young girl, trying to figure out how to dump my first (offensive-breathed) boyfriend.

One afternoon, as he was walking me to class, Date #2 pulled me behind the mathematics building and tried to shove his tongue into my mouth, something we hadn’t done before. I recoiled.

“What are you doing?” I asked, naively.

“French kissing,” he answered, angrily. “It’s what boyfriends and girlfriends are SUPPOSED to do.”

Apparently, I had been causing my first pair of blue balls by not making out with him and had no idea.

“Oh, yeah, I don’t want to do that,” I said, simply, and walked away.

The next day, Date #2 wouldn’t hold my hand between classes. He said I wasn’t really his girlfriend if I wouldn’t french kiss him. He told everyone that we broke up. It made me more sad than I had anticipated. I changed my mind, I wanted more than anything to french kiss him if it meant he wouldn’t leave me (only sixteen and already developing healthy relationship patterns – neat!). I knew he was working that afternoon over at da Chuck and headed there to beg him to take me back.

He wasn’t behind the prize counter, taking tickets and giving out crappy toys, so I went to leave. I figured I would just call him later with my dramatic professions of love. As I walked out, I saw him coming from the side of the building, holding hands with the bottom half of a giant pest. That’s right, I was being dumped for a headless Chuck E. Cheese!

“YOU’RE CHEATING ON ME WITH THE GIRL IN THE CHUCK E. SUIT?” I shouted, apparently not yet having developed shame.

“It’s not cheating,” he replied, slowly, “We broke up.”

“Yeah,” contributed the fuzzy harlot, begging for a punch in her little rodent mouth.

I turned, with all the dignity I could muster in that particular situation and headed to the car. I cried as I drove home and, when called for dinner, told my mom I was never eating again. Ah, young love.

The next day, a friend who attended a high school miles from my own called and asked what had happened between Date #2 and I. It turned out that whore Chuck E. Cheese went to her school and was telling everyone the story. Oh, good, now my extreme horror could be known across the school district! I vowed to never date again and committed myself to my art which, at the time, was terrible poetry. The poetry and the vow both lasted only until high school graduation, but the image of my Anthony Michael Hall french kissing half of a giant furry, well, that lives on.

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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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