100 Bad Dates: #39

Date #39 was a girl, because I tried that out for a while. The truth is, aside from obvious anatomical differences, it’s not all that different. Dating is dating, and the awkwardness of trying people on for size is not gender-specific.

Date #39 was a girl, because I tried that out for a while. The truth is, aside from obvious anatomical variations, it’s not all that different. Dating is dating, and the awkwardness of trying people on for size is not gender-specific.

A friend of mine had gone on a date with this girl and said that they didn’t really hit it off, but she thought she might be right for me. Never, ever fall for this. If the person were such a catch, your friend would want them. Trust. She described her as a quiet, boyish girl of medium height and build with red hair and a slight underbite.

The reality was the underbite was more than slight, resulting in her resembling a bulldog (and believe me, it’s so much cuter on the pup). She also had eyes that were too big for her face. Like, way too big. Imagine, if you will, a fly-bulldog hybrid with a ginger crew cut. Prince Harry without the benefit of lineage and that charming British accent. Anyway, she was 25 and still living at home with her parents. She also had a medical condition that prevented her from driving and said that public transportation was “dirty.” So her mom drove her everywhere… even to our date.

From the time she exited the minivan (how regal!), the flags were as red as her hair. But “in for a penny, in for a pound” I thought. Besides, people aren’t always what they seem, and it’s not like I was a prize pig. So, I decided against screaming “NEVERMIND!” and running the other way when I heard her say “Bye, Mom,” and instead politely said, “Oh, was that your mom? She has a nice car.”

Date #39 and I went to dinner at one of those awful faux-1950’s diners that takes the theme way too far. The Big Bopper was screaming at us from the speakers when we entered, and we had to step around an actual “classic” vehicle they had parked in the dining area, just to get to our table. A car? Indoors? How wacky! A life-sized cardboard cutout of Jailhouse Rock Elvis? I’m nostalgic! A waitress in cat-eye glasses? How authentic! Where were the roller skates? The kids piled in a phone booth? The segregated bathrooms?

As we quietly scanned the menus, it was painfully obvious that we hadn’t any chemistry, but that was okay because there aren’t many places that will put peanut butter on your hamburger. I ordered my gooey, nutty goodness, and my dining companion ordered off of the children’s menu. I laughed out loud, and Date #39 looked sad. After our waitress left, she explained that she’d had a gastric bypass operation the previous year and could only eat small portions. “Okay,” I thought, “That’s legit, but on a date you order off of the big kid’s menu and just don’t eat it all.” She went on to describe the procedure, in detail, and to go so far as to lift her shirt and show me some folds of skin that used to be filled with fat. She said she thought I might be a good candidate for the surgery, just as the waitress set the peanut butter-covered burger in front of me and kid’s burger in front of her.

I told Date #39 that I appreciated her concern for my well-being and went about quietly picking at my dinner while she watched. Not much more was said. When the check came, I set down my money.

“It’s my treat,” she said.

“Oh, no!” I exclaimed, somewhat desperately. “I insist on paying half.”

“If you don’t let me pay, how am I gonna get laid tonight?” she asked, straight-faced.


“Thanks, really,” I said and quickly handed the waitress the cash when she came by. Crap, now what? I had to take her back to my place so that her mom could pick her up, which wouldn’t happen for another half hour.

I drove to my house and walked up and sat on the stoop. No way were we going inside. She sat down next to me, and not a word was said. For thirty minutes. I checked my watch obsessively. When her mom arrived, we both stood up.

“Can I have a hug?” she asked. I hugged her with one arm and did the “friendship pat” on her shoulder. She sighed dejectedly, shaking her head as she walked to the royal minivan.

I went inside and called my friend who had set us up. I told her about the mom and the surgery and the fly eyes and the laid and she said, “Oh. Yeah.” I didn’t speak to her again for weeks. Turns out there are things even I wouldn’t do for a crown.

  • error

    Report an error

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.

There are 12 reader comments. Read them.