So today I've been dog-sitting, and in utter boredom as the pooch snoozed on my lap, I found myself reading this simultaneously hilarious and horrifying Reddit thread: What's the worst date you've ever been on? Man, there are some doozies. A woman whose date takes her to an expensive French restaurant, shames her into not drinking wine, and then insists on splitting the cheapest entree on the menu. A guy whose date inexplicably gets up in the middle of a seemingly good conversation and walks out, never to be heard from again. A woman whose date takes her to a Mexican restaurant, demands that they not eat any food, and then launches into an offensive political rant. Some really horrible, cringe-inducing stuff. It got me thinking about my worst date, which I'm not sure can really be counted as a "date," but was every bit as traumatizing as some of these stories nevertheless. So whatever, I have no shame (not that there's anything for me to be ashamed of), and I'm able to laugh at this now. Here goes...
After I came out, I was very eager to date. I was not very successful. Back then, I thought it was because I was ugly or because there was something else very wrong with me, but moving to Houston confirmed that the openly gay dating world of northwestern Pennsylvania was just too small. The guys I did meet were generally found online. After a small string of unsuccessful dates, I found another potential love interest. Let's call him Richard...that way, calling him Dick will be appropriate. An initial conversation proved that we had a lot in common, were of the same political mind, and even shared a political science major. One problem: Richard lived in Allentown (he was actually from New York City, but he was in Allentown for college), which was almost six hours away, all the way across Pennsylvania. That should have been the first clue that it probably wasn't going to work, but you have no idea, I was desperate, and he seemed perfect. We IM'd, texted, and talked on the phone constantly. I became infatuated with this guy. And determined to meet him in person.
Where there's a will, there's a way. I finally found the means to drive to see him. I told everybody. Everybody must have thought I was a freaking idiot, but nobody said anything. It wouldn't have mattered if they did, I suppose. I hopped on I-80 and drove my naive, stupid ass across the state.
That initial moment of meeting him in person was euphoric. But it didn't take long for the magic to fade. I realized, to my horror, that Richard had somehow--despite so much communication between us--concealed the fact that he was a raging asshole. He was a charmer online and on the phone, but man, did his true colors come out that weekend. It started off good enough. He introduced me to his roommate and her girlfriend, and we went to dinner. He insisted on paying for dinner since I drove so far, and then he told me a little later that I'd need to pay for all of my own stuff after that because he didn't have money to spend on me. Okay, fine--I wasn't expecting to have my way paid. But I wasn't sure why he felt the need to spell that out for me. That should have been my first red flag. I stayed the night, and the next day we decided to go to Philly (about an hour away). We all (yes, the lesbian couple, too) got in the car, and Richard kept talking the whole way about how his friend from high school was going to UPenn, so maybe he should stop and say hi. We spent an awkward day in Philly, because at this point I started to realize how much I really didn't like this guy. He was rude and, frankly, he could be downright mean at times. I was shocked, because he was so sweet whenever we'd talked before. But there was just something about him in person that made me uncomfortable. He just oozed d-baggery. It wasn't the fact that he was rich or that his daddy bought him a BMW or even that he was unnecessarily rude to people. It wasn't one thing in particular; he just had an aura about him. Everything I thought we had in common turned out not to be enough to negate the sharp difference in our personalities.
Over the course of the day, it was clear that we would never be anything. I should mention that, while in Philly, he did "say hi" to his high school friend. For a couple of hours, at a coffee shop, while the lesbian couple and I made awkward small talk. The rest of the day, I tried to think of ways I could get out of this tactfully and then never talk to him again. As it turned out, that wasn't necessary. That evening, he informed me that he didn't think we could ever work out (true). I just wasn't ready for a relationship with him. You see, he's from New York, and I just can't keep up with him. Not to mention, (in his words) "I like champagne, you like beer. I drive BMW, you drive Chevy." He did offer me something, though. I'll preface this by saying that he told me at some point that his only prior experience was randomly kissing another guy at a party. He proceeded to tell me that, since he was the more experienced in relationships (LOL, seriously), I could give him a call any time if I needed any dating advice. After I gained some maturity, I could reapply. Then he said, "You're free to stay the night, but I kinda have shit to do tomorrow, so you know..."
I kind of just sat there in stunned silence. I'd like to say I ripped him a new one and walked out in a dramatic fashion. But I didn't. At that point in my life, my self-esteem was so incredibly low that I actually sort of took what this guy said to heart. That's really the worst part of this story. I slept on the couch because it was late and I was too poor to afford a hotel and left first thing in the morning. We never heard from each other again.
I've told this story many times, and I'm able to have a good laugh at it now. I mean, it's pretty hard not to laugh at it. It's too ridiculous to even take seriously. I don't know what Richard is doing now, but I'm guessing he's miserable. I'd say that the moral of the story is don't meet people online from other cities, but that's how I met my current BF, and we've been happy for two and a half years. I guess the real moral of the story is not to let assholes tear you down. It's easy for me to see now that Richard was the pitiful one in this story, but it took me too long to realize that I deserved much better.
There are so many more things I could have said about Richard, but that's probably more diary space than he deserves.
So anyway, that's my worst date story. You don't have to share yours if you don't want to. What would you like to kibitz about?
Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate. Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.