Category Archives: Fifty Worst Dates

Dating…On A Budget

Monday morning, I woke up, made myself a pot of coffee and sat down on the couch to read the news…and check my Twitter account. In the process, I somehow stumbled onto Grindr and browsed some of the nearby profiles. I have been (desperately) trying not to go on Grindr as much, but just like the cheesy gordita crunch at Taco Bell, it’s fucking addicting.

While scrolling, one profile made me stop and tap. He was cute, my age, nearby, and his profile said, “have scruff and make me laugh.”

“I have both of those things!” I said out loud and continued to message him with “Happy Monday!” – a pretty standard greeting.

He wrote back right away – should have been my first signal – and we carried on a conversation for most of the day. We talked about life in Astoria, my food blog, his job, and our favorite movies. Instead of carrying out a weeklong text-a-thon with this kid, I invited him to meet for drinks the next night.

Usually, I do not meet someone after only finding out a few pieces of personal information from them, but I figured it’s best to meet as soon as possible, see if there is a mutual connection, and go from there. He said he was up for it and we exchanged phone numbers.

His first text to me was a gif from 30 Rock, so I already knew him and I would be married by the end of the month. 30 Rock gifs and fried cheese are the way to my heart (not in that order).

After work, I met my friend, Rebecca, downtown to check out the Central Perk popup store from the TV show Friends. I don’t think I had been that excited about something since TGIFridays had that 10$ all-you-can-eat-appetizer deal. We got to the location and stood in line, anxiously waiting to have our chance to sit on the big orange couch.

After a few minutes of catching up and pretending to listen to each other’s stories, I looked down at my phone and saw that my new boy, Zack we will call him, had texted me. “What are you up to tonight?”

I rolled my eyes and told Rebecca all about him. I told her that at first we spent the day bullshitting and chatting and having a really fun conversation, but as soon as he had my phone number, he had started freaking me out by the length of his text messages. Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely picky and I cast guys off to the side for the smallest of things. Once, I was on my way to meet a guy for drinks and he texted “Okie Dokes” and I cancelled on him immediately. So, I knew I needed to be a little more lenient this time and give him a chance.

I responded where I was and he wrote back that he had never actually watched an episode of Friends. How is that even humanly possible?! I laughed it off and told him it was my favorite show, yada yada yada. He then started sending me Friends memes and a picture of his roommates’ boxed-set collection of the show on DVD. “Maybe he’s just really into you,” Rebecca said, trying to play devil’s advocate. I sent a smile face emoji and put my phone in my pocket, just as we were entering Central Perk.

Once we were done, we decided to grab a bite to eat down the block. When we sat down, I pulled out my phone and saw I had 4 long text messages from him. Four. And in one of the messages he asked me what my favorite episode was and that he would watch it that night so “we would have something to talk about the next day.”

I’m sorry, but if the only thing we have to talk about is Ross and Monica doing a dance routine on Dick Clarks New Years Rockin’ Eve, then this relationship is never going to happen.

I started expressing my fears with this guy to my friend, who at that point, completely understood. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love it when a guy texts me. Seriously, I love it. But if we haven’t met yet (only been taking for 9 hours) and you are sending me novels as text messages, asking me about where I am, what I’m doing, and what I had for dinner, I will be completely turned off.

I came home that night and thought about if I actually wanted to go through with this date the next day. I mean, if he was interested in me, was that really the worst thing in the world? Not at all! Sure his text messages were a little overbearing, but perhaps he is different in person.

Or so I thought.

The next morning, the day of our date, “Zack” texted me asking where I wanted to meet up that night. I told him that I wasn’t too sure of many bars in the area, since I had just moved there, but I would be good with wherever. He responded saying he didn’t care either and that he would be more than willing to just pick up a bottle of wine and hangout at one of our apartments because he was “on a budget.”

Where do I even begin? One, if you are on a budget, it is not attractive to tell that to the person you are trying to impress. Everyone is on a budget. Hell, I am definitely on a budget, but I’m not going to tell someone I have no money hours before we are scheduled to meet up. That’s what credit cards are for, right?

Also, his suggestion of hanging out at one of our apartments should have been my first warning sign that this was more of a routine on his part than an actual money-saving idea. Again, trying to stay open-minded, I agreed to his plan and told him he could come over to my apartment, since my roommate would be at work, and we could share a bottle of wine.

I came home from work, cleaned up a bit, showered and sprayed the couch generously with Febreeze, awaiting his arrival. On his way, he texted me asking what kind of wine I liked, to which I replied “Any and all of it” but then assured him I also picked up a bottle of wine, so not to get crazy. He wrote back, “LOL. Okay, I got a 6$ bottle of wine, but trust me, after the second glass, you won’t even taste how bad it is.”

I wasn’t convinced.

Around 8:30 he arrived at my apartment, and the second I opened the front door, I knew I didn’t like him. Not that he was ugly, but I could just tell from his energy that we weren’t going to mesh well. He was wearing a striped t-shirt, the tightest jeans I have ever seen on a man, and a cardigan. He also had on a hat that resembled the one worn by the main character from The Sandlot (here is a picture if you need a reference).

I welcomed him into my apartment and poured him a glass of wine – from my wine bottle that was already opened. When I handed it to him, he asked for a tour of my place – something that I hate. It’s not like I live in a glamorous and giant apartment. You can literally see the entire apartment from the front door. But, I obliged his request and showed him around. When I showed him my bedroom, he looked around and said, “I could wake up here.”

…What?

When the tour was finally over, I ushered him out of my room and back into the living room. I sat down on one end of the couch and he took a seat right next to me. I would have preferred to have a little breathing room, but didn’t let it bother me too much. Still on the subject of my apartment layout, he glanced around and said, “Your place is really cute. I mean, my living room is twice this size, but…I like what you’ve done with the little space you have.”

…Okay.

We started the conversation in a pretty normal way: talked about our favorite movies, tv shows, and music. I enjoy discussing these subjects, but I am very opinionated on these topics. I can – and do- judge a person by the types of things they like to watch. I told him that I was in the middle of watching Breaking Bad and I just could not get into it. All he responded to that was, “Oh my God, it’s the best show. The best show. It’s so good. So good.”

I asked him what makes it so good, just to see if maybe I missed something big or stimulating, but he just kept on repeating “Oh my God, it’s the best show. The best show. It’s so good. So good.” I shrugged and agreed to disagree.

I took the biggest sip of my wine, knowing I would need to be at least tipsy to get through the remainder of the evening. He went over to my DVD collection and asked, “What should we watch?” Knowing I could definitely not handle a movie, I suggested we watch a few episodes of The Comeback since it was one of the shows we actually agreed on enjoying. I put the DVD in the player and headed back to the couch, where he was sprawled out, awaiting me to come over and cuddle.

I poured another glass of wine, drank it all in one sip, and laid down beside him on the couch. While watching the show, he put his arm around me and massaged my scalp with his other hand. “You know, you’re going to have to massage my head while we watch the next episode,” he informed me.

I shot up like Scooby Doo had just solved a murder case and looked at him quizzically.  “Excuse me? I have to do what?”

“Massage my head. I’ve been doing it to you for the past ten minutes. So, next episode, it’s my turn.”

I actually laughed out loud to this, shook my head, and said, “I don’t think so.”

“But what do you mean? It’s only fair. We need to take turns, or else I’m going to stop massaging you.”

“Well, then…stop massaging me. I didn’t ask you to touch my scalp.”

He removed his hand and we continued to watch the show, in a hostile cuddle. When the show ended, I sat up and refilled both of our wine glasses. “Let’s talk some more,” I said, hoping to make the time pass a little faster.

I asked him where he grew up and he grabbed my face and started kissing me. When I tried to pull away, he just whispered, “Shh…just go with it.”

Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t been touched since February. Or maybe because I had six glasses of wine, but I took his advice and shut up and went along with it. In my head I was thinking, “Well, maybe if we hook up, he will leave. It’s always awkward after hooking up with someone, so he will just gather his belongings and walk out the door and I can finish my bottle of wine in peace.”

Like he was reading my mind, he said, “Let’s take this to the bed.”

We walked into my bedroom, I quickly shut off all the lights, and unbuttoned my shirt. Before I got to the third button, he was already laying on my bed, completely naked. Except for his hat.

Things between us were heating up pretty quickly and it wasn’t too long before he headed south to my nether regions. He started going down on me, and the bill of his hat kept poking me right in the stomach. Then, just as I was starting to relax and enjoy myself, he flipped me around and started with the ass play. “Dude, I don’t even know your last name,” I said in complete shock as to what was happening.

Now, I am sure there are many people who enjoy that sort of thing, but I am just not one of them. It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and it just doesn’t feel good to me. I kindly asked him if he could stop and he sat up like a sad little puppy dog, defeated at his own game.

He flipped me back around, came up to my face, and went in for a kiss. Absolutely not. Not even a little bit. I pulled away and said he needed to rinse with mouthwash and brush his teeth if he wanted to kiss me again. “I know where that tongue has been, mister!”

After he rinsed twice with mouthwash and used my roommates’ toothbrush, we picked back up where we left off: me getting a blowjob. I closed my eyes and desperately tried to finish so this night would end and I could make it to McDonald’s for an ice cream cone before they closed. But, no such luck. I was so turned off by all of the preceding events to even feign pleasure and enthusiasm. I finally looked over at him and said it wasn’t going to happen. “I have a lot of work things on my mind,” I lied.

He assured me it was fine so I got up and re-dressed. “Do you have any extra pajamas I could wear?” he asked.

…HUH?

“No,” I responded. “I’m 28 years old. I don’t own pajamas. And I have a really big work thing (ice cream cone) I need to work on (eat) so I can’t (never ever) have a sleepover tonight. Sorry.”

“It’s okay. Let’s go back to the couch and finish that wine.”

This time when we sat on the couch, he sat on the opposite side, giving me the distance I needed. I emptied the remaining wine into our glasses and played yet another episode of The Comeback. A few minutes into the show, he patted his lap like there was a golden retriever sitting behind me and said, “Put those feet up. I want to rub them.” So I did.

Stop judging me. I feel you all judging me, but you have to understand…I love foot rubs.

So, he started massaging my feet, and this is where it went even further downhill.

“Wow. Cut your toe nails much?” he asked.

I looked down at my toes and reasoned with myself that they were not as bad as he was making them out to be. Sure, they were longer than they should have been, but I am getting a pedicure on Saturday and there is no point for me to clip my toe nails when I am going to pay someone $20 to do it for me. Right? Right.

He kept talking about the toe nails for the remainder of the episode and I deflected his comments with a joking response, saying, “Stooopppp! I’m really insecure about my toes,” hoping he would laugh it off and we could move on to another subject. (Maybe he finally came up with an answer as to why Breaking Bad is so good).

But he didn’t. He stopped playing with my feet, looked at me, and asked, “You’re insecure about your toes? Really?!”

I nodded yes and then he followed up with this line: “But there are so many other things you should be insecure about.”

Welp, I think this night is over, what do you think?

I laughed at his insulting comment, not because I thought it was funny, but that I was going to have a great story to tell my friends the next morning. “I really should get to bed, Zack. I think you should go.”

He stood up, put his cardigan back on, adjusted his hat, and made his way to the door. “Here, I’ll walk you out,” I offered. We stood at the front door and I gave him a hug and exchanged the normal first date pleasantries: “This was fun. It was nice to meet you. Get home safe.”

He pulled me in for a kiss and demanded that I call him. Once he left, I ran to the bathroom to take a scalding 11 minute shower and ponder, yet again, why I meet the weirdest and most awful guys in New York. My thoughts were interrupted when I heard a knock at my door. At this point, I preferred a serial killer to be on the other side of the door, but no such luck. “Hey, what’s up? Did you forget something?” I asked.

“Yeah, my bottle of wine. Can I have it back?”

 

 

 

 

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Trust Your Gut

Intuition: Instinctive knowledge or belief; a hunch

Intuition is a funny thing. We all have it, but sometimes we don’t listen to it. Other voices get into our heads, challenging our intuition or gut feeling.

This happened to me last week.

In early November, I was busy swiping left and right to countless pictures of New York singles, in hopes to find my soul mate on Tinder, because that’s a possibility, right?

Among my many matches that evening, one stood out. His name was Steve and he is a therapist and a writer – my two favorite professions in one person! I figured I could receive some helpful edits and advice for my writing while also lying on his couch talking to him about the issues with my mother.

Perfect dating situation, right?

We quickly did the normal Tinder-thing and exchanged our phone numbers to make the texting all that easier. But, I could tell from the first message he sent me that I wasn’t going to like him, mostly because after every message he sent me, he added “Sexy” to it, a word I only want to hear from Jake Gyllenhaal, my personal shopper, or the cashier at Chipotle.

He said that we should meet up after work and I said yes, but quickly regretted my decision. I told my friends about meeting him and expressed my concerns and they all told me to just “shut up” “go with it” and “stop eating at Chipotle every day.” So, I listened to them and decided to go. Who knows, he may be my soul mate. I stopped listening to my gut and gave him a chance.

He works and lives in Harlem, so he suggested grabbing a few drinks up in that area. He then mentioned the place we were going to is “just minutes from his apartment.” If he thought I was going to get drunk and hook up with him, he was kind of right.

Having never been to Harlem, I obliged his request and told him that I would be there at 6:30, the time he was getting off work.

I missed the train and had to wait, making me 15 minutes late – something I very rarely do, and a trait I find extremely disrespectful. Luckily, I got service for a few minutes on the train and told him I would be there a little late and he replied that he works across the street from the bar we were meeting at and to just text him when I got off the train and he would meet me.

Once off the train I texted and he said, “On my way.”

I stood outside of the bar with my arms folded, waiting for him to appear. I looked left, right and behind me, and he was nowhere to be found. A 6’2’’ white male would stick out like a sore thumb in Harlem, I thought.

I ended up standing outside the place for 15 minutes until he arrived, which made me a little annoyed, but I figured it wasn’t the end of the world.

The end of the world, however, was the way he acted and spoke. Now, I am not into the flamboyant type – you know the guy who talks with his hands, wears more than one bracelet on his arm, and says the word “Yaaaaaaas!”

I noticed that he was extremely flamboyant from 100 yards away. One, he walked like he was on the catwalk in Rupal’s Drag Race. Secondly, he had a tan tote bag around his shoulder, only holding his cell phone. Isn’t that what pockets are for?

He greeted me, kissed me on the cheek, and grabbed the front door to the bar. We ended up sitting down at a table, in-between two couples having a much better time than I would.

The waitress approached us and asked for our drink order. I asked for a glass of the Cabernet while my date smacked his lips, rolled his eyes and said, “I’ll take a Makers Mark on the rocks because I’ve had a daaayyyyyy.”

It was my first time ever hearing someone say the word “Day” with more than 1 syllable.

When the waitress left us, I wanted to grab her arm and plead, “Stay just a little bit longer. Please don’t leave me alone with her.” But she walked away before I could even take a reach, so I inhaled and said to myself, You’re already here, so just have the best time you can.“Do you want to get a plate of nachos?” I asked, thinking this could at least help.

We sat at the table, looking at each other for a few seconds (which seemed like 10 minutes) when I finally asked, “Where did you grow up?”

“How many times are you going to ask me that?” he replied. “This is like, I don’t know, the fourth or fifth time.”

I opened my mouth to respond, but I was waiting for him to laugh or say “Just kidding” but both never came. So then I figured I would change the subject to work.

He told me that he works at a health clinic for HIV testing and that he is a writer on the side. Being more comfortable with the latter, I asked him what he liked to write about. He told me that he had a Dating column at a newspaper in Chicago, something I actually found fascinating.

“That’s my dream job,” I told him. “Tell me more about that!”

“Well, I don’t know what you want me to say. It was a lot of work.”

Kay.

It appeared that I was not going to be able to have any semblance of a normal conversation with this guy. Thankfully, the nachos arrived and I devoted all of my time and attention to the heaping dollop of sour cream lying on top.

I looked at my watch and it wasn’t even 8 o’clock yet. I could not sit at this table without having any type of conversation, so I took a deep breath and  asked what he watches on TV – a conversation I could have with a deaf monkey.

He mentioned a few shows I never really heard of or watched, and of coursed he was “obsessed with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” He then went on to say that he was a closeted Pretty Little Liars fan. FINALLY, something I could work with. I, too, am a closeted PLL fan and had just watched the season finale the night before, so finding someone who wasn’t 12 to talk about it with has been quite a challenge.

We spent the rest of the evening talking about the possibilities of who “A” could be and I was finally starting to enjoy the conversation.

When the waitress came by to pick up the empty plates off our table she asked if we wanted another drink, to which he replied, “No thanks, just the check” and then took a huge yawn. “Is that cool? I had a really long day and I’m exhausted.”

Although I was extremely happy he asked for the check (which meant I could be home before 9pm and eat the rest of my Oreo milkshake sitting in my freezer) I was actually kind of bothered by this. HE was the one fake-yawning and saying HE had a long day? HE was the one ditching ME? Oh, I don’t think so.

I wanted to say something right then and there that I was the one who was cutting the date short. That I was the one who was not interested. That I was the one who was exhausted! But, I just smiled and said, “Of course.”

The best part was when the check came, he didn’t seem to be in that much of a hurry to leave. He just let the checkbook sitting there in the middle of the table, waiting for me to pull out my credit card.

I don’t think so, buddy. I had to take a train to Harlem, wait 15 minutes for you to get here, and talk about an ABC Family television show for thirty-five minutes. If anything, we are splitting it.

So, I waited the ten minutes it took him to get the point and reach for his wallet and I threw in my card, too.

He walked me to the train, apologized again for being “such a bore” and hugged me goodbye.  Once on the train, I was ecstatic that it was over, but still really angry. I started thinking, “Why doesn’t he like me? He should be begging for me to date him. I’m handsome, smart, funny, and don’t get me started on my eyes. How is he the one who blew me off?”

I shrugged my shoulders and just laughed it off. I knew that I wasn’t going to have a good time and I wish I would have ignored my friends, co-workers, and the guy who toasted my bagel and just trusted my gut. Because my intuition is never wrong.

Except when I thought eating a 4 day old Milkshake was a good idea.

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The Keebler Elf

Just before Myspace was going out of style and I still resided in Boca Raton, I received a message from a guy named Bryan. Apparently, we had a few mutual friends so he sent a quick message to say hi as he added me as a friend. Back in the day, I would add people just because I liked their shirt.

From browsing his profile and photo albums, I immediately fell in love. He was adorable. He was smart. He was a Southern gentleman. But, he lived in Georgia.

We spent a few nights that week talking on the phone, and I was instantly obsessed with his twang and country accent. Everyone I had met in South Florida barely spoke English, and if they did, they knew how to say three things: “Hello”, “My name is”, and “How short do you want the lawn Mister James?” It was definitely time for a change.

“Ugh!” I screamed repeatedly alone in my room until Cory, my roommate came barging in.

“What’s the matter?” he asked after my ninth exhale.

“This always happens!”

“Herpes?”

“No!” I screamed. “Well, I don’t think so! But that’s not what this is about!” I got off my bed and sat at the computer chair. “Whenever I meet someone online that is cute, smart, worthy of dating, AND that is interested in ME, they always live so far away. Remember that guy in Anchorage? Anyways, I met someone last week on Myspace and he is perfect.”

“So where does he live? Hopefully somewhere really pretty that you could go visit! Like the Caribbean. Or Denver.”

“Neither,” I said with a melancholy growl. “He lives in Camden, Georgia.”

Once again, I was being a bit dramatic, and Cory was in no mood to comfort me or give in to my pity cry. “Oh just get over it. You could easily go to Georgia! I believe there is a train that goes there at midnight.”

“This is no time for a Gladys and the Pips reference, Cory.” I laid back down on my bed and cuddled my pillow, wanting to change the subject. “So, how exactly do I know if I have herpes?”

Two weeks later, my phone rang as I was in the middle of my rigorous workout. “Hello!?” I yelped, interrupting my third sit-up.

It was one of my best friends from high school, Katie Kelly. I have always loved her name, and have always secretly wished her middle name was Kendall or Karen, just for the amusing initials.

Katie lived in Jacksonville, working on her Bachelors at the University of North Florida and living with her Navy Seal boyfriend of one year. She was going on and on about her sister getting married and that she needed a date for the wedding.

“What about your boyfriend?” I asked, while wiping the sweat off my forehead.

“He’s going to be on the ship for another four months. And everyone is bringing a date. Even my cousin, Lynn, has a date.”

“Wait. Isn’t she the one with one leg?”

“One foot” she corrected me. “I cannot show up to this thing alone. Please save me!”

I thought about my school schedule and my lack of monetary funds, but then quickly got excited to watch Lynn attempt to do the Hokey Pokey, so I agreed.

“Fine! I will go with you. We will match our outfits but I will not put out!”

I hung up the phone and decided that I had enough physical activity for one day. I didn’t want to pull a hamstring four weeks before the wedding and not be able to do the electric slide. I jumped into bed at 3 in the afternoon for my first nap of the day when I suddenly realized: Jacksonville is just below Georgia! When I go up for the wedding, I would be able to see my best friend AND meet Bryan. I sent him a quick message telling him my plan and asking how far away he was from where I would be staying and he replied “20 minutes, 30 minutes tops. We could totally arrange a meeting!”

I turned down my shades, pulled up my covers, and suddenly had Georgia on my mind.

The weekend of the wedding came before I knew it and I had to quickly throw one weekend worth of clothes into two suitcases. I called Bryan and told him of my whereabouts and that as soon as I could, I would ditch my friend and we could meet up.

I made it to Jacksonville just after 5pm and pulled into Katie’s apartment complex, where she was standing in the parking lot, jumping up and down like a six year old who just saw the tooth fairy fly away. The sight of her pathetic excitement almost made me turn my car around.

I rolled down the window as I pulled into a parking space. “Enough with the jumping jacks, I’m here!” I popped the trunk of my car and said, “Would you be a doll and grab those two suitcases? I’m beat from all this driving.”

As Katie pulled out my two Lacoste suitcases and hauled them up to her third floor apartment, I pulled out one of those miniature fans and exhaled, “Gaw it’s hot up here”. She turned to look back, giving me an evil snarl and almost ran right into the wall. “Whoa! Easy with that one. It has my shoes in it!”

Once inside, I took my spot on the couch, where I would be sleeping the next few nights. Katie then got me a glass of water. It was from the faucet, but I drank it anyways. “This weekend is going to be so much fun!” She exclaimed. “I hope you are ready to do some cha-cha-sliding”.

Katie knew how much I hated organized dancing and could probably tell with my lack of response that I would be sitting at the open bar all night ordering vodka tonics two at a time.

“I know. This seriously better be one hell of a wedding. I am missing the season finale of Survivor: All Stars for this.”

“Really? Survivor? That show is ridiculously gay. No offense. It is so staged. You know they are all sleeping at a Sheraton Hotel once the cameras turn off.”

I almost jumped off the couch in anger. “You know that’s not true!”

“And besides,” she continued, “Survivor comes on Sunday nights. You’ll probably be back home in time for it anyways, and you definitely won’t miss the tribal council meeting. You should have just tape recorded it.”

“Wow. For someone who hates the show, you sure do know quite a lot about its airtime and rituals, Katie.”

“TV Guide” she said and crossed her arms.

“And tape record it? I haven’t seen an actual working VCR since I was in diapers. Anyways, do I have time to take a short two hour nap?”

“No. Tonight is the rehearsal dinner and I figured we could go meet up with my girlfriends for a few cocktails before. They really want to meet you.”

(A little side note):

It seems that every time I go to visit a friend, I always have to go out and meet their other friends. Can’t you go out with your girlfriends every other day that I’m not there? I get it. I am not your only friend, so stop making me meet the rest of them. And then you throw in that bullshit of a story “They really want to meet you”. No they don’t. 9 times out of 10, they have never heard of me in their lives and suddenly I am just some random guy sitting at a table drinking something with an umbrella in it.

The conversation always goes like this:

GIRL FRIEND: Hey guys! This is James                                                                                                                                               FRIENDS OF SAID GIRL FRIEND: Who?                                                                                                                       GIRL FRIEND: James! The guy I was telling you about. We’ve been best friends since we were four.     FOSGF: Oh! The guy who got the baseball scholarship to Vanderbilt?                                                              GIRL FRIEND: No, that was my brother. James is my gay best friend, goes to college down South. Really funny…                                                                                                                                                                       FOSGF: Umm. Oh yeah, I remember him now. Nice to meet you, Jeff.

But I digress back to Katie’s couch. I didn’t know how to tell her that I made plans for the night already, so I just said, “I made plans for the night already.”

“What? You came up here to be my date to my sister’s wedding. How could you have made other plans? You’ve been here litchrally (I know that’s spelled incorrectly, but that is how she pronounces it) five minutes. I don’t want to go to the rehearsal dinner alone!”

“Katie, you were going to go to the wedding alone if it weren’t for me. I’m sorry. I met this guy a few weeks ago and he lives about thirty minutes away, and this is the only time that we would be able to meet. He’s already on his way from Georgia and…”

She cut me off and stood up, “Georgia?! How…I mean why…no, I mean how are you meeting guys from Georgia?! You live six hours away!”

“Online.” I added, “Do you want to see a picture of him? He’s so…”

“No.”

Katie started pacing back and forth through her eleven by eight foot living room, fuming from the ears and nose. “Well, I am sorry. You are just going to have to tell him you have previously made plans and that you didn’t come all the way up here to meet him.” She paused. “Wait a minute. Did you come all the way up here to meet him? And that the wedding was just a great excuse?”

I sat there in shock, mostly because it was true. “No! I came here to go to your sister’s wedding! I honestly just thought you would need me for tomorrow. And I really really really like him and wanted to see where things went.” Note to readers, if you want to get your point across, just keep repeating “really” a few times. Then they’ll know it’s important.

I was really hoping that she would be okay with me leaving for a little bit. I saw her start to weaken and sit back down. “Well, I mean tonight is just going to be my immediate family. It would be kind of boring for you, I guess.”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I screamed. Aside from the ‘really rule’, saying ‘thank you’ three times shows just how thankful you really are. Only assholes say it once.

“Yeah. But because I am letting you go and ditch me tonight, you will do the cha-cha slide, the electric slide, and what other dances involve sliding. You hear me?”

I didn’t even have a chance to respond. I had already started trying on different outfits.

Not even twenty minutes since I was “allowed” to go on the date, Bryan called me and said he was getting off the highway and suggested that we meet up at a Starbucks a few miles down the road. “I like coffee” I agreed.

Now, as a serial online dater, I have met guys pretty much everywhere: bars, clubs, restaurants, the dumpster behind a Best Buy, etc. My least favorite is Starbucks. One, because it is inundated with people at all times, and they are all in just one tiny room, staring at you when you come in. You know you are meeting someone for a date and they certainly do too once they catch that awkward hello you’re about to do.

Oh, I guess it’s my least favorite for just one reason.

So, I made it to the Starbucks as directed and parked my car. I had already received the “I’m here” text a few minutes ago, so I decided to take my time and build up the anticipation. I got out of my car and headed straight for that door, knowing Bryan was inside, somewhere, waiting for me.

I slowly opened the glass door and looked around the coffee shop. To my right were these three guys studying for some sort of test. Why anyone was studying on a Friday night is beyond me. No one was in line for coffee except this old lady. I then peered to my left and saw two oversized purple velvet couches in the corner. One was vacant. The other held Bryan.

I walked over and he did not even look up from his BlackBerry. I tried to get a clear shot of what his face looked like so I wasn’t approaching the wrong guy. I hate to say it, but I cleared my throat to get his attention. He looked up from his phone and I quietly whispered, “Bryan?” He looked shocked that someone in a Jacksonville Starbucks would know his name and at first gave me a skittish look. Then I guess he realized he was going on a blind date. He smiled faintly and said, “James. It’s nice to meet you.”

I sat down on the purple couch next to his. “It’s nice to meet you too, Bryan.”

“Oh, please. Call me Keebs. It’s my nickname. Everyone I know calls me that.”

Keebs, I thought to myself. Hmm. I don’t like nicknames. Never have. I just don’t get them, I guess. I once met a guy named Steve, but his nickname was Gary. I can’t even connect the dots on that one. I swore that after we hooked up I wouldn’t speak to him again.

“Did you want to get something?” I asked.

“No, thanks.” He replied. “Don’t really like the taste of coffee. Plus, it stunts your growth.”

Since neither of us was actually drinking coffee, and a family of four was standing over me and Bryan waiting for us to get up, I suggested we leave for dinner. “I know just the place” he said.

I stood up from my chair with my right leg half asleep, went to the door and turned around to hold it for Bryan…I mean “Keebs”, and this is the moment I discovered the nickname. This is the moment I understood Keebs.

He could not have been a centimeter over 5’3’’. Nowhere in his MySpace profile alluded to the fact that he was almost legally a midget. I mean, just to state the facts, I am no giant. I am 5’9 (5’10 in the right shoe) and usually someone’s height doesn’t bother me. But someone’s lack of height surely did that night. I was hoping that the six inches he was missing in height he would make up in girth.

As we walked across the street, a car zoomed past us and, as an instinct, I threw my arm out in front of him to stop him from getting run over. In my attempt to save his life, I smacked him so hard, my ring left an imprint on his forehead.

“It’s okay. It’s fine. He is a nice, normal, sweet guy. How tall (or short) he is shouldn’t deter you from having a fun time.” These were the words I was telling myself as I got into his Ford-250 pickup truck. I can barely get into one of those things and I would have loved to see how he managed to climb on up. I noticed on his front driver seat he had a phone book. “Who uses a phone book anymore?” I thought to myself. Until I saw his tiny little ass sit down on it.

“It’s okay. It’s fine. He is a nice guy.”

We were heading to the nice part of Jacksonville where there are great shops, restaurants, and bars he told me. I wish Katie wasn’t so mad at me because she would have been dying right now. The radio was blasting Toby Keith (okay, at least he was a Republican) and the windows were rolled down. I tried making small talk but he kept saying, “Let’s just keep the good convo for the dinner, alright?” in that Southern twang of his.

A long fifteen minutes  later, the truck was parked and we were walking toward the restaurants. I was so concerned everyone was looking at me the way Nicole Kidman was looked at when she was “married” to Tom Cruise. I didn’t want them to think that I knew about his height prior to us going out, so when I would catch people stare I would mouth “blind date” and they would look back at me, shrug their shoulders, and give me a knowing look that read ‘Hang in there’ and ‘God is watching and he is proud’.

As we walked down the pier, we passed so many inviting and interesting restaurants: A family-owned Italian restaurant, a Sushi one, a Thai one, a Mexican one. I couldn’t wait to find out where he was taking me. We made a left at the end of the pier and that is where I noticed the God-awful orange awning of the tackiest restaurants around, Hooters.

“This is not where we are going,” I said silently to myself as he ran to the door and held up two tiny fingers. “Table for two, please”.

“Denise is your server and she’ll be right over” Brandi cheered and then skipped away. I picked up the menu and started browsing the culinary selections.

“Have you ever been here before?” Bryan asked me.

Yeah, I’ve been to a Hooter’s before you moron. My dad would drag me here to watch football games and to stare at women’s boobs since I was seven. My grandmother has even been to a Hooter’s. But, I am sure she didn’t drive six hours to be taken on a date to one by a troll.

Bryan, yes I will call him Bryan from here on out because just typing the word ‘Keebs’ makes me nauseous. So, Bryan ordered us a fried pickle appetizer and swore on his life by it. “This will be the best part of your night,” he said. I nodded my head knowing he was right.

The dinner conversation was light, and mostly touched on the different types of wing sauce, if Georgia really does have the best peaches, and stories of his ex-boyfriends. I excused myself to use the bathroom, just so I could get a minute to myself. In the stall, I texted Katie and told her that I would much rather be at her family’s dumb rehearsal dinner instead of out on the docks with this shrimp. She replied, “Duh.”

When I got back to my seat, the check was laying on the table. A sign to me that this night was over, and thank Jesus for that. He picked up the checkbook and reached for his wallet, like a true Southern gentlemen. “Wanna just split it?”

I really didn’t have any other choice.

As we walked back along the pier to the parking garage, Bryan spotted a sports memorabilia store with a Georgia Bulldogs flag out front. “Mind if we stop in for a minute?”

I really didn’t have any other choice.

I was starting to feel that Bryan was having an identity crisis and being unsure of his sexuality – Hooter’s AND a sports store, both bad choices for the gays.

Pretty much the entire store was covered wall-to-wall with Bulldog shirts, hats, pillows, beer cozies, and statues of a bulldog wearing the uniform. “These are kinda cute” I said, making myself enjoy the store for what it was.

“Aww, I love them. Oh my gaw, look at this little guy. He reminds me of Kevin, my dog growing up. Wearin’ the hat and all. I think I’m a get him.”

Bryan made his way to the register holding this three foot dog statue that came up to his nipples and paid the lady the forty-seven dollars for it. He couldn’t buy my 10 wings, but fifty bucks for a dog statue was a much better way to spend his money.

Back on the highway, I saw the dog statue sitting in the bed of the truck out of my side-view mirror and had to ask, “Hey, Bryan- “

“…I’d prefer it if you just called me Keebs.”

“I’d rather not. What’s the deal with the statue? I’ve never seen anyone go into a store so quickly and buy something so specific. And I know shopping. I am an expert. Why did you have to get it tonight? I am sure there are better, more team-spirited dogs in Georgia.”

He put his left blinker on and got in the turning lane. The light was red, so he turned to me and said, “Well, I needed it tonight so I could drop it off.”

“Drop it off where?” I asked, concerned.

“Right here, down the road. To the cemetery.”

I chuckled and said, “Why the hell are you bringing some dumb statue to a cemetery at 10pm?”

The light turned green and Bryan made the left. Staring down the two-lane highway, listening to the silence, he swallowed hard, “My dad died one year ago today. He is buried right up here on the right. And he was such a big Bulldog fan, let me tell you. So, I figured that on that way back to me droppin you off, I could just put the statue on his grave and say my peace, mainly because I haven’t been to the grave yet.”

I put two spaces between the next paragraph just so you could take some time to process what has just happened.

Talk about a morbid date, huh? I immediately pulled out my BlackBerry and started frantically texting Katie. “Help me, please” I wrote with over twenty exclamation points. Like the great friend she is, she ignored every message I sent her. And then it hit me as the car went into park. I was really doing this. This was actually happening.

Bryan hopped the six feet out of the truck and went around the back and grabbed the dog. I just sat in the car, silently praying that I was in a bad dream. Hoping he would realize this was a little strange and to just go to the grave by himself, I heard a knocking at my window. “How the hell did he reach the window?” I thought to myself.

I looked out my window and could only see the top of his head. I rolled down the window and told him that cemetery’s freak me out and that I would be best sitting alone in the car. “Also,” I added, “what if a cop comes and tows your car. I should be here, just in case. You go ahead.”

None of these options were working and he was being relentless. I rolled my window back up and got out of the car. He grabbed onto my hand as we walked down the rows and rows of tombstones, passing many different flower arrangements and plants. But not one single dog statue.

When we finally got to his father’s grave, he turned to me and said, “James, I really appreciate you bein’ here for me and all, but do ya mind if I say goodbye to my father alone?” Uh, no! I don’t mind. I would love for you to say goodbye alone. Did I seem like I was itching to be beside you during this intimate family moment?!

Bryan knelt down and placed the statue in front of the tombstone and started speaking to his father. He started tearing up, got up off the ground, and whispered “Go Bulldogs”. He grabbed my hand and we headed back to his truck.

The rest of the car ride was spent in silence. He dropped me off in same the Starbucks parking lot where we met 5 hours earlier, at a time when I had hope and optimism. I opened my door and thanked him for the night.

“I had a swell time, too, James. And if ya ever in the great county of Camden, Georgia, well, give me a holler.” And then, just like that, he went into the night, probably back to his tree fort to make cookies and snacks.

I must have drove eighty miles an hour back to Katie’s apartment. Luckily, her lights were on which meant that she was back from the rehearsal dinner and could listen to the horrendous night I just had.

Katie sat through most of my story in shock, with her mouth hanging almost to the floor. “Wait, so you’ve never met this kid before tonight?”

“No” I replied.

“And he just brought you to a cemetery? To say goodbye to his dad? What kind of looney tunes are you going out with? You have got to stop this online dating. Seriously, he could have killed you out there.”

“Katie, the most he could have done was scratch my knee caps.”

I apologized for choosing a boy over her, and after hearing my story, she forgave me.

The next day was her sisters wedding. We ate. We drank. We danced. We drank. I was dragged onto the dance floor to do the slides, both electric and cha-cha. I even slow danced with her Grandma Evelyn. I was having such a great time I didn’t even think about the night before, until the waiter came around and passed out the desserts.

“What are they passing out? Didn’t they get a wedding cake?” I asked Katie.

“No, they didn’t want to have a traditional wedding.”

“Yeah, the whole getting-married-in-a-church thing is pretty unconventional.”

When the cute waiter(who didn’t take my number as a tip) finally approached our table, he held a tray with an array of delectable desserts; Cupcakes, pastries, and cookies. I decided I would have one of each…but only one. It wasn’t until then, when I looked down at my plate and saw the cookies, that I asked the waiter just to make sure, “What kind of cookies are these?”

He looked down at his tray and said, “Oh, these. They are Vienna Fingers. They were bought for the kids table, I think.”

Katie and I looked at each other and at the same time squealed, “Keebs!”

We lifted our cups of coffee, clinked them together, and said “To stunting our growth!”

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Bugs Bunny

Last night I got out of my slump of watching episode after episode of Pretty Little Liars while trying to beat level 46 on Candy Crush and went on a date.

Me? Going on a date? On a school night? Unheard of!

For those of you that don’t know, my New Year’s Resolution this year, aside from quitting smoking, losing weight, and re-growing my hair, was to always say “yes”, especially when it comes to dating. And ordering Mac and Cheese if present on a menu.

So, while I was waiting for my lives on Candy Crush to be replenished on Tuesday night, I went on Grindr to see if anyone wanted to come over and “cuddle”. While no one seemed at all interested, this one guy messaged me and we began talking for a little over a half hour. When I said I needed to go to bed (aka I got more lives) he asked if he could take me to dinner the following night.

Being one who never turns down a free meal, I said yes.

The following day we didn’t really text that much, which I liked! He was very confident and just told me to meet him at the restaurant at 8. The restaurant he chose is actually 2 blocks from my apartment in Jersey, so I was extremely grateful.

This is very out of character for me, because when I am talking to a guy, I like to chat all day, every day, for about two weeks so I can know everything about them: their favorite color, where they grew up, penis size, and favorite Julia Roberts movie. I also like to stalk their Facebook page to see about 350+ pictures of them. But, with this guy, I only saw three pictures. All of his left side. All not smiling.

Again, it’s a free meal, I said to myself.

So I walked to the restaurant and a few blocks away I received a text message from him saying he was sitting at the bar. He’s prompt. I like that. I opened the door to the restaurant and spotted him immediately. Well, I didn’t necessarily spot HIM, I spotted his two front teeth.

The reason why he never sent me any pictures of him smiling was all making sense now. I walked over, gave him an awkward hug, and we were sat at a table. Ok, so he has buckteeth. That’s not the end of the world. I’m not that picky.

I started the conversation about work and explained to him a bit of what I do. When I asked him what he does, he said that he works at a medical office as an assistant, but his real passion is “club promotion.” He then went on a 20 minute tangent about how great that lifestyle is, yet how tiresome and lonely it can be. I just nodded.

Now, I love to joke around, but sometimes I forget that people (especially people who met me 18 minutes ago) do not really understand my dry sense of humor and sarcasm. I forget exactly how this came up, but I made an innocent “I’m addicted to cocaine joke”, as you do on a first date, and it did not go over so well.

I completely forget that he was from Columbia.

So, he responded to my comment and decided to tell me all about his trouble with drugs “in his past” and then proceeded to ask me if I had any lying around my apartment.

All in all, we had an average dinner. I am really good at coming up with things to talk about, so the conversation flowed, from the Yankees to quoting The Devil Wears Prada.

Once the waiter cleared our plates (and brought me my third glass of wine) the next words out of my dates mouth were, “Well, when I was in acting school…”

I quickly chugged the Pinot Noir in front of me and graciously asked for something with tequila. I was going to need to be extremely drunk to hear about monologue workshops.

The date was going longer than I had expected and hoped, and I don’t think I could have yawned or said “Gee, I have to be up early” enough for him to get the point. Finally, he sipped the remaining ounce of his Bud Light that had been lingering in his glass for the past fifteen minutes and asked for the check.

When Henrique or Miguel or whomever dropped off our check, he pulled out his wallet and said those lovely three words every guy likes to hear on a first date: “Wanna split it?”

Once we were out of the restaurant, I cheered to myself that I was free and I could run home, put on Pretty Little Liars and play Candy Crush. That was, until he offered to walk me home.

“No, no. That’s really okay!” I practically yelled. “It’s out of your way. The bus stop is right here!” But he would not let it go. So, okay fine. I let him walk me home because, in all my life of dating, no one has ever walked me home to my front door, so I was actually pretty excited about his chivalrous gesture.

When we finally arrived to my apartment, he kissed me good night. I opened the front door to my building and looked back at him, just standing there.

“Can I walk you up?” he asked. And we all know what that means, right ladies?

Since I had three glasses of red wine and a shot of tequila, I figured why the hell not. It’s been forever since I’ve had any type of physical contact that didn’t involve a body pillow or an electric toothbrush. We went up to my apartment, and started making out on the couch. Half way through, he stopped, hugged me, looked in my eyes and said, “Damn you’re beautiful.”

So, naturally I took off his pants and gave him a hand job.

Finally by 11:30, the date was over and I could take a cold shower and head to sleep. I figured he would get the hint that I wasn’t really interested and that the complimentary handy-j was just a token for him walking me home.

But he’s texted me 6 times already this morning. Time to move or change my phone number again.

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Shit Happens

One uneventful Tuesday night, a good friend of mine and I were out for dinner and drinks, where she was hogging the entire conversation by babbling on and on about her new love interest.

“He’s so great! I think he’s the one. I can’t wait for you to meet him. Did I mention he is really, really great?”

I poured the remaining sangria into my glass and did what all good, single friends do: Nod and smile.

Her gushing about her boyfriend lasted throughout the appetizers and through most of our main course. I didn’t mind, really. I didn’t have too many stories about guys who were really, really great. All I had were a few funny anecdotes about a blind date I went on the week before.

Finally, as the waiter cleared our plates and dropped off the dessert menu, my friend realized that she had been stealing the entire conversation. “I am so sorry! Look at me, talking talking talking about my new relationship. I haven’t even asked what’s new in your life!”

“Oh, don’t worry about it! I am happy to listen. I really don’t have anything new or exciting going on. I went on a few dates last week, but they didn’t amount to much. Cest la vie. But I have a few prospects, so not to worry. I will find some…”

“This chocolate cake sounds amazing!” she exclaimed holding the dessert menu over her face.

“I think I’m too full for dessert” I lied and picked up the other menu.

“Now that’s settled!” She sat back in her chair, took the remaining sip of her red sangria and looked at me, quizzically. “You go on a lot of dates, right?”

“Yeah” I answered. “I guess you could say that.”

“You must have so many funny and crazy stories.”

“That I do. Some are funny, but most are just awful.”

“Well, tell me! Tell me about your shittiest date!”

I ordered another pitcher of sangria, put both menus aside, and dived into the story about my shittiest date.

I was still studying at Florida Atlantic University – before they kicked me out – when I met someone in my geology class. Don’t ask me why I was taking a geology class when my major was journalism. But, there I was, a hopeless sophomore taking a course about the differences between an igneous rock and a sedimentary rock.

Leigh, a girl friend of mine who was also a lost cause when it came to college, decided to take this class with me because it would be “fun”. We showed up to the first lecture wearing shirts we found at the mall that read “Geology Rocks” hoping to make some friends, and well, to be the center of attention.

Neither worked.

We ended up playing hangman the entire time in the last row of the auditorium. The only time we were ever noticed was when the professor called us out for laughing because the answer to a question was “Dykes”.

Needless to say, we were going to fail this entire class, so our attention was focused on tic-tac-toe and USWeekly.

I met Leigh the very first day of college. I was all moved in and enjoying my empty dorm with a glass of wine when I heard a bunch of loud screaming and cheering. I looked out my window, which faced the courtyard, and saw about 30 to 40 people all circled around on the lawn. I downed the last sip of my Cab-Merlot blend and took the elevator down to see what all the commotion was about.

It turned out that Leigh couldn’t hold her liquor. Or her top. Or, her pants.

She was running around the lawn butt naked, jumping through the sprinklers. I went to the nearest person and asked, “What the hell is going on? Is this some kind of sorority initiation?”

He just shrugged his shoulders, took a sip of his beer, and shouted “This is fuckin’ awesome man!”

I nodded politely, said something heterosexual about some sports game, and walked away. I went back up to my room and watched the remainder of the show from my window.

The following semester I ended up having ENC1102 with Leigh. (If you don’t know what ENC1102 is, go to college). We stood in class to introduce ourselves, and as soon as she spoke, it occurred to me that I had seen her before. When she sat back down at her desk, I leaned over and said, “You’re the sprinkler girl, aren’t you?”

And ever since then, we were the best of friends. Aside from taking off her clothes at the first taste of tequila, she also has another embarrassing habit: Peeing her pants. I’m not sure which is worse. Every time that we would hangout, one of the two would always happen. Well, once, both happened simultaneously, and I still can’t stop the nightmares.

Whether it be us at the Cracker Barrel for Saturday breakfast or in a crowded movie theater, or in the drive thru at a local McDonalds, she always found a way to pee herself.

And now, almost a year later, we are failing out of college. Together.

We showed up late to a midterm review and our seats in the very last row were occupied so we had to split up and find seats somewhere closer to the front. I luckily found a seat on the end, so it was easy for me to sit down, while the only other open seat was in the second row, dead in the middle. There was no way she was going to be unnoticed.

The review dragged on, while the professor was reading notes about metamorphic rocks into magma when this kid next to me tapped me on the shoulder.

“Hey, I wasn’t here last week, do you mind if I borrow your notes to copy real quick?”

I turned to him with a puzzled look on my face and said, “I haven’t taken one note since this class began three months ago. I don’t even own the text book.”

“Aren’t you afraid you’re going to fail the midterm?” he asked, shocked that I wasn’t taking this class as seriously as he was.

“Not really. I mean, I’m going to fail the midterm. I’m just not afraid.” It was at this moment I realized how cute this guy was – well, cute in an Elijah Wood kind of way. I could tell that he was a gay, so I asked him if he would want to get together to study for the test. For some reason, he agreed, and we set a date to meet the next morning at the library.

As I walked out of the auditorium, I met up with Leigh to tell her about my interesting new seat.

“Hey, you want to drink tomorrow morning and then go putt-putt golfing?”

“I can’t, sorry. I’m meeting up with this guy, Andrew, to study for the Geology exam.”

She stopped me from walking any further. “You’re what?!”

“I ended up sitting next to this cute guy, and he is going to help me study. I’ll probably still fail it, but I might as well get laid.”

___

Our meet up time was eleven o’clock at the library on campus. I woke up that morning hung over and starving. My roommate ate the last of the pop tarts, so I was left with nothing for breakfast.

“There is still some milk left in the refrigerator. Have some cereal.”

“I can’t eat cereal, Cory! I’m lactose intolerant!”

“Oh, yeah. I always forget that. What’s that like, not being able to eat dairy?”

“It sucks, Cory. It really sucks. But hey, I have to run for a study date.” I ran to the front door with my backpack. “See ya!”

“I don’t think I have ever heard you say the words “run” or “study” in my life.”

I threw up the middle finger and left my apartment. On the drive to campus, I really needed something to eat or I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on Andrew. Or the notes. But mostly, on Andrew. I spotted a Starbucks with a drive-thru on the way. “Score!” I shouted over Beyonce.

I pulled into the drive thru and was abruptly shocked when I saw a young girl scout with her mother standing by the menu board and microphone.

“Hi, would you like to support the Girl Scouts of America this morning and purchase a box of our world famous cookies?”

I looked at the girl, and then to the mom, and then back at the girl. I shook my head and  regretfully said no.

“But you would be helping out a great cause.”

“I’m really sorry” I shot back. “But I’m a student and I’m on a tight budget. I really can’t right now.”

The mother of the young girl gave me a dirty look and said, “But you can spend 6$ on a cup of coffee? Yeah right. Some budget.”

I sat there in the drive thru lane, shocked and  waiting to hear from the barista. Finally, she came on and asked what I wanted. I suddenly felt guilty for ordering my 6$ cup of coffee and crumb cake. I shouldn’t let this woman interfere with my breakfast!

“A venti iced caramel macchiato with soy milk and a crumb cake.”

“Ok, move forward please.”

“Make sure it’s soy milk, please.”

“Yes, sir” she responded.

I got back on the road to head to the library, drinking my delicious coffee and eating my yummy cake while texting my roommate about what had just happened at the Starbucks.

When I was about five minutes away from my destination, I had a strange grumbling in my stomach.

Maybe it’s just nerves.

Maybe I ate too much for dinner last night.

Maybe the Starbucks barista forgot to use soy milk.

SHIT!

My stomach pains were increasing and I quickly decided I was going to have to turn around and head home. I could have been like any other, normal human being and stopped in somewhere to use the bathroom, but ever since I was little, I have had this tremendous fear of public restrooms. At this point in my life, I have only used two public toilets. One, when I was five and didn’t know what I was doing, and two, when I got so drunk I threw up at a bar on my birthday. And that’s it.

I swerved into the left lane so I could make a U-turn at the next light.

“Oh, boy. These pains are getting intense” I thought to myself, turning down Beyonce.

Whenever I am in this situation where my stomach feels like it is attacking the insides of my body and I can’t breathe, I always know what’s coming. Diarrhea.

Usually, to trick my mind, I try to do a complicated math problem in my head to focus all of my energy on solving the problem. So here I was, sitting at this red light, dividing 347 by 13.

Why won’t this fucking light turn green?!

13 goes into 47 3 times.

I’ am going to explode.

And 13 times 20 is 260.

Luckily, the green arrow turned green and I was allowed to make my U-turn. Although, it was too late.

Much too late.

The second I turned my steering wheel, all math went out the window and I realized I was in the midst of an “accident” – not a car accident. . Now, when this happens, the last thing you want to do is panic. You admit there is a problem, and you casually think of a way to fix it. I pulled off to the side of the road to think of a way. And to unroll the windows.

I looked to the passenger seat and noticed the bag that contained my coffee cake and inside was a plethora of napkins. Instinctively, I took the napkins out of the bag and wedged them between my ass to absorb the remaining liquid. I was fifteen minutes away from my house, and I realized this was a problem I would have to take care of now and not in fifteen minutes.

I spotted a McDonalds at the next intersection. I put my car in drive and sped along the road into the parking lot. With the napkins still intact, I got out of the car and made my way into the restaurant lobby so I could use the bathroom.

Desperately, I tried to go unnoticed. I didn’t want the employees of McDonalds to see me walk in and head straight for the restroom, so I paused for a moment to look at the menu. When I felt I had been seen enough, I made my way to the back of the restaurant, clenching my ass cheeks together and walking like my knees were glued together.

On my way, I passed a table holding six Mexican men enjoying their lunch break before heading out into the hot Florida sun to continue their business of citrus selling, when all of a sudden I felt a cool breeze enter through my shorts.  It was at this time I realized the napkins were no longer in place.

Oh my God, I thought to myself. Where the hell were the napkins?!

I turned to look behind me, and saw the clump of brown, damp napkins lying on the ground, directly in front of the Mexican table.

The table of ese’s all put down their egg McMuffins and stared at the soiled paper on the floor next to them while I, at the same time, was  trying to decide whether or not I should go back and pick it up, or act like I never saw it and run straight to the bathroom.

I stood there for about fifteen seconds pondering my options, which felt like 15 hours. Eventually, I ran back and picked up the napkins…with my bare hands…and made my way to the restroom.

Luckily (the one thing that went right so far) there was no one in the bathroom so I locked the door and stripped down to my birthday suit. I then took that off, and got completely naked.

It’s these times when you wish mirrors were never invented.

I threw the mucky napkins, along with my favorite pair of J.Crew boxers, into the trash can and headed for the handicapped stall to clean up. I started filling the sink with boiling, hot water and added soap to saturate my khaki shorts so the brown spot could get washed away. While my jeans were soaking, I did my best to thoroughly clean the rest of my body.

It was this moment when I heard a knock-knock on the bathroom door.

“I’ll just be a minute!” I screamed.

“Andale! Andale!” he shouted.

After the longest three minutes of my life, I took my jeans out of the sink and went over to the air dryer to dry them out. Of course the air dryer stops after 10 seconds, so I stood there, pants-less, pushing the button every ten seconds until my jeans were a wearable moist.

I got dressed, did one last look in the mirror, unlocked the door, and headed out of the restroom to find the Mexican man holding his crotch and rushing past me towards the urinal. He gave me a concerned look, which I guess had something to do with my damp shorts.

I grabbed the keys out of my pocket and got into my car and was suddenly overwhelmed with the smell of an old egg salad sandwich. I started the ignition and made my way to the library, running the red lights and rolling through every stop sign on campus.

I ran up the steps to the library and texted Andrew that I had just arrived. I went to the second floor, the “quiet” floor and searched for Andrew at one of the work tables. My phone beeped and I was abruptly “Shh’d” and gawked at by every nerd who chose to hang out in the library on a beautiful autumn day.

Andrew was texting me to let me know he was running a little late but would be there shortly. Now I was pissed. I always come early!

Let me rephrase that, shall I?

I always show up places earlier or before the other person has arrived. Every single time! It doesn’t matter if I watch the last few minutes of that Oprah interview, or stop and get gas, or even shit my fucking pants. No matter where I am going, I will always get there first.

I found a table in the back of the library and started getting all of my study materials out on the desk. I opened the highlighter 3-pack and stack of note cards I bought the year prior and sharpened a brand new pencil.

As I sat there waiting for him to arrive, I became so paranoid that he would be able to smell shit on me. I had smelled it for the past twenty five minutes, so my nose became familiar with the stench. But this smell was going to be all new to Andrew. I should have stopped at CVS and sprayed some G-Unit cologne on my body.

___

The following Tuesday we had the big Geology exam and I felt pretty good about it. Andrew was actually pretty smart in geology, a skill that will get him absolutely nowhere in life.

I met Leigh outside of the classroom after the exam to see how she did.

“I fucking rocked that shit. Get it? Rocked it? ‘Cause the test was on rocks.”

“Yes, Leigh. I get it. Do you know who you are talking to? I am the king of word play. My first words as a child were a pun.”

I left campus and headed back to my apartment to eat a frozen pizza and watch day time television with my roommate and await the grades to be posted online. Naturally, Cory was lying on the couch in nothing but his boxer briefs and a Christina Aguilera concert tour shirt watching Judge Joe Mathis.

A few hours later my phone beeped and I was promptly “Shh’d” by Cory. I was really getting over people not liking my Blackberry sounds. I went into my room and read the text message from Drew. I call him Drew now because we have reached that level in our relationship. Pretty soon and I will be calling him cute, fun nicknames like Anders or Mountain Drew.

His text message(s) read:

6:34pm Hey! The grades are up!

6:38pm How’d ya do?

6:39pm Hope you didn’t take my studying tips for granite. (granted! Ha!)

I opened up my grade book on blackboard.com and checked to see how bad I did in this stupid rock test. A 79. That’s a high C. Wow, I was pretty amazed with myself. I texted my score to Andrew and thanked him for his help studying.

6:54pm Awesome! C+

6:55pm That’s not shitty at all man!

No, Andrew, you’re right. Unlike my day last week, this is not shitty at all.

 

As I finished telling my story, I looked over at my friend and realized her mouth was hanging open, probably in shock. But mostly in disgust.

I drank the last sip of my sangria, picked up the dessert menu, and asked, “So, did you still want to get that chocolate cake?”

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