So, to the topic at hand: Worst Date Ever
It's asking a lot of a 36 year old woman who has never been married, but has always been social, to decide on just one story. I was able to decide relatively quickly on the top three dates to fit this category. After a bit of consideration, it seemed that between "Inspector Gadget", "Nicklecade", and "Topless"...well, "Inspector Gadget" was the most fantastic of them all. So, for your entertainment (and/or horror), I give you my worst date...
I was introduced to the internet in 1997. It was this mysterious thing that only a few of my friends really seemed to have a handle on. I vividly remember the first time I sat with a roommate as she showed me a "chat room" and "instant messenger". However, the bulk of my internet education came from a co-worker who seemed to really be working the single's social perspective to her advantage. It wasn't too long before she mentored me into my first on-line "relationship".
He was....a dude. Nothing super significant about what I learned about him in the early days comes to mind. I am certain that it was nothing more than the thrill of receiving messages that kept me engaged. After a week of chatting, I was kind of over the thrill, and soberly aware that there was nothing about this guy that was interesting to me. Not sure exactly how an on-line break-up was supposed to go, I logged on figuring it couldn't be that hard to figure out. I was hopeful that it would be easier through the computer screen than it was in person...I was wrong.
The chat went something like this:
kimi d: so, hey. there's something i need to tell you.
inspector gadget: me too!
(imagine time passing as i type, then delete, then type, then delete as I tried to find the right words to end the communication)
(then imagine him happy that i had opened up the conversation to what he thought was going to be a safe place and quickly spitting out the secret he'd been keeping...)
inspector gadget: i only have one leg
(imagine my eyes widening as i choke on the air i'm breathing...imagine too much time passing...)
inspector gadget: are you there?
(imagine more time passing as i scramble for a response...)
inspector gadget: i just ruined it didn't i? you don't want to meet me now that i've told you, right?
(imagine me feeling trapped. i didn't want to shut things down because he only had one leg...i wanted it to end because i found him so uninteresting. but, my window of opportunity had passed! that sweet relief for rejecting him for a non-superficial reason had escaped me and i had nothing left but passive game play. in one of my less attractive moments, i thought that offending him might lead to him shutting it down instead...)
kimi d: of course not. this just means we can't get together to go rollerblading...unless you have a go-go-gadget rollerblade leg?
(a.) that's where the nickname was born, b.) my tactic failed...)
inspector gadget: LOL! ha! i love that this doesn't bother you. you have such a great attitude about this.
(imagine me horrified at my failure!)
inspector gadget: man, what a relief! so i guess this means it wouldn't be weird if i invited you up to my place this weekend?
What was I going to do? I was not the least bit interested in the man based on what I knew of his personality. I was certain that there would be no intellectual or spiritual chemistry. I had full confidence opening that chat window...then found myself upside down as I logged off.
Because I grew up often ignored or discounted due to my physical appearance, I have always been mindful to not treat others dismissively for external reasons. This wasn't the first date, and probably won't be the last, that I accepted as a self-inflicted challenge to stretch myself.
Due to a combination of car trouble leaving him without an automobile, and a hiking accident which crushed his only prosthetic limb, the Inspector had limited mobility. I agreed to drive to Salt Lake to meet him at his apartment for the evening. Of course it crossed my mind that it might not be safe! But in a fit of youthful logic, I reasoned that if anything creepy happened, I'd be able to outrun him.
I arrived at his apartment and nervously knocked on the door. After a few minutes, I was greeted by a red-faced boy in ill-fitted T-shirt and sweatpants. His left pant leg was pinned up and he relied on a pair of crutches to get around. I was immediately assaulted by an offensive odor...he had cats...lots of them. And it was obvious that many of the obstacles he found in taking care of himself made pet care difficult as well.
But he had a gentle demeanor. And I must have been overcome with compassion gifted to me by some unknown source because to this day, I still can not figure out why I didn't turn around and leave...especially after walking into the home to find that he had done his best to create an ambiance for love.
But no amount of soft lighting could disguise the layer of animal hair covering everything within sight. As he moved towards the couches, I hesitated at some photos on the mantel giving him enough time to commit to a location so that I could commit to the other location.
He was generous with his story telling and I was fascinated by the events that lead to the loss of his leg on a dreary New Year's Eve night. Truly, he was an individual of courage and I couldn't help but respect him for the sacrifice he ended up making in the defense of a friend...but the respect did not translate to attraction.
I had been there for more than an hour, and although I didn't feel an urgency to leave, I was still anxious for the opportunity to go home. However, he was skilled at talking over any tentative suggestion I made at wrapping things up.
My exit attempt quickly escalated when he hopped over to my couch after pulling out a chapstick and lubing up. He clearly thought that our conversation had just been prelude to a make-out...And I was done! With my jacket on, keys defensively protruding from my fist, and my cell phone firmly grasped I vanished.
My abrupt exit was not wasted on him. I can only imagine that my abrupt actions left him feeling awkward at best...I never heard from him again.
It was such a bizarre night. And while I would like to be able to stand without blame, I am mature enough to own the fact that there was a lot I could have done to prevent it from happening, but failed to do so. However, I am one middle-aged single girl who can never be accused of being closed minded or not giving guys a chance, right?!