Monday, August 9, 2010

Bad Dates Anyone?

I just got home from a bad date. And while it’s always reassuring to consult books like [The Big Book of Bad Dates, by Jo Renfo] or my personal favorite [Love is Hell by Matt Groening], I also love a more literary bad date. For example, there’s the bad date in [Franny and Zoey] or Augusten Burroughs’ romance with a crack addict in [Dry]. I enjoy reading about other people’s bad dates because they make my experiences seem more bearable.
Unlike the authors I mentioned above, my dating failures all stem from the same predicament: I’m trying to stay a practicing Mormon in New York City and have a love life. Because there aren’t very many Mormon men to choose from in the city, I’ve dated primarily non-Mormons. Only because I don’t have sex before marriage the longest relationship I’ve been able to sustain in NYC is 4 weeks. And that’s only because for two of those weeks the guy was out of town.
And so, after having a lot of No Sex in the City, and yet another bad date, I’ve decided to compile this list:


1. Recently I was on a date with a party promoter. He ordered whiskey. I ordered water. Which would’ve been fine except that our pushy waiter kept trying to get me to sample the wine, the sake, the specialty cocktail etc. Finally my date interrupted him, “Don’t give her such a hard time, she’s a Mormon, Mormons don’t drink.” We both laughed, until it dawned on me,
“Wait a second… Did you know I was Mormon, or were you just making a joke?”
“What?” he nearly choked, “You’re a Mormon?”

2. While out on a first date, I found myself defending my decision not to have sex before marriage for the one-hundredth time. “You’re putting the pussy on a pedestal,” my date interrupted, “Sex is a totally natural function. It’s as normal as picking your nose.” He proceeded to dig one finger in and out of his left nostril while smiling suggestively.

3. I was thrilled when a guy from church actually asked me out, that is until he picked me up in his mini-van. As we drove to dinner, I glanced back at all the empty seats and felt overwhelmed by the enormous pressure, He wants me to someday fill this. Dinner wasn’t any better. When I told my Utah born and raised date that I’d been living in the city for nine years he looked at me in shock and said, “Do you at least know how to sew?”

4. After just kissing the same guy three weekends in a row (without ever explaining that I’m a Mormon and my limit is first base) my date got tired of waiting and slid his hand up my shirt. Instinctively, I tensed up.
“You’re so uptight,” he whispered into my ear, “I mean, come on, did you and your last boyfriend even do anal?”

5. And last but not least: I was asked to dinner by a famous French Director.
“You’re a Mormon?” he asked, as soon as I arrived.
“Can you have ze sex?”
I was surprised at his candor. “No,” I answered.
He looked at me in disbelief. “Well if you can’t have ze sex, what can you do?”
For simplicity’s sake I took my left arm and lined it up under my collarbone, “Nothing below here,” I said. I lined my right arm across my knees, “Nothing above here.”
“What about your armpit?” he asked, “Can your boyfriend do anything he wants to ze armpit?”
I thought for a moment, “Yeah,” I said optimistically. “My boyfriend can do anything he wants to my armpit.”
“This is good,” he said, “He can stick his penis in and out of ze armpit, and if you grow hair it is almost like a vagine.”
My jaw dropped. “Is it too late to change my answer?”

Now that I’ve shared a few of my disastrous dates with you, I ask, no, I beg you to share a few of your worst dates with me (it’ll make tonight’s bad date worth all the agony). Do you have any terrible, awkward, or offensive dating stories to share? Please, do tell.

P.S. My one consolation after returning home early is that at least I get to spend more time with my puppy. This is Carlos and I hanging out at home.

(As featured in the picture, I wore an awesome vintage sweater with music notes on it. My date took one look at my sweater and said, Uhh, jazzy, in a voice that made it very clear he was not a fan).


  1. Your bad dates are hilarious Elna. I don't intend to top those but I can say that online dating is probably a veritable gold mine for potential bad date stories. One of my favorites was a guy that described himself as "Im a man with 6'2" tall brown hair and 165 lb. brown eyes". Just imagining him got me all frothy with anticipation.

    My worst date ever was with a drummer for some lousy band who was playing a New Years show in St. George, Utah. I agreed to meet him for a daytime visit before the night time gig, just to make sure I wasn't committing to anything too dangerous. I drove to his home and was greeted by two enormous wolf/german shepherd mix dogs that were behind a tall chain link fence. They were ferocious but I'm pretty brave so I just went up to the fence and knelt down and talked softly for a while and the dogs calmed down and were very friendly to me after that.

    Eventually my stoned date got out of bed and came to the door and made me sit there while he ate some cereal, then we took the dogs for a walk. I'd brought my cocker spaniel who is very friendly and easy going.

    We were on a trail near the river when he decided to let these gargantuan behemoths off leash. They tore up ahead and out of sight while he was calling, cussing, yelling and slamming his fists into the trees to get them to come back.

    I heard loud screams coming from a woman and man and the frightened cries of a baby so I ran up ahead and saw one of these dogs standing on top of a man with a tiny baby in an infant carrier on his chest. The dog was growling at the man while the wife was frantic and cowering from the other dog.

    I ran in and started kicking and pulling this huge dog off the man, hollering commands at the dog and jerking on his collar. Eventually he settled down and the man got up and tried to comfort his baby.

    In the meantime my idiotic date came running up screaming at me to stop kicking his dogs. I yelled at him that his dogs were terrorizing people and should never have been let out of a kennel, let alone off leash.

    The couple were probably more frightened of the ensuing fight between me and my mentally retarded date than they were of the dogs but I just stood my ground and this guy eventually took his dogs off and left me at the river with no ride back to my car.

    I tried to comfort the couple and when the police came I gave them the name, phone number, and even profile of the homocidal maniac I was dating. He had 6' 2" tall brown hair and 165 lb. brown eyes.

  2. .

    My brother recently started doing standup and since he's inclination is much more in the direction of stories (like you), I sent him to check you out.

    Which is not an answer to your question. My answer is that he has written up a number of bad-date stories (many BYU but not all) that you may well enjoy.

    In a completely different vein, now that time has passed and I can vouch for the niceness of people, I hope you'll take twenty minutes some time to look over this and its comments.

  3. Blind dates are usually the source of my most "special" dating moments. Some runners up include the guy who actually couldn't produce an answer to "so how do you know my brother-in-law?" - always a bonus when the setter-upper doesn't know the date or the guy who told me within two hours of knowing me that I wasn't living up to my potential.

    The winner though is definitely the blind date who locked me in the car towards the end of the date. During the stereotypical 20 questions that seems to be a part of any blind date, I had made the mistake of asking where he had served (not if) his mission. He had simply said he hadn't served, and I'd quickly (and I thought seamlessly) moved on to another topic. Apparently not-- at the conclusion of the night, he pulled into my complex parking lot and stopped a few buildings away from my apartment. He turned the car off (not a sexy moment - I was just thinking we were going to freeze to death since it was snowing and below 20 degrees outside), and LOCKED the doors - why? To justify why he hadn't served a mission. Seriously?! He sputtered on and on demanding responses and reactions. Why I sat there clinging to the door handle instead of figuring out where the damn lock was, I don't know, but I have never been so glad to get out of a car. Needless to say, he and I are not married with four kids and a mini-van. That does mean though that, unfortunately, there may be many more bad dates to come.

    Best of luck finding Mr. Right--

  4. Sorry, no bad dates. But in my defense, I basically got married when I was learning how to wipe my own ass. age 19. Now that I am 29 I realize how ridiculously young that is. I mean, my brain was STILL GROWING!

    Anyway, your bad date stories are effing hilarious. Sorry for laughing. But these guys don't know what they're missing! You are beautiful and super funny. I say move away from new york to a more Mormon-populated area, except for Utah. It'll eat you alive and make you want to stab your eyes with tiny toothpicks or worse, forks. Or possibly turn you into an atheist.

    Btw, I loved your book. It was recommended by a close friend who was Mormon but had left the church.

  5. I had a date who admitted to me that the only reason he asked me out was because he thought I looked like a chubby Olsen twin.
    I am sorry you are having a hard time dating though, its the pits when no one understands why you believe what you do.

  6. First date this guy took me to his church for a Sunday service. We sat for 90 minutes next to each other, but in silence. Christian equivalent to seeing a movie on a first date?

    After lunch, where he said that I looked like my brother, but in a good way!, and made a "That's What She Said" joke, we went to Target to spend his birthday gift card. His search included a plastic ice cooler and some lavender scented oil for his apartment (I suggested fresh laundry as a preferable scent for him, and he thought about for it for a second before saying, "Yeah, no.").

    The offer to go ice skating with him the next weekend was turned down.

  7. Elna,

    Your choice not to have sex is perfectly fine, but why are you not immediately upfront about it?

    For example, why did you wait 3 weeks to inform date #4 that you were not interested in pre-marital sex? It appears that you like all of the benefits of "dating," for example getting dinner paid for (presumably), but you do not want to have sex.

    Being intelligent, you realize that the majority of men, rightly or wrongly, would not want to pursue a relationship with you on your terms. Why waste your time and theirs? Well, I think I know why (see above), but do you?

  8. Lo these many moons ago I used to go dancing with my friends at a local club. During the course of one particularly black-vinyled evening I met him. Draven.
    “Your name is Draven?!” I remember asking incredulously. “As in, ‘The Crow’?”
    It was on his driver’s license, though, so there was nothing else I could really say. Even though I wanted to. He loaned me Rosetta Stone CDs. We met once for hot chocolate at the local Really-Cool-People-Go-Here-DAMN-The-Man-And-Starbucks coffee house. He invited me to his house to meet his pet rats, and giant jungle-dwelling millipedes, look at his human bone collection, and to show me pictures of his child, Wolfgang Anubis.
    “Excuse me?” I said. “Wolfgang Anubis?”
    “Mm-hm. We call him Wolfy.”
    “You named your child Anubis? Jackal-headed-god-of-the-Egyptian-underworld Anoooooooooooooooobis?”
    “Yes. His mother practices the Old Religion. Hey, want a backrub?”
    “Right.” I said. “Oh my, look at the time! Gotta run!” It wasn’t just the old religion practitioner; it was also that I had gotten a clear view of his fingernails, which were probably an inch long and looked like he’d been digging his way through piles of corpses to find those rats and millipede pets. Yellowed, broken, and dirty. Unbelievably dirty. I’m not a shallow person, I swear I’m not, but I knew that those fingernails were the closest thing to a staff infection I ever wanted to get.

  9. A couple of really hot guys had just moved into my brother's apartment, and I was MORE than thrilled when one of them asked if I would be his date to a business dinner.

    As soon as we walked in the door for the meeting, one of his "bosses" asked how long we had been married. How do you explain that one? Then, we walked into a larger gathering room. There was yet another boss to meet, and my date introduced me as "Rachel"... It would have all been ok, except for that this boss didn't quite catch what my name was and asked me directly. Without even thinking about it, I responded with my ACTUAL name, "Kristen." My date turned completely red, and I had a feeling that I was too. My date turned to me and said, "sorry, I have a friend named rachel." As if that was supposed to make me feel better!!

    This business dinner turned out to be a 3 hour long explaination and video on being a summer salesman. They had ordered pizza from the cheapest place in town, and they ran out. So, I went home starving, not sure of my name or marital status, and my date complaining about feeling rather whorish. It really was quite the experience.

  10. I once dated a guy who showed up 4 hours late. I didn't have anything else to do, so I went anyways. He took me to his mom's house "for dinner" - a partially eaten rotisserie chicken, showed me how he rerouted the electricity from the smoke alarm in his room to power a grow operation in his closet, and then mowed the front lawn at approximately 11:30 pm. He suggested we should go out again later that week... so his girlfriend could meet me. I never saw him again. Greg. Good times.

  11. I got married when I was 30... so I had plenty of bad date stories. One of the most memorable was a seemingly totally normal guy from my ward... Dominic. We went to a Utah Symphony Performance. All was fine until it was time to leave the parking garage at Crossroads Plaza (which has since been demolished). The garage was full and everyone was trying to leave at the same time. The cars were bumper to bumper and moving very slowly or not at all. Each time we came to a merge of cars, Dominic would stay on the tail of the car in front of us instead of taking turns. I was so embarrassed that I would mouth sorry to the people in the cars whose turn was skipped. It took us an hour to get out of the parking lot. He didn't want to pay the extra dollar that had been incurred waiting to exit the building. The parking attendant pretty much said too bad. So Dominic licked all over the dollar getting it wet with his saliva and handed it to the attendant. I was thinking "Are you for real?". I couldn't believe someone could be so rude and that I was on a date with him. I later compared notes to another girl who had gone on a date with him and also had had an unusual experience.

  12. Elna,
    i just discovered you & your blog and i want you to know this is fantastic. can't wait to read more. brenna

  13. Hey Elna, haven't talked to you in forever but ran across your blog today when I was looking up Jim's band. I wanted to share a horrible date I endured while living in San Diego.
    He took me to a fondue joint near La Jolla beach and as I was getting out of the car, he abruptedly suggested that I leave my purse behind. I asked why and he told me it didn't match the rest of my outfit and seemed a little juvenile. I sarcastically responded, "Whatever you say, boss."
    Sitting down in the restaurant, I tried to order red wine and he insisted on white (which I don't drink). Knowing I was vegetarian, and against my protets, he ordered a two-person meat sampler. I pretended I had to go to the bathroom and ordered a side of veggies from the hostess.
    I had never eaten fondue before so I picked up the broccoli and dipped it in the melted cheese. My date said he was 'appalled at my naivete' and handed me a long, skinny fork. Angry and admittedly embarrassed, I said, "Sorry, it's not every day a guy forcibly orders me something I don't want to eat or drink, insults my accessories, and then makes fun of my ignorance of fondue-specific eating utensils. From here on out, I'll try not to embarrass you." The message was lost. He responded, "That's more like it."
    After the dinner, I wanted at least come away with one fun experience, so I had him follow me down the street to take a walk along Seal Beach, where at any given time there are 20 - 30 seals that have come ashore to rest in the sand. It is one of my favorite spots in San Diego, where the water laps the small pier and the seal pups flop around, snuggling with their elders.
    My date refused to walk anywhere near it. He said his shoes were too expensive to touch the sand and the smell of the seals was offensive.
    Yeah, I cannot believe he tried to kiss me at the end of the night. He called me three more times before he got the picture that I did not have a fabulous time.

  14. I got duped into a blind date once in the early 1970s. A friend had let me crash on her couch in an emergency, then foisted this blind date on me as a return favor. His last name was - no kidding - Love. And since he went to a military college, he called himself "Private Love". The horrible date, including various attempts at groping me, ended when I pretended I didn't know he wanted a kiss and jumped out of the car to run back into my friend's house. The next weekend I was horrified when he stalked me to my very conservative college town 100 miles away, went to the large homecoming pep rally, waited for a lull in the crowd noise, and yelled out, "I'm Private Love! Does anyone here know...", and then he called out my name.

    Fortunately the gayest man on campus realized what was happening, grabbed my hand and pretended to be a boyfriend. Private Love tucked his tail and left rebuffed.

    I still get waves of nausea thinking about his major Ugh Factor.

  15. I was reading through the list of bad dates and was thinking "I've never had a bad date.... I really don't go on enough dates..."

    But then I remembered that I did have a bad date, so I have to share.

    I was a senior in high school and my dream boy had asked me to prom. We had the big 'day date' all planned out with a handful of other couples, my best friend and her date included.

    My date was attentive and flirty - with my best friend. It hit me half way through the date that I was really only a pity date. One of the other girls on the date then confided that the boy was in love with my best friend. When he came to pick me up for the dance, I refused to go with him and wound up sharing my best friends date to the dance.

    When I got there, He had come anyway - with yet another girl.

    I later found out that he had also been fornicating with my best friend....

  16. I once threw up on a guy while going down on him. It was probably one of the most embarrassing things I've ever done.

  17. I once had some French freak try to armpit-hump me, despite my earnest insistence that I wasn't "ze gay." Horrifying.

  18. I once had some French freak try to armpit-hump me, despite my earnest insistence that I wasn't "ze gay." Horrifying.