As my contribution to a recent Facebook thread in which we were asked to share our worst dating experience, I shuddered as I remembered a cat turd I apparently hadn’t buried quite deep enough. He was actually the star of his own four-part horror miniseries! I’ll share one episode…
In my little hometown, there was a dearth of “acceptable” boys for chocolate girls from good families. One such candidate was the spawn of my guidance counselor and a local obstetrician. As you enter the Twilight Zone picture this: you are greeted by a chunky Carlton Banks/Yoda mini-hybrid, steeped in vodka (yes, even in high school), his face covered with Raisinettes. That would be my cosmic consolation prize, Gary.
He would never have asked me out on his own. My approach-at-your-own-risk death stare assured him I was willing to deliver torment his well-pickled brain could only begin to fathom. So, our folks — oblivious to my disgust and delighted at the prospect of this union — got together over cocktails and arranged our first date. They thought it’d be cute if we saw the movie Love Story together. Of course, I’d read the book. To avoid having to break the little troll’s arm when he dared put it around me, and he would, I decided I absolutely would not cry. So, my sister and I skipped school the day before and sat through showing after showing — until I could watch it devoid of emotion.
Brilliant plan, but you know what they say about those. The dam broke the moment Jenny’s symptoms began. And the arm came up. And I tossed it back. And the hand touched my thigh. And I slapped it off. And the arm tried again. This went on for the rest of the evening. On the way home, I had to pull over so he wouldn’t puke all over my floor mats. My little pink Studebaker was a vomit-virgin; she would not have been impressed. I’d had to drive because his car wouldn’t start; he certainly wouldn’t have needed gas as his own fumes would have powered the drive.
He told his parents how nasty and rude I was; they believed him. I told my folks what a zit-faced drunk he was; they only believed the pimply part they could see. After all, he was from an elite family and would have made a wonderful catch. They thought I made up the lush line because they chose him. He wasn’t one of the “inappropriate” scandalously pale, long-haired potheads toward whom I gravitated. For my defiance, I was kinda-sorta grounded for a couple of months. I say “kinda-sorta” because I could go out – but only if my toad was in tow. When you’re sixteen, two months in hell with your parents makes two months in GaryPurgatory look like spring break.
I finally escaped when he zipped by one morning to give me a ride to school. As we approached the campus, he ran a stop sign and acquired a motorcyclist as a hood ornament.
That was his fork; he was done.