I’m Her “Worst Date Ever”

One man reveals what happens when an awful date comes back to haunt you… and the lesson to be learned from the experience.

By Michael Kramer

e all have dating horror stories. We’ve laughed, or at the very least commiserated, with friends about dates who seemed like they should have been in mental institutions or prison instead of sitting across from us enjoying the shrimp scampi.

There was the woman who ordered extra food to take home to her brother. The woman who said she’s working on being less judgmental, then criticized my religious beliefs. The
“So, I heard
about your date
with Lisa…”
woman who said if her ex-husband saw her on a date, he’d have no problem killing her or me. I’ve told everyone about the woman who shaves her cat, not for her pet’s health, but because it cuts down on shedding and therefore keeps her apartment cleaner. But we never think that we might actually be the butt of somebody else’s dating horror story. Well, imagine my horror when I recently found out that I am. And the woman I dated has been telling everybody!

How I found out I was being talked about… I was at a party not long ago when my friend Tracy came up and said, “So, I heard about your date with Lisa.” I’d gone on several blind dates recently, but none with a Lisa. I told her I had no idea who that is. Then Tracy said Lisa’s last name and that’s when it dawned on me: I had been on literally one date with this woman — five years ago — and I never saw her again. In fact, if Tracy hadn’t brought it up, I wouldn’t have even remembered her. When I told Tracy this, she said, “Well, she’s here at this party and she sure remembers you. She said you made her move a tree.”

“Made her move a tree?!” I didn’t even know what that meant. Then Tracy explained that, according to Lisa, I picked her up at her apartment, drove us to a restaurant, and committed the cardinal sin of refusing to valet park. Instead, I drove around for 20 minutes
Boy, they should read you your Miranda Rights before you go on a date.
looking for a spot.

The grain of truth OK, that part was true.

I hate valet parking. I avoid it at all costs, even when it’s free. It’s supposed to be a convenience, but I find it inconvenient. I don’t like waiting around for my car at the end of the night. I enjoy walking and can usually be in my car faster than if I had waited around for the valet.

According to Lisa, though, I finally found a spot—but there was a tree by the passenger side door, and I made her climb through some branches to get out. In other words, “move the tree.” Now, that part doesn’t sound like me, but I can’t deny it since the valet part sounds exactly like me. So basically, I picked her up at her apartment, took her out to eat, paid for her dinner, and dropped her back off after a nice meal and conversation—yet in her version of the story, I’m a cheap idiot.

Trying to save face So I went up to Lisa, since she was at the party, to try to clear my good name. I told her I’d like to retroactively apologize for that night. I said the valet parking thing sounds like me, but not the making her move the tree part. She said she remembers it clearly and it’s her favorite dating story. In fact, she said, she tells it all the time!

So much for putting the kibosh on that. Boy, they should read you your Miranda Rights before you go on a date because apparently anything you do can and will be used against you in a court of your judgmental peers.

The lesson learned… Still, it made me reflect on all the women I’ve dismissed over the years as being either dim or deranged. In hindsight, maybe they did nothing wrong but I just interpreted it that way, or they were just having a bad day, or committed one faux pas that I made a big deal out of. I don’t want to be judged forever by one seemingly insignificant thing I said or did, and neither should they. So now, instead of complaining about a bad first date to all of my friends, maybe I should be laughing about the bad first date with my date… on our second date.

Unless, of course, she shaves her cat.

Michael Kramer is an Emmy-nominated writer in Los Angeles.
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