My cousin, Carol Anne, told me this horrifying date story. She was assured that it really happened, although we can’t verify that it is a true story. In any case, it speaks volumes about the things we singles sometimes endure in our quest for potential love.
The story goes that a young man from Westchester, NY, who attends Ithaca College, wanted to ask a certain girl (who is also from Westchester and also goes to Ithaca) out on a date -- but never had the courage.
Finally, one day over the summer, he saw her at home and mustered up the courage to ask her out. She accepted, and they made dinner plans for Saturday night.
On Friday night, the young man went out with his buddies and drank as if Prohibition was about to be reinstated.
Saturday, he was in such bad shape he couldn’t make it through twenty minutes without either throwing up or using the bathroom.
After several hours of this, he was able to stop throwing up, but he was still running to the toilet every 20 minutes. Afraid he’d never have another chance with the young lady, he opted not to cancel the date.
So they met in Westchester and took the train to New York City (about a 30 minute ride). They got to the restaurant, and he excused himself during the appetizers. They enjoyed the rest of the appetizers without interruption, but he had to go back again during the entrees.
They decided to get dessert. During dessert, our hero felt another rumbling but didn’t want to look like a complete bathroom freak, so he held it. After a few minutes, the rumbling subsided, but he still had a bit of gas stored up.
He decided to release a little bit of gas right there at the table (discreetly, of course). Unfortunately, this little bit of gas came with another little surprise. “Oh crap,” he thought (and felt). Instead of running to the bathroom right away, our hero immediately leaned on the arms of his chair to keep from sitting on this surprise. He maintained this yoga position for the rest of dessert, trying to figure out what to do before his tan pants (a) started to smell, or (b) started to show stains.
He quickly paid for dinner, and they left the restaurant. By this point, he was walking like a cowboy after a long haul.
On the way to the train station, they passed the Gap.
“Do you mind if I run in and buy a sweater I was looking at last week?” he asked.
“No problem. I’d like to look around too,” she replied.
They go into the Gap. Fortunately, at the Gap, men’s fashions are on the right; women’s fashions are on the left. They split up.
Our hero grabbed the first sweater within reach, and hurried back to the khakis. After selecting a pair that most closely resembled his current outfit, he brought both items to the register.
He kept his eyes on his date (still on the other side of the store) to make sure she didn’t see him buying the pants. He didn’t really want the sweater, so he said through clenched teeth (just in case his date can read lips from 40 feet away) “Just the pants.”
“What?” asked the Gap girl.
“Just the pants!”
Gap girl: “Oh. Okay.”
After paying for the pants, they left the store, boarded the train, and found two seats in the middle of the car. Without sitting down, our hero excused himself and walked to the bathroom in the back of the car. He quickly ripped off his pants and boxer shorts, rolled them into a ball and threw them out the window.
After cleaning himself off, he opened the Gap bag and pulled out... just the sweater.
Thanks, Carol Anne, for reminding us that, despite our good intentions, in the dating world, “Stuff Happens.”
Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally printed in The London Free Press on February 20, 2003.