My Worst Date Ever

In my day, I went on my own share of bad dates. Here’s one from Love through the Eyes of an Idiot.

It all started after I developed a crush on this girl, a little young for me, but her mother liked me and trusted me. We sat and talked sometimes. She was small, cute, with dark hair framing a small, pale face dotted with freckles. She had her problems, including an absentee father, as I recall, but mostly she was normal, though sometimes sad.

Once, she was being chased by a group of guys in the church building where we both attended services. Whether they were teasing her or assaulting her I wasn’t sure, but she definitely didn’t want to be chased, and she seemed frantic to get away from them. Her little brother was with her, and I secreted them in one of the Sunday School rooms and locked the door.

The idea was to pretend that the room was empty. But she was in a panic, afraid of being caught. I gently said, “Now, settle down,” and immediately she stopped her anxious rambling and began to stare into my eyes. She was standing with her back against one of the walls, while I stood over her, my hand braced against the wall above her shoulder. We held our breath. All was silent. I experienced one of those charged moments, in which we felt so close. I wasn’t sure whether I should kiss her. I wanted to, to kiss her and hold her. And I probably would have, if it weren’t for her little brother standing in the room with us.

We did date, one time. I asked her what she wanted to do, and she said she wanted to go rollerskating. Okay. It didn’t matter to me that I sucked on roller skates—still do. But what was I thinking? (Answer: I wasn’t.) After making a sufficient fool of myself, and losing her to the crowd of real skaters, I asked her if she’d like to get a bite to eat, something I was much more adept at. But she had apparently met someone else at the rollerskating rink and wanted to spend some time with him. I was livid, demanded we leave immediately, drove her home, angrily. As I recall, she claimed we had not been on a date—and maybe she really did believe that—but I wasn’t going to hear it. We didn’t talk anymore after that.

What was your worst dating experience?