Random Bad Dates from my 20s

I’ve been trying to throw things away to make room for more, but can’t seem to get rid of things like my old scrapbook of “Crushes, Dates, & Loves”. I should hand this down to my daughter, as I’m sure she could appreciate some of these stories. Some stories I barely remember – or not at all.

No Money Man:
This was supposed to be a weekend getaway, but it turned out that I couldn’t get away fast enough. Probably in my early 20s, I was invited to spend the weekend in another town. There was no chivalry whatsoever. He would walk at least 3 to 5 steps in front of me, sat down at the dinner table before me, didn’t bother to open car doors, asked me for money, “joked” by saying annoying, sarcastic, demeaning things, and would put his hands on me in public to show that I was with him. On top of it all, I ended up paying for dinner! Apparently, I never saw this person again. Why don’t I remember this person? Probably because I didn’t want to. He sounds like a total douche!

The Meat Packer:
He never became an actual date, but I saw him at least weekly, which made my grocery shopping more enjoyable. This guy worked at Publix’s  meat department, and we shared the same name. He’d flirted with me on several occasions, always making conversation, but he never asked me out. I was a single mom at the time, going to college and working a job or three. Meeting decent guys was difficult, because in those days “nobody wanted to date a woman with a kid (except maybe old men).” So I finally got the nerve to ask him out instead. His response: “I don’t think my girlfriend would like that very much.” I was pissed and embarrassed, so I started shopping at a different store. Sorry, Publix!

Stinky Pillow Guy:
Back before Tinder, Bumble, and Match, people used Yahoo Personals. I was in my mid to late 20s when I met a guy that lived about an hour or so away. He was very polite and very sweet, even in person. We got to know each other for a few weeks online and by phone, and when I met him, I liked him. Since he lived far and I didn’t want anyone at my house (it was also much easier for me to run far away!), I made plans to stay the night at his house – on the couch. Our date consisted of me giggling at the fact he didn’t have many table manners, but it wasn’t because he was rude; he was just inexperienced. We went to a sushi restaurant where he proceeded to wipe his face with the o-shibori that was presented to us at dinner. Then I watched him butcher sushi rolls with a fork, because he’d never eaten it before. We then rented movies that he talked through them the entire time. Finally, I prepared to sleep on his old pullout couch with an awful back bar that just about crippled me. Then he gave me a nice moldy pillow for my head, and I immediately suffered an allergy attack. Last, but not least, I guess he assumed he was going to sleep with me and took it upon himself to jump in bed next to me and put his measley hands all over me before he started snoring loudly. I managed to ease my way out and left in the middle of the night and never turned back.

The Pilots:
I live in an area where there are a lot of flight schools nearby, so whenever my friends and I went out, we’d always meet pilots. I was probably in my late 20s when I met a pilot from Venezuela. He was in his 30s, and we hit it off immediately. I thought he had a lot of class, intelligence, and was attractive – much different from the down-home Florida cracker types I was used to meeting. He’d told me he’d been divorced for 7 months, but hadn’t been together with the wife “in a long time”.

I was really looking forward to getting to know him better, but after the crooked married cop situation, I decided to do a little research. Lo and behold, there was no divorce. When confronted, he became defensive and thought I was being ridiculous. I told him to call me when the divorce was final. I got a call from him a few months later at the beginning of the summer, and supposedly the papers were signed. Then the asshole stood me up for a date.

At the end of July, I bumped into him at a club where he introduced me to his new girlfriend. Four months later, they were engaged. Fly away, birdie, fly away!

Another pilot I met at a Best Buy while we were both arguing with the jerk at the computer repair dept. He was sort of a foreign guy, seemed really cool, only a couple years older, and he was kind of hot. The first night we went out, he said, “I think I could fall in love with you.”

That was waaayyy too soon for a first date, and it completely scared me off, so I never called him again. I saw him around a few more times, and he thought I hated him. I didn’t hate him, but I was certainly not ready for the “L” word either.

Do you have any fun dating stories you’d like to share? Send them here!

Overheard Conversations Make Me Laugh Out Loud (or Cringe!)

I often sit in public places and take notes for writing. Here are some of my most recent:

Little girl: Look! Three boys and three girls! It’s equal!
Father: No, it’s not equal. The boys are bigger.

Teenage Girl: Stupid cops! They gave me another ticket! Said my tag was expired.
Teenage Boy: When did it expire?
Teenage Girl: Like two months ago. But they already knew that when I got pulled over last month for speeding. They should have given me a chance!

Middle-aged Woman on cell phone: Don’t you love being retired? I’ll have to teach you the retirement dance!

Father: You’re paying? You brought your wallet? Does it have money in it?
Teen Son: I have money and a library card.
Father: When you open it, do moths come flying out?

Little Boy at beach (points to woman wearing black bra-style bikini) says to his mother: Is that a bra?

Writing – When it’s Not Just a Hobby

Fitting writing into my daily schedule has been a practice for me for quite some time now. My business has died about 85% in the last year, so I decided to use this “spare” time to go back to school.

If I had to work full time and try to do this degree, I’d never make it. I already know what my body and mind are capable of, and when I was in college 15 years ago, I burned the candle at both ends. I burned out, big time. I have learned I can’t be Super Woman anymore, and I don’t have to be. I know my limits. It is finally my turn to focus and concentrate on school with nothing else in my way. Finally!

For the last year or two, I have written just about every day. I often take a notebook or find a sheet of paper to take notes on while I’m sitting by myself at a restaurant. That’s where I do a lot of my observations. Happy hour at the bar down the street makes for some interesting character sketches as well!

I have so many things I want to write about… I keep starting them but the ideas aren’t fully developed. I have a story about Ava Harper so far… maybe two or three pages into it. I wrote that while sitting in the passenger’s side of the car on a road trip. I just wrote a story about sunflowers – which is more of a fable/moral-to-the-story type of story – for both kids and adults. Think Disney, because that’s what I was thinking when I wrote it. I have two more children’s story ideas… two more that I’ve started and never finished because I was lacking oomph. One is a girl’s story and one is a boy’s…

All of my stories are both visual and swimming around… I visualize everything. It’s the only way I can write.

I am Lost/Baffled/Bewildered Without My Thesaurus

I consider my thesaurus one of the most valuable books I own, and it’s gone missing. I don’t know if it became mixed up in a pile of books meant for donation or if it has been misplaced and is somewhere else among my scattered library.

The best thesaurus I ever owned was purchased sometime in the early 1990s, and I took that thing everywhere. I believe it was Roget’s, but it could have been Webster’s. It had a brown cover and smelled of tanning lotion because I’d kept it in my backpack whenever I went to the beach to write. The was pretty worn out after about five years, but my brother needed one for his high school classes so I gladly passed it on to him.

In the meantime, grandfather had given me his thesaurus – a gigantic, hardback, 15-pound Webster that I could in no way carry around so easily. I still needed a thesaurus that was convenient for my little writing outings and finally, a few years ago I found one. It wasn’t the greatest but it worked better than the internet searches for synonyms and antonyms.

And now it’s gone. I suppose this is a sign to find myself the right thesaurus once again.

So I went onto Amazon this morning and typed in “thesaurus”. Up comes zillions of pages of thesauruses that I never even knew existed. The history of the thesaurus, the green thesaurus, the thesaurus of psychology, the thesaurus for college students, the thesaurus for thinkers, and God is Not in the Thesaurus (the actual title of a book).

Why can’t things be simple anymore? What do I do now? A girl needs her thesaurus if she’s going to continue being a writer. Any suggestions?