Back in the day: My Dating Past

I love the advice "just go with the flow" and "accept every invitation" and so I try REALLY HARD to do these things. The problem is that I often accept invitations when I should just say no. Now that I am in my mid 30's I'm a lot more savvy, but back in my teens? Good God.

One really bad date from my youth began with a boy asking me out to a show. He paid for the tickets and since I've always been a sucker for free stuff I agreed to meet up with him. It was a Jay-Z, Redman and Method Man show. I had only met him once before but he seemed nice enough so I decided to go ahead and accept the invitation. Yolo. 


I met him at his house which was about an hour outside of Detroit and then he drove us both in his car downtown. It took me several more years of dating before I learned the number one golden rule of first dates: ALWAYS drive your own vehicle.

When we got to Cobo Arena for the show I noted that we were very close to the stage – this guy wasn't messing around with his seats. Which was alright!

Then the show got cancelled. Which was less alright.

It took a little while before people realized what was happening though.

Me: Is it me or are they pulling patrons out of the audience to get up on stage and sing?
Date: Um, it does seem that way doesn't it? I wonder when the show is going to begin? The opening act has been going on and on forever…
Me: The people on stage are awful.
Date: Yes. It also appears that the crowd is becoming visibly enraged.

The conversation was getting awkward.

Then a riot began.

And I decided that chairs being thrown past my head is scary.

It was like this but with far fewer Hawaiian shirts. And a lot less smiling. 

My evening was beginning to feel much more sinister than I had originally hoped for but we tried to keep it positive. The guy with whom I was on a date took action and made a Plan B: He had a "friend" in the city who had a "place" and he decided that we would "go there." (I know that I didn't need that last set of quotation marks but I think that sets of three are more aesthetically pleasing than sets of two.) I hadn't yet learned the second golden rule of first dates: ALWAYS stay out in public.

So we went to his friend's place, which was kind of more like a crack house. Except they weren't smoking crack, they were just really into cocaine. And they couldn't fathom why I kept turning down their generous offers to partake. They were friendly and persistent, which was awkward. And I am awkward. Which made pretty much everything awkward.

Cokeheads: Come on! We have plenty to share! Everyone's doing it! (snot running out of their noses)
Me: No please. I really hate you, I mean thank you. I really thank you, I just want to go home.

Then they ran out of cocaine and my date told me that he would take me back to my car. (yay!!) But instead of taking me back to my car we just drove around Detroit until we scored some more coke at a gas station next to a strip club. (booo.)

Nineteen year old me was so stupid. Stuck in Detroit with a bunch of strangers with runny noses and no escape plan. Of course I didn't know golden rule number three of first dates: ALWAYS have a backup escape plan.

I eventually got home -- completely unscathed -- and other than reflecting on the fact that I shouldn't stay up for 30 hours stretches ever again for any reason, I walked away with absolutely no lessons learned. My head, at that juncture in life, was essentially empty. In fact, later that night I accepted yet ANOTHER invitation which ended with a hole burned in my leg from the exhaust pipe of a motorcycle.

I know I had an angel looking over my shoulder for most of my youthful misadventures, but sometimes even angels need a break.

More to come later when I reveal my story about dating an obsessive compulsive clairvoyant.