A few years ago, I went on a really terrible date; maybe the worst I’ve ever been on. I was working as a bartender, and a customer approached who I realized I had previously met at a party. He was also a bartender, so we had that in common. He was a handsome guy, 6 foot 3,” long hair, a well-groomed beard, and he seemed articulate and nice.

He asked for my number and said he wanted to take me out. At this time, I worked at a few bars and stayed pretty busy, so it was not only hard to date due to my schedule, it was also hard to meet people. It was a rarity that I met someone I’d go out with from being at work. I happily agreed.

We agreed on a night, and he asked if I’d like to go see a band he really loved. I hadn’t heard of them, but agreed. I suggested he get tickets in advance in case it sold out. (Plus, since he asked me out and invited me there, traditional values would dictate he buy the tickets.)

When I arrived at the bar we agreed on as our meeting spot, he said he’d been drinking for a few hours since he got off work, but since he was a big guy and seemed OK when I met him, I figured he could probably handle it. Although I couldn’t tell right away, he showed up drunk to our date.

He said this band was his favorite and he couldn’t wait to see them. We get to the venue, and it is sold out. He has not planned ahead and bought tickets. He was not happy. I suggested we go down the street to another bar and figure out what we wanted to do. I was a little annoyed that he was pouting, because he brought it on himself .

At the next bar, the doorman asked for our IDs. My date didn’t have one. The doorman asked him how old he is, and my date didn’t want to answer in front of me, so he asked me to go in ahead of him. I did, although I found it strange. I was at the bar, and he joined me. I knew he was younger than me, but I couldn’t tell how young. I demanded to know. He said he was 23. I was 39, which he knew. I wasn’t thrilled with his news, but was already there and didn’t want to be ageist, so we ordered a round of drinks.

He continued to complain about not getting into the show. I was trying to make the best of this because it was a rare night off for me and I was already there. Because he kept complaining, and I’m a problem solver, I suggested we wait awhile and go back. I told him if he wanted to get in, he should let me do the talking since he didn’t have an ID. I’d been working in venues long enough to know there is little chance to talk your way in unless you have skills, luck, timing, or credibility, none of which he seemed to have.

We went back to the venue and I was able to talk the doorman into selling us tickets and letting him in without ID by mentioning the places we worked. My date let me pay my own way in, which was annoying since he invited me and I got us in. Then he did something idiotic, especially as a bartender… he tried to walk in with a bottle of whiskey hanging out of his back pocket. I was embarrassed and mortified.

I should have ditched this date right then. It was going from bad to worse. The guy was acting like a drunken idiot, but I stayed because I was already there and wanted to see if I could salvage the night. I apologized to the doorman and scolded the date when he then started drinking the bottle in front of the venue, in view of the doorman. I told him to ditch it, and I made sure he did. It’s a miracle the doorman still let him in. If I were him, I wouldn’t have.

We walked in and I went to the bar to order a drink. My date said he was going to the bathroom and to get him a beer, and didn’t give me any money. Why was I still here? I bought us beers. I have no idea why I was still on this date. What was I thinking?

We walked into the room of the show, and it was packed. I was wearing heels, and he was a big guy, grabbing and pawing at me like a clumsy bear, so I had to fight to keep my balance to not be toppled over by him. He knocked my fresh beer out of my hand and broke the glass on the floor. He then said someone took his bottle or he lost it. He had blacked out that a few minutes prior, I made him ditch it. I reminded him.

I excused myself and went to the bathroom, debating if I should just walk out on him and not say anything. For some reason, I didn’t do that, even though I wanted to. I returned to where he was, and some woman was talking to him. She said, “Oh my god, you guys are such an attractive couple!” And I said, “We aren’t a couple, this is my first time out with him.” Then with no warning, he aggressively grabbed my face and kissed me, smearing my red lipstick all over my face, catching me off guard. I didn’t like it. In different circumstances, a sudden kiss might be exciting, but in this case, he was bugging the shit out of me by being completely unaware of his manners.

He had his hair pulled back in a ponytail. He let it down and said, “Everyone is gonna hate me,” as he grabbed and dragged me through a packed crowd, to an area at the front of the stage. I didn’t know what he meant when he said that, but he was definitely off to a good start with me. He started banging his head and flailing his long hair into everyone around him, still acting like a clumsy, unaware bear, not caring about anyone around him. I was still fighting to balance on heels near him. A girl behind him was getting mad and looking at me. I said, “I don’t even know him!”

I had really committed to the stupidest, most annoying date I’ve ever been on. I stayed till the end, met the band, and even took his picture with them since he loved them, and got mine as well. At the end of this stupid night, I said goodnight and jumped in a cab. I thought it was finally over. Then, the clumsy bear jumped in with me! OH MY GOD. I didn’t know what to do, and he seemed too stupid to get himself home, so I let him crash at my house. When he woke up in the morning, I told him how annoying he was and sent him home.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t over yet. He started texting me that he lost a little book that was very important to him. I forget if it was a journal or songs he’d written or what, but I didn’t know what he was talking about and I didn’t know where it was. I looked for it and texted that I couldn’t find it. A few days later, I found it in a weird place, behind my sewing machine. Damn it, now I had to deal with him again. I texted him that I found it, but I told him I was not going to go out of my way to get it to him. I told him he could come to my work and pick it up from the door person. He texted, saying he wanted to come in and see me. I didn’t want to deal with him, so I said there were no guests.

I treated this guy like I would want to be treated, although I would never show up to a date drunk. I have no idea why I put up with so much on our date… maybe because I am used to dealing with people who had too much to drink through my jobs, or because when I met him and he wasn’t drunk, I thought he was a good guy. Maybe because when I commit to something, I follow through? I really don’t know.



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