It’s been years since I wrote a painful-but-true Valentine’s Day post, so I thought I’d dust off the ‘ol corners of the brain, and pull out the EMBARRASSING MOMENTS file for your stupid holiday pleasure. Enjoy.
Flirting on the phone with strangers
Back in the day, we used landline phones. Sure, you could pay extra for caller ID or you could dial some numbers to discover what call you missed. But for the most part, you picked up, especially if you had roommates.
When I lived in Eugene Oregon, I lived in a house full of characters. And one day I answered the phone and started flirting with the guy on the other end. Now, just to give you some history, I had been doing this for some time. Call it pathetic. Call it overconfidence. Originally, I think it was born out of those long calls where you and the other person are on the line while some credit card or telecommunication ordeal was getting sorted out.
So I’d start asking questions. Where are you calling from? How’s the job? You know that sort of thing. Small talk. On this particular day, the guy was calling about the room for rent. My landlord Connie was looking at me incredulously as continued to twirl the phone cord around my fingers and giggle with a man who I had never seen or met.
Well, we really hit it off, so he decided to come on over to the house and go have coffee or something. Connie told me that I needed to be careful and that basically I was nuts. I was high over the flirting and excited to see what the mystery caller would look like. He sounded so sexy!
I didn’t have to wait long. I ran over to the door after it rang, Connie close behind me. And when I opened it I was gutted. There was a short, bald, much older man standing there. Connie, on the other hand, was over the moon. “You kids have fun,” she said as she pushed me out the door.
Deflated, I reluctantly had coffee with him. My mind was frantically trying to figure out how to get out of this. Then, I realized I had to go through with this impromptu date. The disappointment was on my face. I felt bad. I felt shallow, but ladies and gentlemen, he was…not was I expected, and I never flirted with a strange guy over the phone again – unless he lived in a different state.
Imaginary bird watching
This took place when I also lived in a house full of roomies in Durango, Colorado, but this time it was all guys (I wouldn’t recommend it). The cleanest guy was moving out and I’d be taking over his room. So there you have it. I lived among swine.
Okay. If Eugene is known for its eccentric residents, Durango is known for its outdoorsy types. So the guys did those kinds of things. But one of them was really weird – and he liked me, of course. He was a carpenter who would use his band saw in his bedroom. I’d hear the dang thing at crazy times during the night and imagine sawdust flying everywhere onto his carpet. I’d wonder what in gawd’s name is he cutting wood in his bedroom for???
He’d also walk around shirtless. To be fair, he had a really nice body, washboard abs, tanned, hair longer than mine, down to his waist, and he wore glasses. He was also short. I tell you these short guys are brimming with confidence. Let’s call him Lumberjack Dan. One time he asked me, “What makes you laugh, Lani?” and I thought that was the strangest question. When I told my best friend, Nadya, we laughed and laughed over it.
Anyway, I agreed to go out on a date with him. But you know it’s not going to be a typical date. You know that, right?
Dan was an avid bird watcher so he was going to take me out hiking in hopes that we would see some birds. Okay, by now, I had been living in Colorado for about five years which meant I had gone on my fair share of hikes and outdoor excursions. So on the day we head out, it’s early, he drives me in his truck, and we start hiking.
Remember those abs? Yes, Dan is a healthy man who is like a mountain goat climbing up, while I’m like a cat who can do it, but who’d rather be napping. My friends, it was a long ass hike – up. Every once in a while he’d get close to me and we’d look up at the trees, but we never saw any birds. It was almost as if all the animals decided to scatter because they knew Lumberjack Dan was here.
Several times during the hike, I’d wonder if he required rest or water because he was unstoppable. I contemplated whether he was trying to ‘break me’ because the hike was incredibly punishing. And I considered that this was the area they would find my murdered body because I was too stupid to see the signs of a psychopath killer.
That unromantic moment
After high school, my prom date decided that he wasn’t really in love with my best friend (am I getting more pathetic in your eyes yet?), that I was alright, so he asked me out on a date.
This is the same guy who serenaded me on the high school’s front lawn – a birthday song that he penned himself. All my friends thought it was the sweetest thing, but I knew he was in love with my best friend and was doing this just to impress her. I know this because Nate and I had many conversations about his love for her before 6th period class.
He wanted to ask her to prom, but another friend asked her first, so I was his second choice.
He was going to take me to a local carnival, but the butthead was incredibly late. Like super late, like so late, I called his phone (landline) multiple times to find out what the heck was going on. I think his mom answered and that ended that. By the time he called back, he explained he got off work late or something like that. By then I was fuming and wanted to call it off, but he insisted on coming out to make it up to me. So an hour later (no I’m not exaggerating), we head to the carnival.
Nate continues to try to make it up to me by trying to win me a prize like a teddy bear, but he can never get the ball in, or the pop the balloon with his darts. It turned out to be a pathetic evening of wasted effort and I found myself becoming one of those girls who rolls her eyes at guys who can’t do anything right.
Now I realize your sympathies lie with him, but wait, please. After he takes me home, we stand awkwardly in front of my childhood house. I want this evening to end, but then begin to realize that Nate is trying to make a move on me. And when the moment arrives, do you know what he does? He burps. No, it wasn’t a beer belch, but it was something he definitely got out. Then he leans in for a kiss. I laughed and back away. I said, “You can’t burp and then try to kiss me!”
Nate then has the audacity to act shocked and confused, and so I have to spend another 30 minutes or so explaining to him why burping before going in for the kiss is not kosher. Then he tried it again, but the burp remained seared in my sound memory.
He went home and we never went out again.
Now it’s your turn! What were some of your weirdest dates? Happy un-Valentine’s Day!