Several months ago I went on a date with a man who was separated at the time and going through the divorce process. Although I was breaking my "No dating men who aren't yet divorced" rule, he said they had been separated for a while and were just working out the legal kinks of their custody order. Having experienced the hassle of legal kinkery (no, not that kind), I threw caution to the wind and agreed to meet him.
He told me he would be coming from court, as he and his soon-to-be-ex-wife would be duking it out over their kids that day. Awesome. Putting my better judgment aside, I showed up and hoped that he would be in a good mood, as meeting someone after an appearance in Family Court is like playing a game of Russian Roulette. When I showed up, he was sitting at the bar, halfway through his vodka rocks. This is the point when I should have realized that I was dealing with a nightmare and bolted.
Instead, I politely asked how his day was, expecting him to give a reciprocal polite but vague answer then move on to more appropriate first date topics like politics, religion, abortion, or anything other than your divorce proceedings. Instead he took it as carte blanche to air his dirty divorce laundry through another couple of drinks. After his third drink, he started referring to his soon-to-be-ex-wife as "that effing c-u-n-t" (because spelling it out is not only offensive but leads porn spammers to my blog).
To add insult to injury, my date then proceeded to tell me how much money he made, how he was the most interesting man on Earth, and other things arrogant people like to say that I try to tune out. The fact that he was a Jets fan and drove a Japanese truck put me over the edge. I needed a reprieve. What I really needed was to leave, but sometimes I'm to polite for my own good (yes, really).
I excused myself and headed to the bathroom. On my way there, I was approached by a cute man I had seen sitting near us. Having heard my boisterous date brag about himself all the way across the bar, he laughed and asked me how my date was going. I told him it could only be better if he had a gun with which I could shoot myself in the foot as an excuse to leave. As it turns out, he was a cop and did have a gun, but more on that later. He told me to ditch my date and join his group for a beer. I wish...
When I returned from the bathroom my date decided that it was his turn and I realized that I had been sitting next to a member from my parent's golf club the entire time. He turned to me, laughed and asked me how my date was going. Thanks for the encouragement, buddy!
After what seemed like eons but was really just another half hour, I threw out the old, "Should we get out of here?" cue to leave. My date quickly took out his bill fold, stuffed to the brim with discount club cards and hundred dollar bills, paid and we left. With an awkward hug goodbye, he got into his car, dropped the convertible top down (in 50 degree weather because he's THAT awesome) and let me walk to my car alone. Best. Date. Ever. (Kidding)
Determined not to let the night suck completely, I hauled my ass back to the bar and sat down in front of the bartender. He took one look at me and burst out laughing (no surprise). You know you're on a bad date when the bartender comes up to you after, laughs in your face and buys you a beer. Sidebar: I love bartenders. They're freaking awesome. Some of my favorite people are bartenders. Ok, so that's not 100% true, but I do really like bartenders. I just have to say they're my favorite people because some of them know more secrets about me than most of my friends.
While I was making fast friends with the bartender, the cute guy from the bathroom came over, bought me another beer and laughed at me (again, no surprise). He and his friends had taken bets on how long my Best. Date. Ever. would last. Apparently, my date was the only who in the bar who didn't realize how bad the date had been. This was evidenced by the call I received from him 10 minutes after he left asking me out again for the next night. I respectfully declined.
I ended up joining the cute cop's table. He was with a group of friends, all in their 40's, having a "Guy's Night Out" who were happy to have a borderline-inappropriate hot young thang (my words, not theirs) entertain them with my dating horror stories and thoughts on happy ending massages (just say no, because that's gross and you're married, so it's also pathetic). I spent a couple hours with them and had a blast. The cute cop from the bathroom was recently divorced and we had a nice time flirting and laughing.
I tend never to be surprised by things that happen in my life. My family and friends have often said to me, "Something like this would only happen to you"...and it's usually true. Going on a date with one man and ending up giving my number to someone else, is not what I would call a normal dating story. Strangely enough, this wasn't the first time it's happened to me, and it probably won't be the last!