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I don’t really remember my first date. Although I do remember this boy coming up to me in 7th grade, handing me a rose in front of many of our classmates and kissing me with his chapped lips. I almost fainted and I’ve had a weird obsession with hydrating lip balm every since.

In high school, I went to some school dances. My biggest priority was making sure the guy’s cumberbund and bow tie matched my dress. If the shade turned out to also be the same color as our wine coolers, the night was an insane success.

One particular boy asked me to a winter dance and I thought I sort of liked him. Or at least I liked the idea of liking him.

In preparation for our big night out together, I made him a Christmas card. Out of construction paper. Because doesn’t every teenage boy want a home made card?  Especially a Jewish boy.

I even gave it to him in the middle of school. I might as well have handed him a rose and kissed him with big chapped lips. He probably used that card to roll clove cigarettes in the quad.

With my greeting card business out the way, I prepared for the evening. I immediately knew our chemistry was off because he decided to match his cumberbund and bow tie to my hair color instead of my dress. He chose a sparkly gold color to apparently match my sparkly gold hair.

Despite this obvious red flag, my hopeful adolescent self thought the evening was still salvageable. He came to pick me up about 7:30 pm. I know because I heard the honking.

At first, I imagined some kind of suburban traffic jam due to the grisly death of a raccoon innocently trying to cross the street but then to my horror I realized the truth: That was my date honking.

I could only imagine 3 possible scenarios.

1. He had somehow gotten entangled in the wires of his walkman, trapping him in his car, and in this pre-cell phone era, he had no choice but to beep madly to get emergency attention.

2. He was so swept away by the romance of my interfaith Christmas card, that he became temporarily insane and thought it was okay to honk for his date to come out of the house.

3. He danced and sang to The Bangles on the way over so enthusiastically that it sapped him of all energy and he simply could not summon the strength to get out of the vehicle.

Clearly number 3 was the most plausible but it turned out that none of these were true. He was just immature and not that polite.

I went with him to the dance and to this motel after party. But I realized that I didn’t really like this guy all that much and didn’t know his friends all that well and really wanted to go home.

So I walked out of the motel, crossed the street and went to a diner. I called my mom from a pay phone and asked if she’d pick me up. “Is everything okay?” she asked in her worried voice. “Yes, I just want to go home.”

I had other bad dates through the years. The really really boring guy who said almost nothing, so I of course filled every silence with non-stop chatter about how I acquired each of my scrunchies and my favorite dramatic scenes from the movie “Cocktail.”

Or the boyfriend who arrived two hours late to my birthday dinner. (And yes, relationships can end because of excessive tardiness).

But then I had one particularly good date in 1996.  Which turned into a really good second date in 2000. In fact so good, he turned out to be the one. 

And the girl with the sparkly gold hair kissed her bad dates goodbye and said, “I do.”


This post is part of a Valentine’s Day blog hop! So check out these other awesome blogs below and find out about their worst date ever. It can only make you feel better about your Valentine’s Day!

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kelcey kintner