My Worst ‘Date’

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My Worst ‘Date’

Disclaimer: the people pictured are models and are not the individuals discussed in the story.

Disclaimer: the people pictured are models and are not the individuals discussed in the story.

Photo by Ricky Labrada

Disclaimer: the people pictured are models and are not the individuals discussed in the story.

Photo by Ricky Labrada

Photo by Ricky Labrada

Disclaimer: the people pictured are models and are not the individuals discussed in the story.

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My worst “date” consists of many red flags. However, I remain blissfully ignorant until it’s too late.

An admittedly immature Twitter rant over an ex-girlfriend led to a childhood friend reaching out with what I think are intentions of supporting me. This boy, Tom*, asks if we can hang out sometime. I am desperately trying to avoid confrontation, so I give a clearly uninterested response. However, Tom does not take the hint and is determined to spend time with me — first red flag— and I cave and agree .

The night of the hangout comes and I am thinking, “This won’t be that bad.” I’m wearing casual jeans and a T-shirt, appropriate for what I thought was two friends hanging out. I hear him pull up to the house in his old, dingy, radio-less, compact car, so I greet him at the door and Tom and my dad start a conversation. I notice Tom is trying to impress my dad — second red flag — and I begin to realize that this might not be just a casual dinner.

The entire ride to the restaurant we are struggling to start a conversation and end up in an awkward silence — third red flag. Anyone who knows me knows I am not one to sit in silence. Finally, I start leading a one-sided conversation for what feels like an eternity. Tom struggles to park in downtown Milwaukee while I think to myself , “Wow — maybe it is going to be that bad.” We’re eating dinner and the awkward silence resurfaces.

Finally, the time comes to pay the check and end this awful dinner, and I suggest splitting the check and Tom tells me that I can’t pay for any of the $12 check — fourth red flag.

We leave the restaurant and I tell Tom he needs to be in the furthest right lane to get onto the southbound highway, but he doesn’t listen to my advice and we are on our way north — yet another red flag. He’s rectified the problem, but I don’t recognize the neighborhood we are in. I start to realize where we are when the smell of the lake intensifies and we pull into a marina parking lot — big red flag. 

We spend some time looking at the city lights and listening to music. I’m thinking, “Okay, this could still be worse,” but the awkward silence comes back when his portable speaker dies. I was hoping this was the sign to head back but — to my surprise — I suddenly notice he’s trying to make a move! He is slowly leaning toward my side of the small car and I have to act, fast. I am nearly squished into the car door when I pull out my phone and fake an emergency text from my dad. “Oh my gosh, my dad is so mad I’m not home yet. We have to leave right away!”

From the second we pull into my driveway, I open the car door and I’m ready to run. Tom stops me and tries to say something but I am too quick, “I see my dad in the window, he’s really mad. I have to go.” I sprint up my driveway and fumble with the keys knowing my dad isn’t anywhere near the door to open it for me. I slam the door behind me and my dad tries to ask me how the night was. I ignore him as I am mortified and retire to my bedroom to make sense of the events that just occurred. 

While Tom is kind and a nice guy, I had absolutely no idea he thought we were on a date and evidently, he had no idea that I had no intentions of kissing him, or dating him or any man. In the following weeks, Tom continues to message me and I try my hardest to show that I am not interested without hurting his feelings. A year later, after Tom graduates, a friend of mine tells me he had absolutely no idea I was a lesbian.

*Names have been changed. 

 

 

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