Flashback Friday: My worst first date

I was never an epic dater. Mostly, I just crushed on unsuspecting boys. Who stayed unsuspecting and never requited my love.
So, thankfully, I don't have too many war stories. There was this one guy though...he makes my hall of fame for odd dates.
We worked together at NBC NewsChannel. I was a summer intern, and he was fresh out of college working the overnight shift as a producer for the national desk. We were both at work in the wee hours of the night. He did wait until my internship was completed to ask me out, and I didn't work in his area...just to clear that up.
On the last week of my internship, we went out after our shift ended (somewhere around 1:30 am) and grabbed a late-night fourth-meal at a local all-night dive. That went well enough that I was interested. He must have been too, since he called me up and asked me to dinner (at a normal time of day). Senior year at Winthrop was a few days away, and I was going up to Charlotte for church or something, so we just met up in Charlotte. He chose the place...Manzetti's, a delightful Italian place in a fancy part of town. We had a decent dinner, though I do remember thinking, "Man, this guy REALLY likes to talk about himself." Though, being the optimist I am, I thought perhaps he was nervous and trying to impress me with his life and skills. The first red flag came with the check. He opened it, and said, "How do you want to work this?"
Work what?
The check?
Um. You called me. You asked me. I drove myself up here because that worked. But in my world, when a dude with a JOB asks a college girl out, if there is nothing said up front...YOU work it, dude. 
Thank God I had a $10 bill in my wallet. I'm not thug enough to say all those things I just wrote. I'm all about going Dutch or making my own way if I need to or if you let me know, but you've spent the past hour and a half telling me that you're a Southern gentleman. Huh?
It all happened so fast.
Then, as it was still early, he said, "What do you want to do next?
{Go home.}
"Um, I don't know...what do you think?" {I'm not from Charlotte, and you asked me, remember?}
"We could go get some ice cream or something," he offered.
{I just handed out my last $10. I don't have any more money...}
"I'm so full from that fantastic dinner. I don't think I could possibly eat any more..." I countered.
He floundered.
I enjoyed it.
He then offered to show me his new house. He was very proud of having purchased a home and was still in the process of unpacking. I felt that I knew him well enough, so I agreed to drop by and take a peek. I knew I had my own car in any case, so I could make my escape.
All the way there, I kept thinking, "What the heck was that?" 
I went in and looked around. Nice enough. We went into the living room where the TV was and he sat down on a love seat. I weighed my options for about three seconds and chose the other sofa. We had an awkward attempt at small talk, and he offered me a beverage. I went with water...what if he charged me for it later? All I could think was "Go, go go, go." At one point, he asked if I wanted to come sit by him and watch some TV. At this point I saw my open window, declined his seating invitation and said that I should probably be getting back, as I had lots of first-day-of-classes errands to do the next morning. At this point, any perceptive guy would be reading the signs. I felt that I was writing them in sharpie marker on my forehead.
He walked me out to my car. We continued our chat. I think he made some vague reference to calling me again, at which point, I made some vague reference to the affirmative, though half-hearted. I'm just not built for bitch, y'all! I started to sense that he wasn't as done with the date as I was. He was leaning against my car door and giving me the eyes. You know, the romantic eyes. Great if you're feeling it and nauseating if you're not.
Don't panic. Just get in the car. Wait. You can't get in the car because he's leaning against the car. Find a way to get him to move. If he tries anything, throw up on him. Or pee on him. Either one would kill the mood. You have a full stomach, and YOU CAN DO THIS! Put the key in the car door. That should do it. Vomit and pee. Vomit and pee. Key in the car door.
I mean, you'd think that would do it, wouldn't you? He did lose the lean-action, but then stood looking at me expectantly as we talked about something.
Throw up. Aim for the shoes. You'll never have to see him again.
He asked me to step around the car and give him a hug. I'm an idiot, so I thought it was the least I could do since I was about to vomit on him. He hugged me and leaned in. Activate OPERATION VOMIT! He whispered in my ear instead of heading for my lips, "I'm trying to figure out how to kiss you without it being awkward." Too late for that, Casanova.
Activate Operation Honesty. "Um, I don't really like to kiss on a first date. I like to get to know someone first, so maybe next time." Fat chance, John-boy.
He actually said something about respecting that and acted like a nice person to his credit. I never felt threatened at all by him...just wasn't feeling the chemistry he was. Especially after paying for my dinner and hearing all about how awesome he was.
But wait, that's not all! 
He did call and ask me out a few more times (maybe 2-3?), but I was legitimately busy with the beginning of the school year activities and wasn't going to clear my schedule for him. 
The best part is that one of my roommates and best friends attended the wedding of her cousin about a month after this date. She was telling me about one of the groomsmen who had been chatting up her mom. Come to find out this guy had the same name as my now-infamous "Dutch First Date" guy! He had told her mom that his GIRLFRIEND went to Winthrop as they talked about her daughter. My friend and her mom put all this together on the way home. Beth even asked, "You're SURE he said girlfriend?"
She was all a-twitter when she got home and grilled me about his name, height, hair color, etc. Yes, indeed. It seemed like a match.
Low and behold, he called me the next day to ask me out again. What does it take, buddy? I'm sending you every signal I know how. Do I need to learn smoke signals?
"Well, first I'd like to ask you about *so-and-so* {Beth's cousin who got married}. Do you know him?"
"Yes, I was actually in his wedding yesterday. How do you know him?" he said.

"My roommate is his cousin. Apparently, you and Bunny hit it off. That's my roommate's mom." I said, waiting to see if he was going to connect the dots I was drawing.
"Oh, yeah. She's a cool lady. Small world. etc. etc." No dots. No dots. 
"Well, funny thing is, she reports that you have a girlfriend at Winthrop." Connect the dots...la la la.
"Hm. I don't know if I said that."
"Well, if you do, I'm not sure you should be asking ME out. She might get upset." Boo-ya.
"Um. I um." Stammer stammer hunt for words
"Unless you meant me. But surely you wouldn't have called me your girlfriend since we've only been on one date a month ago," I'm pretty sure I get points for that somehow in the world of BURN!
He stammered some more, and we probably had a 20-minute awkward conversation about my not really wanting to go out with him, I didn't have time, etc. He tried valiantly. I'll give him that. After we cleared up his confusion, I think he asked if he could at least call me again. Come on, dude. Apparently, I have to send a carrier pigeon to your new house with the word NO on it before you're going to comprehend that things haven't gone well up to this point.
"I don't think that will work," I said. "Let's just leave it at this." 
And so we did.
I think that had we had some chemistry, I might have forgiven the whole "ask me out, make me pay without giving me any heads-up" thing. But I'm not sure. Would YOU have given him a second chance??

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