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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Carnival of the blind dates

I had a meeting yesterday morning at work that got off to a late start.  There were quite a few participants, but several of the key personnel drifted in nearly 15 minutes after the scheduled start.  This is not particularly uncommon, but because everyone was still a bit sluggish from the 4 day weekend, we hadn't yet started with the business at hand.

As the last couple of people wandered in with their cups of coffee, one of them made the mistake of asking if he'd missed anything important.  My wife can attest that this kind of question almost always elicits a wise-ass comment from me... and yesterday was no exception.

As soon as the late-comer had taken his seat and inquired about what he'd missed, I said with a straight face, "We actually just got finished going around the table and telling our worst blind date story... I guess it's your turn now."

It's worth pointing out that Israeli's don't have a very well developed sarcasm detector... because before anyone could stop him he had launched into a cringingly-bad story of unmet expectations and bad manners from his distant dating past.

Surprisingly, everyone seemed to forget that it had been a joke that prompted him to tell his story because one-by-one people started clamoring to tell their own war stories from their dating days... each one worse than the one before.

I just sat in wonder as the horror stories unfolded and realized that this is a genre of personal history that nearly everyone carries around with them.  For those of us who are married, we look back and thank G-d that we survived the dating wars.  For the singles among us, the stories are told with a bit more humility since there is still the looming specter of even more frogs to kiss before a prince/princess is located.

We eventually managed to steer the meeting back on track, but before I'd left the conference room I'd decided to broach the same topic here to see if any treppenwitz readers were in a sharing mood.

Here, I'll start you off:

I was never a big fan of blind dates.  The few into which I'd allowed myself to be coerced had been fairly uneventful... but had proved beyond all doubt just how little my friends knew about me or what I might find desirable/important in a potential mate.

I had pretty much given up on the whole blind dating concept when a close friend's wife called to say that she had "the perfect girl for me".  She went on to run down a long list of reasons why we would hit it off, and I couldn't find fault with any of her logic... so I made the mistake of saying yes.

When I called this young lady I was pleasantly surprised to find that she had a very nice phone manner, and that the conversation was both effortless and entertaining.  We both eagerly agreed to a lunch date the following Sunday.  All-in-all this was a promising start.

However, when I went to pick her up, things immediately started to go wrong.  I had written her address and apartment number on a small slip of paper, but when I pulled up in front of her building I couldn't find the paper.  However, I wasn't too concerned since I was 99% sure I remembered the apartment number. 

I went up the elevator and knocked on the door to her apartment.  When the door opened I had a moment of embarrassment as I realized I must have gotten the apartment number wrong after all.  Standing in the doorway was a girl with bright pink hair, teased out stiffly in all directions like one of those troll dolls.  She was wearing a micro-miniskirt so brief as to be easily mistaken for a belt.  The rest of her ensemble consisted of a torn black Van Halen tour T-shirt and a pair of white cowboy boots.  Her make-up and perfume were so over-the-top that a Times Square hooker would have taken her aside and suggested that she 'tone it down a bit'!

I was just about to apologize for knocking on the wrong door (I was actually fairly certain I'd inadvertently stumbled upon an escort service) when this vision of loveliness smiled brightly through her clown make-up and said, "Hi!  You must be David".

I must have looked like a deer in the headlights.  I wanted to say something - anything - to cover the firestorm going on inside my head... but all I could do was stare.

Either she didn't notice, didn't care or was secretly pleased with my reaction, because she cheerily grabbed a purse and led me down the hall towards the elevator (that's a 'lift' for you Brits).

When we got downstairs I unlocked the car and held the door open for her as she got in.  When I went around to the driver's side I was mildly annoyed to find that she hadn't unlocked my door.  In this day of remote car locks this may seem like a story from the distant past, but this small courtesy was once the first of several small tests that guys used in order to see if a girl was the attentive and courteous sort.

When I got in and started the car I found out with a shock what she had been doing instead of unlocking my door.  She had taken a cassette tape of acid rock music from her purse, placed it in my car's stereo and turned the volume up to '11'.  As the engine turned over the car literally exploded with sound. 

I quickly turned off the music, willed a smile onto my face and started chattering frantically about the restaurant to which we were headed.  She sat pouting at having her music turned off, but seemed to show mild interest in trying a new restaurant.

The dining experience was even worse that the events that preceded it. 

This young lady cursed at the waitress for not giving us a place near the window, made snide comments to the people seated at the next table who had spent a bit too long taking in her outfit, and ... without too much exaggeration on my part... ate her food using her hands and feet.

Among the religious crowd there is a tradition of saying a soft blessing both before and after consuming food and drink.  She openly mocked me when I mumbled the blessings, and made a big show of rolling her eyes while singing "Rubadub dub, thanks for the grub... yeeeeaaaah G-d!" loud enough for everyone in the restaurant to hear.

At this point I figured I'd fulfilled my responsibility to my friend's wife and gently suggested that since it was still early in the day I should take her home so we could both catch up on errands.  Instead she pouted and said, "Oh no... it's such a beautiful day outside.  Let's go for walk in Central Park". 

I didn't want to be rude, so I just shrugged... paid the check and guided her outside to the car. 

After driving only a few blocks towards the park, we found ourselves stopped at a red light when she suddenly pointed out the car window and started jabbering something about a new shop we had just passed, and how she had been meaning to go there and 'check them out'.  Before I could pull over to the side of the street she had popped her tape out of the cassette deck, opened the door and was shouting a perfunctory "seeya later" over her shoulder as she picked her way through the angry beeps of oncoming traffic.

As I drove away I pinched myself to be sure it hadn't been a dream, and made a solemn promise to myself that I was done with blind dates for good. 

It was years before anyone was able to coerce me into meeting a perfect stranger for romantic purposes again... and as luck would have it, that next 'blind date' turned out to be my wife.

So, as I said in yesterday's meeting... we were just going around and telling our worst blind date stories... I guess it's your turn!

[Note: My only request is that if you decide to share... please don't give details that could positively identify any of the lower life forms from your dating past]


Posted by David Bogner on June 15, 2005 | Permalink


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I have a worse one, an unbelievable one. It turned into a soap opera that lasted for months. But I'd rather not write it cause it only happened last year, and I live in a veeeery small country :-)

Posted by: Maria | Jun 15, 2005 1:14:14 PM

There.Are.Just.Too.Many.To.Choose.From. =:-P

Posted by: zahava | Jun 15, 2005 1:25:14 PM

Yee-ouch. What a story.

I don't have so many blind date stories, but I do have a few disastrous introduction stories. These introductions were often made against my will, and they turned out as badly as I had imagined they would.

I think I'll write a few of 'em up on my blog. I think that enough time has passed that no one will know who I'm talking about.

Posted by: Rahel | Jun 15, 2005 3:24:56 PM

Maria... So far as I can tell there are only three or four people in Iceland reading this journal (unless you are signing on from a bunch of different computers, in which case it's just you). Somehow I think your secret would be safe here. :-)

Zahava... Good answer. :-)

Rahel... By all means, anyone who has a blog or journal of their own can feel free to either share here or on their own real estate... whatever feels right. Just come back and post a link here to your entry if you decide to post your story elswhere.

Posted by: David | Jun 15, 2005 3:54:50 PM

What I want to know is, what was the reaction of your friend's wife when you told her about her friend's behavior?

Posted by: Sarah | Jun 15, 2005 4:23:51 PM

Sarah... I called her with every intention of really reading her the riot act. Let's face it, if this is what she thought would be perfect for me, what does that say about her opinion of me??? When I called she was very excited to hear that we had gone out already, and she couldn't wait to hear how her old friend was doing... since she hadn't seen her since their college days together. I didn't have the heart to tell her that her friend may have changed a wee bit since college. To this day I have never told her what a nightmare that date was.

Posted by: David | Jun 15, 2005 4:30:08 PM

I got nothin'. Really. Did so little dating before I met ball-and-chain that I did zero of the blind variety.

What I wanna know is, after the business meeting, did everyone laugh at the goof who started out with the blind-date stories, and was he mad at you? Did he offer you a big bowl of gravy for lunch?

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jun 15, 2005 4:34:03 PM

Though usually the guy picks up the girl, I went on a blind date where I picked up the guy. (I don't remember why - his car was in the shop or something.) After the movie, I took my date back to his house. He invited me in for a drink. I went in and met... his, um, room-mate? A lovely young woman whom he greeted with a warm, open-mouthed kiss. Thanks, but no thanks. I bid a hasty good-bye and retreated.

Posted by: Mirty | Jun 15, 2005 4:34:56 PM

Ok, I am short on time, but will try and bang this out quickly. I am 24 years-old and living in my own place. Life is very good and I am not having any trouble meeting women, for that matter I have more dates and more opportunity than I ever have in my life. Don't know why, it is just the way that it was.

I date a woman for a relatively short time and after a while we decide that it is better to be friends than anything more. And since we are now friends she decides that I would be a great match for one of her friends.

After a little prodding I agree to take out her friend Kim. Kim is a very short girl with an exceptionally loud voice that has two levels to it, a whisper that is so soft that you cannot make it out and a shout that wakens the dead. More on that in a moment.

We agreed to meet a restaurant which is why I really found out about her voice. During the meal she alternates from the whisper to the shout and has no compunction about saying whatever comes across her mind.

Example A) "Jack, did you just fart?" I must have looked at her strangely when she said this. "I can't smell it, but you look like you did and I heard something."

I muttered something back at her and she belted out another question.

"Jack, I heard that you are a phenomenal kisser. Kim is a moron to have let you go because every girl knows that this is a rare trait."

I probably would have been flattered but she looked at the family sitting nearby and told the woman there that she could wait to kiss me, even though I had a problem with flatulence, a problem that she made up.

Long story longer- We finish our meal and agree to walk across the street to go listen to some music at a nice bar.

Once ensconced in a booth she decides to climb on my lap and then straddles me. I have known her for all of a hour or so and am embarrassed. I am embarrassed in large part because there is a family on the right and a famous actor on the left who are being subjected to a spectacle as well as being forced to listen to her shout.

What is she shouting about? She is yelling at me because I asked her to get off of my lap. Not only is she not getting off of my lap, she is starting to grind against me like she is some kind of stripper giving a lap dance.

Eventually I stand up to try and pull her off, but she won't let go. She has her legs and and arms wrapped around me and she is shouting something about me being too uptight.

I would write more about the date, but this has already become much too long of an answer.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 15, 2005 4:39:48 PM

Jack, you have got to stop wearing that aftershave that makes women go mad!

Posted by: Mirty | Jun 15, 2005 5:01:11 PM

that makes women go mad!


I have decades upon decades of experience at making women go mad, just not mad with passion. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Jun 15, 2005 5:24:58 PM

Not so much a 'blind-date' story; more I must have been blind. 1970s England, meet a girl at a Jewish social in Manchester. Most memorable feature so many years down the line was back-combed, blonde hair (probably from a bottle!). Foolishly arrange to meet her mid-week and sorted out a double date for her friend, who was a matching clone in appearance, with a friend of mine. We went out as a foursome, then back to her parents' home for 'coffee'. She and I talked: my friend and the other blondette just sat and mostly listened but when the conversation turned to a wedding the two bottle blondes had been to a week or so ago and I was asked,
"Do you like tea dances?" in a broad Whitefield, North Manchester Jewish, accent, my friend and I promptly finished our now cold coffee and swiftly exited stage left.

It was some time until we went back to that part of Manchester again!

Posted by: Superpharm | Jun 15, 2005 6:05:46 PM

Ok now that was an AWESOME story!!! Talk about a date so surreal it could have been in a movie! I wouldn't classify it bad so much as bizarre. I only wish I had one that good to tell... only one with a guy who was hung over and therefore not talkative and a Iranian guy who wanted to put his tongue down my throat. *ho hum* Boring.

As an interesting note about your observation that "Israeli's don't have a very well developed sarcasm detector" (which make me laugh, btw), I JUST read an article in Time magazine (Canadian edition) that read as follows (oh please don't chase me for copyright laws, copyright police!!):

"The Anatomy of Sarcasm"
Recognizing sarcasm when you hear it involves a complex sequence of cognitive skills, according to Israeli research papers. People with brain damage in the prefrontal lobe- where language and social cues are processed- don't get, for example, why anyone would tell as slacker, "Don't work too hard!"

How funny is it, given your observation, that it's Israelis doing research on this topic?? When you don't understand something it's always best to investigate it!

Posted by: celestial blue | Jun 15, 2005 6:17:09 PM

Ewwwwwww. Yeah, let me think whether mine is proper to post. Your journal is just widely read in JSphere, you know...

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jun 15, 2005 7:06:25 PM

Ditto to what Zahava said...I get ill just thinking about all my stories and I am still single so, while I can laugh about them, there's no comfort yet that I won't have any more to add to my yet-unpublished book ;)

Posted by: Essie | Jun 15, 2005 8:06:27 PM

Doctor Bean... Not only did the first guy never catch on that I had lead him on, but everyone else seems to have lost track of the original joke too. [shrugs]

Mirty... You are such a prude! Seriously, that must have been, um, a bit, er, awkward. :-)

Jack... Just out of curiosity:

1. What the hell do your comments look like when you aren't pressed for time? I mean seriously. You comment like I journal! :-)


2. You have a girl who thinks you are G-d's gift to kissing straddling you in an establishment that will bring alcoholic beverages right to where you are sitting... I'm still waiting for the bad part. This was supposed to be a blind date horror story, right... not your submission to Penthouse Forum! You and Mirty could team up and co-author those steamy romance novels that middle-aged women use to pull themselves through menopause. :-)

Superpharm... You do realize I'm originally from the US, right. Most of us consider ourselves 'worldly if we can recognize the difference between a British, Australian and South African accent. Sorry to say, but you're going to have to explain the the punch line to the stupid Yank.

Celestial... First of all, I have to ask... was this the second guy you were talking about? As to the sarcasm study, thanks for the tip... very funny coincidence. I am sure that Israelis are every bit as sarcastic as I am, but my idioms and sense of humor may not translate well into Hebrew. You'll see what I'm talking about pretty soon (hopefully!).

mademoiselle a. ... Oh come on! Surely you are creative enough to change or leave out enough details that the idiots won't recognize themselves here. :-)

Essie... Well, if you'd like to share a chapter or two here... [there has to be some advantage to commenting anonymously, right?] :-)

Posted by: David | Jun 15, 2005 9:35:50 PM

Wow, I think you definitely win! I can really only remember one blind date, but it was absolutely boring (mainly because the guy only talked about himself for the couple of hours we spent in one another's company). I found out later he had also dated half of my friends, but they were smart enough to go out with him only once. At the time, I stupidly gave him a second chance because how could I not make an effort when he was a Jewish lawyer??

Posted by: AmyS | Jun 15, 2005 9:54:19 PM

Love this posts and I imagine you can dedicate a blog to this stuff too. I fortunately don't have too many horror stories. The one semi bad one involved a girl who on the first date picked out the absolute most expensive food on the menu as well as the most expensive piece of pottery to paint.(yes we went pottery painting). I felt that perhaps she wanted to see if I was cheap etc. later by total accident I found out through further conversation that she was divorced (no children) and I was unable to hide my surprise. Evidently my rosh hayishva who set me up had given this info to my mother who thought he had told me. A case of miscommunication. She claimed she was interested in a second date but then decided (thank goodness) to back out since she was uncomfortable with the idea that I was unaware she was divorced etc.

Posted by: Jewish Blogmiester | Jun 15, 2005 9:54:53 PM

AmyS... Besides the fact that you probably set the women's movement back about 70 years... the whole Jewish lawyer thing should have been a big flashing warning sign that the guy was going to be doing a lot of talking about himself! :-)

Jewish Blogmiester... Don't get me started on women that scanned the prices (and not in a considerate way) when deciding what to order.

Posted by: David | Jun 15, 2005 10:03:36 PM

David, what steamy romance novels are you talking about? Feh!!

And all I can say is, B'ezrat HaShem, my hubby and I will be celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary tomorrow and he was my 4th blind date ever. (Before we took the plunge, we spent two years writing letters back and forth, the kind that took 10 days to two weeks to arrive.)

FWIW, blind dates #1-#3 were just soddenly boring, certainly not the spectular bomb you described. OY!

Posted by: jennifer | Jun 15, 2005 11:09:40 PM

How perfectly charming, the use of plural! Why, thanks a lot.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jun 15, 2005 11:12:09 PM


I can bang out a 1000 word post in around 15 minutes or less. The quality is not always up to snuff, but writing is relatively easy for me and most of the time I don't make too many mistakes.

Of course now that I said that I am going to get a bad case of writer's block and a make tun of grandmatical eerors.

Call it a retired journalist's curse.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 15, 2005 11:50:57 PM

P.S. The date truly was bad in so many ways that I cannot even begin to list, but I think that I have used up my allotment of bandwith for the day. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Jun 15, 2005 11:55:58 PM

I was way too afraid of strange men to go on blind dates. Yikes! My palms sweat just thinking about it.

But I do have a friend who went on one with a guy to an Indian restaurant and the guy whipped out own chopsticks to eat. Total date breaker. (And he wasn't Asian, not that it would have been any more acceptable had he been.)

Posted by: Alice | Jun 16, 2005 12:13:54 AM

I don't have much to contribute...but where is our most recently(OK its been a few years for him as well) married bandmate....C'mon we know you're lurking, give us some of the good stuff

Posted by: shmiel | Jun 16, 2005 12:36:09 AM

Here's my post. Complete with link.

Posted by: Rahel | Jun 16, 2005 12:42:17 AM

I don't think I've ever been on a blind date. Do you think my wife would mind?

Posted by: psychotoddler | Jun 16, 2005 12:42:48 AM

david, considering your penchant for embracing adventure, understanding differences and generally enjoying what life brings you, I am surprised that you describe your date with such negativity. I rather believe that you would immediately have realized this was not the girl you were going to marry, so you may as well enjoy the comedic side of the date...like a long amusement park ride. (which particular ride I will let you decide).

never had a blind date myself, but I did manage to set up a certain musician friend with a woman who had the most magnificent eyes. I told him that at worst he'd enjoy looking at those peepers all night. he did, and fast-forward - their kids lucked out and got her baby blues, and I get much-needed brownie points with the major matchmaker up yonder.

Posted by: yonah lloyd | Jun 16, 2005 12:49:31 AM

It's finally happened.... Treppenwitz has become a chat room! ;) I seriously think the comments outnumbered (in words) the topic du jour! ;)

Posted by: val | Jun 16, 2005 1:33:03 AM

When I first read Celestials posting about the Iranian with the tongue, I thought "hey, she went out with my husband!", but I was wrong. I followed the link that you gave for the Iraninan guy, just to make sure. That gave me a great laugh. Now whenever I feel lonley or down I can just contact my new best friend in Turkey and feel much better. David, thanks for "hooking us up"

Posted by: ac | Jun 16, 2005 2:03:37 AM

Wow, sounds like you guys have all the "fun". I've never been on a blind date, and don't intend to. In fact, I've always been opposed to being "introduced" to people and preferred to find my own circle of friends and enemies. ; )

Posted by: Irina | Jun 16, 2005 5:02:49 AM

Ah! That's why I see all those ads for JDate!

Posted by: John | Jun 16, 2005 6:44:34 AM

I had one of those, a nightmare! I still get a chill when I remember my worst blind date, It was the second. She was Ethiopian and came from a very insecure part of the city and I had to go get her from her dad's place (even worsened the situation). I'm just about to reach her house, very much ontime (atleast I knew her place), when a gang of 10-13 hoodlums armed with crude weapons pounce on me [4 is manageable but anything more than a 6-man gang is def. not even worth raising an alarm for] - they took my new pair of jeans and my shirt. Yup! that left me half naked...oh! did I mention they took my shoes too, so after they leave(casually) and I walk up to the girls house - shock on me!! - the dad opens the gate and immediatley closes it, obviously thinking I was a mad-man, even after requesting to talk to the girl as he walked back to the house..I borrow some pants, t-shirt and tyre-made sandals(that's all the charcoal dealer had to give) in sheer frustration and promise to return them (yeah right!!) and WALK all the way back to my house just to find 10 missed calls from her and a voice mail saying she's no longer interested, I WASTED ALL HER TIME!!.....The rest is History

Posted by: kakarizz | Jun 16, 2005 8:10:31 AM

Jennifer... OK, we'll just pretend you don't have a few dogg-eared 'bodice rippers' stashed away somewhere in the house to read when nobody is looking! :-)

mlle. a. ... You mean you were fortunate enough to only have one horror story before you met your husband? How lucky for you! :-)

Jack... While I still don't completely understand the downside to the date you described, I'll take your word for it. :-)

Alice... Indian restaurant?... chopsticks?... his OWN chopsticks?... Yikes!

Shmiel... I don't think AW reads my humble blog. He's too busy making a living! :-) I seem to remember some 'interesting' dating stories from your distant past, though. ;-)

Rahel... Thanks Rahel! I'm going to read it now.

Psychotoddler... Your wife seems like the understanding sort... but there are limits. :-)

Yonah... An amusement park ride is only fun because; a) you ride it by choice; and b) you know when it is going to end. Both of these elements were missing from my 'adventure'.

Val... I wouldn't go so far as to call it a chat room... but there is usually some entertaining give-and-take here.

ac... No problem ('I kiss you?????") :-)

Irina... In my (limited) experience, blind dates are not so much a function of people not being able to find their own dates, but rather well-meaning friends who feel the need to play matchmaker. In the case of married friends who set you up..., there is a theory that 'misery loves company'. :-)

John... These dating services are a whole different set of horrors. I never used one, but I've heard the stories.

kakarizz... OK, you win! I'm looking back over my paltry story and it seems pretty tame compared to yours. You had an unfair advantage though, since it is very rare for roving bands of thugs to strip you of your clothing in Manhattan. They usually stop with your wallet and cell phone.

Posted by: David | Jun 16, 2005 8:49:41 AM

I think if people are willing to spill the beans, this thread could continue far and wide.
Your title is appropriate for me: I hate carnivals. "Get me off this damn ride" is what I probably thought about many of my blind dates. And believe me, there were MANY!
My worst blind date? I was once abandoned on a blind date. I'm not a hideous dog or anything of the sort, but I'm guessing my date was just BLIND. We met at a restaurant, I sat down, he told me to order a drink, I said I'd wait and he excused himself, saying he had to make a call. So naive little me waited...and waited...and WAITED AND WAITED. I thought maybe the phone didn't work and he had to go to a restaurant next door for his call (before the days of cell phones) I finally did order a Coke and then asked the waitress to have a waiter check the men's room and phone area. Nope, no date. So FINALLY I got up to leave, pretty humiliated. See, on one hand I was naive, and on the other hand my sincere self wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he really did have to make a call, and polite me wanted to wait. Well, polite, sincere, naive me definitely learned from that experience.
Although humiliated, I did get up at a singles' shabbaton a few years later to tell my horror story.
And don't worry, I don't need tea and sympathy from you and your readers. That's a part of my past, some experience that touched my life once upon a time, and taught me some more about the people whose paths you don't want should cross with yours.
Luckily, another -- BETTER -- blind date led me to my husband, whom I met and married a year and one week after our initial date. That was 11 1/2 years ago, and it's now three children later...

Posted by: Pearl | Jun 16, 2005 9:02:11 AM

kakarizz- The man wins by far. That story has us all beat.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 16, 2005 9:08:12 AM

Ah well, let's make it one blind date initiated upon someone's interest to meet me. Blind dates and meeting a dude who turns out to waste 5 years of your life just isn't the same, is it. Makes it definitely one blind date, some dates for sheer interest in the human being with no intentions [from my side, but males are so unpredictable and that's when you have to send them into the desert], an interlude I'd go and regret for the next five years or so, plus a semi-blind date in virtual space who somewhen morphed into a husband.

That blind date, though, blind dated me because he wished to [anyone familiar with jdate?], and turned out going back and forth about the fact that he went unshnipped. Which is just too nice to discuss -in detail- on a blind date.

Talking about carnival; there are many clown fishes in the pond. Too many.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jun 16, 2005 9:40:44 AM

Pearl... That is a terrible story! It is stuff like that that makes me want to believe in things like karma or just plain old payback! I have friends who used to have their friends page them on their beepers (remember those) 15 or 20 minutes into a date so that if they were having a bad time they could beg off by saying they had to go into work or some other face-saving story. But to just walk out... oy!

mlle. a. ... Are you kidding me??? You actually had a blind date bring up something that, um, personal over dinner? While Karakizz still holds the horror story title hands down, you and Pearl are a close second and third.

Posted by: David | Jun 16, 2005 12:27:44 PM

This brought back an old, old memory of what really was my worst date EVER. (But no, not as bad as Kakarizz...)

I was hooked up with this guy via personal ads. We met at a coffee shop downtown. There was ZERO chemistry but what the hell, I figured, maybe I would make a friend. (Can men and women be friends?) So we had coffee and talked. At this point in my past, I was dating non-Jewish guys. The conversation came 'round to travels and he asked me what countries I've visited. My answer: Canada and Israel. He said, "Yes, I've been to Israel too."

I launched into my Israel-how-wonderful-I-love-it-blah-blah-blah without blinking. Meanwhile, his hand starts shaking, coffee is spilling... Finally he interrupts me and tells his story. Now picture this white-bread guy, blonde and blue-eyed telling me this. Turns out his family is part-Arab! (Who knew?) He spent part of his childhood in a poor Arab neighborhood just outside Jerusalem. His reflections on Israel are the complete opposite of mine. I listen as he retells his experiences.

To me, this is still quite interesting, but I also am aware that he is experiencing some strong emotions (which he is trying to hold back). Finally he says, "I had no idea you were a Jew. I'm sorry we ever met." And he gets up and leaves.


Posted by: Mirty | Jun 16, 2005 5:19:11 PM

I am rolling on the floor laughing!!! That link was HILARIOUS!
And I am sending it to all my friends.
And then I will send it to my parents when I am in Israel and tell them I am not coming home because I have found my man.

Posted by: celestial blue | Jun 16, 2005 5:43:19 PM

Ugh. Reading these comments bring back yet more unfortunate memories. Flashback to a "Jewish Singles Shabbaton" in the Poconos. I remember one guy there spent the whole weekend lounging around on a pool chair wearing a very poorly-constructed bathing suit, revealing his "equipment" to all potential mates. (It became a dare to run up, sneak and peak, and then run away. He was lying in the sun, eyes closed, and didn't notice. We think.) Oh, I should add I was only about 19 at the time. Improperly-stored male equipage wouldn't pique my curiosity nowadays.

Posted by: Mirty | Jun 16, 2005 6:45:16 PM

Mirty... Yowch, that must have left a mark! This is something I mentioned in a comment I left the other day at Lisa's blog. For some reason, most of the Arabs with whom I have had personal contact can sit and have a perfectly nice conversation with you and still maintain that all Jews/Israelis are evil incarnate. I guess this is the same internal 'split screen' that allows them to believe the rumors every time they hear that the Israelis have blown up the Dome of the Rock...despite seeing with their own eyes that is is always standing the next day. I won't touch your other comment with a ten foot pool cleaning pole. :-)

Celestial... I can't believe you hadn't seen that before. 'I kiss you!!!!' has become a classic around the Web! Glad I could brighten your day.

Posted by: David | Jun 16, 2005 7:18:19 PM

No, David, not exactly. I didn't have him bring it up over wine and food. He brought it up all by himself. And by the way, he dumped me a few days later.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jun 16, 2005 7:52:14 PM

When I was in high school, this guy from a neighboring suburb where all the wealthy Jews lived (I lived on the other side of the tracks) got my number from a friend and started calling me. He seemed nice.

We agreed to meet at the mall. He was going to bring a friend and so was I. He couldn't get his Daddy's BMW for the day, but his father could drop them off at the mall, so he asked if I would drive them home after our date. I said ok.

I am an "I know in the first 5 minutes" type of girl, so all I can is that I knew immediately that Dale was not for me. And my friend new that his friend Marc wasn't for her.

So we said we had to go to the bathroom, but instead we ditched them and left.

Fast forward 2 years. I am a senior in high school and some guy taps me on the shoulder in the cafeteria. He says, "Remember me?" I said, "Yeah, you look familiar."

He said, "My friend Dale and I met you and your friend at the mall a few years ago. You were supposed to drive us home. You met us and then bailed. We were forced to walk home. On our walk home, we got robbed at knife-point and beaten with baseball bats. I still have this scar on my face."

I felt like such a piece of shit I offered to buy him lunch. And we became really good friends. And we are still friends to this day. And I STILL feel badly for ditching them. Damn.

So I guess it wasn't my worst date, but I'm sure it was theirs!

Posted by: Stacey | Jun 16, 2005 8:28:34 PM

Oy, there are so many typos above. I swear I do know English. Was just in a hurry. :)

Posted by: Stacey | Jun 16, 2005 8:43:49 PM

Well, I have been on a few blind dates and in all fairness I wonder if I am someone else's horror story.

Anyway, here's mine: I spend a fair amount of time traveling around to minor league baseball games and on one trip thought it would be nice to have some company at the game. I found someone interesting on a jdate-type site and asked if she wanted to take in the game with me.By the way, although it did not play a part in my choice of whom to contact, her ad indicated she had no children.

She seemed enthusiastic and I asked if she had a preference on seating. She suggested we see what was available at the gate so I described myself and the cap I would be wearing.

At the appointed time a woman came up and said, "You must be Alex." Her ad didn't have a picture (mine didn't either)and she looked nothing like her self-description. She looked OK and goodness knows few people mistake me for Cary Grant but she didn't even give the right height. I admitted that I must be. She turned to two boys, aged about ten and twelve, and said, "These are my sons. I was sure you wouldn't mind if they came along."

She told me that they had decided they wanted to sit behind first base. I got in the ticket line and noticed she didn't, simply smiling at me as I neared the window. I bought four tickets.

We entered the ballpark and I bought a scorebook. "I think the boys would like one of their own," she said,and I bought another one.

The game started and from time to time as a vendor passed she mentioned the boys would like a hot dog, an ice cream, and whatever, which I bought. At one point I went to the men's room and was sorely tempted to decide the hell with it and just leave.She, by the way, went to the ladies' room several times, each time getting up and moving down the row no matter what was happening on the field, so I got dirty looks from our row mates.

However, I have been ditched myself and hated it and in any case I wanted to see the rest of the game. However, toward the latter part of the game a souvenir guy came around and when she said the boys would like pennants I lied and said I was out of cash. I swear, I thought she was going to suggest I find out of the vendor took plastic.

During the course of the game my attempts to engage the boys in conversation about baseball or anything else met with grunts or minimal replies. They did show some interest in the game. Their mother did chat with me and perhaps I am mistaken but much of it seemed to be gauging my financial worth and prospects. She showed no interest in the game to speak of. Now, I don't expect everyone to have my level of interest--if I'm with fellow fans or by myself I often chart the pitches--but given the occasion I would have liked a pretense that she wanted to see a ball game.

I walked them to her car and she said briefly, "Well, thank you Alex; I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip." Neither then nor earlier did the boys say anything that could reasonably be interpreted as a thank you, nor did their mother ever prompt them to do so.

It need hardly be said that on subsequent minor league jaunts I have not sought company through singles ads.

Posted by: Alex Bensky | Jun 16, 2005 10:01:27 PM

I've always wondered what happened to you...
I remember our date slightly differently. After our pleasant conversation on the phone, I was really excited about our upcoming data. I spent hours getting dolled up just right because I really wanted to impress you. OK, the skirt was a teensy bit on the short side but that was the style at the time and I was (past tense, more later) just a slave to fashion. (And the shirt was not Van Halen, whom I detested, it was probably the Dead. I loved the Dead and even traveled with them for a short while. Wow.)Anyway, you showed up at my door wearing plaid pants and a checkered shirt with that God-awful afro. Gag me with a spoon.
I put this really fantastic tape in (maybe it was an 8 track?) to try to loosen you up a bit (you were soooo uptight) but you just turned it off with such a scowl, I was frightened. (How could I have known how loud it would be before you started the car?) Then you took me to this really seedy dive and actual shuckled while you made a bracha (yes, I went to yeshiva and even then was not the total shiksa you make me out to be). I was positively mortified.
You were so nerdy that everybody around us was rolling their eyes at you (there was an alfalfa sprout stuck to your chin for like the whole meal). I snapped at them because I was embarrassed for you. I did eat with my hands (not feet) because it was an Indian restaurant. If I recall correctly, you ate curried vegetables with a soup spoon. Sheesh.
Anyway, I suggested we go for a walk so you wouldn't think I was trying to ditch you or anything. But you just kept being sooo obnoxious, I just had to bail to preserve my sanity.
So I guess different people remember things differently.
PS You might be interested to know that today I live in Har Nof with my kollelnik husband and eight adorable kinderlach!

Posted by: lola | Jun 16, 2005 10:46:16 PM

Wow. Lola. Thanks for your quaint stroll down someone else's memory lane.

Balding. Since 1983. Afro circa 1986? He wishes.

Indian food. Never. Not ever. Curry. Gags HIM with a spoon.

Seedy dive? Your place?

Posted by: zahava | Jun 16, 2005 11:04:45 PM

Mademoiselle a. ... OK, this one was my fault. I wrote the way I speak, not necessarily the way the sentence should have been written. When I said, "You actually had a blind date bring up something that, um, personal over dinner?" I wasn't trying to say you made him do it... but rather that this thing had happened to you. My bad.

Stacey... My respect for you just jumped up a few notches. That must have been a very hard thing to admit. I know I have a closet full of things I'm not particularly proud of that you will NEVER see here on treppenwitz! :-) I'm glad you got the opportunity to apologize to at least one of the guys. And don't worry about the typos... my comments are always full of them too.

Alex Bensky... That was a pretty painful story. Still not Kakarizz caliber, but painful none the less. I don't think there is much doubt about what this woman was looking for. Glad to 'meet' another minor league ball fan. I love the smaller parks, less predictable play and general innocence of the minor leagues. I'm sad that I'm no longer within driving range of the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Lola... Other than my fondness for plaid you struck out on every other detail. Funny stuff, though.

Zahava... Now, now... let the kids have their fun. :-)

Posted by: David | Jun 16, 2005 11:08:33 PM

Well, this isn't exactly a horror story for me, but it must have been pretty rough for the girl. A family friend was visiting Jerusalem for Yom Tov and a buddy insisted it was a great idea for us to get together. Because she wasn’t in the country very long, I decided to take her out to a restaurant on chol hamoed, even though it was actually “second day chag” for her. Sometime during the meal she excuses herself to go the bathroom. Half a minute later she comes back out and starts mumbling something to me about needing help with something. I had no idea what she was talking about. She mentions something about tissues. Finally I realize that the bathroom doesn’t have any cut toilet paper and she doesn’t want to rip any because it’s yom tov for her! (Which is actually allowed but most frum people are under the mistaken impression that you can’t do that.) So the poor girl had to ask me to cut some toilet paper for her! I felt so bad for her!

Posted by: The Hedyot | Jun 17, 2005 1:49:06 AM

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