Why I Don't Recommend Haunted Forests or Blind Dates: A Guest Post

1/05/2016 The Charmer 2 Comments

Remember that one time I asked for guest posts? Well, the offer still stands, y'all! Anyway, this gem was submitted less than a day after I posted my request. I laughed, I cried, and then I utterly failed at sharing it with you guys. My apologies, and enjoy!
xoxo, the charmer
Background: I don't know the whole story here, but it sounds like this was a blind date set up by the writer's aunt. AKA almost the worst kind of blind date, second only to ones set up by grandmothers.
The struggle began before the date even started. His awkward texts did nothing to endear me to him, and I accidentally (sometimes “accidentally”) forgot to respond for long stretches of time between them. At one point I didn’t even bother to reply, unwilling to carry the conversation. Two days later, I was sitting in the car on the way to FHE when he texted. “Your aunt says you don’t think I have any guts.”
I’d never said that, and I told him as much. He proceeded to try and arrange a date for later in the week, and despite the fact that I kept attempting to get him to just call me, he managed to do the whole thing over text. At this point, yes, I didn’t think he had any guts.
He showed up that Friday night at 7, and almost right after we left, announced that we were going to a haunted forest. Not a great idea.
First of all, I was wearing open-toed shoes (which turned out to not be the biggest problem that night). Second of all, I don’t like haunted things. If I was to do something haunted, I’d want it to be with someone I wanted to be close to. Not someone that I barely even wanted to go on a date with. And then there was the fact that it was twenty minutes away, a drive that feels like eternity when things aren’t clicking.
And they didn’t click. In fact, by the time we’d gotten to the freeway, we’d apparently exhausted all conversation topics, and I’d fallen silent, okay with not saying anything in particular. He apparently wasn’t, as he tapped his hands against the steering wheel and said, “I just don’t have anything else to say.”
There’s a part of me that wishes I’d suggested we just go home at that point. That I’d said, “Look, it doesn’t seem like we’re going to work out. Why don’t we head back, get some froyo, and call it good?” It would’ve saved a lot of hassle.
We pressed on, the conversation stunted and uncomfortable. I don’t remember if the radio was on. I hope for my sake that it was.
Upon arrival, and prior to getting tickets, he jokingly asked who was paying. It wouldn’t be the first time he joked about that before the tickets were actually purchased. At twenty dollars a person. And then he wanted to also get a fast pass, when the line was maybe ten groups long and clearly moving steadily.
He left me standing outside the entrance while he used the bathroom, and I took the opportunity to send a text to a friend, wanting someone to commiserate with me. I’d continue to text throughout the night (at moments when it wouldn’t be inappropriate to do so).
The line was blissfully short, but as we approached the be-vampired ticket taker, the conversation got awkward again. I just tried to ignore the uncomfortableness and walked into the corn, attempting to forget the exchange. To my relief, it was simply a path through the corn, not a maze we’d have to puzzle our way through. I steeled my emotions, looking beyond the horror at the potential normalcy.
Each actor approached me first, thinking to frighten what might’ve looked like a weak and potentially terrified female. I obviously disappointed them, as not a single scream was emitted that night. By the time they realized I was a lost cause, it was too late to scare my date. And so we pressed on, impervious to the terrors that would confront us—except, of course, for the awkwardness that loomed between us.
Towards the end of the trail, my date began questioning the shadowy figures, trying to find a friend he knew was working, adding to the lack of enthusiasm I had for the whole endeavor. Not to mention that at this point, I’d heard close to five chainsaws approach me, none of which were actually worrisome. It was near the exit that the friend was located, but as we stepped out from the “creepy carnival” portion, we realized that it’d only been twenty minutes.
I still don’t quite remember what our plans were after that point. Maybe we were going to go get something to eat, or just take me back home. Regardless, those would all dissipate as he tried to open my door for me. He stuck the key in the lock, and unable to turn it, he pulled it out to find that it’d bent. It broke in his hands as he attempted to straighten it. The panic was almost immediate, and understandably so.
As I gave him a chance to solve the problem, I quickly realized he wasn’t getting anywhere, just worrying that he’d ruined everything, not really thinking through possible ways to fix things. “Do you want me to call my uncle?” I suggested, hoping that that would at least give my date somewhere to start coming up with a solution. I did so, and we waited for him to arrive. I leaned against the car, my arms and legs crossed—not due to the weather, but rather to my awkwardness. I stayed engaged with the conversation, wanting him to understand that this kind of thing was an accident, and I understood that.
We climbed in the back seat when my uncle showed up, somehow deciding to go somewhere to get a key copied. The drive was only slightly less uncomfortable as I chatted with my uncle. But, as we drove, my date’s discomfort was noticeable. “I just wish—” he began before shaking his head.
“What?” I asked.
“I just wish this hadn’t happened. Now you won’t want to go out with me again.”
Well. Yes.
“This could happen to anyone,” I hedged, not wanting to say it was him. But it was also definitely him. “It’s not like you were being a jerk.” But we don’t work together. So please don’t ask me out again.
The key eventually copied, we soon discovered that it wouldn’t fit in the lock for whatever reason. And so we headed to his family’s house to get a different car for him to take me home. Passing an Olive Garden, he remarked that we should go get him something to eat. “I’ll just get a glass of water,” I said.
“Well, for one, I’m not feeling great,” (yay for motion sickness) “and for another, I already ate.”
He insisted that after 7 was a perfectly normal time to eat dinner. “Yeah,” I said, “but you didn’t mention anything about getting something to eat. If I’m asked on a date, and they don’t say anything about food, I’m going to eat something before I go.”
It’s a clear indicator of how well the date isn’t going when you have better conversation with his stepdad than you do with your date. As if I needed more of a sign, it got even worse when I mentioned I didn’t know how to drive stick to my date. “Here, I’ll teach you,” he insisted. “I’m not going to shift until you do it.”
“What!? No, I’m not doing that!”
“C’mon, it’ll be fine!”
We headed down the freeway, and he seemed more talkative than he had been before as he began complain about “judgmental Utah girls.” “That’s what I like about you: you aren’t judgy.” Clearly I’d passed the “can be calm in difficult circumstances test” and now he believed we were on track for date #2. “Actually,” I said, “three of my roommates are from Utah, and they’re not like what you think they are.”
Somehow, by the end of the date, he’d gone from having nothing to say to me to wanting to go out me on another date. On the other hand, I’d gone from not wanting to go out with him to definitely not wanting to go out with him. 
Loved it! Thanks for sharing with us. Were you reading this and thinking, "Oh  my gosh, I have a story JUST LIKE THIS"? We want to hear it! Check out my original post and send them in!

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Anonymous said...

I couldn't believe it when the key broke in the car!! I can't imagine how terrible that moment must have been for you...like the date hadn't already been bad enough.

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