I wish I had a picture of him. I had one once, but I’m not sure what happened to it. He was new at our church. He came out the front door and introduced himself to me on the sidewalk. The preacher had recommended me to him. Seriously! He was a new divorcee in our congregation and the preacher had recommended that he meet me, one of the single women. You know life is bleak when you become the old maid (I was maybe 32) at the church that gets recommended to the new guy (he was maybe 40) by of all people, the preacher. It was almost like an Andy Griffith episode.
Don’t ask me WHY I said I’d go out with him. Maybe I was the desperate old maid. I thought to myself, what can it hurt, right? It would be something to do on the upcoming holiday weekend. I think it was a Labor Day. So, I agreed to go out with him on the next Friday night. We went on a “cruise to nowhere.” First mistake. I think the name of the cruise says it all; we definitely went nowhere, and fast. And two, never go on a first date where you could get trapped in a location with no place to go….absolutely no escape route. Hours and hours of time to kill, and it turns out you’d rather kill it with ANYONE other than who you’re with.
We got on the boat around 5 pm. First thing we did was get our picture made behind the circular life preserver as you often do when going on a cruise. He was as big as a whale, literally, and I was a skinny little thing. I wasn’t trying to be shallow….OK, maybe I was. He just didn’t look like someone I’d go out with. I’m so, so sorry if that sounds mean. Anyway, that’s the photograph I once had and now I have no idea of its location.
I can’t remember what we did first. I do know that eventually we ended up at dinner. We were both being kind of quiet. Seems we had nothing to talk about. So, I said “let’s talk about something.” “Well,” he said, “I don’t know what to talk about. We can’t talk about sports.” “Oh yeah,” I said. “Why not?” He says, “You’re a girl.” The hair stood up on the back of my neck; I sat up straight, narrowed my eyes and with gritted teeth I said, “Let’s talk about sports!” And so we did. He found out I knew a lot about sports, for a girl that is.
We went to the casino. Oh, that’s another thing. Don’t go on a cruise to nowhere when you don’t drink (I was a teetotaler back then) and you don’t gamble much. After dinner, all there was to do was gamble and drink. Oh and dance. Did I mention that I don’t dance (RARELY)? I got a cup of nickels, which he supplied, and put them in the slot machines. That lasted maybe 30 minutes. Hmmmm. How much time left? Oh, only another SIX HOURS??
I suppose by now you could think that he got a really bad date too because I am boring. Well, I don’t think I’m boring, but I suppose one might. I don’t know what it was about him. He just irritated the heck out of me at every turn. Oh, and don’t go out with someone you are embarrassed to be seen with. It’s really not fair to the other person.
The night draaaaaaaaaaaged on. We went to one of the musical shows. We spent a lot of time sitting on the deck, listening to music and talking. He talked about his two kids a lot, and that was OK. By the time you are 32 you are used to going out with men who have children. He had a daughter in high school and a son in middle school. Other than that, I don’t remember any other conversations. Finally, around 2 am, the boat pulled into the dock. Hallelujah.
On the way home he asked me to go to the Kennedy Space Center to see a space shuttle lift-off with him…..in like 4 hours. My brain screamed (it was very tired) “ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME?” But my mouth said, “No, I don’t think this is going to work out.” Then he said, “OK, do you want to go to a (professional) baseball game tonight?” MY BRAIN EXPLODED, but I said politely, “No, I really don’t think this is going to work out between you and me.” He dropped me off at my door.
Later in the week he called me and asked me out again. He called me a few times after that. “No, thank you. I really don’t think this is going to work out.” Somewhere along the way he stopped asking.
The cruise to nowhere was and still is my worst date ever. Everyone has one. Like I said, it’s probably not fair to say so. I shouldn’t have gone in the first place. But, I sure do wish I had that picture of him and me. Not sure why. Meanness I suppose. Do you have disastrous first date? Wanna talk about?