Every Bad Date is a Good Story – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 69)

ushiWhen online dating, some dates are less, well, desirable than others.  We all know the importance of being accurate in your photos and presenting yourself well, but sometimes these bad dates can’t be helped.  At least you can regale your friends with your stories later!  As for me, I would say that my best worst date/good story combo is below:

Déjà vu

I was what you’d call an early adopter of online dating.  I started doing JDate in college when I was home in Cherry Hill, NJ for the summer, well before it was free of the stigmas associated with it.  I remember my parents being terrified.  “What?  Who are you going out with?  From a website?  Is that safe?”  (Years later, by the way, my parents begged me to let them pay for me to be on JDate.  It’s amazing what a few years can do.)  Anyway, in that first venture into the murky waters of online dating, I met Gary.  We went out for sushi.  (I didn’t know at the time that dinner was a terrible idea for a first online date.)  He seemed nice enough, albeit totally nerdy.  Now, I’m a nerd in my own right (Boy, do I love a good spreadsheet and a rousing game of Scrabble!), but he had a huge cell phone on his belt buckle well before cell phones were universally used.  And to this day, no one should wear one on his pants.  Ever.  That said, the conversation was fine.  He ate one sushi roll.  What man only eats only one sushi roll!?  Now, I know I’m petite, but I can eat at least two or three rolls!  And so, that was the first, and I thought last, date with Gary.

Fast forward six years.  I lived in DC, was working at Fannie Mae at the time (my former career), and was going to business school at night, so there wasn’t much time for going out and meeting people.  Once again, I decided to join JDate for the 6.37th time, and I wrote to a guy who seemed nice.  He wrote back, and we started having a great, witty conversation.  He noticed that I loved musical theater.  Did I even say that in my profile?  He seemed attentive and interested in the fact that I used to live in Cherry Hill.  So, we decided to meet.

Given that I was in school at night, the only night I had free was Saturday.  Strike one for me.  Then, he asked me out for dinner, sushi nonetheless.  Strike two for me.  We met at the Metro, and he seemed nice enough, albeit totally nerdy.  He had a bomber jacket on that definitely went out of style somewhere in the late ’80s.  But I could look past that.  We got to the restaurant, and just as we were about to sit down, he looked at me and said, “I have something I have to tell you.”  You just met me – what could you possibly have to tell me!?  He continued, “I think we went on a date six years ago.”  Things went downhill from there.  Not only did he recognize me from my pictures, but he didn’t tell me because he knew I didn’t like him the first time around!  He had traded the cell phone for the jacket, but everything else was the same, down to the sushi.  And how did he know I loved musical theater?  Because he remembered from the first date that I did community theater with his cousin.  He had even e-mailed her to confirm that it was me!  This time, you know what I did?  I ordered three sushi rolls!  That’ll stick it to him!  I’m eating all the spicy crunchy tuna I want!  By 8:30, I was done.  I got in a cab, told the driver the whole story, and was in my jammies by 9.

So next time you’re on that bad date, remember that you might be telling the story for years to come.

Feel free to share your worst date/best stories in the comments for the rest of GTJ-land.

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.