Maybe it’s just because misery loves company, but I have a masochistic compulsion to tell and hear all about the worst sex and dating stories people are willing to reveal. I thrive on reliving uncomfortable encounters at CTP; I crave cringe-worthy tales of completely unsalvagable nights of utter destruction. But I know there’s a reason that the pitiful stories are the ones that are retold on Saturday mornings: Everyone loves to know they’re not alone in their fiascoes.
First dates are (obviously) excellent predictors of what’s to come and result in some of the most entertaining tales of awkwardly mismatched personalities. There’s a good chance that everyone will have at least one total failure on their dating record. There are plenty of compatible people in the world but there are only a few who can successfully get one’s mental and physical juices flowing. I’ve had only a few great dates that really won me over — Chili’s and Diet Coke combo, for example — but I’ve also had some plummet faster than Kappa Sig’s nationwide reputation (Google USC’s Kappa Sig scandal and hate men). But is a fear of crashing and burning keeping us from consorting?
My worst first date was in high school, so it’s had some time to ferment and solidify its ranking as the worst attempt at compatibility to-date. I really had no idea what was in store when he picked me up at my house — I guess that was probably mistake number one. I naively agreed to begin our date with a trip to his family’s business. Always a proponent of good, old-fashioned blue-collar workers, I had no qualms about it when we pulled up to his house.
Until I realized that I was at a funeral home.
I don’t remember being particularly concerned at first for some reason, but I attribute that to the fact that I’ve always harbored some interest in the dead/undead. I’m a creep, I know. But the novelty wore off quickly as I got a tour of the casket selection, accompanied by the most disturbing quote of the night: “It’s always been my dream to take advantage of a girl in a coffin.” He quickly added that he didn’t mean a dead girl, but the idea of using a coffin as a love pad gives cause enough for alarm. I was on a date with a borderline necrophiliac.
Alas, my tour continued. We sat in the hearse and had a normal, non-funeral home related conversation about his post-high school plans as he tenderly held my hand. I feigned enthusiasm but I was silently just praying that he didn’t also dream about having sex in a hearse. He then graciously extended the offer to take me to the embalming room, but I politely declined when I found out that a lady-in-waiting, if you will, was already occupying the room for the night. In a small town, there’s a solid chance that I would have recognized somebody’s grandmother — talk about a lady-boner killer. It was like the morbid version of turning down a guy at the end of the night when he wants you to come to his apartment. No, thanks, I don’t want to come back to your (embalming) room.
I think a good portion of girls are easily wooed by being asked out on a date, for no other reason than that it in this day and age it seems to fall far from the norm. So many collegiate hook ups and relationships skip what I think should be an important step in any progression. Buying pizza at the end of the night does not cover the get-to-know-you dinner/lunch/coffee session. I’m not even saying that it’s necessary to buy a girl dinner — I’d personally feel more comfortable splitting the check on the first date — but the whole idea of actually dating seems to have fallen by the wayside. In a national survey of close to four thousand women, fifty-eight percent reported that they’ve been on only four dates within the past year. The sad part is that that seems like a whole lot to me. I’ve been on about four dates within the past … four years. One of them was two years ago when my then-boyfriend forgot my name as he was introducing me to a girl he used to hook up with. BUT 22 percent of southern women say they’ve been on over nine dates within the past year. As if I needed another reason to want to move to the south. Geez.
Of course, there’s always the chance that if I went on more dates, I might end up in some more funeral home-esque situations. Maybe I’d get to visit a meth lab or something — who knows what kind of secret business a guy’s family might have. Or maybe I’d just get to go to a restaurant. My money is on the meth lab.
The Preacher’s Daughter is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at email@example.com. Decent Exposure appears alternate Thursdays this semester.