There are plenty of reasons why being married is a Really Good Thing but I listen to stories from my single friends and coworkers and I'm reminded that perhaps a petty but valid reason is Not Dating. Seriously, there are some strange people out there. And I've dated my fair share...
There was the Man Who Juggled. He really was a nice guy but everywhere. we. went. he juggled. He carried juggling balls with him so that if we were in a crowded place, say the Metro? He'd start juggling so everyone would look at him.
There was the nimrod on a first date who suddenly stopped his car on a suburban street, turned it off and said ''I thougt we could just skip dinner and have sex here.'' And tried to put the moves on. And when I growled at him to get his car back in drive and take me back, he pouted. Seriously pouted. Next day he called and whined that I'd ruined the evening and why did I say I didn't want a second date?? And when I said 'don't you think you were awfully pushy?' he replied ''Pushy would have been NOT STOPPING'. 'No,' sez I, 'That would have been a FELONY. Don't call me again.'
And there was the guy I'd dated for six months who did a drive-by breakup. No, really. He drove past my house, slowed his work van, leaned out the window and put the cooler he'd borrowed from me on top of my car with a 'I'm breaking up with you' note taped to it and the drove away. HE NEVER STOPPED. Seriously, I have to be the only woman in America ever dumped by drive-by.
But the winner, the hallmark of Bad Date experiences definitely had to be Elvis (not his real name but he had this Elvis thing going). Who picked me up wth this ginormous biker friend of his, nicknamed Tiny, naturally. He said Tiny's car was in the shop, was it okay if we gave him a ride? Tiny really was a good-natured guy, even if he looked scarier than hell without its makeup, so all right, whatever.
And then he mentions he needs to drop a check off to his brother at at Arlington Bar and Grill. (DC area bloggers are probably laughing at me already) Tiny looked uncomfortable, but I chalked that up to the car being the size of a Geo Metro and Dude was huuuge.
We get to the little strip mall and Elvis says he'll just be a minute and runs in. Tiny gets out, looks around, and starts shifting his weight from foot to foot. Finally he leans into the window. 'Um, I'm so sorry but... you don't want to wait out here.'
'Oh, that's ok, I'm fine.'
He looks queasy. 'No, really. You need to go in, its not a safe area. Really not safe.'
I began to have some bad feelings about this but got out of the car. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness inside, Tiny says in a strangled voice 'I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.' And I see why he looked so miserable for me.
Despite the name, it is NOT a bar and grill.
Is a very seedy pasties-optional STRIP JOINT.
Mother of God.
Elvis is freaking nowhere to be seen. I go find a seat at the far end of the bar and chain-smoked like Beelzebub on a bender, watching second-string NASCAR while trying to avoid glimpses of writhing entertainers. And suddenly this tiny, smarmy little weasel appears at my elbow, asking to bum a cigarette. I hand one over without taking my eyes from the tv screen. And then... oh dear lord and THEN the weasel spoke.
'Soooooo... come here often?'
Kid you not, he said that. I stared at him in utter disbelief. And then Tiny, bless him, stood over me and did that puff-up thing that large men can do. 'She's with ME,' he snarled and weasel? He not only left me alone so fast, he left the place altogether. Tiny began apologizing all over himself once more. Eventually we got out of there. And you can guess the evening ended pretty quickly. and there was not a second date...
Know what's worse? All these guys appeared to be perfectly normal. i'm so grateful my husband actually proved to BE normal. And if, heaven forbid, I ever find myself single again, I'm just going to get 50 cats and be done with it.