Day 11: Describe Your Worst/Funniest/Most Embarrassing Date
I could fill pages and pages with horror stories (HA!)….but then again, what single woman in her 30’s couldn’t? Or for that matter, what single man in HIS 30’s couldn’t? This whole dating thing, of spending awkward periods of time over dinner or coffee making small talk with a complete stranger and hoping a spark lights (or sometimes hoping a fire burns the place down so you can escape as quickly as possible) is an odd ritual, at best. Finding two people on the same page at the same time with the same feelings seems as impossible to me as finding a needle in a haystack. Or Miley Cyrus with clothes on. So when it DOES happen…I believe it’s purely magical, and meant to be. I also believe and hope it will happen for me someday. Which makes the awkward coffee dates and endless small talks over dinner completely worth it, because there is no frog in the world I wouldn’t endure an hour or two of misery with in order to finally, finally find my Prince Charming.
Now…that said…I have certainly seen my parade of frogs. There was the guy who asked me for $40 at the end of an otherwise perfectly normal date (the full story is in my book The Single Woman: Life, Love, & a Dash of Sass); there’s the guy who treated our coffee date like a therapy session and within the first five minutes, I knew that his ex had left him at the altar and why; and most recently, there was Rejection Guy. He was probably the most heinous of the Parade of Frogs, as he literally wore rejection on his sleeve. This was about three months ago when I agreed to go out on a blind date with a friend of my cousin’s. Since then, I have established a new rule: The first time I meet a guy, it will ONLY be over coffee from here on out. Never again will I subject myself to hours of misery over dinner or even lunch. I firmly believe it’s best to keep the first meeting short and sweet, and then if it goes great, you can always set up another date. That’s a much better option than fighting to keep yourself from jabbing the steak knife repeatedly into your eyeball just to make it stop.
Anyway…Rejection Guy told me within the first 20 minutes of meeting him that he had been fired from almost every job he’d ever had because his bosses hated him, his roommate hates him, and every girl he’d ever dated was a witch with a “B.” Yes, he actually used that term. Over dinner. With a girl. On a first date. Obviously I wasn’t exactly seeing rainbows and shooting stars. More like landfills and litter boxes. It was AWFUL. (Not to mention he ate only the centers out of the bread slices the waiter brought us to share, leaving the rinds, which was just plain weird. And left a trail of crumbs across the table long and thick enough to entice every ant in the middle Tennessee area.)
As miserable as the evening was, it taught me a valuable lesson. Carrying around rejection is literally like walking around carrying an open, smelly bag of garbage. It’s unattractive, it’s off-putting, and it permeates everything around you until no one can stand to be anywhere near you. We’ve all been rejected. We’re all at least a little afraid of rejection. But choosing to tightly clench hands with that spirit of rejection and make it your lifelong companion will keep you from ever finding an actual companion. Who knows if I would have been attracted to this guy or would have wanted to spend more time with him had he not carried around his rejection like a badge of honor…but now I’ll never know. And I guarantee you no one else will know, either, until he is willing to make some drastic changes. I feel for him, I do. I know the sting of rejection. But at a certain point, you have to stop blaming the world around you for your misery and start looking within to see what you can do differently. Most of the time it’s as simple as just lying down the blame and the shame and taking responsibility for your own actions and feelings and choices. By continuing to point the finger at everyone else for every little hurt and heartbreak and denial you’ve received in life, you continue to invite more rejection into your life.
Also, remember that rejection can actually be your FRIEND, if you learn to accept it, learn from it, then let it go. Very often in my life, a rejection has pointed me away from something mediocre or good and toward something GREAT.
Here’s hoping that every bad, miserable, uncomfortable first date is pointing me toward my amazing, spectacular, hand-picked by God mate!
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