All the signs were there. But sometimes it takes a night out like this to realize staying in can be better.
Blind Date From Hell
Being single has its ups and downs, good things and bad things; but most certainly it did not prepare me for the deluge of blind dates that seemingly innocent but well-meaning friends threw my way.
Okay, I’m old. Well, not old actually, but let’s just say I’m a few years from getting two dollars off of my medium pizza at Pizza Hut. I’m no spring chicken and time is passing by quicker than I can get my pants over my bulging, pre-menopausal stomach.
I hadn’t dated for a while. I was concentrating on work and raising my two children. One day, I was approached by one of my young co-workers who felt her ‘daddy’ needed
to get out and I, supposedly, needed the same. After much pleading, I agreed. It seemed harmless enough. A free dinner was certainly worth the price of giving up my night reading Enquirer and gorging on Doritos.
It started out one warm, summer evening. My blind date was scheduled to pick me up at 8 p.m. We were to go out to eat at a Chinese restaurant overlooking the Chincoteague Inlet, not far from where I lived. Seemed harmless enough. I figured I could eat my free dinner and be back in time for Charlie’s Angels--the new one, on HBO.
While waiting for my blind date to arrive, I read my horoscope.
“You are going to go out to eat at a fine restaurant. Do not sit by the window.”
I thought this was a mighty big coincidence since I was going out to eat that night, but I didn’t really give much more thought to it than that.
At 8 p.m. sharp, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to find my co-worker's father staring blankly at me. "Hi," he mumbled, "I'm Janet's father, Harry."
I tried to manage a smile while trying not to look at the obvious.
He had one leg.
"Hi, Harry," I forced myself to reply, "Let's go." I wanted this date to end as soon as possible and the sooner we left, the sooner I would get back home, safe and sound, so I could feed tuna-fish sandwiches to my cat.
On the way, Harry proved to be quite the conversationalist.
"Oh," he said, "I almost cancelled our date. I went to the doctor today and he told me I had kidney stones. Unbearable pain. So, just be prepared."
Prepared? "Harry," I asked, "if you get the pain again during our date, what do I do? Do I call the ambulance?"
"Oh, no," he laughed, "I just go to the bathroom and pass it out."
The usual fifteen-minute ride to the restaurant seemed like hours with conversation such as that. However, it was amazing how he could maneuver the car with one leg and with an impending kidney stone attack.
To my relief, the restaurant was not busy. No waiting in line. That was one awkward chunk of time averted. The waitress sat us at a window with a view of the Chincoteague Island in the distance. The setting was perfect for a wonderful, romantic night. The setting, of course, is only one requirement. I decided to make the best of things and tried to make small talk with Harry.
It seems Harry was not over his first wife and continued to quote her most wonderful attibutes. I didn't want Harry to think I was in the least interested in him, so I encouraged him in his quest for reconciliation with his ex-wife.
I noticed a young waitress heading to the table beside us with a tray full of food for four people. This was one humongous tray.
I was listening to Harry and not paying much attention when "CRASH!"
Suddenly, I found myself covered with Colonel Tso's Chicken and Won-Ton Soup.
The waitress started dabbing at my private parts, apologizing frantically, while Harry sat there oblivious to the mishap--lost in the memories of his ex-wife.
I excused myself, ran to the ladies room, and wiped off the gooey mess from my dry-clean-only velour jumpsuit.
By the time I came back to the room, our dinner was on the table and Harry was munching out on egg rolls.
Too mad to eat, I grabbed the fortune cookie and opened it.
Predictions, instincts, horoscopes, fortune cookies: all were way ahead of me.
It read: When dining out, do not sit by the window.
Dorothy Thompson is a freelance writer and children's ebook author from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. She writes for many online sites and you can find her at AuthorsDen. Her children's book, No More Gooseberry Pie!, is published by Writers-Exchange E-Publishing.
She was recently inducted into the Children's Ebook Hall Of Fame. Dorothy is also editor of The Writer's Life, an online interactive writing and resource site where you can sign up for her free newsletter or join her new writing group.
Her latest project is a collection of true soul mate stories from around the world. "Romancing the Soul" will be published next year.