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Awkward Moments in Dating: The Ugly Name

January 9, 2018

(image via wikimedia)

First of all, I never said my date’s name was ugly.  I’m not sure how I phrased it, but I know I didn’t say the word ugly.  This whole thing happened about 25 years ago, so I don’t remember everything exactly as it happened, but I know I’m not the type of person who would use the word ugly to describe a woman’s name.

This awkward moment happened in my coworker’s living room on a weekend evening.  We probably shouldn’t have been dating ( you can get more details here ), but we were.  I’m not the kind of blogger who gets into really personal details, so I’m not going to describe play-by-play what we were doing in her living room, but we were probably about to go to her bedroom as long as I didn’t do/say anything stupid.  At least, I was 80% sure we were getting there.

There were a lot of positive signs, and I wanted to say her name at the right moment.  I was preparing myself for it, making sure the time was right.  When a guy says the woman’s name in this situation, he has to make sure the time and tone are right.  The time was right, but when I opened my mouth, nothing happened.  I hesitated at a moment when a guy shouldn’t hesitate.

“What’s wrong?” my female coworker date asked, and that was bad because you don’t want your potential partner to think anything is wrong in this situation.

“Nothing,” I said, but that never works.  Even if there’s nothing, a guy has to say something, even if it’s a lie, and I should have just lied.

“I was going to say your name,” I said.

“And you forgot it?” she said, and her face moved away from mine.

“No, no, no,” I said quickly.  And then I said her name.  I even repeated her name several times.

“So what was the problem?”

I paused before saying this, but I had the feeling she had a strong BSometer, so I said, “I have a difficult time saying your name.”

“Why?” she asked.  “It’s only two syllables.”

“Uhhh, because it doesn’t fit you.”

This is where everything deteriorated.

I’m not sure what happened next.  It happened so quickly.  I talked too fast, and she talked even faster so that I could barely keep up with her thoughts and reasoning.  I think I said that her name didn’t do her justice, that she was beautiful but her name was kind of plain.  Maybe I said common instead of plain.  Somehow, this coworker female managed to turn plain or common into ugly.  I don’t like it when people rephrase what I say in a negative way.  I have a tough enough time defending my exact words.  It’s impossible to defend somebody else’s misinterpretation of my words.

I don’t want to say what this woman’s name was.  I’ve known several women with this name, and I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings (or piss them off either).  I think this name __________is drab.  It’s plain and common and boring.  The __________ that I was dating was a unique woman with a couple distinct features that men either loved or disliked.  I liked __________’s features a lot.  I thought she was interesting, funny, and I was lucky to be going out with her.  I didn’t think I was lucky; I knew I was lucky.

“I don’t understand what’s ugly about my name,” she said.

“It’s not ugly,” I reiterated.  “I never said ugly.”

Even when I convinced her that I never said the word ugly, the passion was already lost.  The best I could try to do was salvage the evening so that the romantic moment could happen another night.  But __________ got quiet, she sat apart from me on the couch, and she didn’t laugh at my attempts at humor (which were probably clumsy), and I reluctantly left an hour later.

Ouch, that was embarrassing, I thought, but I wasn’t surprised because it wasn’t the first time I’d blown a romantic opportunity.  But at least this had been a private moment between only the two of us.  Private awkward moments are salvageable because nobody else knows about them.  I was pretty sure __________ would keep this to herself because she didn’t want anybody to know we were dating.

I should have known __________ wouldn’t see things quite the same way.

*****

Yes, this is going to be continued.  And while you wait for the next episode, take a look at these two ebooks from Dysfunctional Literacy!

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From → Dysfunctileaks

3 Comments
  1. You sound completely neurotic and I DIG THAT! BTW the name thing is and has always been a big deal for women, for all the same reasons you mentioned above.

  2. I just don’t understand the parents who would want to name their daughter “_________”.

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