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Awkward Moments in Dating: The Long Drive Home

October 19, 2018

(image via wikimedia)

A bunch of awkward stuff had already happened on this date.  Jenny was obsessed with Garth Brooks, and I had never heard of the guy (in my defense, this was in 1991).  She had picked out a restaurant that her ex-boyfriend managed.  My nose had gotten runny during the meal.  I had made a cocaine joke that Jenny and the ex-boyfriend misinterpreted.  Then Jenny covered up her cleavage and announced that she wanted to go home.

On the drive home,  she leaned toward the door on the passenger side and didn’t say much.  As awkward as I felt, I knew this was the end of a short date.  That was good.  Sometimes bad dates lingered on too long, as if the women were trying to get me to spend as much money as possible before I took them home.  Then again, maybe that was just my paranoia.

“You pick the music,” Jenny said, her voice flat.  She had chosen Garth Brooks on the way to the restaurant, so at that moment it was my turn.

“Garth Brooks,” I said with forced enthusiasm.  “I dig Garth Brooks.”  Even if the date had turned disastrous, I still wanted to be a gentleman.

“You’re a bad liar,” Jenny said and pulled out a David Bowie CD from my mini-collection in the car.  “Let’s listen to the weird guy,” she said.

“You’ve probably heard the third song on that,” I said.

After the song started, Jenny was silent for about 30 seconds and said, “Nope, never heard it.”

“You’ve never heard that on the rock stations,” I said.

“I don’t listen to rock stations.”

“You only listen to country?” I said, exasperated.

“There’s nothing wrong with country,” she said.  “People always act like I’m the weirdo for listening to country.  You’re the one listening to this weirdo.”  She held up the David Bowie CD cover.

“He’s actually kind of relatively tame compared to a lot of musical artists.”

“Right,” Jenny said.  “Weirdos.  You don’t look like the type to like weirdo music.”

I laughed at the term weirdo music, but she was right in that I dressed and groomed myself very conservatively.  I just have that look, so I stick to it.  Jenny’s ex-boyfriend had had that look too.  I guess that’s what she was into.

Except for the music, there was a lot of silence on the drive.  I’d rather have the awkward silence than the awkward conversation.  Some people would rather talk over the awkward part, but that’s also when people end up saying stupid stuff that can be used against them later.  I’d rather have that awkward silence and not say something stupid.  But Jenny looked a little sad and uncomfortable.  Even if this date had been awkward enough for her to cover cleavage, I didn’t want her feeling sad and uncomfortable.

“I think Bob still has a thing for you,” I said.

Jenny smiled, her first sincere smile since the restaurant.  “Really?”

Okay, things were making more sense, I thought.  “Yeah, I think he sabotaged me by making my food extra spicy hot.”

“You can’t handle spicy hot?”

“I can handle spicy hot,” I said with authority.  “That bastard put something else in there to make my nose run.”

She laughed.  “No, he didn’t.”

“That bastard wanted me to have a runny nose in front of you.”

“He wouldn’t do that.”

“That bastard knows that a guy with a runny nose can’t compete with him.”

“He’s not the type to do that.”

“You’re gorgeous enough to make a guy that type,” I said.  “That bastard probably can’t stand it to see you with anybody else.”

I kept accusing him of sabotaging the date, and she kept denying it, but she never told me to stop using the word bastard.  Even if the date was almost over, I was glad it was ending on a good note.  She wasn’t silent.  She was back in a good mood, even though I was gently mocking her ex-boyfriend.

When I pulled into her apartment parking lot, I was expecting a quick good night.  That was all I deserved.  All I’d done was take her to a restaurant.  We hadn’t even gone to a movie, and we hadn’t gotten to the European vacation yet.  After the awkwardness of this date I thought the passenger door would have been open before the car had come to a complete stop.  It had happened before, more than once.

Instead, Jenny lingered.  “I’m sorry this date was so short,” she said.  “I’ve had a long week.”

“That’s okay,” I said.  “Maybe another night.  I can call you.”  As you know, that’s code for goodbye.  But I said it with dignity.

Jenny stared at me for a moment, started to say something, stopped, and then looked at me again.  I was going to ask if everything was alright, but then she said:

“Do you want to come inside?”


To be continued in Awkward Moments in Dating: The First Move!

And start here to read Awkward Moments in Dating from the beginning!

From → Dysfunctileaks

  1. Okay, but why would she want to go to a restaurant her ex boyfriend managed?

  2. Garth Brooks? It’s time to end that date and never see the woman.

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