I’ve been wanting to tell this story for awhile. It just cracks me up every time, which means of course that none of you will find it remotely funny. But it became a huge joke amongst my friends for quite awhile. And it really sums up how my life went for awhile — and luckily, I could laugh at it.
In any case, it wasn’t quite a blind date, but it was pretty close. I was at a party a friend of mine was throwing and some guy asked for my number and I gave it to him. I’m not quite sure why I did, because it’s not like we spent time talking and clicking that night or anything, but he did call and ask me out shortly thereafter.
He agreed to pick me up at my apartment on a Friday, and the plan was to go to dinner and then a movie afterwards.
At the time, I was working in consulting, and I had a lot to do that day. By the time I left the office, I was running a bit late. I wasn’t too worried though. Then I remembered that it was my week for the flowers.
Each week, our reception area got a huge massive bouquet of flowers that set out on the desk all week long. Friday afternoon, one of the consultants took it home to enjoy the remaining flowery loveliness. Too keep it from getting me all messy, I placed it into a large garbage bag and carried it carefully to my apartment.
When I arrived at my building, Flower Boy was standing at the entrance waiting for me. He was fifteen minutes early, I might add. And oh. He was carrying a bouquet. You know those bouquets you see in the grocery stores with just a couple old carnations in them? Yeah. That’s what he was carrying. While I held probably a couple hundred dollars worth of a gorgeous bouquet in my arms.
Well, that wasn’t awkward or anything.
I graciously invited him up so I could put his lovely bouquet into water (while ignoring the flowers I had — I didn’t even take them out of the bag!). I guess you’ve all figured out where the name Flower Boy comes from, huh? It doesn’t stop there though.
We head back downstairs and start walking to the restaurant, which is literally about three blocks from my apartment. He raves about the restaurant the whole time, how much he loves it and how great the service is ad nasueum.
We’re walking up Wells, and we keep walking. And keep walking. And just about hit North Avenue. He’s certain that we must have passed it because we were having such a great conversation (really, we were?). We double back and look for it, but don’t see it. Then he decides it must be across the street. Nope, not there either.
As we’re walking south on Wells again, I spot the restaurant. On the original side of the street. We head over, and I do the uh-oh, I don’t think it’s open yet. Apparently, that’s when his first slipup of saying he made a reservation but not really making a reservation became apparent.
I volunteered to go elsewhere, since there were about five thousand restaurants in that four blocks we had already walked twice. He’s convinced we have to go to the original restaurant. I shrugged and followed him. When we got to the doors, it was quite apparent that the restaurant was closed and wasn’t about to open anytime soon. The tablecloths were gone from the table, most chairs were gone, and it looked pretty musty.
He finally agreed to go somewhere else.
We found another Italian restaurant, and we sat at the bar to wait for a table. Our great conversation continued as he talked about how his uncle had eight children and how he thought that was so great and how he wanted to have eight kids, too, and wouldn’t that just be really cool to have that many children and what a great life they’d all have. And I started edging towards the exit.
When he took a bathroom break, I seriously thought about making a break for it myself before I realized that he knew where I lived. A note to any single guys out there: talking about having eight children on a first date is not the way to a girl’s heart.
When our table was ready, he ordered a beer, and they brought a pilsner glass for him to drink from. You know that trick that bartenders do where they flip the beer bottle into the glass and then pull the bottle up and the beer flows beautifully into the glass? He decided to show off how he could do that, too. Except that when he tried, he ummm broke the glass.
I played it off and made a joke of it to try to make himself feel better, but he just went into a self beat-down mode. It was a liiiiiiiiiittle bit uncomfortable. He eventually got over it.
As we had our main course served, he reached for his glass of water. And spilled it. All. Over. Me. I’m still not quite sure how he did it, but he soaked me and my plate. Fortunately, I have quick reflexes, so I was able to save my meal. You can imagine the self-loathing that came from this accident.
Oh, and he ordered some Italian dish that — at the time — I’d never heard of, talking about how much he loved it blah blah blah. He took one bite, and his face turned a little sideways. I could tell that he was doing his best not to gag. Apparently he’d never had squid before and didn’t recognize the fancy Italian name. I considered spilling my drink into his plate so he could get something new, but I didn’t think I was quite proficient enough to pull that off.
Our meal ended. Given all the mix-ups, it took much longer than either of us had expected, and we decided to to forego the movie and just walked back to my apartment.
When we got there, we did the usual first date dancing around I had a great time, thank you so much thing. As he was saying good-bye, I was expecting him to try to hug me but was hoping he wouldn’t try to kiss me. I needn’t have worried. He stuck his hand out for me to quite formally shake. “I had a great time. I’d love to do this again. Are you free next Friday?”
Dude, are you a glutton for punishment? No. NO! Fortunately, he took me rather startled I-don’t-think-so quite well.
And thus, the legend of Flower Boy was born. This many years later, I’m sure I’ve forgotten some salient details, but most of them remain burned into my memory.
You’d think that this was the end of the story, but … I did run into him one other time. It was at another party of a completely different friend. I wish I could remember what he said, but it wasn’t quite as memorable. I know he was telling all his friends that he’d dated me but was totally ignoring me to my face.
At that point in time, I was dating a very different guy. Actually, he was a former college wrestler. I had told him the Flower Boy story previously and absolutely cracked up to show him Flower Boy in the flesh. Wrestler Boy didn’t take so well to Flower Boy trying to make an issue of me. I do remember him walking up to Flower Boy and requesting the he grow a pair. If only I could remember the exact quote. It was perfect for the situation.
Oddly, I never saw him after that. I think the two meetings of me frightened him away from parties forever after that.
So what’s your worst first/blind date story?