Perhaps yours is a date who gets completely wasted before the appetizer arrives.
Or opens the date with a terrible racist joke.
Or…I don’t know…CRIES as he tells you he’s going through an “epic meltdown” and “a quarter life crisis.”
On a first date.
So was the case with my friend Mary last week, who went out with Russell, a friend of a friend who she met at a pool party.
Russell invited Mary out on his friend’s boat the following week, and she was excited.
He was cute and she hadn’t been out with anyone in awhile. And all of his friends, she noticed on Facebook, who were also going on the boat, were super cute. (options…)
Mary said they all had a great time drinking on the boat all day and Russell was actually cracking her up with his drunk stories.
Once they finished the boat ride, Russell asked Mary if she wanted to grab dinner and she agreed wholeheartedly.
Yet things started to go sour right off the bat when Russell couldn’t walk in a straight line to his car.
“I can drive,” Mary offered. She had left her car at a different spot from where the boat docked and assumed Russell would be able to bring her back to her car after dinner.
“Well, if it makes you more comfortable, FINE,” he said.
They agreed on a restaurant, but on the way there, Russell suddenly remembered something.
“I have to go pick up my dog,” he said. “I had to leave him at my friend’s house because I didn’t know he wasn’t allowed on the boat.”
“Wait…so your dog is coming to dinner?” Mary asked.
“Well let’s eat somewhere with outdoor seating,” he said. So they changed venues from a nice sushi place to a counter service Mexican joint.
Humph. Ok. Whatever.
Yet before Russell could go anywhere he insisted that he needed to take a shower... "in order to sober up.”
His house was very far away and over two bridges, so Mary said he could shower at her place even though she didn’t like the idea of having to babysit his hyperactive Jack Russell terrier while also convincing herself that a shower would make him sober.
A HALF HOUR LATER, he emerged from the bathroom.
“OK, let’s go!” he said.
(He later admitted at dinner that he took a big dump before he took a shower, laughing. Um. That’s definitely more of a confession on a third date, if at all.)
The "epic meltdown" began as they headed for the restaurant, with his dog, when he suddenly pulled into an empty bank parking lot and said, “Oh, shit.”
“What?” Mary said.
“I just ran out of gas.”
It was almost nine o’clock on a Sunday.
So there they were, a half mile from the restaurant, with his dog, stuck at bank parking lot.
“Should we take a cab?” Russell asked.
“A cab is not going to pick us up just to go a half mile,” Mary said.
“Well, let’s walk then!” he said.
“And just forget about your car??”
“We can stop at a gas station on the way back,” he said.
(He later admitted at dinner that this was the SIXTH time he's run out of gas. Seriously. Hot mess.)
So that’s how Mary ended up walking a half mile on an empty stomach to a restaurant holding the leash to an out-of-control Jack Russell because the human Russell was too hammered to concentrate on anything other than walking by himself.
When they got to the restaurant, Mary stayed outside at a table with the dog while Russell went inside to order.
He came out with two margaritas.
Mary raised one eyebrow.
“Wait…you wanted the chicken quesadilla right?” Russell asked.
“Chicken nachos,” Mary said, unamused. “I told you that two minutes before you went inside to order.”
"Oh. Well that's the same thing," he said, making no attempt to go inside and change the order.
After dinner and downing TWO margaritas, Russell had to face reality again and figure out what he was going to do about his car.
He suddenly got depressed.
“WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?” He wailed as they got up from the table.
“You said we could stop at that gas station on the way back,” Mary said, trying to be positive. “I’m sure they have little gas cans you could fill up."
He was crashing hard, yet continued on with the plan to make it to the gas station, while Mary took the dog again, without even a please or thank you.
At the gas station, Russell paid for a gas tank and filled it up, but underestimated how heavy it was and how off balance it made his walking.
Right outside the gas station, Russell missed a step on the concrete curb and went flying forward, busting his foot and spilling gas everywhere.
“OH MY GOD ARE YOU OK???” Mary screamed as the dog got anxious and started barking and jumping. Russell was laid out on the grass.
Mary tried to pull the dog back on the leash. Blood from Russell's foot was everywhere.
“NO, I’M NOT ALLRIGHT!” Russell said, wiping tears from his face. He was also sweating profusely. “I’M HAVING AN EPIC MELTDOWN!!!”
“A QUARTER LIFE CRISIS!” he said.
Mary stood there with the dog, baffled.
“THIS IS SO EMBARASSING!” he wailed.
Mary didn't want to say it aloud but she wasn't exactly having an effing blast either.
“Look, can you make it to the car?" Mary asked. "It looks like you just stubbed your toe. Come on, it's getting really late."
She helped him to his feet and took the lead on getting them back to his car and filling up the gas tank herself.
Then she drove back to her house and told him to go home.
“Wait…we’re not going to sleep together?” he asked.
Mary immediately got out of the car, without so much as a glance behind her, although thinks she heard a "wait, why not?" from him.
“And then he texted me a photo of his funky ass bloody toe the next day,” she said.
And that poor dog.