My Worst Date Ever

By Laura Drake

I know, Valentines is over, but Karen Kay’s romantic ‘meet’ story last month reminded me of mine, and it was very different than hers.

My Southern California apartment manager set me up. Really. This woman I hardly knew except to pay rent to, called me out of the blue telling me that a guy in the complex had noticed me, and asked if she’d introduce us. My silence must’ve telegraphed stunned, because she rushed on to say that he was a successful businessman, polite in the old-school way, and kind of shy. He was raising his two kids all on his own… Before she could launch into a saving-kittens-from drowning-story, I said, okay, half to make her stop, half because I was curious to meet this throwback.

She knocks on my door that afternoon, introduces him and takes off. There I stood, not knowing what to do with this shy, good looking man on my doorstep. He invited me out that night, and I said yes, because I couldn’t say no to that cute, little-boy smile.

He took me to dinner, and proceeded to drag me through every detail of the horrific divorce he’d just gone though . . . for TWO HOURS. I’m sitting there thinking, He may be cute, but I’m so out of here.

Then he tells me his goal is to be married within the next year. Wow. Really? I NEVER planned to marry again. And he has full custody of his two kids. I’d never had kids – never wanted them. I couldn’t wait to get home.

He dropped me at my doorstep, and looked like he wanted to kiss me, but didn’t.

Then he asked me if I wanted to go for a ride on his motorcycle that weekend. He has a motorcycle? I LOVE motorcycles! The wind in your face, the thrill of speed, wrapping your arms around that strong chest . . .

Okay, so one more date. At least he couldn’t talk about his divorce while we were riding, right?

Luckily, I didn’t find out until after we were engaged that the apartment manager felt sorry for him, and was setting him up with random single women from the complex – he hadn’t noticed me – he didn’t even know what I looked like!

That shy guy and I celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this month!

He went from the worst date I’d ever had to my best friend. Who knew that could happen?

I’d love to hear your first date stories in the comments!

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Laura Drake is a New York and self-published published author of Women's Fiction and Romance.
Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding. Her debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 12 more books. She is a founding member of Women's Fiction Writers Assn, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.
Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

34 thoughts on “My Worst Date Ever”

  1. What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. I went to our church camp for college age people. Mom packed me up and dropped me off and that was that. I was so not happy. We had to cross a stream to get to it. We were up t here for a week working around the camp getting it ready for summer camps. There were no showers yet. But us girls would heat up water in the kitchen and “clean up” before bed. When it was time to go home we took our luggage to the guys by the stream and they would put it in a boat and then more guys on the other side would store it in the buses. This one guy took my luggage. Oh my gosh, I don’t think he cleaned up at all over the week. His hair was plastered to his head. Please Lord don’t let this guy talk to me. On the bus we all took off. We stopped half way at a McDonalds for lunch. I was on the bus that didn’t have air conditioning. This same guy left the air conditioned bus and came back to the bus I was on. What? And to make it worse the only seat for him to sit on was next to me. ARGGHHH He sits down next to me and proceeds to eat his lunch not saying a word to me. Fine!! I can do the same thing. About an hour later he starts to ask me questions. What? I was polite and answered. Soon we were talking and finding that we had a lot in common. A lot we did not, but that is ok. We talked the rest of the way home. The whole trip took about 5 hours. I didn’t see him after that. The College/Career age group would get together every Wednesday night for worship and a digging deeper into the Bible. A good friend, Gina (who also knew him) decided we should be together so she set us up. We went to a play and he didnt think I liked it. So he dropped me off at home and disappeared again. So with out either of us knowing, Gina set us up again. Ok, there must be something that I am missing, but what. His hair didnt look so gross anymore, true but what was I missing? Well long story short, we have been married for 37 years now, with two children and we are best friends now. God was so in control over all of this. When we look back we can see Gods finger prints all over our lives then. It only makes a lot of sense to let God control our lives as husband and wife.

  2. Oh that made me laugh. What a cute story! So my husband had recently gotten home from a church service mission. I had just been through a nasty breakup, and was still licking my wounds. But, he’s cute and we were good friends, so I agreed to a date. He took me to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner and then we went to my house to watch a movie together,, Night at the Museum. Interesting part: he lived an hour and a half away due to going to school. He was willing to drive a total of three hours that day, just to have a date with me.
    We’ve been married 12 years this July and are more in love each day.

    • I sure didn’t either, Pam! When people ask us how we met, I try to avoid telling them – it’s SO embarrassing! I was basically set up by his ‘pimp’!

  3. Your story made me smile. My first date with my husband was to a wedding rehearsal dinner (my husband was the photographer). He was supposed to teach me how to use his camera…to this day I still don’t know how to use his camera. We had our 34th anniversary in November.

  4. What a fabulous story, Laura! And to think, if he hadn’t had a motorcycle this marvelous relationship might never had happened. 🙂 I love that your story proves that you can recover from a bad first impression and still find love.

    • We’ve talked about it – we are SO different, that I think if we’d met one day before, or one day after, it never would have worked! Devine intervention.

  5. What a great story. Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! My husband and I were friends for quite a while before we got serious. So, I honestly couldn’t say what the first date was.

  6. What a Beautiful story, and a Big Congratulations to you both. When I first saw my husband he had gone to apply where I was working, I never did talk to him, after he had applied I sure was hoping he would get the job. Well, about a week or less later he started working there. We get to know each other a little , we went out on some dates, and after a month we moved in together, we lived together for a year and then we got married, and we will be married for 44 years this year and together for 45 yrs.

  7. Wow! Wonderful worst first date story.

    I already knew my husband in our circle of friends. A couple of girlfriends helped get us to the dating level, including a last-minute party an hour away. First date was really nice. We’ve been together ever since.

  8. Laura, Interesting how things work out, isn’t it.
    I don’t know that we ever officially did have a first date. We were chemistry classmates in high school and that was about the extent of it. His dad was Air Force and died our junior year. When school finished, his mother moved them to Orlando, which was a small town with an Air Force base – obviously pre-Disney. I lived in Northern New York on the Canadian border. I wrote him a couple times a year, like I did several of the other base kids that had moved away. We went to college and after graduating, I joined the Peace Corps and he joined the Air Force. Seven years after we had last seen each other, I was flying home from the Philippines for Christmas and was stopping in CA to break up jet lag and visit my cousin. Her husband was in the Air Force and as it turned out he and my friend were both stationed at the same base. They invited him over for dinner and he invited the three of us out for dinner the next night. He cam by to say bye the next day as I was leaving. A couple days before I flew back to my assignment, he stopped by my family home on his way to his new assignment in Maine. We saw each other and visited for maybe 8 hours total while I was on leave. Five months later, he shows up in the Philippines, comes to my village for the fiesta and proposes. We hadn’t really dated. When I got back to N.Y. in August, he would come to my parents’ home every three weeks or so (an 11 hour drive each way). We got engaged on Sept. 25 and planned a May wedding because he was being shipped out for the Vietnam War (B-52’s). As it was he was extended and we had to delay the wedding until June.
    In all honesty, the only formal “date,” as in dress up and go out to dinner, was the night we got engaged. Most of the other times we went out was with others or just to ride or hike. It all worked. We will celebrate our 49th anniversary this coming June.

  9. The first date with my husband was on St. Patrick’s Day. We met at Pizza Hut. He was about 5’1″ at the time He wore a green suit, green shirt and a green tie. We had a nice time talking at dinner. We went to see Crocodile Dundee. It was a nice time. We will be together for 34 years, married for 32 years.

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