Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Best Worst Date Story: Lancelot's Fall

*disclaimer: The fellow in the story is a FANTASTIC guy. This story is in no way meant to be a vituperative speech against him, just a funny retelling of the events that unfolded.

You know those nights? The nights when your roommates and some random guys from across the street are hanging out in your living room telling stories? Usually someone asks about first kiss stories and  worst date stories. Well, here's my contribution to the collection of Worst-Date stories:

In the words of Maria from The Sound of Music, "Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start."

The beginning of my dating career, the end of my best, worst-date story:

And with a slip and a splash, he fell into the river.
I was a typical BYU freshman. I'm sure you can imagine how naive I was. I was a lot like Maria Von Trapp before she left the convent: singing and swinging from trees, spinning on the tops of hills (squaw peak stories to come...), and daydreaming about who-knows-what.

The (Heritage) Halls are alive with the idea of dating. ....R.M.'s

I lived in Heritage Halls, (my building is no longer standing; they knocked it down last year). After settling in to my dust-encrusted cinder block room, I was ready to tackle the first day of classes. It was on that first day that I met a young man. We’ll call him Lancelot. Lancelot was cute, in his nerdy Star Wars way. (I've never met anyone who knew as much about Star Wars as Lancelot, it was impressive. Really, it was.)

The pre-lecture silence remained unbroken until I walked into the room and sat down in the last empty seat next to the only boy in the classroom (lucky me!).
We exchanged names, majors, addresses, phone numbers. Only joking... only names. When it was time for class to start, the teacher had to ask if we could please stop talking.

I feel embarrassed just thinking about it.

I didn’t have to wait long before Lancelot asked me out. One night while chatting on Facebook he mentioned that he had two tickets to an upcoming concert on campus and asked if I’d like to go with him. Of course I accepted. I was flattered by the fact that someone more than 3 months older than me would want to ask me out. (Up to that point my dating experience consisted of a few group dates, school dances, Prom, etc.) Dating in college is quite different from dating in high school.

Our first date was fun. The concert was entertaining, and afterwards I had my first SLAB-pizza-with-an-RM experience. He was intelligent and fun to talk to. Two days later he called me.

“Would you like to go to a movie with me tonight?”

I accepted. We had a good time, the movie was interesting and on the drive home we had fun singing along to Disney songs.  He called a week later to ask if I’d like to go hiking. I wasn't sure I wanted to go, but I didn’t know how to say no (don’t worry, I’ve since learned how to decline graciously). Besides, from the sound of things, it would probably be a group outing, so it couldn't be anything too serious. Nothing to worry about. ...or so I thought.

The evening of the hiking date arrived. He picked me up 25 minutes late with no explanation. I was surprised to see that he was still in his work clothes, but I didn't say anything, I just hoped he hadn't changed our plans... In a t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes, I wasn't exactly dressed for the opera. He walked me to his car, I got in and then he went to find a restroom so he could change his clothes. Waiting in the oven-of-a car with the door propped wide open, I realized that this was definitely not a group date. Part of me wanted to get out of the car and climb into the nearest tree. But I gave up on that since there weren't any trees in or near the parking lot. I think I was a bit nervous.

It’s never a good sign when 2 minutes into the date, you already want to go home. But there I was. Since I couldn’t see any polite way of getting out of the situation, I stayed. After Lancelot returned from changing into his shining white t-shirt and plaid shorts, we popped over to the Creamery on 9th. He had planned a picnic dinner but had forgotten to get himself something to drink. Fruit punch was his beverage of choice.

Then I almost died.

We were on the freeway, headed to our hiking destination when we hit a patch of slow traffic. The cars ahead of us were slowing, but Lancelot was not. He was animatedly recounting a story from his annual hunting trip with his father and brothers. When we were about 2 car lengths away from the vehicle ahead of us, I realized that Lancelot didn’t realize what I realized: that the distance between our car and the one ahead was getting smaller and that if we didn’t swerve, we would be smashed like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that's been in your backpack all day. The only thing is, I'm not a PB&J sandwich--I'm a living, breathing girl and I wanted to stay that way. So I shouted “look out!” and just in time he jerked into the right lane which was, thankfully, empty.

Thinking back on the experience I think I’d like to write him a letter. It would go like this:

Dear Lancelot,

Please be cautious when you’re driving on a date. I don't blame you for our near-death experience; you were excited about telling me the hunting story, it's understandable. (Who knew you could actually bait a bear with Twinkies?!) As interesting as your family hunting escapades may be, they aren't as important as your date's mortal safety.

Your luckily-still-breathing date

I’m sorry to say that due to an unfortunate chain of events, the date went downhill from there.

After barely escaping the freeway with our lives, we exited on the nearest off ramp. He pulled out his phone and handed it to me.
“Can you find out where we’re going?” he said.

Now it was my turn to make some mistakes. I am awful with smartphone GPS programs, just awful.  But with his help we eventually found the right place. We parked the car, grabbed our water bottles, and headed up the trail. It was an easy hike, and we soon came to a place where we’d either have to cross a river or turn back. Seeing that the only way to the other side was by crossing a slippery, slimy, fallen log, I said I thought we should turn back. But my opinion was ignored and in an attempt to impress me with his manliness, Lancelot proceeded to cross the slippery log in his flat-soled converse shoes.


Within 20 seconds he was half-soaked and completely embarrassed. I tried my best to not make a big deal about it. I didn’t want him to feel any more humiliated. After making sure he was okay, we headed back down the trail to find a place to eat our picnic dinner.

The dinner that he forgot the main course for. (...oops.)

We found a clearing with two medium-sized boulders, perfect for sitting on. Unfortunately, one of the rocks came to a perfect point. Guess which rock I sat on? Yep, you guessed it: Mount Pointy. So, while I was thoroughly uncomfortable, he proceeded to pull out our “dinner.” I didn't eat before the date because he said we’d be eating dinner, but when he pulled out grapes, and a box of Wheat Thins, I knew I was going to be having a second dinner when I got home.

He handed me the grapes and a box of Wheat Thins and pulled out two plastic wine glasses and the fruit punch. I wasn’t drinking sugary drinks at the time so I declined.
“No thank you, I brought my water bottle; I'll just drink water if that's okay.”
He insisted that I at least drink out of the wine glass and filled it up with water. We sat there for five minutes. I ate a total of two wheat thins and one grape when he asked: “are you full?”

I know that my friends make fun of me for eating bird-sized portions, but there’s no way he could have thought that two crackers, a grape, and one drink of water would fill me up. But I sensed that he was uncomfortable (probably because he was still wet from his unexpected dip in the river) and I nodded. We packed up the dinner and he took me home.

If you have worst date stories you'd like to share, email them to me and I will include them.


Lady L.

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