Editors Note: One of my favorite blogs is "OystersnBeer" by SadieLady. Go check it out. I thought I'd already stolen all of her bad date stories, but today found one that I'd apparently overlooked ...so I grabbed it, enjoy.
One Halloween, while out with some friends, I met a bartender dressed as a fireman. He had the hat and the red suspenders, over a bare chest of course. And probably some pants and boots too; I just remember the bare chest. Anyway, we flirted some, and when I finally went home that night I had given him my phone number. I ended up meeting him out for drinks one night soon after that. We talked, had a couple drinks; it was nice. Well the next day I received a huge bouquet of flowers from him. And while yes, it's always nice to receive flowers, sometimes it can also be a bit of a bad feeling too, like when it's from someone you do not want to be sending you flowers or, in this case, from someone you think just did way too much too soon.
All my friends thought it sounded exciting that a guy had sent me a huge bouquet of flowers after spending only a few hours getting to know me over drinks though (did I mention most of those friends were either married or in seriously long relationships and got vicarious thrills from my dating stories?), so I brushed off the paranoia and decided to go out with him again. On the second date, though, I heard the story of his divorce. Yes, he was divorced, and it turned out he had 2 kids to boot. Wow. Twenty-something single me was really not digging finding out that this guy, though cute and nice, was divorced with two kids. And the story wasn't pretty, because it involved a custody dispute, an ongoing one. Seriously, at one point I think I saw a tear in his eye. So, much as I sympathized for the guy, no way was I going to go out with him, I thought to myself.
So here's where the constant phone calls start. And I admit that at first I could've had a hand in making things turn out differently, but I didn't. See, that first time I talked to him again after the second date, I was very polite and all, and when he asked me out again, I said no, but I made it an I'm-saying-no-because-I-have-other-plans-for-those-nights-already no, not an I'm-saying-no-because-I'm-not-interested-so-don't-call-again no. So he kept calling. And by calling, I'm talking trying-to-call-you-all-day-long kind of phone calls. The day these phone calls started happened to be a day I went out with some friends after work, so I didn't get home until kind of late. And when I got home, there were 2 messages from him. Plus the caller ID showed he had called another couple times and not left a message. And I would have called him back, but then the phone rang right while I was looking at it, thinking how weird it was that he had called 4 times in one day. And the caller ID of course showed his name. And again, there was an opportunity where I could've prevented future hideousness by just picking up and telling him I didn't want to see him again, (nicely of course), but I was so irked that he was calling a 5th time in one day, after only 2 dates, that I let it ring. And I sat there and listened to him leaving a third message.
The next day I got home from work and found 2 more messages. Which I did not return. Again, just too irked to deal with it. And then the next day, I got a phone call from him at work. He called while I was on my lunch break, so I got the message from our receptionist. And shortly after I returned from lunch and got the message, he emailed me. At my work email. To say that he had called at lunch and left me a message. As if I wouldn't get it. I mean, dude.
So the following days the phone messages were just crazy. All upbeat; the guy was still trying, still convinced I was going to pick up one of these times and say "yes, let's go out tonight!!" Let's see; one message I remember getting said "I had a thought that you've probably been out of town the last few days. So hey, call me when you get back and get my messages." And then, "Hey, is your machine working? So, call me." Etc.
And then he called me again at work, and this time he actually caught me. He didn't mention anything about the fact that I had not returned 27 phone calls (yes I did keep track, and no I'm not exaggerating; believe me, my friends and I spent much time talking about this while it was going on. well, me talking and them mostly laughing their asses off, choking on their food over lunch while I tallied up the previous day's calls, that kind of thing). And in my tally I was keeping track of the times caller id showed he had called, but he didn't leave a message. And still not an entire week had passed since our 2nd date. So anyway, back to him catching me on the phone at work: that was creepy. For me, anyway; for him, it was apparently very pleasant, with little to no awkwardness. He actually said that the reason he was calling me that time was to tell me that he was graduating from the fire academy that week. (Yes, he was a fireman at Halloween, and meanwhile training to actually be a fireman ... whatever.) Like I would be really interested in knowing that. So I basically responded to him as curtly as I could, trying to make it clear I did NOT want to be talking to him, but he had called me at work, and I worked near people who could and did overhear (eavesdrop on?) all my conversations, and this is not a conversation I wanted people to overhear. But I thought I got my point across real clear, and I was essentially rude to him in the manner in which I ended our conversation. So rude that I was really not expecting to hear from him again.
Which is when he decided to show up at my place of work one day.
Yep, that's right. Luckily again, I was at lunch with friends when he came. But I could. not. fucking. believe. it. So I drilled the receptionist: what did he say? how did he seem? Well, apparently he was in a great big good mood. And he had a friend with him. He explained to the receptionist that he had just graduated from the fire academy that morning, he and his friend decided to go out to lunch to celebrate, and the lunch place just happened to be right across the street from my office, so he thought he would just drop by. Ok, where I was working at the time, the only restuarant right across the street was a bagel sandwich shop. Seriously? You just happened to have your celebratory yea-we-graduated lunch at the bagel sandwich shop? Man.
And here's the real kicker, at least this is the part of the story that really made my friends blow snot out of their noses from laughing so hard whenever I told the story of my stalker: he actually told the receptionist that he stopped by after his lunch that day because he wanted me to see him in his uniform. I don't even know what the fuck to say to that. (And I did ask the receptionist about the "uniform," and she said "I could hardly tell it even WAS a "uniform.")
Thankfully, though, that was the last I heard from him.
Oh, except for the following year, when I went out with a bunch of friends on New Years Eve and we ended up at that bar where I had initially met the guy, and he was working, and he was giving me dirty looks, and he had to take my drink order, and he brought me the wrong drink. And when I said "I didn't order a screwdriver, I ordered a vodka tonic," he said very nastily "well SOMEBODY over here ordered a screwdriver." Then he interrogated everyone around me about what drink they had ordered. No one had ordered a screwdriver. He mumbled under his breath, made me a vodka tonic (I watched carefully as he made it to make sure he didn't spit in it or anything), then glared at me with a bright red face of hatred when he put it on the bar in front of me.
Ah, it's so much fun to look back on dating experiences. Really makes you want to get back out there and date again.