Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


Main Page/Home

The Faux Pas Archives
Wedding Etiquette

Bridesmaids and Beastmen
Bridal Showers
Bridezillas and Groomonsters
Faux Pas of the Year
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
Guests From Hell
Tacky Invitations
Wedding Rugrats
Just Plain Tacky
Tacky Toasts
Thank You Notes From Hell
Tacky Vendors
Wedding From Hell
Wicked Witches of the Wedding
Perfect Bride
Bridesmaid Dress Incinerator



Everyday Etiquette

Baby Showers
The Dating Game
Ooops! Foot in Mouth Disease
Funeral Etiquette
Gimme Hell
Holiday Hell
Just Plain Tacky
It's all Relatives
Every Day RugRats
Road Rage

Business Etiquette

Bad Business Etiquette
Merchants of Etiquette Hell
Bad Bosses

Faux Pas of the Year




Press Room/Contact


The Dating Game

2002 Archive
Jan - Jun 2003 Archive
Jul - Dec 2003 Archive
Jan - Jun 2004 Archive
Jul-Dec 2004 Archive
Jan-Jun 2005 Archive
Jul-Dec 2005 Archive
2006 Archive
Jan-Jun 2007 Archive


My ex-boyfriend, who we'll call "Loser" from now on, was, well, a loser. We met in high school when we were 16 and started dating a couple of months later. After a typical high school romance, we did the long-distance thing when he moved to the city to look for work and I stayed near our home town when I got a job. I had visited him every weekend I could while he was living in the city, and more often than not, I would stare at the back of his head while he surfed the internet and talked on chat programs. I discovered he was talking to girls who didn't know he had a girlfriend. He was fine with me talking to these girls, as long as they didn't know I was his girlfriend. He even encouraged me to pose as a male.

After a couple of years of unsatisfactory part-time work, Loser decided he would come back, and we moved in together and both attended university. We had little nitpicky fights about nothing at all regularly. I worked my guts out at university constantly, and he sometimes did enough to pass, but more often than not, didn't pass. He continued to spend ridiculous amounts of time on the internet and computer games. I snapped one day when, after a full day at university, I returned home to find him exactly where I'd left him when I went out that morning, still playing the same computer game.

He had been talking to this girl we'll call "Homewrecker" on the internet. She was apparently 17 and keen as mustard to have a relationship with him. Of course, she had no idea I existed. I continually asked him to stop talking to her. He was leading her on, giving her the impression he wanted to be with her too. I'll never forget the night he told me that he had been talking to Homewrecker, and she had told him that she had cancer and was given six months to live, so the doctor told her to have children now. Basic facts-of-life tell you this won't work out, but no matter what I said, he was torn between me, his partner for five years, and this girl he had never met, really knew nothing about, and was still talking to, despite being caught out in an obvious lie, a fact he refused to discuss with me.

We went out one night, and returned home at 9:30pm to a message on the answering machine from Homewrecker. She called to tell Loser that she was on her way, and could he pick her up from the airport. I was furious and told him so. He told me I was being paranoid, and asked me to go to my parents' house for the night. I was so angry I couldn't speak. I didn't drive, so he expected my father to drive an hour to our house to get me, an hour back to their place, then bring me back home when I was allowed to go home, then go back home himself. I called my dad and said I needed to come over, and I would explain on the way. Needless to say, he wasn't happy either.

To cut an already long story short, he ended up breaking up with me under suspicious circumstances. I also found out from a mutual friend that he had been hooking up with girls on the weekends I didn't visit, and that he had actually wanted to break up with me on my birthday. Our mutual friend managed to talk him out of it, so he did it a couple of days later instead. I also suspect there was bribery from his parents as incentive, because I'd recently had an argument with his father after I dared stand up to him.



I was married and divorced before I hit my 25th birthday.  Dumb, I know, but it left me anxious to date a lot of people with no commitments involved.  The internet is great for this kind of dating (though to be safe I always insisted that I have my own car).  I met A LOT of people, and most of the time my dates were really great.  There are a few, though, that just make good party stories.  I'd have to say this guy was one of them.

I met JJ online one night, and as the two of us were both free, he asks me to go to a movie with him.  He lived about forty-five minutes from me, but I didn't mind driving down to meet him.  He gave me the address for the place he worked and told me he'd be off at nine o'clock.  (I was used to late night hours, and apparently, he was too.)

So at eight-fifty I was driving up and down the street looking for the address.  It wasn't there.  With the way the buildings were configured, it seemed pretty clear that the address couldn't exist but I'm so bad at finding places that I figured I had made some kind of mistake.  (I didn't.  I found out later he'd told me South instead of North.)  I took my little cell-phone-less self to the service station on the corner and called him from a pay phone.  He tells me he's not sure of the address, but if I'll give him my phone number he'll check with his friend and call me back.  I tell him I don't have a cell phone, that I'm calling from a pay phone, but that I'll call him back in 15 minutes.  It struck me as odd . . . wasn't he supposed to BE there?  Why did he have to call his friend to get the address?  But oh well.

Fifteen minutes later I called him back.  No answer.  I wait another fifteen minutes and call back.  No answer.  I wait another fifteen minutes and call back.  No answer.  I've now been waiting for an hour, and I'm annoyed he's not answering his cell phone, particularly because he should have been expecting my call.  So I leave a message.  I tell him where I am, and tell him I'll wait fifteen more minutes, and then I'm leaving.  I wait twenty, to give him the benefit of the doubt, and when nobody shows up, I start the car.

Just then, the clerk from the service station comes out and asks me if I'm waiting for someone named JJ.  I say yes, and she says he just called her and asked her to tell me he's on his way.  So I turn off the car and sit.

An hour later, he shows up.  I've now been sitting outside freezing for over two hours.  The heater in my car doesn't work well if it's just idling, so that didn't help.  Anyway, a pick-up full of guys shows up, and one of the guys in back waves enthusiastically to me.  Bingo, there's my blind date.  I unlock my car doors and get out to greet him.  He jumps out of the truck, runs straight past me, and hops into my car.  The pick-up drives away.

Okay.  So maybe I was expecting some kind of explanation of why he was so late.  Maybe I was expecting him to offer to drive because every other guy I've ever gone out with has offered to drive.  I always insist on keeping my car, though, so it's not like this inconveniences me.  Still . . . he just got in the car uninvited, and it really rubbed me the wrong way.  I was actually willing to forgive the two hour wait, because it's just hard to connect sometimes, but this is weird.

Okay.  Whatever.  Shrug it off.  I get back in the car, and he says, "So, what do you want to do?"

Uh.  I thought we were going to a movie.  I tell him that, and he says, "Oh, well, we can go back to my apartment and watch a movie if you want.

Okay, whatever.  I tell him to point me in the right direction, and he points and says "That way."

And we're off!  Glad that we're finally getting started, I figure it's time to commence with the small talk.  I open my mouth to say something, and glance over at him, and he's dialing his cell phone.  Yeah, the one he didn't answer all those times I called.  His conversation begins, "Hey.  Whatcha doin?  (pause)  Nothing much.  Are you going to Greg's party?"  and on along that vein.

I shoot him an annoyed look, which he ignores.  I have no idea where his house is, and he doesn't offer to help.  I have to keep reminding him to tell me where we're going.  At one point he interrupts his conversation to yell, "Hey, you were supposed to turn there!"  (Nice of him to tell me, eh?)  So I flip a U-turn.  We head down the street where he lives, and he finally hangs up the phone and points out his house.  Before I can even get the car fully stopped, he's gotten out of the car and run inside the house.  He was so polite, though.  He left the door open for me.

Feeling fairly awkward, I follow him inside.  He's nowhere to be seen.  I look in the kitchen and main room, and figure he must be back in the bedrooms.  This is student housing for the local University, and they're very strict about not letting members of the opposite sex into tenants' bedrooms.  So I stand in the living room and wait.  And wait.  Probably about five minutes goes by, and it feels like forever because I'm so uncomfortable.  Finally he re-emerges, flops down on the couch, and says, "What are you standing there for?  Have a seat?"

I'm NOT happy.  I sit down on the couch next to him, and he says, "So, what do you want to do."

I close my eyes in that praying-for-patience motion, and he says, "Oh, what's wrong NOW?"

Right then, I gave it up as a bad job.  I stood up, told him to have a nice night, and left.  Never before or since have I simply walked out on a date without at least attempting to fix the problem, but I just couldn't bring myself to lecture him on basic social courtesy.  Not my job.



This happened in 1978, but I may never recover. If it had happened in the era of stalker awareness I would have been terrified!

First some back story...I was adopted, which isn't a bad thing, except that my parents had wanted a Perfect Dream, Barbie Doll, Daughter and I was supposed to live out their script. They were very controlling, and coupled with alcohol abuse, by the time I was a teen the breach was so bad I wasn't living in their house most of the time. I'd try to move back and fix things but it never worked. What finally broke my back was a guy I'll call "Rich."

Rich called my house one afternoon and asked for a date. I told him I didn't know him (true) and that I wasn't allowed to date (also true). I asked how he got my number and he said he volunteered in the school office and pulled my number from student records. That should have been my first clue, but remember I was only 15.

The next day I get home from school and find mom all excited. She's gotten a call from El Creepo AND his mother, and was sooooo impressed that she decided I could go out with him. His mom was going to pick us up and bring me home, so it was okay. I told her I didn't even know the guy, but she thought this was soooo sweet that he had his mother introduce him.

We went out for pizza and a movie, and I thought he was a nice enough guy, but I really wasn't interested in him. However, he decided this one date meant I was his girlfriend. He was aided and abetted in this by my mother, who thought he was "perfect" and "just what we always wanted for you." Explaining to her that I wasn't interested in him just brought up a monologue about what a great guy he was, what a good family he comes from, why would I rather be home reading a book than out having a good time. (Telling her I didn't have a good time didn't compute in her brain)

I never got to see my other friends because he was monopolizing all my time. Friday I had to go to his house for dinner and to watch TV. First we watched "The Love Boat" then we watched "Fantasy Island" and I had to endure his siblings running around the living room flapping their arms and yelling "the plane the plane" - (I wish I was making this up.) On Saturday we played Atari at his house. At least he had good games. Sunday, as soon as Rich wakes up, he calls me.

I tried telling him I wasn't interested in a relationship and I didn't want to see him anymore. While I was walking home he called mom in tears "to tell her goodbye...." and "I guess I just didn't love her enough...." and the psycho blasted me when I walked in the door for being so mean to this sweet guy. He quickly learned the way to force me out on dates was to ask in front of her because she would roll over any excuse I came up with. He began trying to get rid of my friends by complaining that "they don't like me" (true) and asked mom to make sure they weren't invited over when he was there. My friends either didn't like him or were a bad influence on me.

I wish he'd been really abusive, because then my parents would have agreed to get rid of him. But he was an honor student, from a good family, not a troublemaker. At school the teachers liked him and although the other kids thought he was a number one nerd, didn't bully him because he stomped everybody's behind academically. I don't know why he fixated on me, maybe because I was the shyest kid in school. He never hit me or was verbally abusive, I just couldn't peel him off.

Christmas was the worst. He gave me a list: this is what he wants for Christmas, this is what his sister wants for Christmas, this is what his mother wants for Christmas! He expected me to buy gifts for his family! I wasn't even planning to get him anything, and he wanted an Atari game. We couldn't afford an Atari system for ourselves, but mom of course buys it for him. She gets everything on the list and tells me to hush because they're getting me something too. I asked Rich for a gift certificate to the bookstore but his mom says gift certs are tacky. They will get me a real gift. So I'm thinking something cool.

He gets me, I kid you not, a set of lady's handkerchiefs. 2 for 5 bucks at K-Mart! His sister gets me nothing. His mom buys me a football jersey (I am not a football fan) like the one Rich wears. Mom goes ga-ga saying how cute that we'll match, and be sure to wear it next Friday so they'll see how much I like it. I quietly throw it away.

I blasted my parents for manipulating and interfering and moved out again. They gave Rich my new address and phone number. I moved and changed numbers again and didn't give them the number. He had mom go to one of my friends and wheedle it out of her. I almost got fired from a job because he wouldn't stop calling me. he waited for me outside the door of my work and followed me, begging and crying. He followed another guy I was dating and tried to convince him we were engaged. I called the cops but they said he wasn't breaking any laws and even lectured me for "not being forceful enough."

Sometimes he would disappear for a few months but always turned up again. My roommate came home from work one day to find him mowing the lawn at the duplex we were renting! At this time the word stalking didn't exist, or I would have been terrified.

The harassment ended only when I moved out of town!!! I went back for a family funeral and found he had gone to pay respects and introduced himself to everyone as my boyfriend! ICK! I told everyone if they told him where I was living I'd shoot them first and him second! I never went to my high school reunions because I was afraid of seeing him there.

I wonder sometimes if he ever got married. I feel sorry for the girl if he did.


This happened in the early 1980s, when I was in my early twenties, on shore duty in the US Navy.  I had begun dating Scott, a hospital corpsman.  There was something odd and rather juvenile about him.  He was several years older than me, yet it seemed sometimes like I was seeing a high school kid.  The problem was really that my two roommates could see that long before I could.  Me?  I had to get hit over the head a few times for the truth to sink in.    I worked evenings in the enlisted men's barracks, assigning rooms to new personnel.  One night he was visiting me at work, keeping me company at the front desk.  A few young sailors came in; sailors that I normally would joke with.  But I guess that jovial familiarity was too much for his ego, and he picked a fight with one very nice young man.  It broke up when I threatened to call security.     

 Another time we were going to a movie on my night off.  His car was in the shop, so one of my roommates lent us his car, and since it belonged to my roommate, I felt responsible so insisted on driving.  The problem was, unbeknownst to me, this car was unregistered, uninsured, unEVERYTHING!  It didn't even have plates on it!  I don't know what I did to catch the attention of the cop that pulled us over.  I decided to be as cooperative as possible.  Scott had other ideas.  He was unbelievably nasty to the cop!  When the cop left us briefly to return to his cruiser, I instructed Scott to kindly shut the hell up.  His rationale for his behavior:  This is the United States of America, and you can say anything you want.  I then told him that cop has a gun and a badge and he had diddly squat, so button it. 

In the end, the cop impounded the car and handed me a ticket for $250.  Then he called me the next day, saying he wouldn't have ticketed me, were it not for my 'boyfriend'.  It was clear that he knew I had, from the beginning, acted on good faith, that I was young and trusted my roommate with his illegal car, and that I never wanted to insult a cop!  He advised me to ignore the fine and wait for a court date.  I can tell you that he made the fine disappear, because I never heard another thing about it. 

BUT....back to Mr. Wonderful.  The big blowout occurred when my two roommates were away on a skiing trip, and I was home alone.  I had had a birthday recently and Scott had given me a birthday gift:  a very nice outfit; sweater, blouse and slacks, that were about four sizes too small.  I had been thinking about what trouble he was and that I needed to ditch him.  We made plans for him to come over to visit.  He came in, I handed him the gift and told him I wanted him to leave.  He was pretty shocked, and then the begging began.  It was truly nauseating, especially when he asked me if maybe I could stay with him until he found another girlfriend!  



My story occurs in my first year as a University student. I went to the student pub with my roommates early in the autumn. I was dancing and have a good time, when I spotted "Tyler" (name changed) eyeing me from across the bar. He eventually made his way over, we danced, and after a few minutes we retired to a table to talk. It turned out he lived in the same residence hall as me. He seemed very nice, and when the bar closed we went our separate ways. Fast forward to the next morning at 11 AM and I get a phone call. He is asking me out on a date to a specialty Wings & Beer restaurant downtown. Not the best first date place, with sawdust on the floor and rolls of paper towels sitting on the table tops, and where you end up with wing sauce smeared all over your face and inevitably dribbling down your chin. But I agreed. We got it all squared away and met at the front doors at 6 PM and cabbed it downtown.

The date was disastrous. As I predicted, nobody could politely eat chicken wings without creating a huge mess. We had nothing in common the entire time we sat there. When the bill came, Tyler insisted on paying for my meal even though I tried to cover it myself. He wouldn't even let me leave the tip, and as we walked out of the restaurant I saw him carefully counting quarters and dimes to leave for our (kind) waitress!

As we stood outside, it began to rain. Neither of us had cash (since I was using my ATM and he had spent everything, down to his last nickel, on dinner) and back then cabs didn't have ATMs in them. The banks were all closed as it was a Sunday. And the buses had stopped running. So we walked the 5 KM back to the dorms in the pouring rain.

I figured since it went so horribly, I'd probably never see this poor fellow again. But I figured wrong. Every morning for the next week, at 11 AM on the dot, my phone would ring and it would be Tyler. He asked me out several times and I kept turning him down (besides, I was very busy with my course load!). He figured out where my classes were located and what time I had them and he'd wait outside of the lecture halls to walk me to our dorm. While he did this, he would talk nonstop about himself and how wonderful he was in high school and how great he is now, and how much money his parents have, etc etc etc! I didn't care! I acted disinterested, but he didn't get the picture. I was very inexperienced with men and relationships, plus I was very shy, so I didn't know how to forthrightly tell him to get lost.

And still, he phoned every morning at 11 AM. He asked me my plans for the weekend, and I told him some of my old girlfriends from high school were coming to my dorm room for a girls night. Guess who showed up? Tyler showed up! I told him quite rudely that it was a girl's only affair (as if I hadn't told him that before!). He wouldn't leave until I promised to go to a movie with him the following week. I agreed only to get him to leave as he was embarrassing me in front of my friends.

I dreaded the impending trip to the movies with Tyler for the next few days, and I finally got the nerve to go to his dorm room and cancel.

I found his room and heard loud music and voices coming from inside but I still knocked. He answered the door and his face lit up a bit when he saw me. His friends were standing around in his room and they all seemed to know of me before I even introduced myself to them! I pulled Tyler aside and nervously I said "I don't think it's a good idea to go to the movies this week because I think we make better friends."

After a moment's silence, Tyler's face went blank and he said, "A date? I was never interested in dating you! ... But yeah, I think it IS a good idea to skip the movie, now." and he rolled his eyes at his friends.

Mortified I fled the room and never turned back! He was engaged to a girl less than a year later, so he either met his match or his dating etiquette greatly improved!!


To set the stage, I have recently ended a relationship of about a year and started a new job - my first job out of school. One of the ladies there has a son my age and decides to fix us up - he's not bad looking and seems nice enough. I should mention my ex-boyfriend was a smoker who assured me at the time we started going out that he was trying to quit, which meant that he would excuse himself regularly to go smoke in his car and eat mints. When my co-worker offers to fix me up with her son, one of the first things I ask is if he smokes and am assured her son has never and will never smoke. On our first date, he actually brings up smoking and how much he hates it and how gross it is (presumably forewarned by his mom).

Fast forward to two months later, things are going pretty well. We're both kind of outdoorsy, so we decide to take a 3-day weekend to go camping. We drive to a nearby wilderness area, it is POURING RAIN, but thankfully lets up a little as we pull into the campground. I start trying to start a campfire with some dry wood & tinder we brought with us, and he announces he needs to use the "facilities" and wanders off.

About 10 minutes later he returns with a huge grin to see I have gotten a little fire going. To congratulate me, he gives me a kiss and it is clear to me he has been smoking! I confront him about it and he tells me - get this - that he chews tobacco and sometimes smokes, but he's trying to quit (sorry for lying by the way) and he didn't mean to smoke just now, but when he went into the toilet (which at this place is literally a wooden box on top of a HOLE IN THE GROUND) there was a half smoked cigarette smoldering away so he couldn't resist finishing it off! Yes, my friends, that man told me he smoked a cigarette he found abandoned in CAMPGROUND LATRINE and waltzed back and kissed me! I didn't know whether to vomit or cry.

Needless to say, the relationship did not last much longer, and things were strained and awkward with his mom at work. To this day, I really don't think she lied to me, I just don't think she knew he smoked since he didn't live at home anymore, so I didn't blame her, but she certainly blamed me for breaking her poor baby's heart. I soon got a new job and have never dated a co-worker or a co-worker's family member or a secret-smoker again.  Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.



First of all, it has to be noted that I've been engaged for a long time. Second, that this occurred several years ago during my junior year of high school. Third, I've realized since the incident how incredibly LUCKY (on many levels) I am to be in a committed relationship and don't have to take part in the cut-throat, horrifying world of dating.

During an after school club meeting, an acquaintance of mine (a senior we will call "Brent") lamented that he couldn't find a prom date and, being just about to graduate and all, he was getting pretty desperate (mind you, it was still Fall). I really sympathized with his wish to have a memorable senior prom, so I volunteered to go with him as FRIENDS since my boyfriend/fiancé lived out-of-state and wouldn't be able to take me to prom anyway. After that, everything started to go downhill.

I got creeped out initially when he didn't ASK me for my phone number and e-mail address, but instead took it upon himself to COPY it from the club registry (which wasn't even for members; it was an informal list passed around the room that members were encouraged to put their contact information on for the club officers to use) without mentioning it to me. I didn't find out until later when Brent called me and told me that's what he'd done. Pardon me for being a little...apprehensive, but I don't like it when people use/acquire my contact information without my knowledge.

After a few months of enduring moony, lovey-dovey stares and deep, wistful sighs and reminding him over and over and over again that we weren't dating, Brent decides to sit me down for a little hear-to-heart chat. At a club meeting one day, he tells me that he wants to speak to me in private and drags me to the back of the room (yes, in the MIDDLE of club activities where anyone could overhear). He then starts out the conversation with, "MSJ, I don't think we should date."

To which I respond, "Brent, we're not dating."   "I know," he replies, but plows on anyway. "But I don't think we should start dating. I'm moving to college next year and don't really want a long-distance relationship."

"Brent, we're NOT dating. I'm engaged, remember?" At this point, I point to the ring around my finger and even contemplate whipping out the pictures of my boyfriend/fiancé that I keep in my wallet (and had shown him before).

"Yeah, but I'm just saying, we shouldn't start dating since I'm about to graduate."   "Brent, I'm engaged. We're NOT dating!"   "I know, but -- "   "FINE!" I finally snap, completely fed up with talking in circles. "We won't date because you're graduating!"

After that, I get up from my seat, completely miffed, and go back to sitting with my friends (who are all curious to know what was happening in the back of the room).

A couple months after that, prom actually comes and I, still completely creeped out by my prom date's unwanted (and misguided) attentions, make alternate pre-prom plans go out to dinner with my friends instead of my date. I'm sure that was rude and possibly hurtful, but I felt that climbing into a car with a guy I KNEW had a crush on me and apparently couldn't even fathom the meaning of the word "NO" was a potentially dangerous situation. I told him a couple weeks before prom that's what I'd be doing, so I figured that everything would work out. However, I neglected to mention what time dinner would be at so -- playing the part of the horrible person I'd become throughout this aggravating experience -- I ended up arriving at the prom itself two full hours after he did (I still feel absolutely HORRIBLE about it, too; I swear, it wasn't intentional).

Any sympathy I felt for him and self-hatred toward myself, however, evaporated once he started putting the moves on me later on. I granted him (rather reluctantly and childishly, I admit; my friends practically had to FORCE me onto the dance floor with him) a slow dance and the heavy, wistful sighing started up again.

What really clinched the evening (and, again, reminded me how obsessed he was becoming) was when we were about to say goodnight at the end of prom. He pulled me to the side, held my hand to his chest in a grand, dramatic gesture and proclaimed, "I was mad at you for being late, but when you came in the song Lady in Red started playing in my head." (As I'm sure you've guessed by now, my dress that night was red.) After a few awkward moments of silence, I managed to tug my hand out of his grip, stammer a nervous "goodnight," and left with the friends who had brought me.

I admit, I didn't act the way I should have, but the fact that he simply would NOT let up after months upon months of telling him I wasn't interested caused my behavior to take a bad turn. I think that, in absence of the ability to use my "flight" defense mechanism, I was automatically defaulted to "fight" instead. Normally, I would treat someone with more civility (if fondness couldn't be procured) than I showed Brent and in lacking even that I am ashamed. Whether I'm the villain of this tale or he is, I can't really say myself; feel free to decide on your own.

Oh, and one last addition to this tale; at my high school it's something of a tradition for students who graduated the year before to come back to campus at least once to visit old friends and teachers. Brent was no exception to this tradition (and, for that matter, neither was I a year later) and I showed up to lunch at my usual spot one day to see him sitting there (right in the spot that I usually sit, no less) as if from right out of a nightmare. After an awkward, unwanted hug and the I-love-you-will-you-please-be-mine look that I had become so familiar with, I decided that I just didn't have the constitution to sit down with him (though I did try for about five/ten minutes). Thus, I jumped up and, stammering an excuse about homework, dashed into the library for the remainder of my lunch period. I learned later that, during a different lunch period, he had taken to gazing at my friend "Jane" (who had been the one to bring me to and help me escape from prom the year before) and sighing as if he were in love with her. He reportedly asked her about me as he did so, giving her the impression that he was in lovey/creepy mode due to the simple aspect of association with me.

Luckily, I haven't seen "Brent" since. If God continues to favor me, I'll never see him again!



One afternoon, as I was just about to hop into my truck and drive away from the gym, a gentleman hailed me. I thought he needed directions or something, but it turns out "Bill" thought I was absolutely gorgeous (even in my sweaty, ratty, post-workout state) and wanted me to give him a call tonight. Now, I work a funky work schedule and normally don't get home until about 1 a.m. Bill assured me that was OK and that he would be up. He seemed like a decent enough fellow, just a little shy, so I gave him my number in return.   About half an hour later, I get out of the shower and my phone is beeping to tell me there's a voice mail. I puzzle over the unfamiliar number and then think, "Nuh-uh. He wouldn't." Sure enough, it's Bill calling to tell me I'm still on his mind after our four-minute conversation in the parking lot. A little unusual, I thought, but I supposed he was just zealous. I call Bill at 1 a.m. and leave a message. He doesn't call back and I go to bed.   

My phone wakes me at 10:10 a.m. It's Bill. I'm completely incoherent and let it go, figuring he'll leave a voice mail. He doesn't. No biggie; I doze off.   My phone rings at 11:06 a.m. Bill again. I'm still dozy and let it go. This time, he leaves a message. Excellent; I'll call back later this afternoon.   I'm on the phone at 12:28 p.m. when someone else beeps in. It's Bill. I ignore it, but I'm a little weirded out that someone has called me three times in about two hours.   My phone rings at 1 p.m. Guess who? I was expecting a phone call and picked up my phone without thinking. I tell Bill I can't talk right now and, unfortunately, I add that I will try to call him back later, even though the frequency of his calls bothers me and I think I'd rather let this fish go. I just had to get him off the phone ASAP because I needed it.   

Bill calls at 2:32 p.m. I am completely unnerved and do not pick up.   Bill calls at 3:45 p.m. and tells me to have a good day at work, "baby." Now I'm upset.   Bill calls at 4:15 p.m. This is seven calls in about six hours. Members of my family don't call me this often. I am pretty distressed at this point because, really, I don't know this man and I'm afraid he's some crazy stalker dude who will follow me home from work and kill me, or knife me next time we collide at the gym.   The calls (and one text message) persist for the next week and a half, averaging three or four a day. I never pick up, and Bill never gets the hint. I even get a male friend to answer the phone. Bill didn't even ask to talk to me, just made some excuse about a wrong number and hung up. He called back a couple of hours later and for days after that, this time leaving voice mails saying it's OK if I have a boyfriend, we can still be friends and hang out. The fact I neither answer nor return his calls doesn't seem to matter.   

Eventually, I realized I had to make this go away. I called Bill one afternoon and politely told him I didn't want him to call me anymore and that the frequency of the calls disturbed me. He apologized, insisted he was a nice guy and that I had nothing to worry about, but he just really wanted to talk to me. He had been feeling lonely and had prayed to God to send someone into his life, and then he saw me at the gym and I'm so beautiful ... meanwhile, I'm getting more and more uncomfortable. I ask him not to call and not to approach me if he sees me at the gym. To his credit, he agreed, and I have not heard from him since, although I think I have seen him at the gym.   I'm glad he turned out to be clueless, not dangerous, but who calls a woman practically on the hour the day after you meet her? And then at least three times a day after that, even though she doesn't pick up or call you back? The guy seemed to be in his mid-30s, so I hope by now he's got a clue.


I met "George" on a popular Internet dating site. He was unemployed, and wanted to plan a date that wouldn't cost anything. I suggested we go to the British Museum. There is no entrance fee and I felt that if a lunchtime date went badly, I could just make my excuses and leave.

Our "date" was the most boring half hour of my life I'd ever spent. He refused to stop and look at anything for longer than a couple of minutes, even a particular statue that I was keen to show him because my grandmother once had a wealthy lodger whose family donated it. Eventually, when we came to the end of our whirlwind tour of the museum, I said (lying through my teeth) that it had been a pleasant afternoon and I needed to leave for my shift at work.

"It's only four o'clock," he said. "I thought you were coming home with me."

I told him I don't go round to the houses of people I don't know well, and that I really was busy and was leaving now. "No, you've GOT to come," insisted George. "My father wants to meet you." I was perfectly sure a man in his thirties could go on a date without parental permission, and said so. After a few minutes of this, I found out what the problem was. It seemed their usual afternoon entertainment was to phone up and hire an "agency" lady, but George didn't have a job and so this was proving rather expensive. He had decided that a money saving alternative would be to meet women online, take them on the world's fastest date and then bring them home for his and father's "amusement".

I don't think I've ever been so grateful to see a bus come round the corner. I haven't heard from George again.


Dear Jeanne,   I love the site!  This story has just happened to my poor friend.  She's a very pretty, successful, fun girl living alone in London.  One of her friend's flatmates took a shine to "Pamela" and sent her an email saying that he'd like to take her out one evening.  Pam liked this direct approach and they met up to go for a drink together.  He chooses a pub quite a way from the Underground station.

So they're in the pub and Pam starts making general chat, until she realizes that he's looking past her (they're sitting in the window) and watching a boxing match on a large screen across the road.  He then admits it, saying, "Sorry, I didn't catch that - I was watching the boxing match.  Do you like boxing?"  No, Pam doesn't.  "What sports do you follow then?"  She doesn't.  She doesn't do sports.  "But what do you after work then?  What kind of life have you got without sport?".  She likes to cook, runs her own small business and knits presents for people.  He tells her she's like a "sad old granny" for knitting.

Pam's not that thrilled so far, and he shows his amazing dating technique by going into a rant about how much he hates children, and people who have children.  He doesn't visit his family because they have children etc  The rant then mutates into how he likes to humiliate a girl at his work who likes him because she's fat.  Pamela's had enough and tells him that that's awful and really shallow.  The guy stares at her and says, "I only like good-looking girls, because men stare at me when I'm out with them.  I'm afraid you're not ticking any of my boxes."  Then he adds, "This is weird.  I'm usually really good at pretending I like people when I don't, but it's not working with you."

Pamela tells him that she's terribly sorry but she's very uncomfortable and thinks they should call it a night.  He is surprised and takes offence!  As they leave the pub, he abruptly remembers that he's left his laptop in the office and has to fetch it.  So he walks off and leaves Pam to go back to the Tube station in the dark on her own.  London's not actually that dangerous that this is a problem, but that's considered poor form.  Not that she expected much else.   As Pam herself said, there's nothing wrong with finding out you share no interests with your date.  But that's what small talk is for - "How interesting.  Do you enjoy that?  I'm afraid I've never understood the rules - how does it work?".  If you choose instead to sneer at your date's interests before revealing what a nasty person you are, it's no surprise you're single!  And this was a professional man of thirty!



My submission has to do with a guy I met about 10 years ago in my church singles group.  We had talked a few times and had a fun time at a Star Trek convention together (yes, I'm a geek!).  I went by his place one evening so he could give me a couple of books, and he mentioned that one of the books was a particular favorite of his wife's.  He'd never mentioned a previous marriage, so I was surprised and asked him about his wife, expecting to hear that he was divorced or something, but he said, with a sappy look on his face, "She died a couple of years ago.  And you look so much like her." 

Eek.  I was creeped out, and never went out with him again. 


When I was in high school, I dated a guy (let's call him DUMBO) on and off for a year.  After a year we stopped dating, nothing traumatic or dramatic.  Fast forward about 4 years when I'm in college.  Keep in mind that I haven't seen him or heard from him in 4 years.  I lived on campus and he obviously didn't have my new phone number.  He calls my parents to get the new number.  My dad calls me to let me know that he gave DUMBO my new number.  (There was a reason I never gave it to him in the first place.)   Not 1/2 hour later DUMBO calls.   We talk for awhile and catch up.  He wants to come up and see me for the weekend.  No problem.  I let him know that he'll be staying with 2 friends of mine -  it's a coed floor but single sex wings.  These 2 friends live on the same floor, just in another wing.  DUMBO sounded very put out that he wouldn't be spending the weekend in my dorm room.  I haven't seen him in 4 years.  Yeah, right!  He finally agreed to the sleeping arrangement.  Wouldn't you know it, guess who didn't show that weekend.  That's right, DUMBO!  I haven't heard from him since.


In my 2nd year of college, my friend set me up on a blind date.  We ended up double dating.  This guy (let's call him Loser)  and I got along fairly well and continued to date for about 6 months.   One night we went to the movies.  On the way back he was telling me about a party he and a friend of his went to.   Everything was fine until Loser told me that he had smoked pot at the party.  I said to him that I wasn't comfortable around drugs and that I didn't want to go out with him if he was doing drugs.  Well, Loser tells me that he promises not to do drugs if we have plans to go out.  I told him that he misunderstood.  If he does drugs at all I WILL NOT go out with him anytime.  It's basically me or the drugs.  Loser's answer:  "I will not lower my standards to go out with you."  That was the last time I saw Loser.



I was set up for this blind date with Jack, a budding musician in a town about 60 miles south of me.  We had had a couple phone conversations that always had me laughing and extremely enticed for hours.  Jack and I set a date for a Saturday night for dinner and then drinks at a local bar he frequented. 

So on the Saturday, I drove down to his house and nervously made my way to his front door and knocked.  There was no answer.  I waited a couple minutes and knocked again with the same result.  I then rechecked everything:  the date, the time, the address.  I tried a third time and again no answer.  I tried calling his cell phone, but got the voicemail.  So I waited around for about a half an hour thinking maybe he had a last minute errand or something.  Besides I had a new book in my car I was dying to dig in to.  So I cuddle up in my car and start reading.  An hour had gone by before I realized it!

Jack’s house had an alley running next to it and from where I was parked I could see the front and right side of the house into the unfenced backyard.  I saw a man out of the corner of my eye coming from the back of the house.  It wasn’t jack, but an older gentleman.  I got out of my car and walked up to the man.  We started talking and it turned out he was the landlord.  He mentioned that Jack always seemed to be sleeping and his piece of crap car was parked in the backyard as always.  So I knocked again and called his cell, but again no answer.  The man took his dog for a walk and I crawled back in my car.  I was going to wait for 20 more minutes, then drive home.  I had driven an hour to get there, so I wanted to try to make it worth while. 

About 5 minutes later, Jack calls my phone.  He was upstairs sleeping the whole time!  I was a little upset, but it was an accident.  He came outside and he was very charming.  He had a great smile.  That was my downfall.  So he gave me a huge bear-hug and invited me into his house for a few minutes before we went to dinner.  I walked in and the front room was jam packed with recording equipment, instruments, stacks of music… there was literally just an aisle from the front door to the kitchen.  The room had a horrendous smell to it, and I, being the inexperienced goodie goodie I was, had no idea was the smell was.  I followed him through to the kitchen which was absolutely trashed.  He began making himself a sandwich and tossed me an apple.  His roommate shows up and they start talking, ignoring my presence.

The three of us go back in the front room and talk for awhile and they both pull out marijuana pipes!  I should’ve left right then, I honestly don’t know why I stayed.  But that was the horrible smell permeating the area.  I declined when they offered it to me. 

So Jack and I make our way to dinner in his car.  The restaurant was a tiny hole in the wall that I actually really loved.  They served humongous gourmet burritos and the whole place had a spacey theme with dinosaurs…it was odd.  The meal was great and we had a good time.  Jack was really intelligent.  We then went to the bar and the band was getting set up.  Jack then tells me that he has to take just a few pictures of the band as he is their promotion rep and it would only take about 5 minutes once they started playing.  That didn’t really bother me.  He buys me a drink and we sit at the bar for about 30 minutes until I asked him about a camera or something he may need to take photos.  He had completely forgotten them!  So we had to leave and get the equipment and come back to the bar.  The only thing was his equipment was at his friend’s house.  He was borrowing the stuff…. Now I’m thinking he’s not really their promotion guy.  So we get to the house and he runs inside to get the stuff saying he’d be out in 5 minutes, leaving me in the car.  25 minutes go by before he’s back!  I was getting seriously irritated.  I tell him that we should stop by and get my car before going back to the bar so I can leave when I want and he can stay and work.  He was thrilled with this “ingenious” idea.

So back at the bar, he buys me another drink and goes to do his thing, but he didn’t return for 45 minutes.  Once he left, I had no clue where he was, couldn’t see him anywhere.  I stayed because the band was seriously awesome and I was enjoying just hanging by myself.  When he came back, he tried to make small talk and apologize for taking so long, but they were almost done.  I told him to go back to his thing, thinking I’d just leave quietly in a little while.  When he walked away, he went past the band to the deck area outside!  How the heck do you take pictures of the band outside?  So I hung for another 15 minutes, talked with the cute bartender, and went outback to let him know I was leaving.  He was just standing there smoking with 2 other guys. 

I said I was headed out and thanked him for dinner.  He gave me another huge bear hug and said we’d definitely see each other again.  Uhhh No, we wouldn’t! 

To top off the evening, I got lost on the way home and had to call my sister to mapquest me directions.



I once was a young intern and flattered by the attention of one of the fellows in another department, so when he invited me on a date, I tried to be cool as I accepted. We went out to lunch, then he invited me to ride with him to his house. A house? On his salary? Well, not really. It's Mama's house, and he lives with her. And so does Dad.

Dad is in a small cardboard box wrapped in brown Kraft paper with a typewritten label pasted on the front. He's resting on a bookshelf propping up the books.

Date holds him and gently shakes Dad for me before matter of factly identifying what's in the box.

I slogged through the weed jungle that constituted the front yard to get back to the car, where I tried to maintain polite, friendly chat the rest of the way.

I have no problem with meeting "cremains," as they are called, as a respectful introduction once I'm becoming part of the family. I wouldn't call it first-date material. 


OK, this is my favorite Date From Hell story to date.  


The worst date I ever went on was with a guy I'll call "A" who my friend and I met at a church conference, along with a group of his friends.  They were all nice guys, a little goofy, and the group of us stayed on an outside deck at our hotel till 4:00 A.M. talking and laughing hysterically.  After that night, a few of us stayed in touch, A's friend dated my cousin, but for the most part I didn't have much contact with A until I ran into him at another church function.   Well, upon our second meeting, we chatted for a few minutes and A asked for my phone number, which I gave to him.  I've always been a sucker for "giving a nice guy a chance" even if he totally wasn't my type.  So, fast forward to our first date.   A lived in a nearby city and we decided I would drive to his house.  He, in turn, would drive us to the zoo.  I was perfectly fine with this, because having my own car nearby gave me a sense of safety on a first date.  

Well, when I arrived at his house, I discovered that he lived with his mother (A is at least 30 at this point), who is not a very pleasant woman.  A is anxious to give me a tour of his mother's collection of lighthouses, since he knew I liked lighthouses, and he took me into her bedroom to look at the lighthouse afghan displayed above her bed.  This was pretty awkward, since she wasn't the most welcoming person I'd ever met.  Finally, we get into the car and take off for the zoo, but the gas gauge in the car is broken, and within a few miles, we run out of gas on a very busy highway.  A is obviously embarrassed and calls his mom, who I can hear screaming at him through the phone.  She shows up in the other family car a few minutes later, and screams at him and berates him for not filling up the tank, since he's aware that the gas gauge is broken. 

  But alas, the car is filled with gas and we're off again in the direction of the zoo...just as it starts to rain.  So A decides we'll drive a few more miles to the house of his friend, also in the group of guys I met that first night, but when we get there, he's not home.  Strike three.  We head back to A's house, which is now full of extended family members I've never met having some sort of picnic.  A gives me a plate with a hamburger and potato salad on it, and after eating about half, I suddenly begin having one of the stomach/intestinal attacks I'd been having for a few weeks prior to that.  I apologized, got in my car, and drove quickly home.  A was nice enough to call me soon after I arrived home to make sure I was OK.  I was, and never before or never since have I been more grateful for one of my little "attacks"!    Believe it or not, I went on a second date with him, but when we saw a shooting star on the way back to my house and he told me it was a sign from God, it confirmed the decision I'd already made that there would be no third date.  His friend had used the same exact line on my cousin a few weeks before.


I asked one of my better guy friends (Whom I've had on-and-off 'feelings' for him) if he would be willing to go to Prom with me. He says yes, to my happiness. He bought just about everything, a service I'm not quite accustomed to, and I offered to help pay for things, but he wouldn't let me.

My really close friend needed help getting ready and a ride, so she came over, we got dressed, and right on time my date and his dad pick us up, and we all pile into the little car. About half way to the restaurant, my friend bursts out that she's forgotten her ASB Card, which we're required to present at the door to get into the dance. We stop by her house, where we find out that she forgot her house key. She has to go around back, hop the fence in her full-length dress, run inside her house, and return again. She comes back in the car after a few minutes, proclaiming to the whole car that she was relieved she didn't step in 'dog poo'. Well, that just about set an awkward tone for the rest of the ride while my friend kept ranting incessantly about random things that pop into her head.

We arrive at the restaurant, the waiter escorts us inside, and only then does my date tell me that his GIRLFRIEND will be joining us for dinner. He never even bothered to tell me that he and this girl were going out, but now, looking back in hindsight, I guess it was apparent that they were. But he never told me at all. So after awhile his girlfriend shows up, looking absolutely gorgeous, as always. We order our food, and while we're all trying to eat, my friend and some other people at our table are talking about bras, boobs, and panties, and my poor date is blushing like crazy. Our bill comes at the end of the meal, and it more then what my date had (He had offered to pay for everybody) and I tried to give him some money that I had in my purse. He won't take any of mine, but he lets other people chip in to help pay. [Self-Confidence Meter goes down a few notches here].

We walk to the hotel where our dance is, get checked in, and go out to the dance floor. His girlfriend, her friend, and I try to convince my date to come out and dance, but he doesn't come out and dance till about half an hour into it. Then some other people who I know, who didn't know that my date had a girlfriend, forced he and I to dance together. I'm a horrible dancer when it comes to dancing to rap/hip-hop, so my poor date gives up after a few minutes of trying to dance with me. To make a long story shorter, he ended up dancing and hanging out the rest of the night with his girlfriend all night, only talking to me once or twice the whole night. During the last slow dance (Of which there were only four played, but at least that beats last years prom) I'm sitting in a chair in the corner, trying to be the gracious wall flower, while all my friends are dancing in front of me, including my date and his girlfriend. I'm sitting there, trying not to cry, while everyone is cuddling and kissing on the dance floor and I'm literally the only one not dancing in the entire room. [Self-Confidence Meter is at an all-time low.]

We get a ride home with my date's girlfriend and her friend, and I'm still trying not to cry, while barely anybody bothers to talk to me.

I'm not exactly mad at my date, but he could have at least told me that he had a girlfriend in the first place, and it could have saved me a lot of heartache that night.



This is comically worst date I ever had. I was about 17, and it was a second date. He took me out to dinner to a seafood place right on the water. Thankfully (you'll see why), we were seated at a table on a deck over the water. Also, there was no one else seated on the deck with us. During dinner, we were talking. He tells very funny stories. Unfortunately, I started laughing with my mouth full of fried shrimp and cocktail sauce. It made me choke. I sort of spit/sprayed cocktail sauce and shrimp bits across the table, right onto his shirt. I think I  mostly missed his food... He was very gracious about it; it wasn't all that much, and most of it wiped off. He did continue to laugh and joke about it. I was giggling in a horrified way and still coughing. I took a sip of my soda to soothe my throat. Sadly, the bubbles just made things worse, and I coughed more, spraying him AGAIN, with soda this time. The horror of this and his now hysterical laughter just made things worse, as well as the remaining soda still ticking my throat. This is even more disgusting, but it triggered my gag reflex and I had to lean over the railing and threw up into the water below. That ended dinner.

While this wasn't exactly a faux pas on my part, it sure could have been a humiliating experience for my teenaged self. My boyfriend's understanding and gracious reaction, even though he thought it was hysterically funny, made it simply a little humbling and very humorous experience for me. Thank goodness he liked me so much. We dated for a couple of years even after this disastrous date, and he rarely failed to remind me not to spit food or throw up whenever he took me out to dinner. 


O.k., like many people I joined an online dating service.  Since joining I have gone on several dates with different guys.  None have been "the one" but basically they have been pleasant.  In case you are not familiar with the process, first you answer a lot of questions and send questions to people who are interested in you.  then you graduate to emailing, then to phone calls (cell phone only) and finally to a live date.    This is a short story about a date that never even made it to the live date.  Instead, one phone call was all it took to tell me he was jerk.    We made a date and I called his cell phone on a Friday night.  No answer, so left a message with my cell phone number.  He called back about 1/2 hour later and we made small talk for a couple of minutes.  Then he said, "well let me give you my spiel".  I kind of laughed and said o.k., whatever. 

He then proceeds to grill me as to why I live in "Rivertown", NY?  I was a little taken aback and said "because I have year-round views of the Hudson River out of my windows".  He says yes, but many towns have that.  Maybe, but my taxes are lower.  (Besides, why would you insult where a person lives before you even see their home, location, etc.)  It wasn't like he lived in a very "upscale" town either.    Well, I let that go and moved onto another subject, travel.  Now I love to travel, and actually work at a large travel agency (which he knew from my emails).  so, he asks me where I have been to?  I reply naming various cities, countries, etc. (Paris, England, Portugal, Barbados, Wyoming, Colorado, Canada, etc.)  After I mention each place his response is "boring, boring, boring, boring"!  I was taken aback and said "excuse me"?  He then asked where else I had been.  As I am always hopeful, I responded with Arizona, and he stopped me to ask if I played golf? 

I replied "no". 

Then he says "well why did you go to Arizona then"?   Again, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I explained that it was a beautiful state, and there are other things to do besides play golf.    Finally after listing another group of places, and getting the same "boring, boring, boring, boring" response, I asked him "look, what exactly are you looking for?   He seemed confused and asked me what I meant.   I said "you are being very insulting".   His response:  "Oh, I didn't mean to be."   Silence!   Him:  "Well my next trip will be to the Far East." (as if I am supposed to be envious)   Me:  "How nice for you!"   Silence!   He says:  "I guess this isn't going very well?"   Me:  "Do you think?"   Him:  "I hate the phone." (now he works in real estate, and I thought you had to use the phone a lot in that field?)   Me:  "Well, I have had a long week, and I need to go now."   That was it, one of the worst "phone dates" I have ever had.  Imagine if I actually met this loser in person!?!?  


Page Last Updated September 18, 2008