Blind dates always provide hilarious moments of awkwardness and often take you to the strangest of places based on the fact that you have very little prior knowledge of your counterpart. I’ve been on a hand full of blind dates courtesy of the wonders that is the internet. But, the classic- truest form of a blind date is when a friend matches you up with somebody else.
It was late fall and I had recently got employment with a home remodeling company in Northern Virginia as a Sales Rep. The previous home remodeling sales gig I had been a part of was more of an expense than a money maker. I maintained a friendship with one of the guys who worked there, his name was Mike. Mike and I weren’t exactly close, but we had drunk together a few times and he seemed like a nice enough kid. He was a few years older and had the look of an average guy, 6 feet tall short brown hair with a medium build. The type of guy who had lied about the girls that he “got with,” but still a fun guy nonetheless. Mike had somewhat of a dangerous past, but after getting out of federal prison, he seemed to be going in the right direction. Yeah, I know…
The story starts with my Friday night plans being shattered by a flaky girl that I had hooked up with once before. While I scrolled through old contacts in my phone, it became painfully obvious that I had nearly exhausted/alienated/pissed off all of my female contacts. There should be a name for this…. It looked as if I was in for one of those “guys’ night out” evenings.
Let me elaborate, “Guys night out” is the “purgatory” or “groundhog day” of social functions when you’re in your early 20s and in some cases as an “adult.” Nothing changes and every night ends similarly. The same conversations take place amid my circle of friends consisting of an all male group of 3-5 of us. We end up going to the same bars, drinking the same drinks, usually blacking out, and ending up at the same houses to sleep on the same couches. Usually there is nothing that you can do to change the way the evening ends… You will end up blacking out and sleeping on a couch. Many of my friends fail to understand or appreciate the art of a good wingman… so it’s even rarer that my friends make an effort to peruse females with me, much less on their own.
While going through the contacts in my phone a second/third time with the “if you had to, would you?” mindset, I received a call from good old Mike.
“Hello?” I said a little confused to be hearing from a guy I no longer worked with.
“Taylor! Listen, I need a huge favor,” Mike started, “I have a date with this really cute blond and she won’t go on a date with me unless I find her friend a date to come with us.”
I started to laugh. “Sounds like a personal problem Mike, what does this friend look like.”
“Well I know you’re a single guy and you probably don’t mind meeting someone new.” Mike said.
“Alright…” I paused, slowly realizing that had been Mike’s attempt at buttering me up.
“I honestly don’t know anything about her, but the girl I’m trying to take out tonight is totally hot and she’s reassured me that all her friend are too,” he explained.
“Ok Mike, and where were you trying to go with these girls?” I said knowing that Mike lives in an area that would be considered a hick town, roughly 30-45 minutes away from me.
“We would be going to a really cool bar in Leesburg,” Said Mike confidently, “It’s a fun place called Ned Devines in Sterling. Come on man, I’ll even buy you drinks.”
I didn’t need any further convincing with free cocktails on the line. Mike and I made arrangements to meet up, drop off my car, and head over to pick up our dates and then flash over to a house party before going to the bar.
After driving an hour to meet Mike in Leesburg, I caught myself experiencing somewhat of an epiphany. I realized I had absolutely no information to go on that evening despite my best guesses and assumptions there was no way to predict where things were going to land. I was guaranteed to find myself in multiple new situations just based on the bizarre nature of how this entire thing was coming together. I flicked my cigarette across a few parking spaces as I pulled up beside Mike sitting in his car in a convenient store parking lot.
“Sup faggot?” I yelled at him while upward nodding.
Mike looked up and laughed, “Who invited this loser?”
I got out, locked the doors, and climbed into the empty passenger seat of Mike’s car and let out a big sigh.
Mike had a big shit eating grin on his face as he started the car and put it into reverse, “Ready for a fun night!?”
Half laughing I responded, “Well fuck it, I’m here now, let’s do this thing.”
Windows down, rap music blasting, swerving in and out of traffic, Mike and I got pumped for an evening of endless possibilities while on our way to meet the girls.
Within 10 minutes we were in front my date’s apartment. To my surprise her place was located in a middle/upscale, reasonably new looking, gated off apartment complex. As we came into the parking area, Mike’s date Lauren came skipping out of the main apartment entrance. We parked and mike stepped out to give her a big hug, I could see what he liked about her. Lauren was a bubbly 23 year old with long blond hair down to her lower back. She had a cute smile and spoke with a slight southern twang. She also had a huge ass and great boobs; her only downfall was the slight drinking belly. This was obviously your standard issue fun dumb slut redneck party girl. Those girls tended to burn quickly but they’re worth the time if you could handle it.
“See!” Mike said under his breath while nodding at me.
I had to admit if my date turned out to be half of what Mike’s girl was I’d probably be happy.
We took the stairs to my date’s third floor apartment and walked right in. It was furnished relatively nicely, not a pig sty. There were a lot of wine bottles lying around, but that usually doesn’t mean anything worth setting off alarms for. The anticipation of meeting this girl began to get to me as I felt my heart starting to beat faster.
“So, where is my date for the evening?” I asked in a charming tone to Lauren as she poured two tall glasses of wine for Mike and me.
“I think she’s just finishing up getting ready” Lauren said handing me my glass.
A small child walked aimlessly into the room and said “have you seen my mommy?”
My heart began pounding out of my chest and my face went flush. I instantly lock eyes with Mike and shot him a menacing look. “DUDE!?”
He gave me an eyebrow raise and a gesture as if he’s just introduced James bond to the high rollers poker table at a ritzy casino.
“I think momma’s in her room hunny.” Lauren said smiling at the little girl as she dashed out of the kitchen.
In disbelief, I started looking at the girl running around the apparent and then back at Mike, back at the girl, “You didn’t say she had a Ki-”
“Hey GUYS!” interrupted a girl appearing from a doorway. “I’m Kristen!”
Let me preface this by saying, Kristen was nothing like Mike’s date Lauren. Kristen was 29 years old and looked it. She was a brunette over 6 ft tall, she had to weigh somewhere in the range of 180. She wasn’t “fat,” I’d just call it “sturdy” or “thick.” Excessive makeup was just the start. She had on black high heels making her a good half a foot taller than me with skin tight jeans that showed off her huge legs… they were as thick as telephone poles. And to top it off she wore a black low cut shirt with a pushup bra that pushed her fat tits together in an overstatement of the word “cleavage.” The shirt itself was a trip, strange looking blotches of color on a black background accentuated by a plethora of sequins and reflective bits. It looked like a clown had ingested sparkles and thrown up all over her torso and then whipped off its face when he was done. All of this topped off with a redneck wavy hair perm.
Mike looked her up and down and began to laugh as he looked at me. “This is your date, his name is Taylor!”
While still staring at Mike, I naturally extend my hand to shake hers in an automatic motion still in disbelief and shock at the trick that had been played on me. Kristen grabbed a glass of wine and started chatting with Lauren.
“Dude?! What the fuck?!” I said clutching Mike’s shoulder firmly and pulling him towards the door, “she’s too old for me, she has a kid, and she’s gross.”
Mike just kept laughing, “Taylor, I had no idea man. Lauren said she was cute! I’ll be damned we both got lied to.”
“This isn’t cool shit hea…” The child- a girl around five or six years old was tugging on my shirt.
“Yes?” I said looking down at the little girl. “Are you my mom’s new boyfriend?”
My face went red. I laughed, “No me and your mother just met tonight.” She giggled and scampered off, I fiercely glared once again at Mike who was almost crying because he was laughing so hard.
“Are you guys ready to go?!” Kristen (my date) asked while trying to strike a sexy pose with the wine glass in her hand.
“Yeah I’m ready when ever you are,” I said holding my empty wine glass up in a cheering motion in her direction.
She left the room with Lauren and her daughter for a moment, “DUDE!?” I said leaning into Mike, “I can’t do this. This is bullshit man; I didn’t sign up for this shit. Take me back to my car.”
Mike remained confident, “No, you can do it man. I really need this, I promise it’s going to get better. We’re already out here anyway.”
Mike stepped outside while pulling a cigarette out of his pocket and I followed.
We all went down to the bottom of the building and approached a compact car. Kristen’s daughter had a miniature suitcase on wheels with her because she was going to be dropped off at a baby sitters house while we went out. Mike’s date was driving, he sat shotgun, and I opened the door to get into the back passenger seat.
“Oh hunny,” Kristen said to her daughter, “Why don’t you sit next to Mr. Taylor in the middle seat so mommy can have more room.”
So there we were, driving down route seven with my blind date’s child between myself and her. I could do nothing but stare helplessly out the window and try to press as much of my body against the door as possible. I passed the time by imagining all the places I’d rather had been sitting.
After a 15 minute drive, we arrived at one of their friend’s townhouses that would be playing the role of baby sitters that night. Instead of going directly to the bar, we hung out for drinks. Imagine half a dozen, some naked, small children being chased by larger screaming children around a very small kitchen and living room of a one bedroom apartment as seven “adults” chatted about all kinds of uninteresting things. All the while, I was trying my damnedest to act “normal.”
Kristen found me outside on the balcony and I began to make the mistake of learning more about her. She dropped out of high school and got a GED; establishing her credibility early. Later she managed to obtain a prestigious two year associates degree from a community college. She currently worked in construction, had a crazy ex-husband who was abusive, and claimed to give the best blow jobs ever. A moment later a friend of the baby sitter came outside to join us for a cigarette and somehow the two got into a pregnancy dialogue. I sat idle as they swapped stories about the details of the “afterbirth” and “remnants” that come out after the baby gets delivered. I considered jumping off the balcony but the fall wouldn’t likely kill me. Imagine my awkwardness.
An hour had passed and the time had finally come to venture out into the nightlife that was Leesburg/Sterling. We arrived at the bar around ten and it was relatively empty. The arrangement was pretty standard for a sports bar/singles club; one large bar area and one large dance floor just below the bar. I stepped up to the bar and asked for a jack and coke.
“I’ll take a Johnny Walker double on the rocks.” Kristen said sitting down next to me.
“I’ll take a beach house in Acapulco.” I said laughing at the absurdity of her boldness with that assumptive move.
“You’re not going to buy my drink?!” Kristen burst out stunned by my reaction to her drink order.
“The moment you assumed I was going to, you lost it.” I calmly said as I picked up my drink and handed the bartender my credit card.
I have no problem paying for drinks when the situation warrants the gesture. But given the fact that I wanted nothing to do with this girl and then she assumed I would just going to take orders from her right out of the gate. That’s just not how the night was going to go. Not to mention that she had ordered a $20 drink and it would very likely be her first of many beverages to come, mind you I was 22 and still in college (not making tons of money even as I worked fulltime), so I felt overly compelled to decline.
She stood there for a moment; confused then furious at my blatant deflection of her attempt to put all her drinks on my card. Maybe she’d never encountered this situation before or maybe she assumed I was going to be a pushover simply based on my quiet demeanor thus far that night.
I followed her with my eyes as she turned and walked away. She approached Mike in a very direct manor and was clearly yelling about our situation. Mike slowly walked over to me a few moments later. I sat still stirring my drink.
“Dude, just buy her a drink. I told her you’re kind of broke, she said she understands. So use this twenty and just buy her what she wants.” Mike said handing me the bill while angling himself so the girls could see he was giving me money.
“Mike. What the Fuck!?” I said lowering my head. “I don’t like to buy strange women drinks for no reason, especially the ugly ones with kids”
“She’s only got one kid.” Mike said playfully in her defense.
“Well you’re not doing me any favors by telling her I don’t have any money. You know what I mean?” I finished my jack and coke while shaking my head with a half grin.
“Well I just thought you were broke” Mike said laughing.
“You have yourself a good time with the hotter one of the two buddy, I guess I’ll just go fuck myself.” I turned back to bar and proceeded to order another drink.
As the bar filled out, the general demographic was a bit different from my usual spots. I don’t know if they were giving flat brim hats out at the door, but everyone that walked in seemed to be wearing one along with an XXL tee-shirt that went nearly down to their knees. This would have been more entertaining if the guys had come with girls. Unfortunately, the girl to guy ratio was nearly 1 to 6. And the girls that did show up were fat short Spanish chicks that had no business wearing tight white pants. This also meant that my date Kristen was fast becoming a hot commodity and was also on a personal mission to prove to me that everyone else could afford to buy her drinks. So for a good portion of the night she wondered around the bar asking guys to buy her something.
She kept looking back in my direction while holding up drinks that different guys were buying her somehow trying to make me jealous of her conquests over every group of Eminem and 50 cent impersonators.
Every once in a while Kristen would even stop by to brag about me how many drinks and phone numbers she had received. I would then make jokes as to the quality of the gentleman she was referring to, and then she’d run off in frustration to find more guys.
Eventually I was drunk enough to decide I’d had enough of this debacle. I told Mike I was ready to go. Within 40 minutes we had rounded up our crew and were on our way outside. It had begun to rain slightly and I let Kristen borrow my jacket. It was shortly after 12:45 and the night was still young. Mike said he knew of a house party that was rumored to have a keg or two so we all agreed to give it shot. It was only fifteen minutes away and I was looking forward to something a little more my style.
Upon arrival it was clear that the “house party” was yet another disappointment in my long chain of failures that evening. What was thought to be a “house” was actually a small apartment and what was thought to be a “party” turned out to be three stoned guys sitting on a couch watching cartoon network. And what were thought to be a keg were actually three beers left in the fridge.
“Are you just fucking with me now to see what else I’ll go along with?” I asked Mike with a tone of frustration.
Mike started to laugh, “I didn’t know man, they’re the ones that called it a party. Where’s your date?”
I looked around the small living room and realized that she wasn’t in the condo. I stepped outside into the rain to find her on her hands and knees in a muddy patch of grass puking her brains out. I walk over and pulled some her hair back, she was still wearing my sports jacket which was now covered in mud and drenched with rain.
“So what did we learn?” I asked Kristen in a parental voice.
Kristen bowed her head while spitting strands of vomit and saliva onto the grass, “…men are assholes.”
Rather than delve into her problems, I helped her to her feet and threw her in the back of Laurens car and left the door open so she could continue to vomit. I managed to cajole Mike and Lauren back out of the “house party,” and we set off to pick up the kid and drop this awful chick and her kid off where she would forever be out of my life.
We picked up her daughter who was wide awake at nearly 2:00 AM. She sat beside me in car telling me stories about all the fun she had that evening. I used one word responses and stared icily out the window. We were nearly five minutes away from ending the night and I couldn’t wait to get away from all of it.
“Shoot! We have to turn around!” Kristen suddenly shouted.
Mike, sitting in the drivers seat whipped his head around, “WHY?!”
“I left my purse with the keys at the baby sitters house, I’m sorry guys.” Kristen uttered closing her eyes.
Flash forward twenty minutes and we had picked up the purse and we’re nearly home again. Kristen was bobbing back and forth.
“Mommy, what’s wrong?” her daughter asked.
“Mommy had a little too much kool-aid tonight hunny.” Kristen said, pressing her face against the window.
I cringed and cracked a smile.
As we started to pull into Kristen’s apartment complex I heard Mike say, “Oh Shit, I’m fucked.”
Behind us and fast approaching were blue flashing lights shortly followed thereafter by a short siren. Mike pulled over. “Lauren, Do you have pennies?!”
Mike pulled open her ashtray to find a cache of coins inside. Without a moment of hesitation, Mike shoved a handful into his mouth.
“I’m on prow-bation” Mike mumbled as a penny fell out of his mouth onto his lap.
I glanced beside to me see a frightened five or six year old gripping my arm for dear life. “I thought police are good?!” she wined clearly frightened by everyone else’s handling of the situation.
“They are hun, they are. Everything is fine.” I said reassuring her because her mom obviously didn’t know what to say.
The cop walked around the car and shined his flash light on all of our faces. We all reacted and squinted when it hit our eyes. The cop asked Mike to step out of the car and we all watched him fail every sobriety test the cop threw at him. Eventually he was cuffed and put in the back of the squad car.
“Fuck, I’m too drunk to drive” said Lauren from the front seat. “I think we’re screwed.”
The cop came up to the passenger side of the car and asked Lauren to step out.
“Well, this isn’t going well.” I said leaning over looking at Kristen who had been silent up until then. “Wait, Kristen, you’ve only had kool-aid, you should be alright to drive right?”
Her daughter got excited and looked at Kristen, “Yea mommy, you can drive!”
She turned and glared at me in very serious manor.
Lauren came back a few seconds later.
“Drive safe now” we heard the cop say as she got into the drivers seat and started the car.
“I don’t know how I passed, but somehow I was under the legal limit,” Lauren said laughing nervously, “I really need a cigarette.”
We got into the apartment and Lauren followed me to smoke a few cigarettes on the small balcony as Kristen put her daughter to bed. We chatted for a bit then I went inside to use the bathroom, Lauren cleverly disappeared into a guestroom, leaving me and Kristen alone in the kitchen.
“Would you like to sleep in my room,” asked Kristen.
“I just want to sleep hun.” I said leaving the kitchen and sitting down on the couch in the living room, “It’s been a very long night and I really just want to sleep alone.”
The last thing I wanted to do was further ruin my night by hooking up with that joker. She started to explain her daughters need for a father figure and I pretended to be asleep until she left.
Mike didn’t get out of jail for few days. And when he finally did, it only took him a week to invite me out to Leesburg again to assist him on yet another date. To which I responded, “Not on your fucking life.”