Category Archives: 20s Survival Guide

The Best of the Worst

First off, my apologies for being an absent blogger. I’ve been very busy with work and other life type things. But, I’m back, and with a treat for you: THE BEST WORST FIRST DATE STORIES.

We’ve explored surviving your 20s over the past few entries, with a very special focus on the messiness we like to call dating. I admittedly tend to take extended vacations from dating in the wake of break-ups or relationship mishaps. But one must always swiftly move forward, so again I find myself swimming with all of the other crazy fish in Los Angeles.

There’s only one problem with the idea of putting yourself out there: You have to go on first dates. You have to spend time with a stranger and figure out whether or not you want to make space for them in your lives. And you have to do all of this in the time-frame of a few hours in a social setting that is usually unnatural to both parties. No wonder people avoid them like the plague.

I went on one recently, and I would call it a success. We had common interests and enjoyed each other’s company and even ended the date with a walk on the Redondo Beach pier. No one said they were going to the bathroom, but bolted to their car instead. Yep, that’s a success.

But not all first dates work out that well. Sometimes fate deals you a really terrible date. And while it may suck at the time those dates turn into great stories to share on a blog.

Once again I shamelessly solicited my friends for their worst first date stories. Wow, did y’all deliver. Your experiences verify one of my life maxims: Everyone has their own flavor of crazy.

Without further adieu, I present you the best worst first date stories I collected:

Man on the Side

“So I was on a 1st date with this girl that I had met at a party for a friend. Things are going really well and we’re having a good time. About half-way through dinner she drops this line, “Yeah my husband and I blah-blah-blah.” I was like, “Wait… your husband?” And she just very nonchalantly says, “Oh yes, I’m married.” Then she clarified, not separated -but married. I asked her, “So… why are you having dinner with me.” She tells me that she and her husband have a non-monogamous agreement. He has a girlfriend on the side; she can have a boyfriend on the side. After dinner she suggestively asked me if I wanted to go someplace for a drink. I declined. “Why? Is this because I have a husband? I told you, he’s ok with it.” She couldn’t comprehend that.”

Paging Emily Post

 “…I had a guy tell me I should have taken an etiquette class growing up bc I didn’t turn my fork over on my plate when I was finished eating. I should have shoved my fork right up his…”

Church Goin’ Folks Ain’t What They Used To Be

“Met a cute guy at church one Sunday morning. He asked me to go to brunch with him the next week after church. Things are going pretty well, and we’ve each had a couple of mimosas, when the conversation turns to tattoos. I say that I’ve got a couple of them, and he asks me if one is on my lower back. When I say yes, he asks, “Do you [edit] on the first date?” I said, “umm, no?” He said, “oh, come on… never? You NEVER [edit] on the first date?” I again say no. He says, “well it’s just that every girl that I’ve ever gone out with that had a lower back tattoo has [edit] me on the first date.” I said, “Well, I’m not trying to make history or anything, but this is just brunch, and you aren’t getting laid today.” After that, I avoided his calls (and deleted his angry messages about what a bitch I was for not calling him back), and ended up having to find a new church!”

And the winner for worst first date story is….

Ayn Randy

“This is 100% true:

It was the fourth of July, we met up in central park for a picnic. He brought wine and a copy of Atlas Shrugged. Seemed like we were off to an okay start. Then he noticed a naked homeless guy sitting on a rock. He proceeded to strip down to his underwear and went over to talk to the homeless man…

And yes I let the date continue…maybe out of pure curiosity of what would happen next. he decided he wanted to go bike riding. That seems normal… but he insisted we get a tandem bike. It didn’t take long before we were flying out of central park and onto the ciy streets swerving between cabs and busses. I was in a sundress on the back of this bike with no control over where we were going or where said dress was going either.

We then went to get some food and he proceeded to try to convert me to Judaism as he was Jewish I told him I didn’t even go to church so the chances of me becoming Jewish were pretty much 0%. He also told me he thought he was Marc Antony in a previous life and that I was probably one of his lovers in this life as well.

Sadly, it didn’t work out, but the sex was great.”

Kudos to my friends for sharing, but especially for having the courage to keep dating after first date doozies like those.  It reminds me that everyone has a bad date. And if you have one anytime soon, just find solace in this: at least you’re not on a bicycle with an existential lunatic.

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20s Survival Guide: Breakup Songs

Tonight we continue the new series “20s Survival Guide” with Episode 2: Best Breakup Songs.

Unfortunately, all of our hearts will get squashed at some point. You’re certainly going to want to have something on to drown out the sound of your wailing and tears – and you really shouldn’t subject your roommates to Adele 24/7. Pop some of these songs on to spice the rotation up a bit.

[Disclaimer: This list, like any created about music (I’m looking at you, High Fidelity) is very subjective. The majority of these songs were selected by people who had one too many mimosas at a brunch that my friend Mallory hosted on Sunday or people who had one too many margaritas at dinner on Monday. I’d like to dedicate this list to you, my friends: without your unwavering dedication to day drinking and cheap Mexican food this list never would have made it on the blog.]

What Do You Mean This Relationship Is All Wrong For Me?

Oh, denial, you sly bedfellow. You make us think that we can change someone else, or ourselves. You make us stick around when we should run. You keep thousands of therapists employed. And you’ve also inspired some pretty great songs:

Ain’t No Sunshine- Bill Withers. Bill knows that he should leave the young thing alone. In fact, he tells himself “I know” no less than 26 (yes, 26) times. Bill needs an intervention, stat. (All kidding aside, it is brilliant that Bill Withers can deliver a message that sticks with you in a song that only lasts two minutes and four seconds).

With or Without You – U2. The ultimate song for co-dependency.

Ex-Factor – Lauryn Hill. Just put this song on repeat. Genius.

Dancing On My Own – Robyn. Body Talk is one of the best breakup albums I’ve heard in a long time. AND YOU GET TO DANCE TO IT.

Love and Happiness- Al Green. Love will make you do wrong. Love will make you do right. Ignore the title- this song is a melancholy tour de force set to one of the best bass lines of all time.

So What If I’m Chainsmoking In The Bathtub? At Least I Bathed Today

Ah, so it’s really over. You’re watching 500 Days Of Summer and Garden State nonstop on Netflix. The only thing in your fridge is an old block of cheese and a half finished bottle of Charles Shaw Chardonnay. You’ve reached the depressed phase.

Harder Now That It’s Over- Ryan Adams. Gold is one of those rare albums that felt honest from start to finish. You believed every word on the album, especially when he sings “You’re free/ free with the history” on this song.

Unbreak My Heart- Toni Braxton. Makes the list based on the video alone. 5 Stars, Toni and Tyrese.

Everything Reminds Me Of Her – Elliott Smith. Any man that can record this song and then stick a knife in his own chest must know a little something about pain.

Lover, You Should Have Come Over – Jeff Buckley. This song will always make my top ten favorite songs. The final line is delivered as a quiet plea: “It’s not too late.” Gets me. Every. Time.

I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt. I dare you to listen to this song and not cry. Bring on the chocolate and tissues, cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Fake Plastic Trees- Radiohead. Really, I could have just made a list of Radiohead songs and you would have had a decent breakup playlist.

The Only Thing Stronger Than My Anger Is This Bottle of Scotch

You’re over the sadness. Now you’re just plain pissed. You’re out for blood. Might I suggest this: before you go throw a brick through your ex’s window, take a minute to live vicariously through these songs. You’ll feel better belting them out and you won’t have to deal with a court date.

Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know. The ultimate angry breakup song came out when I was eleven years old. Needless to say, my naïve little brain was a bit shocked by some of the lyrics. I think I learned more from this song than my sex-ed class, but only after my more worldly friends explained it to me. I’ve always been a little behind the times. Bless my little heart.

Under My Thumb- The Rolling Stones. The boys at brunch all grunted in approval about this one. You know that one girl who completely screwed you over? Now she’s under your thumb. Boom, how good it tastes when the tables are turned.

Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson. The inner sorority girl in me had to list this one. This may have been the most played song in the Delta Zeta house at the University of South Carolina in the spring of 2004.

Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood. Do not cheat on a woman that knows how to swing a Louisville Slugger and can wield a knife. And if you do, I hope you have really good insurance.

What are your favorite breakup songs? What did we miss? Let me know in the comments section!

Honorable Mentions:

Here I Go Again On My Own – Whitesnake

These Boots Were Made For Walking – Nancy Sinatra

How Do I Live Without You – LeAnn Rhimes (thank you, Kyle, for serenading this tune to us over brunch)

Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison

Limit To Your Love – Feist

Out of Touch – Hall & Oates

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

When Your Mind’s Made Up – Glen Hansard

Legendary – Lou Barlow

Lack of Color – Death Cab For Cutie

Drumming Song – Florence + The Machine

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right – Bob Dylan