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To be fair, my worst date started with Tinder. That should have been my first red flag. However, my sister had found her own Prince Charming through the notorious dating app, so likely, I thought I could try to find mine. The idea of finding someone and connecting with them through text and conversation sounded easier than putting myself out there in public. And, if we are being completely honest, the rejection is easier that way as well.
So there I was, swiping left on a few toads and swiping right on my potential princes, when a match popped up on my screen. I'm against using real names so let's just call him Eric. Eric Blevins. His bio didn't describe him too much other than that he was a father of two kids, had a ton of tattoos, and enjoyed riding a motorcycle. He seemed like a real nice guy with a big heart for family and a drive for adventure. Lesson number one: people are never as they seem.
Within a few hours we had a double date set up with my best friend Ashley and her Tinder date. We had all decided on the Cheesecake Factory. It was halfway for Ashley and her date, while being on the way for mine. Ashley and I agreed to meet my date on the way to carpool. Upon meeting him, he had a beer in his hand, chugged it, and then threw the empty can on the ground. He grabbed a large backpack out of his car and joined us in Ashley's.
During the ride to the restaurant, Eric obnoxiously talked nonstop about himself. At one point, while Ashley was driving on a highway, he decided it would be funny to shift her car into neutral. By this time, I was already rolling my eyes but still had some shred of hope that he would shape up for our date. That shred of hope thinned out every time he opened his mouth.
Shortly after we arrived at the Cheesecake Factory, we were seated at a booth, Ashley and her date across from Eric and I. Eric grabbed a chair and slid it at the end of our table just to set his massive backpack in. After he ordered a beer, I offered him a menu. He replied with, "I don't need one. It's just this one beer for me." And without missing a beat, he unzips his backpack to finally reveal its contents: beer cans and popcorn. He pointed at the popcorn bag and continued by saying, "And as for dinner goes, I brought my own."
Once we finished ordering, Eric finished his beer and sloppily reached into his backpack to grab a beer can. He popped it open and refilled his glass, leaving the can on the table for the waiter to see. After he finished that one, the waiter asked him if he would like another one. "Yes! Give me more beer," were the words to leave his lips. After the way he had already been acting throughout the night, I was in no way allowing him to consume one more beer. I asked the waiter to refuse to serve it to him. That's when Eric got really upset.
"Give me another beer or I'm not tipping you!"
"No, seriously, please don't. I will pay for his beer and tip you really good not to."
Ashley and her man, silent for most of the date, found their voices and agreed with me that he needed to be cut off.
"Sorry, man. Looks like I'm outnumbered."
Eric started to raise his voice by exclaiming how he was an alcoholic and that he would find people who understood and that would love that part of him without changing him in the process. He got up in angry frustration and headed to the restroom. Relief flooded over the rest of us. Well, until fifteen minutes went by, and I had to ask Ashley's date to check on mine. A few more minutes passed and they both finally stumbled out of the bathroom arm in arm. Turns out that Eric had passed out on the toilet.
Once outside, now pouring rain, Eric refused to ride with us and wanted to walk back to his car (a 30 minute drive). He started by taking turns throwing up and slurring, "I'm just goinggg...to walk baaack." After much convincing, I finally got him back into Ashley's car to take him back to his own vehicle. With that, my worst date was over. And although a date like that should deter any sane woman from trying to date again, lesson number two is to never give up.