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The dreaded bad date. Everyone has experienced them at one point or another in life. We dream of that first date going beautifully. We go out with hopes of a romantically memorable time. We then want to call up our best friend the next morning and spill details about how perfect it was. Before we know it, we are secretly envisioning a possible future together with this sudden special someone. However, sometimes life does not paint the picture we would have liked it to.
On a mild May day in New York, 2015, I had my first date setup in a while. I was single for about 11 months prior and was pretty excited about the night to come. I had been talking to someone for two weeks and this evening was the night to finally meet in person.
Makeup? Check. Hair look good? Check. Wallet? Check.
It was time.
At five PM, I put on some music and began the 40 minute drive to a northwest Brooklyn neighborhood from my hometown on Long Island. The plans consisted of a light dinner and drinks at a recommended bar close by, followed by wherever the wind took us. What could possibly go wrong? I love having good conversations with good people. Good drinks as well as good food sounds like my kind of night.
Fast forward 50 minutes. First of all, who finds a parking spot in Brooklyn on a Friday night in a little over six minutes!? This night was off to a great start, I thought! I was able to park almost directly across the road from my date's apartment complex.
As I got out of my car, she was on her way outside, coming toward me, looking just like her profile pictures, thank God. We hit it off immediately and began talking and walking a few blocks down to our destination. We passed a few other promising-looking bars and lounges on our way before we suddenly turned left, down a smaller, darker, less populated road. Just shy of ten minutes later, we arrived. I thought to myself, Watch this recommended bar be this shady hole in the wall on the right, as I looked around the area.
We took a quick right. Into the hole in the wall bar we go! Literally, I was just secretly praying we wouldn't go in here. Great. I did get a quick look around before going in.
First, I noticed the outdoor sign is aged and faded from the weather. Walking in, the taps looked old and the path to get to their outdoor patio was a narrow and dim lit one. We sat outside and ordered some drinks to start. Her company was still nice, despite the seemingly dingy bar we were at. We laughed over the same things and had some interesting conversation.
My beers came quick, as did her mixed drink. It was two for one on tap and I was drinking Budweiser at the time. There were a few other people here and they seemed to be around our ages, so I decided to stop doubting this place. We agreed to order and share a chicken quesadilla. Two Budweiser's later, I remember seeing a black shadow out of the corner of my eye. The third time I thought I saw something, I tried to logically dismiss it. After all, it was near sunset and we were outside where the servers were moving around different tables. Plus, I wouldn't be that drunk off of those two beers, although I was feeling a bit dizzy.
So far so good, right? This date is actually sounding like nothing out of the ordinary, I know. Well, here's where things start to lose their luster.
Now, it's almost seven PM. I was facing the door of the patio's entrance and saw our quesadilla getting closer and closer. Feeling a bit nauseous and lightheaded, I thought I needed to eat. I hadn't eaten since breakfast and knew it would help with my hunger headache. In fact, I got so excited, I accidentally knocked my phone off of the table while attempting to make room for our food. Bending down too fast and feeling the way I did, I saw that shadow again while reaching for my phone. This time, the shadow was actually bigger and clearer. Focused in two feet away from the underneath of our table, the shadow was furry, had a tail, and yes, was a big mouse. Reality hit me hard and I realized we were drinking, dining, and sitting amongst mice running from corner to corner of the bars outdoor walls.
My date had claimed to be there a few times before. To this day, I will never know why I was taken there knowingly, given all of the other nicer places we passed by. I also will never know if she saw those mice for sure, but her eyes did dart past me and down a few times, just saying. It was now or never. I forced down three bites of the quesadilla and called it quits. At least it's something in my stomach for now, I thought.
It was an hour later when I checked the time. We were headed out of Mouse Trap, the Real Game, and were going to go back to her apartment and hang out with some of her roommates. The walk felt longer than it did before. At this point, my head literally had a pulse, and I was unsure as to when I'd call it a night and go home.
Finally, I saw my car two blocks down. We were almost there!
We got to the complex and it started to get weird. It was foggy at this point in time, but I remember getting inside and being tested with a four floor walk up. The roommates, all 12 of them from random European countries, were hanging out on the roof already. In order to get to the roof, the entrance was a small window. Yes, only a small window, in one of the many rooms we walked through. My ankle almost broke climbing over the file cabinet to get out there. Initiation maybe?
We got outside and that's when the magic happened.
One roommate was playing guitar, one was smoking a cigarette, three were singing. Some were eating, some were sitting quiet. Then there was me, holding in my vomit for the last 15 minutes. My date was sitting across from me on the floor and I was sitting on a folding chair. Our eyes met and she smile. I smiled back. At this point, I'm trying to fathom why I feel so sick off of three and a half Budweiser's. Then my mind started racing. Racing about mice and possible rats and beer taps and filth in the pipes and the air and in the food and everywhere, and BAM!
I probably projectile vomited about three feet in front of where I was sitting. It happened while staring straight at my date. Ooops! I have never seen someone jump up so quickly from a legs out sitting position to standing halfway across a rooftop in 2.5 seconds. I was both mortified with myself and extremely impressed with her reaction time. After that, I felt so much better internally, and it was hopefully my body's way of helping me out after that bar.
Needless to say, we never saw each other again, but not because of why you may think. Yes, because of the vomit, but also because of the fact that, when I was leaving she walked me to my car and KISSED ME! Although it was a goodbye forever kind of kiss, it still grossed me out beyond belief, as did the destinations of the night.
This first date was far from a perfect setup, without a doubt. It did take a while to get over and to stop being embarrassed about. Now, it's a funny story that I will never forget. Also, my best friends will not let me live it down, ever! This terrible experience was #MyWorstDate