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To tell the story of the worst date I can remember, I'd have to go back quite a ways. Twelve years to be exact. I had just gotten out of college and was a bit of a lost soul. The problems with this date stemmed just as much from my poor judgment at the time as her apparent insanity. I was willing to date any reasonably attractive girl willing to make time for me. Character? Integrity? Class? What are those things? I just needed to find her reasonably attractive. I must also confess I am admitting things in this story that I am not exactly proud of. There are multiple things I would have loved to have done differently as I recount this foolish tale of my younger self and a crazy woman. But those details factor into the plot though and I cannot tell the story without them. So full disclosure, here we go.
So I went and found me a 'winner' through the minefield of Myspace. She was an ex-stripper in her late 20s named Jess. She was from the wrong side of the tracks, did all kinds of drugs and once told me she had been arrested for attempted murder of her ex-husband.
That's right, attempted murder.
She explained the whole sordid story, and not once did she try to say they got the charges wrong or it was a bad rap. Apparently, she did try to do serious harm to this man after a nasty fight to the point where that was the charge.
How crazy was I that I kept seeing this girl? Not only that, I had no idea where this was going. I had kind of an attraction and kind of a friend/platonic interest. There were occasional moments of sexual tension like the night we cuddled together while sleeping on a long train ride home from New York City. Sometimes she offered to take my virginity (that's right, was still a virgin at 22 and boy was it screwing with my head) but in a way that sounded quite unappealing to me (in my car, her back to me, no kissing, so no thanks!), and sometimes she offered to help hook me up with someone else. She was very upfront and candid about things and had a hard edge about her.
She also used to tell me what I needed to do to attract more women. In short, according to her, I needed to be more dominant. I was too shy and soft-spoken. I decided that while there may have been some truth to that, that was her opinion, and I couldn't imagine any other girl in my life (Jess had quite the aggressive streak in her) actually saying this to me, so I took it with a grain of salt and decided I still have to be me.
I also let her know about another girl I had been chatting with on AIM (R.I.P. AOL Instant Messenger) who happened to live in her neighborhood, a girl who was interested in me. The problem was, I was 22 and she was 17. I knew that in our state the age of consent was 17, so while questionable, I was not afraid to see where this went. It didn't occur to me that this would touch a moral nerve in a girl who had once tried to kill her ex boyfriend, but it did. She told me she knew the girl and her parents and that she was young and sweet and under 18 and I should not be talking with or trying to meet up with her. In retrospect, she was right, and I underestimated her humanity in that regard. She got quite riled up about this so I decided never to bring it up again. (I never did end up speaking to said 17-year-old girl online again.) If this sounds like too much extra information, it will come into play later on.
So one night she wanted to go to the bar, so I went to pick her up, but she warned me that she had actually done crack for the first time in a while (meaning, she had done it before. Yep, another bright red flag). I had never done any drugs other than occasional weed at college, and I was not even really into that. I didn't notice any difference in her behavior so far, so I figured whatever she had taken, she could handle herself. I was in quite over my head and didn't even know it yet.
While at the bar, we both drank and chatted, played darts for a bit, but at some point, she found another guy she started talking to and told me to wait right there. I watched as they talked and laughed and flirted and talked some more. This seemed to go on for at least an hour. She seemed to be into him. I looked around, hardly anyone else to start a conversation with. The jealousy in me grew. I thought she was going to end up giving this guy her number or going home with this guy after I took her there and had been hanging out with her for a good month or so. The insecurity within me from all the lack of female attention I had gotten in high school or college was still quite strong. Yet I did nothing.
Finally, she came back from talking to him. Maybe they exchanged numbers, maybe not. We chatted a bit and I had drank more than her, so I made the fateful decision to let her drive my car home. Forgetting after all, that she had told me at the beginning of the night that she had done crack. Remarkably, we made it back to her place without incident. Her driving was ok. I thought I could hang out with her at her place for a bit until my buzz wore off and then I could drive home. But when we pulled up, the conversation in the car took a strange turn.
She started reminding me again how I needed to be more dominant to get attention from women. It turned into a lecture, I barely spoke a word. She got more intense until immediately she pivoted from that to her anger with me over talking to her neighbor on AIM. She was still angry about this, apparently very angry. I watched her hit her boiling point, all before I could get a word in anywhere. Was this her? Was this what the crack was doing to her? I had no idea. She ripped my keys out of the ignition and got out of the car. It was the middle of the night. Before I could chase her down for the keys, she appeared to toss them somewhere on the lawn and told me to go find them myself. She then warned me that if I tried to knock on her door or come in her house, she would sick her dogs on me, which apparently knew how to attack strangers and slammed the door, leaving me alone to search for my keys.
I took out a flashlight and pored over the entire front lawn to no avail. I had a car but no way home. I called my best friend to come by and help, and he answered and pulled up in his truck. The two of us continued to search and not find my keys. We also attracted the attention of a local cop wondering what we were doing with flashlights on this property this late at night. We explained the situation, he noticed I had been drinking and warned me he couldn't help me find my keys because if I dare get behind the wheel, he'd have to throw me in jail for DWI. I told him I understood and that my friend would drive me home. He let us go.
So that's what we did. My friend drove me back to my house, I was living with my parents and knew this would be a ton of fun (yes, that was sarcasm) to explain to them why I didn't have my car. So the next day, my mom had gotten heated enough hearing the story (of course, I left out some key points) that she felt this woman had some set on her. We came up with the brilliant plan that I should call the girl and threaten her that I was coming to get my car and the keys better be in the ignition ready for me to drive home with no damage done to the car or I would call the cops on her and there would be hell to pay. I called her and got no answer. I left a voicemail where I did my best to get that point across in my most menacing voice. Threats and confrontation were never my strong suit. I had no idea if she heard the voicemail or what affect it had on her. She never called or texted me back.
I gave my mom directions to drive me to her house to check out the situation with my car, having no idea if it was going to be damaged, ok, if she even knew where the keys were, if they were still on the lawn, etc. I had no idea if this girl had any regrets or any memory of what she had done the night before after doing crack and drinking beers. But we got there, and she was nowhere in sight, her door was closed.
And my car. It was there and it appeared to be none the worse for wear. The door was unlocked and the keys were in fact in the ignition. YES! Thank the Lord Jesus! I turned the ignition. IT STARTED! The car was fine and it was mine again! I drove it home. This girl and I never spoke or communicated again. Some time after I saw her Myspace profile get deleted. And I was fine with this bridge being burned if she was really capable of being as crazy as she was that night. Maybe I needed to learn a few things about better judgment and who I spent my time with and more ethical ways of trying to get a date.
But if nothing else, I had to be grateful that this person at least had the decency to let me have my keys back and not damage my car, when she could have done anything she wanted to it and seemed to be angry enough at me to act on it.
I would think it would be hard to find a date that was more disastrous than that. Thankfully, there was no permanent damage beyond losing someone from my life who perhaps should not have been there in the first place.