I.S.O. true dating horror stories taking place on singles scene


June 13, 1993|By SUSAN DEITZ | SUSAN DEITZ,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Dear Readers: Psst . . . "dates from hell."

Now that I have your attention, I'll explain what I mean by "dates from hell." The point is to compare notes on blind dates or first dates that are pure sitcom material, single happenings that were so bizarre or off the wall that they bear repeating. In my life, I think back to the blind date who showed up in tattered jeans for a Saturday night blind date that had been described to me as "a date to end all dates."

The evening was such a disaster, it nearly turned me away from dating for a solid year. (At least, away from blind dates that came with hype and promises.) The man in jeans was too old, too tired, too defeated by life to arouse much enthusiasm in me, much less passion.

It was at the end of an exhausting and frustrating day, the topper of which came when the baby sitter called and canceled. My 11-year-old son insisted he could stay by himself for the evening, but that didn't sit right with me.

So when I opened the door and saw a forlorn, dejected social prospect in entirely inappropriate clothes -- I was dressed to the nines for a glamorous dinner out -- my heart sank. And as we said goodbye to my son and walked out the front door, my mind was a jumble. As we got to the street and were approaching his automobile, I begged off with the excuse of a severe headache (I almost induced one in myself) and walked back to my apartment house alone. I knew the evening ahead would be a major blunder for both of us, and it would cost him money -- and me, time away from a child alone.

When I related the incident to my class at the New School in New York City (where I was teaching "The Art of Living Single"), a mixed reaction of catcalls, applause and hisses filled the room. How could I do such a thing, how could I be so heartless, so cruel, so hardhearted? Then there were those who put their hands together to show their support.

Whenever I tell the story, the same mixed reviews follow. But the aim here is to elicit from you some stories, true incidents from your dating life that make you cringe -- and the ones that make you smile, like the time one woman ran her fingers through her date's thick brown hair -- only to have it come off in her hand.

Q: To the reader who calls himself Lifetime Loser, I say be glad that you haven't found a mate because the first "characteristic" you would acquire in the relationship would be an abusive nature. If you don't like who you are, you won't allow anyone else to like you, and even if some really loving person manages to squeeze in between your self-pity, you'll probably just start beating up on her. You'd transfer some of your self-hatred onto her.

As for a job -- and money -- most women don't really care what you do or how much money you make, just that you are happy doing what you do. And if you aren't happy, maybe it's time to change, take some training for another sort of job.

It could be that the "money thing" is your problem. Or else you might be going for abusive women, choosing the wrong type. (Yes, they do exist.) The only one who has enough love to satisfy or help a Lifetime Loser is God. You might try him. I did.

A: Yes, there are abusive women, and there are some who judge a man by his work and his earning potential -- but they are certainly not the majority. A Lifetime Loser is someone who has made a career out of choosing the wrong company and believing the unhappy few who make a career out of diminishing the people around them. So the fault lies not in the stars, or being a loser or a winner, but in the people we select.

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