Jennifer has entered a contest for describing the worst date ever. I gotta tell you, her story is a real... um... pisser. Go vote here.
So why put this under the heading of "Down Memory Lane"? Well... it brings to mind what was probably my worst date ever, and one of the many, many reasons I hate dating to this day.
Set your Wayback Machine (this one, not this one) for about 1991.
I was newly divorced and working for Price Waterhouse in Chicago. I had gotten friendly with the Director of Marketing, who was a bit older than me, female, single and not liking singleton life much at all. If there was a way to meet a guy, she'd try it, and usually dragged me along, kicking and screaming in protest.
Sandy took me to several singles dances, at which I was always at least 20 years younger than any man there. It felt like dancing with my father to loud and cheesy disco music at a distant relative's wedding. Blech.
She then took me to the hot new singles club where all the local goombas hung out with their mistresses, who wore tight, strapless leather dresses, taped-up cleavage, big hair, ankle bracelets and drank foo-foo girlie drinks. Yep. Most of the "single" guys were married. And the ones that weren't married were real knuckle-dragging wise guys. Lovely. Just my style.
The real winner of a hare-brained scheme that had me questioning her motives and my own sanity was when she talked me into posting a singles ad in the Chicago Reader. Keep in mind that in those ancient times, there were no online postings, and, unfortunately no pictures. (That probably would have solved a whole bunch right there!) You placed an ad in the classifieds, and the Reader set you up with an anonymous voicemail box. You left a voicemail message telling a little about yourself, then dialed in every once in a while (okay, several times a day) to see who might have left an interesting message. You only called the ones who you felt had some possibility. (This was also in the Dark Ages before the advent of *69 or Caller ID.) This double-blind setup was supposed to keep you "safe". Hah!
This might have been bad enough, but Sandy made me agree to meet everyone who gave halfway good phone conversation, and she would do the same. The objective was quantity, not quality. Hooboy, did that eventually turn out to be huge a mistake!
Now, before I get to the prize winner of bad dates ever, I must admit that I also met some pretty nice guys. Architects, lawyers, musicians, accountants, salesmen, the guy who did the traffic 'copter reports for Channel 5 News, even. Short guys, tall guys, funny guys, geeky guys, smart guys -- a whole borgaschmord of okay or better-than-okay guys.
And then.... there was "The Consultant."
We must have had a decent telephone conversation. I don't remember much, except that he mentioned that he lived in Lakepoint Towers. Yes, indeedy -- the very place Oprah calls home. Lakepoint Towers! Well. That meant he was living in a swanky joint that couldn't possibly come cheap. He must be pretty successful if he could swing that kind of monthly rent or mortgage. Alrighty, then! Down to business. I agreed to meet him at his apartment, and we would go on to dinner from there.
(Yes, yes, yes. Go ahead and shake your head. I deserve it.)
He met me at the door to the apartment wearing a John Fava outfit, down to the (pointy) bald head and bare feet. He led me through the nicely-appointed living room, past the dining room and into his "office." The office contained three austere pieces of furniture: a desk and two chairs. No art. He arranged the chairs so that we were sitting face to face and knee to knee, me with my back to the view.
Then the interrogation began -- family, job history, relationship history, religious preference, likes, dislikes, pets. He fired off question after question like a drill sergeant.
Then came the lecture. His love of martial arts. His hatred of regulatory agencies of any kind. His vegetarianism. His hatred of regulatory agencies of any kind. His entreprenurial success. His hatred of regulatory agencies of any kind. His expectations for a dating relationship. His hatred of regulatory agencies of any kind.
Oddly, he never blinked through the entire... um... conversation. Not once. Except... when I asked him why he hated regulatory agencies so much.
Then I blinked... when he told me he'd been arrested twice for practicing medicine without a license.
Oops. Time to go. And I did.