July 21, 2005


In a somewhat Brit-like effort to get along with things, I am commencing my latest Diva essay, despite the news coming out of London.

Today's topic: Most embarrasing dating moments and how to avoid them.

I find myself somewhat at a disadvantage here because, quite frankly, it's been almost thirteen years since I've dated anyone. You, of course, are tut-tutting and saying in a whisper so no one else can hear you talk to your computer, Kath, you obviously remember OTHER incidents from your dating past, no matter how long ago it was, why not this one? Well, you see, here's the deal: I'm very good at blocking out embarrasing things that happened to me in the past. Because there were lots of embarrassing moments when I dated. I experienced much mortification. And I've blocked it out. I've shoved these memories into a trunk, which was subsequently shoved into a back, dusty corner of the attic that is my brain, and, for the most part, has been all but forgotten about. Sorry. You're SOL.

Well, for the most part. An overriding theme comes to mind.

My main problem, it seems, looking back now, was never recognizing when some dude really liked me. I was a clueless heartbreaker it seems. I was always more interested in chasing after the guys I liked, rather than paying attention to the men who wanted me. Sigh. A while back I found a stack of letters a guy friend from high school had sent to me when I was living in Austin, Texas for the summer, nannying for my sister's kids. This being the age before email and cheapola long distance, he'd sent me a letter a week, sometimes twice a week, saying how much he missed me, how much the summer in Omaha was sucking without my presence, etc. At the time, I took it at face value. Even though this guy had previously asked me "to be his girlfriend" in a pathetically sweet sort of way, and I had refused him, I thought he'd gotten over it and was still just being my friend. Nope. I was taking the letters as I wanted them to be, not as they really were. Not surprisingly, he finally took whatever hint I was giving off and moved on.

Another time, in college, I was working at the Econ/Soc Reading Room (which doesn't look as if it exists anymore) and there was this really nice guy, an Econ grad student, Ahmet, from Turkey who patronized the place. I liked Ahmet, because, unlike the Chinese grad students, he washed and shaved, ate food on occasion, and didn't reek of cheap cigarettes or body odor. I liked chatting with him about his country and his experiences going to school on the continent, living in Turkey, etc. Of course, my luck being what it was, he took my friendliness to mean that I had the hots for him. I didn't, of course. This led to one very uncomfortable lunch at the M-Shop in the Student Union. He thought he was taking me out. I thought we were getting together to eat. Whoops. Very uncomfortable that lunch was, because he was offended when I insisted on paying for my food myself.

Then there was Gary, who while a very nice guy, had a lot of notions about what a girl would consider to be romantic. Writing, "Kathy {insert maiden name here} is beautiful" on a chalkboard in the classroom where we met once a week for a seminar on South African politics and then writing "Do Not Erase" on the board next to it, meaning it was up there for entire week before I found out about it, well, was mortifying. But I thought it was just a joke on me. Hahahaha. Funny stuff, eh? Gary was a nice guy and all, but he was really short. About 5'2". I'm 5'6". I stared down at him every time I talked to him. I don't mean to seem like I discriminate against short guys, but...well, I guess I do discriminate against short guys. Sigh. Anyway, he wasn't my cup of tea, and once again, I got blindsided. Turns out his declaration on the chalkboard in Ross Hall wasn't a joke. He showed up one night, a bouquet of flowers in hand, an invitation to dinner at one of the fanciest (and priciest) restaurants in Ames on the tip of his tongue, and I had to let him down gently.

Hmmph. Well, I guess I remember more than I thought I did. Lucky you!

Why was I so clueless? you ask. {Insert shrug here} Beats me. Poor self-esteem? Who the hell knows.

As far as the second part of the essay is concerned, well, I don't think anyone should be asking me about how to avoid being embarrassed on a date. I haven't the foggiest notion. I would assume that you could avoid my mistakes and---ahem---actually PAY ATTENTION to what's going on around you and that might save you some grief in the short term. That might help.

Ya think?

Enough. Now run along and see what the other fabulous demystifying divas have to say on the matter. Make sure to check out what Michele of Meanderings has contributed to the discussion, since she's our guest diva this week. For the male perspective, be sure to visit The Wiz, Phin, Stiggy and whichever Naked Villian is chiming in this week.

UPDATE: The Kid has a couple of stories about drunken fraternity boys and singing cowboys to entertain you all with.

Posted by Kathy at July 21, 2005 10:43 AM | TrackBack

no, the econ/soc reading room ceased to exist sometime last year. Deb, our boss, has been relocated over to Reserve at the main library. We keep in touch! Her oldest is in Landscape Architecture at ISU and her youngest is at UNI. I remeber some bald Iranian started to hang around me a bit. But I think he got the clue and bugged off. Hmmm, strange. love ya.C

Posted by: Christi at July 22, 2005 10:33 PM
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