Thank You for Smoking
"I went on a first date with a guy who took me out to a decent restaurant in our tiny hometown. After we ordered dinner, this dude seriously pulled out a cigarette and a lighter and started smoking at the table. This was in like 2006 so it was a little different then, but it's not like it was 1965. People didn't do that shit. It was not OK. He was the only one smoking in the restaurant. I finally had to tell him to put the cigarette out. After that start, it's more than a little surprising that we went on to date for six years and have now been married for four. So, hey, you never know."
"I met my wife when I was just out of college, so I never had much game when it came to the ladies. In fact, I only had one rule: Never take a woman bowling on a date. There's no best-case scenario: Either you're likely to bowl terribly, in which case you look like a dumb-dumb, or you bowl really well, in which case you look like you took her on a date to show off how good at bowling you are, which is so much worse.
"That's what happened to me on a second date. I bowled the game of my life (175, which to actual bowlers isn't a big deal, but to bad-side-of-average bowlers is insanely good) and then, as we were picking up our coats to go, my keychain fell out of my pocket — my ironic keychain that I'd bought in a New Haven truck stop that said 'World's Greatest Bowler.' Right then, something clicked, and she made up her mind that there wouldn't be a third date, but luckily at some point she changed her mind and now we're married. But apparently it was real touch-and-go for a minute there."
The Third Wheel
"I was on a second date with this great guy, and everything was going perfectly. Right as we were finishing dinner, his friend called him in desperate need of a ride. Apparently, this dude was just dumped by his girlfriend, who drove off with his wallet and his keys, so he had no way of getting anywhere, and my date (being a good friend) asked if I would mind going on a rescue mission.
"An hour later, when we arrived at the address the friend gave us, we realized it was a strip club in a very shady part of town (which means, this guy's girlfriend dumped him at a strip club...hmm...). After picking up this very loud and very drunk third wheel, he started tearing up and told us he couldn't be alone that night, so we begrudgingly said we'd hang out with him for just a bit.
"When we got into the house he was staying at, this 'friend' decided to launch his phone as hard as possible at my date's face and broke his front tooth right off. My poor date now had almost zero front tooth, and his friend proceeded to cry again. Shocker, we haven't seen this guy since. But it turns out that missing-tooth look really worked for me, because we've been married for almost 10 years now."
"Memorial Day weekend was BAD for me. Like, I was ready to murder every man in my path because I had just ended things with a guy I was on-and-off seeing for two years. My friends invited me over for a girl's night in where they greeted me with bottles of wine and lots of pizza. And for fun, they downloaded one of those swiping online dating apps on my phone and started playing with it. Needless to say we got wasted and I started talking to this guy.
"The following night we ended up at a gay bar where I felt safe being around men not into me. But all day I had been messaging back and forth with the guy on the app. So at 8:30 p.m., I get a text saying he was in the front of the bar. I go out there, and there's this 6'3" guy standing there, taking up the entire doorway practically. He said my face looked like I saw Bigfoot or something. I immediately told him I hated men, so he needed to show me what he's got.
"As the night went on, I gave him everything I had as far as being the biggest bitch in the world. And this guy was NOT my type at all. I usually date guys that look borderline feminine, and he was full-on lumbersexual. But eventually my aggressiveness wore off, and I ended up having a really awesome time with him. I can't explain it, but I've never felt that way about a guy before. Of course, I went home with him, and while at his place, I told him: 'I feel like that painting behind you is really expensive, but it's really fucking ugly.'
"We started seeing each other after that. For once in my life, I met my equal that I entirely respected and got along with and was attracted to, but the whole night started out horribly. He changed the way I see guys, that maybe they're not all assholes out to get me. Oh, and I forgot to mention that in the first 10 minutes of meeting him, I punched him."
"The first time I met him, I was throwing up into a toilet at a fraternity party. He took care of me and walked me back to my dorm that night, handing me off to my roommates. He asked them for my number.
"The first time we hung out together, we were making out in a public dorm lounge. We had already been walked in on multiple times, and he tried to take my bra off as people walked in on us yet again.
"On one of our first real dates, he asked me to his fraternity formal. Naturally, I said yes. But he forgot that he also asked a girl he was seeing before he met me. She thought she was still going, so that was…awkward.
"About three months into our relationship, he ended up getting extremely sick. He had to drop out of school, and he basically lived out of a hospital for an entire semester. I was there every day and mostly every night with him.
"This became a recurring theme in our relationship. Every year, there were new challenges and even more difficult struggles. But all of these things just brought us closer together.
"Last month, we got married in Maui in front of all our closest friends and family."
"When I was in college, one of my best guy friends asked me out completely out of the blue — I'd just gone through a breakup, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately, I found out that he was making a super-big deal out of the date — taking me to a stupidly nice restaurant, obsessing over every detail, etc. Yikes. The day of our date, I woke up feeling sick, but I decided I'd suck it up and go.
"It was a total disaster. He ordered for me and mispronounced every single thing on the menu (and the waiter let him know it), he spilled soup on his shirt, and when the food came, I suddenly felt so sick that I couldn't eat a thing. It was painfully awkward and neither of us knew what to say for the full meal. On the ride home, he apologized for taking me on the worst date ever, and he was so cute about it, I said I'd plan the next one (which went much, much better).
"We dated for the next two years."
"Hold My Snake"
"A second date ended up with me being invited back to her apartment...which is usually a surefire predictor for smooching — but then, out of nowhere, she asked, 'Would you like to hold my snake?'
"It wasn't a euphemism — she meant it for real. She had taken her pet snake out of its tank and was offering it to me. And for the record...I HATE SNAKES.
"I also knew this was some sort of test. Like, I had to prove my manhood by braving her snake. Otherwise, it'd be an early night.
"I weighed my love for smooching against my absolute fear of snakes, and said, 'I'm good, thanks.'
"We ended up smooching anyway."
Lost in the Woods
"When I worked as a summer camp counselor, all of the counselors used to go to this bar nearby the camp and then come back and hang out in the counselor parking lot.
"One night, I was flirting with this cute English guy. We got back to the counselor parking lot and started kissing in the back of a car. He said he'd be right back, and I was like, 'OK, COOL!' Ten minutes passed. Still in the car, alone.
"My friend pokes his head in and goes, 'Did you just get ditched?!' We then decided to go find the guy, thinking he went back to his cabin, or worse, got lost in the woods. We looked everywhere: his cabin, the road, etc. We went back to the counselor parking lot and realized that when he said he'll be right back he opened the door, went to pee three feet from the car, and promptly fell over and fell asleep.
"We dated for the rest of the summer. I'm glad he didn't die in the woods."