This piece is a part of our "Dating Diary" series, where real women share their dating horror stories. Yikes. Read the other stories in this series here.
I was living in Atlanta and dating a pilot -- yes, a pilot. I decided to get emotionally and physically connected to someone with one of the top five career paths known to influence infidelity; because I naively believed that not every pilot is a cheater who uses the fact that he travels for work to be dishonest (HA!).
In the beginning of our relationship, he would spend four to five days on the road and two to three days at home. His work schedule was convenient for me because I'm not the type to want to spend every waking minute with my man anyway. We didn't live together, but on his off days I would come over to his place and cook him a home-cooked meal and clean up a little bit so he didn't have to come home to chaos. For six months I would work a full day, leave my job, drive to the grocery store, drive 45 miles one way to his place, cook dinner, clean the house, start laundry, get sexy and await my man to come home for us to share 24 hours together before he hit the road again. It was ridiculous. I was exhausted, but I thought that in order to accommodate the special kind of relationship we had, certain concessions had to be made.
One night I found myself driving to his place after one of the hardest days I’d ever had at work. Once I got there, he looked like he was about to leave to go somewhere. "Where are you going?" I asked. "Oh...Pinky, one of my flight attendants, invited me over for dinner so I'm going to run over there real quick and grab a plate. Do you want anything?" Stunned, I just looked at him. He couldn't possibly think his response was okay.
"Pinky?" I said. "Who the hell is Pinky? And what grown ass woman outside of the porn industry has a nickname of Pinky?"
“Don't trip, it's nothing. She's a real down-home type of girl and she doesn't know how to just cook a meal for just herself, so she made a big dinner tonight and just invited me over. Do you want me to bring you anything back?"
Not in the mood to argue, I just drop the issue. The next morning I wake up for work and venture into the kitchen for coffee. I see PILES of Tupperware in the fridge. I see this chick Pinky cooked this man a feast. *Side eye* Again, not in the mood to argue, I just got ready for work and leave the apartment. It’s only food right??
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A week later, we're back to our routine of me going to his house, cooking and cleaning. While I'm emptying groceries into the fridge, he comes in the kitchen and tells me he has to make a run over to Pinky's house because something is wrong with her plumbing. I’m thinking...oh, so you're Roto-Rooter now? You're just Captain Save 'Em and you have to rush over there to "fix her pipes?!"
In that moment I realized that Pinky held more of an important role in his life than I was willing to admit. It all became so clear -- a pilot and his flight attendant have a fling going on. How could I have been so blind? That's like a textbook couple!
Fuming, I stormed out of the kitchen and he left through the front door. Yup, he left. I grabbed my belongings and left moments after. We didn't talk for days after that fiasco. After enough of my cold shoulder and the silent treatment, he finally came to my job one day and invited me over for game night to meet his friends from out of town. I agreed and was looking forward to salvaging what was left of our broken relationship.
After work, I headed over to his apartment. I knocked on the door and a woman in all pink opened the door like she was the woman of the house. She was warm and friendly, but b*tch if anybody has the right to treat this apartment like its their home, it's me!
So I walk inside and he formally introduces me to Pinky and the rest of his friends -- that are all couples. Pinky is being the hostess with the mostest running around refilling glasses and making sure everyone is comfortable all while still cooking in the kitchen -- MY kitchen as far as I was concerned. Not trying to raise hell at his game night, I just made mental notes of all the foolishness and how comfortable she was in his place.
She then informs everyone that dinner was ready and we all made our way into the kitchen. That's when I saw it and that's when I lost it. All the groceries I had just bought days before were her ingredients in that night's meal. Her Houston, home-cooked recipe was sponsored by me!
I excused myself from the kitchen area and asked him to speak with me outside. I told him I wasn't about to bear witness to his date night disguised as a game night and that I wished him and his flight attendant girlfriend all the best. He tried to explain, but I couldn’t have cared less.
I got in my car and drove 45 miles home and never looked back for him or that relationship. As women, sometimes we neglect the obvious signs of infidelity that are right in front of our faces. This story is my lesson learned that if he walks like an asshole, talks like an asshole and looks like an asshole...he's probably an asshole and you shouldn't stay around to get the details.
“Hi Erika!It's Seth.”
The subject line of an email should not be enough to throw a girl into a panicked frenzy, complete with wringing of hands, pulling of hair, and whimpers of despair. And yet, there we were. Me and my inbox, caught in a classic tug-of-war battle: To open or not to open.
I knew this email would be coming. My overly ambitious, Jewish mother had taken it upon herself to play (what else?) matchmaker after my first failed college relationship. I had known for the past few days this “Seth” would be reaching out to me. A supposedly educated, strapping young Jewish gent, Seth was the grandson of close family friends who had seen a recent picture of me and just knew he would think I was the cutest. Oy vey. I felt just as bad for him as I did for myself; I had no doubt he was probably coerced into dropping me a line via an epic guilt-trip.
After a few deep breaths (and a few swigs from a bottle of sweet wine my roommates and I had hidden in our room against Sorority house policy, of course), I finally opened up what I surprisingly found to be a funny, flirtatious, and genuinely nice email. “Wow, my mother actually scored with this one,” I thought. After a few easy emails back and forth, I put aside my aversion to blind dates and told Seth to pick me up Friday night.
On Friday, I opened the door to Seth standing there, a beautiful bouquet of roses in hand. Crap. He had no clue how allergic I was. Okay, not his fault. “If anything it shows how respectful he is,” I thought to myself as I made an excuse about why they should go in the backseat and not my lap for the hour-long drive to Laguna.
30 minutes in, it was no use. No excuse could hide the fact that my nose was dripping buckets and my eyes were itching to the point that I didn't care if my makeup was going to get smeared in the process –I had to rub. Once my sneezes reached 2-second intervals he politely (thank god) pulled into a gas station parking lot and told me to run to the bathroom while he got some medicine. Still super sweet, right? Right. “This could turn into one of those hilarious stories that we tell our friends,” I thought happily (naively) as I blew my nose and freshened my lip-gloss in the mirror. I didn't look so bad. The night could continue as planned.
We arrive at our destination, Pageant of the Masters, mind you, and settle in our seats. Butterflies are still afloat in my stomach when he whips out his camera.
“I must show you pics from my latest vacation!” he exclaims, and up pops a picture of him, a palm tree, an island cocktail, a beautiful Mexican Rivera sunset in the background...and his ex-girlfriend. “Whatever,” I think, “it's only one picture.”
Pic #2: “That's us on the beach we played volleyball on every morning. Doesn't she have great form?”
Wait, what did he just say?
Pic #3: “Here's us at this great little bar a block from our hotel. Check out that amazing tan she has!”
Boy must be tripping. I have a great tan, too. And guess what? Me and my fine, tanned self are sitting right next to him.
Pic #4: “This was the night she got food poisoning. It started with her sneezing, coughing, itching… just like you in the car tonight! How funny is that? Yea, her sneezes were the cutest.”
Alright Mom, you owe me. My mind starts drifting into daydream mode, fantasizing about the different types of gifts I’m due from her as pay back for this date. Drift back to reality –he's STILL talking about his ex, and there's not even any pictures left to “justify” it! When is this darn program going to start?
Lights dim. Perfect! Here's to utter silence until it's over, and then a quick, no-traffic drive back home.
Except it's not utter
silence, because the man in front of us can't stop talking to his wife next to
him. Seth has a great solution for
this. He takes an extra cheesy
chip out of the nachos we ordered and flicks it at the guy's neck.
Oh. My. God. This date just went from bad to worse in a heartbeat! As the man turns around, cheese dripping into his collar and ready to knock someone out, I grab my purse and run up the aisle and out of the auditorium. Seth is right behind me, not alone, but with two security guards. He looks at me not sheepishly, but with confidence, as if he expects a high-five.
“Take me home, please,” I say. He shrugs his shoulders and off we go. We arrive back at my sorority, where his parting words are to the tune of: “Sorry I acted out tonight. I'm sure you didn't realize you were my first date since my breakup.” Awkward pause. What does he want me to say? “Oh I had NO idea! You poor thing.”
“Anyways,” he continues, “don't forget your flowers.” I turn to look at the half-wilted cluster in his back seat. I think of all the sneezes I still have left in me, and all the time I have to find the guy who thinks they're the cutest. And I'm supposed to take these up to my room, now, alone, and have an allergic reaction all night because of some guy who has already declared another girl “World's Best Sneezer?”
“We'll be in touch,” I say as I exit his vehicle, sans bouquet.
We were never in touch. But I did get dinner on my mom next time she visited... As well as a great blind-date horror story to tell friends at parties. Sorry Seth.
When I met Jamal he was coming out of Rite-Aid and I was on my way in. I know, I know... Rite-Aid is such a weird place to meet a guy. I was on my way to get birth control and he had probably just purchased some condoms. But we met somewhere in between. He was an aspiring actor (which meant he didn’t have a job) but he seemed smart and sweet so I said yes when he asked me if he could call me sometime.
We talked a few times on the phone and he seemed very outgoing and funny. I was excited when he asked if he could take me out to dinner. We made big plans to go to a Cuban restaurant for our first date. Saturday night arrived and he came to my house to pick me up in his two door coup. Right off the bat I loved the way he flirted with me and made me feel so feminine and sexy.
We were joking and laughing in the car as he turned onto a main street. He started looking back toward the corner and quietly whispered, “Shit.” I looked back too thinking the po-po’s were tripping, but I didn’t see any cars behind us. Just some folks standing on the corner waiting for the bus. When I turned back around Jamal was pulling over. He turned to me looking stressed and said, “listen that was my ex over there on the corner waiting for the bus. I’m so sorry to do this to you but I can’t let her do that.” So I say, “oh, so you are going to give her some cab fare?” He goes, “no, I’m going to give her a ride. Can you get out so she can get in the back?”
If you could have seen the look on my face.
He slowly backs up to the curb he saw his ex on and rolled down MY window to talk to her. “Keisha! Keisha! Hey, let me give you a ride.” Keisha looks at me and then glares at him. “Jamal are you crazy?!” In my head I said, “I was thinking the same thing, girl.” Jamal said, “look I’m not just going to leave you out here. Get in the car and let me take you home.” She stood there looking pissed and indecisive. Jamal said, “Keisha, come on! You know you don’t want to be out here by yourself. Get in the car.” I wanted to be like, “let that chick ride the bus!” But I think the shock of the strange and painfully awkward turn my date had taken made me mute.
She finally got in the car and the three of us began our journey to Awkwardland. The car ride started off quiet but so damn tense I expected this chick to reach up and choke Jamal at any given time. Then she started talking, “for real Jamal? This is how you do? You just gonna pick me up on your little date? Huh? Huh Jamal?”
I was beginning to think that Jamal and Keisha had some unresolved issues… I did my best to stare straight ahead and not make eye contact with anyone. I started thinking, what if she wants to fight me over this jerk? What if she goes off and kills us both in this tiny ass car? Why didn’t I stay home and watch that episode of So You Think You Can Dance?
“After everything we been through Jamal? This is how you do me?” Keisha was saying. “Keisha, don’t start! We already talked about this. Let me just take you home.“ Of course, because God likes a good laugh, Keisha lived on the OTHER side of town. It was the longest car ride of my life. Keisha kept promising Jamal untold horrors of retribution, and Jamal kept trying to get her to shut up. I didn’t say anything. My cheeks were on fire from the heat of my mortification. I began to pray, “Lord, I’ll never pick up another guy from the drugstore if you just let me get home in one piece...”
We finally made it to Keisha’s house and she said, “Yeah, I got something for your ass next time I see you! You got some damn nerve.” And with those sweet parting words she got out of the car. Jamal said, “I’ll be right back,” and got out to follow her up the path to her house. I debated starting the car and leaving both their crazy asses there.
When he finally came back and got in the car we both sat there for a moment in silence. He said, “I’m sorry. I was just trying to do the right thing…” “Mmmhmm,” I said. He asked me if I still wanted to go to dinner or if he should take me home. I told him to just take me home and shuddered thinking about all the corners between here and the restaurant and all the ex girlfriends that could be waiting there for us.
Jamal insisted on at least taking me to get ice cream before he took me home. Sigh. While it seemed like he had good intentions, I couldn’t forget the surprise and then murderous rage that filled his ex’s eyes when she saw me. I really don’t think she knew she was his ex. I never called Jamal again. And I learned that if anyone ever asks you what super power you would wish for you should say invisibility. Always pick invisibility.
When I first saw David I had to do my best not to stare. His sexy smile and heavily muscled body were enough to make a girl covet. To my surprise, not too long after spotting him he came over, sat down next to me and struck up a conversation. His fitted hat was low and his smile was Colgate bright. I had to use all my mental dexterity in order to not trip over my own tongue when talking to him. After a while he said, “I want to keep it real with you. I saw you when you walked in here and I knew I had to come talk to you. You seem real cool. You think I can take you out sometime?” Needless to say, I accepted.
Of course, I stressed over what to wear. I mean, I was going on a date with a guy that looked like he stepped off the page of some magazine. I wanted to look my best. I wondered where he would take me. If he would try to kiss me goodnight. If I could resist....
The clock struck eight and David rolled up in his jalopy. I gave him a pass because mine was parked in my garage. He told me he was taking me somewhere special and gave me a wink. When we pulled up in the parking lot of Red Lobster, I was slightly confused and wondered if he had somehow gotten lost on the way to Crustacean. But then he parked and got out of the car. I got out too, looking around to see if maybe–somehow, someway--there was a Benihanna being blocked by the Red Lobster building. Alas, I figured out that to David, “special” meant cheddar biscuits. Sigh.
We sat down at a secluded table and I decided to roll with it. I mean, I would still get to look at this sexy man over dinner and get to know him. Our waiter came up to the table to take our drink orders. He was a flamboyantly gay man with a purple Mohawk. He seemed to know David and they chatted for a while. He finally got around to taking that drink order... and then chatted some more. And then some more. I finally looked up at him as if say, “Can you please leave?” That must have pissed him off because he casually said, “Oh, didn’t you guys come in here a few weeks ago? Yeah, I think I remember seeing you two.” David sat there looking embarrassed so I said, “No, this is our first date.” “Oh,” Hater Waiter says in his high, false falsetto. “Must have been another girl.” Burn.
Finally he left, but things were sorta awkward after that. David tried to explain to me that he didn’t know what the guy was talking about, but I didn’t really care. I just wanted to move on to better topics. Like how often he had to work out to get ripped like that. We talked for a while and began to enjoy ourselves, but low and behold Hater Waiter returned! He proceeded to stand by the table and talk to us like he was on the damn date too. It finally dawned on me that this jerk was trying to get at my date with me sitting right there! I’m used to guarding my men from aggressive female scallywags, but this attack caught me off guard. David seemed thrown too, making polite suggestions to this guy to leave. Finally, dude left. I hurried through dinner so that we could go somewhere to actually be alone. Three is definitely a damn crowd. When we were finished, the waiter brought over the bill and handed it... to me! I looked up, confused and said, “why did you hand this to me?” He responds, “Well, if I was here with David, I would pay.” I had to think in my head three times, Did he really just say that? WTF.
David paid and we made a mad dash out of there. I hope this sad first date isn't a bad omen for our future. Moral of the story, watch yo’ back. People are aggressive nowadays. Shoot. David may have even given him his phone number when I wasn’t looking... #DownLow #DatingFail