A glorious ritual wherein a pair of human beings join up for an evening (or day) of fun, conversation, and hopefully romance. The "getting to know you" moments, so to speak. Occasionally awkward moments arise (alcohol sometimes being the impetus for said awkwardness), sometimes awkward mornings are involved, sometimes someone ends up with a big 'ol mess to clean up, literally and figuratively.
I dated once- a long time ago. It was the pre-internet boom years, the fashion black hole that was the stretchy-black-clothing-filled late Eighties and early Nineties.
Here I am in a hotel in Winnipeg (1991? 1992?) with my gals Blondie and J, all wearing stretchy black articles in one way, shape or form. I believe we were still underage in MN at this point, but not in Canada!
Bless you, oh Canada.
We were all single here, though I believe I may have "technically" been living with someone that I pretty much didn't want to be living with anymore. My flexible morality allows me to call that "single". So there.
Unlike most normal people, I LOVED dating. Loved it. I loved the nervous anticipation before the first date, especially trying to find something to wear ("do fishnets scream 'I'm easy?' or do they say I'm a confident, sexy broad? Do these Doc Martens go with this black miniskirt and my Dead Milkmen t-shirt? Or, should I wear my KMFDM shirt to show how badass I am? How about jean shorts with tights and heels? Too much?"). I'd like to say that I liked the anticipation of waiting for them to pick me up, but I generally dated the special breed of men that didn't have cars, rarely had jobs, and generally expected me to plan the date, drive on the date, pay for the date and put out on the date. True to form, me- being 20-ish, employed, in possession of both a car and a vagina- well, you can guess how that generally went.
We- as young, single females sometimes do- tended to go out on the weekends, frequenting local drinking establishments and basically trollin' for skank of the male variety.
One such drinking "establishment" was in Superior, Wisconsin. Superior (especially at that point in time) was the logical choice for a night out for most Duluthians, as it was just a couple of miles and one big bridge away, and the bars stayed open until 2:30, compared to Duluth's (at the time) puritanical 1:00 a.m. Superior had the distinction, at the time, of having 150+ bars in a 2-mile stretch of roadway. Nothing said drankin' like a trip to "Suptown".
This "establishment" of choice in Superior (especially as a last stop, if you catch my drift- wink) was a lovely and quaint little pub called the "Joker's Wild". The Joker was always good for man-watching as the $1.50 knock-you-on-your-ass cocktails and giant jar of (shudder) pickled eggs seemed to draw them in like flies to shit.
Speaking of, the Joker was quite possibly the filthiest bar I have ever set foot in- and honey, I've been in one or two in my time. The toilets had steaming hot water in them, the bathrooms-I swear- never got cleaned. I think they just took out the trash once in a while and occasionally threw some sort of paper product in there for the hell of it. The dirt was black and caked in the corners, the walls were filthy, graffitti'd and peeling, and the lights were, thankfully, dim.
The Joker was condemned and razed a few years after I got married. I'm kind of surprised it made it that long, really.
The Joker is where I met (picked up) this guy I called J-Crew (irony intended). He had the quirky and healthy all-American good looks of the male models in that catalog- tall, handsome & lean, with unruly curly short hair- but none of the blue-blood background to accompany the package. He was a cruel joke to the female population. Gorgeous and jobless with a warrant out for his arrest on some driving-related matter, as I found out later on our first date.
On looks alone, though, I was smitten.
I tended to not wait around for guys to make the move- I'm extremely impatient that way. I caught his eye at the bar, flirted for a few minutes...then went in for the kill. I (fueled by, I'm sure, several whiskey cokes) sauntered on over and struck up conversation. J-Crew and his buddy Chuck regaled me with tales of how bored they were, how lame Duluth was, and why did I want to live here. Funny, I remember having a lot of conversations back then that were pretty much a variation of this one, yet most of the same people still live there or really want to live there. Hmmm...but I digress.
I believe we went to an after-bar party that night at one of the UMD Rugby player's place. J-Crew and Chuck were there and I continued to shamelessly flirt. Subtlety has never been my strong point. I've bought men drinks, 70's piano-bar style. I have no shame.
Numbers were exchanged, a first date was planned.
Being that he was broke and I was unwilling to invest a big chunk of change in a date, we decided to go for drinks at a bar in Duluth called R.T. Quinlan's. It was a weeknight, so the place was pretty empty. We ordered drinks, I paid, and we sat down. I was uncharacteristically nervous for this one- extra cute always throws me off. He was busy enlightening me on the finer points of avoiding the Po-po when you have a warrant out (something like driving with a revoked license, if I remember correctly), and why he dropped out of College but still lived in a College Town that he seemed to hate. He was aloof and distant, I kept staring at his hair.
It was about 30 seconds into our second drink (paid for by...?) when I decided to flail my arms about wildly in some sort of spazzy, descriptive conversational idiocy when my arm grazed his drink, sending the entire contents into his crotch, ice and all.
I was so horrified, I jumped up and started yelling "I need a towel!" like I had somehow managed to sever an artery and needed to make a tourniquet RIGHT NOW!
The bartender brought one over with a look on his face that pretty much said "you are crazy. Please do not try to ever date me or my friends" and walked away. The crotch was blotted. To make it up to him I bought another round. All was well.
Well, that is- until we were going to leave and I decided to make a pit stop to pee and walked head on into a doorway.
Or, when we were getting into my car and I knocked my noggin (again) on my car door.
Or, until we were going to his place (ahem. For Parcheesi and ice cream, you dirty little monkeys) and I nearly bit it on the ice on the sidewalk.
I pretty much decided then that he wasn't "boyfriend" material when I realized that I was the only one laughing at my retardedness. He so obviously didn't get me. He was a humorless, unemployed sexypants.
Too bad. Our children would have been stunningly cute.
But, lucky for him his good looks made him perfect booty call material.
Indeed, my car and my vagina served me well in that relationship. Plus, the lack of actual dates meant no one had to pay for anything except the occasional cab ride- which was totally worth it.
I loved dating.
I just never said I was any good at it.
Coming soon: Part two of the series Dating, mating and Whiskey-"What the hell was your name again?"
Oh how I wish I knew you back in those days.
I had very similar views on dating - oh and the gear too. Only for me it was "Will my DRI shirt go with the docs and mini ?" Although I dug the Dead Milkmen too.
Hey has anyone ever told you that you resemble Lisa Marie Presley in this pic.
I love dating too. The stories I've managed to rack up (in a relatively short period of time) have kept my friends entertained at parties for years now.
I HAVE to stop reading your blog at work. I'm going to get in trouble because I can't stop giggling.
If I had a dollar for every booty call I met in Superior, I'd have... like... $28. Huh.
I hated dating. I'm pretty sure I was always meant to be married, because I sure as heck was never meant to date. Thankfully I made it through the dating situation with hubby long enough to get married. :)
I was a dating-hater, but I do miss the days when Doc Martens were the appropriate shoe for every occasion. Not that I miss the Docs themselves (as I recall, mine weighed 11 pounds each and a walk down the block counted as serious cardio), just the simplicity of one shoe fits all.
Ugh, the only thing I liked about dating was that it made me lose weight. I'd date horrible guys and then I'd stress out and lose weight over them.
Sigh - dating sucked but being a size 2 rocked!!
You really do look like Lisa Marie Presely in that picture. No wonder you like Elvis.
I hope you went with the KMFDM shirt. Not that there's anything wrong with the Dead Milkmen, I'm down with them. But like you said, KMFDM is so much more badass.
As for dating, I'm pretty awesome at it, my only trouble is getting to the actual "dating" phase. Which turns out to be a key step in the whole "dating" process.
Are you kidding me? You had a car AND a vagina?
What on earth did you ask for for Christmas?
almost all of my duluth dates have involved quinlan's. using the michigan street entry always makes it seem like you're going to a speakeasy. this, in turn, made it feel like i could go out with the biggest troll on the block and run into no one. or, in my case, a bank teller from wells fargo and a guy who said people "turn gay" because of the depleting ozone layer and nuclear waste.
thankfully i met someone on myspace [i love saying that] who is perfectly normal and now we just hang out at quinlan's [including last night] because it kicks ass.
anyway, great great great story!
KMFDM, yep I knew you were cool. Sounds like dating was definitely right up your alley little lady, and yes; you do resemble Lisa Marie.
thank you for letting me live vicariously through your dating.
that was the best "this isn't going to work, but hell....why not?" story i've ever heard.
Your dates sound worse than mine, and yet you actually loved dating?? That's a bizarre sort of masochism, WM. Glad you had fun with it. :-)
Those doc martins are SO haute!
"...but I generally dated the special breed of men that didn't have cars, rarely had jobs, and generally expected me to plan the date, drive on the date, pay for the date and put out on the date. True to form, me- being 20-ish, employed, in possession of both a car and a vagina- well, you can guess how that generally went."
If I had only bought a bus ticket to Duluth in the late 80's, I can only dream of where you and I would be today. (You right where you are today and me in a Minnesota prison on trumped up stalking charges.)
to aid in your dating:
...sounds like you dated the same kind of bloke I liked to date in my twenties. I am very glad I didn't have babies with any of them or I would now be very very unhappy, methinks.
Woman, you crack me up!!!
Ah yes, I remember my 20s. Which I'm just happy to have lived through, relatively unscathed. ;)
i never really DATED dated. maybe that's my problem. hmmm.
anyway, you are hilarous, i wish i had so many awesome stories!
Can't wait till Part II.
Are you sure we're not clones? I had some flashbacks reading this and I've never even been to Superior....
I rarely got to "date" - I usually had them lined up waiting for me to drive them places, pay for their crap and let them in my pants. The few attempts I made at dating - as in, going out on a date - were foiled by my social retardation or finding out they carried guns.
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