When I told Amelia I was going to write something about why I like bad dates, she asked me, “Do you really like them?”
“Of course not!” I replied. “Does anyone?”
No. Everyone hates bad dates. There is nothing that destroys your spirit more than spending an evening with someone whose company you quickly discover you can’t stand. A bad date can make you want to go home and take 17 showers or encourage you to start wearing ankle-length skirts. Because obviously, you are going to die a lonely spinster.
After exceptionally bad dates, my best friend used to joke, “I am having a funeral for my vagina.”
Her description, while hilarious, is not that far off. A bad date is like a mini-death. It’s a moment when your balloon of hope about the prospect of romance gets deflated.
But when you wake up the next day (or the day after or the day after that) and put on your above-the-knee skirt, you start to feel hopeful again. Suddenly, the horrible evening with the guy who dreams of living in a yurt in the middle of the woods starts to seem, well, hilarious.
Almost as hilarious as the guy you went out with who only listened to Phil Collins. And wore a metallic blue shirt. And was a hairdresser. Almost as entertaining your date with the guy who was wanted by the FBI. And while under federal investigation was working on a book for young people about how to” live their lives.” Yes, this all happened! I couldn’t make this s**t up if I tried.
This is the part about bad dates that I really, really like — the plethora of material they’ve provided me over the years. Before I got paid to write about my romantic failures, I cracked friends and co-workers up with my ridiculous romantic hijinks. I’ve always relished the moment when a bad date becomes a good story. Sometimes, I get giddy after a dating fail (once the initial “ick” feeling has passed) because I work at The Frisky and I know I get to share my bad date with you, readers.
Why? Not because I’m mean-spirited. But because I think laughter is a constructive way to deal with the pain of it all. There is i can in the pain too. I’ve experienced plenty of that and written about it. But there is only so long one can wallow before it’s time to laugh.
The point being: laughing about the absurdity of a bad date, sharing it with others, makes me feel better about having suffered through it. It gives, what I might otherwise think of as a wasted evening, meaning. It makes me feel comforted to know that whatever I am experiencing in the dating world, other people are experiencing as well.
Not that I wish a bad date upon any one of you. Not at all. But if you’ve had one, please feel free to share all the dirty deets. Let’s make fun of it together! Maybe it will makes us feel just a little bit less alone in our quest for love.