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The Date from Hell by Claudine Ise

One Saturday night, I met a guy at a club. Thought he was cool, gave him my number, went out on a date, bit mistake. Here's our story...

After a long week of anticipation, Friday night rolled around, the evening of our big date. In the days leading up to this time, I had thought about the amazing guy I had met only a week before. There I was, standing with my friend at the bar of Roxbury and the next thing I know, this hot little surfer boy taps me on the shoulder and offers to buy me a drink. As I looked at him with amazement, I wondered if the amount of alcohol I had already consumed was the reason I thought he was so good-looking. It is a rare occasion that I am approached by a good-looking man at a club. Usually, I am approached by the types that go around and ask every single girl to dance and in turn, are rejected by all of them. As I continued to study my new friend at the bar, his long blond hair and blue eyes didn't disappear. His old BLACK FLAG tee shirt stood out like a sore thumb among all the trendy, fake people slinking around this L.A. club. This was it, I had finally found my dream man. His name was Shane and during the four or so hours we spent together the night we met, it seemed as if we had so much in common. He was in a punk band and we liked all of the same music. It was as though we had been friends for years.That night, he was funny, considerate, charming and very, very good looking. When we spoke later that week, we agreed to go out Friday night. Shane called me the evening of our "big date," and informed me that a buddy of his came into town and that he was going to have to come along with us. So much for a nice, romantic first date. STRIKE ONE!

By the time Shane and his friend Adam arrived, they were already fourty-five minutes late. Although Adam seemed nice enough, Shane informed me that Adam had already drank around ten beers. It's awkward enough going out with someone for the first time, but it's even worse when you feel as though you have to impress the guy you dig and also worry if his buddy thinks you're cool or not. Ignoring the lateness of one guy and the drunkeness of the other, I decided to strive ahead and make the best of the evening.

We wound up at an English-style pub that was packed to the rafters. It started off pretty strange because unlike our first night together, Shane and I weren't paying much attention to one another. He wasn't acting as polite and charming as I remembered and I think I must have been the one wearing the "partial beer goggles" that first night because he was slightly less adorable than I remembered. Finally, Shane and I started to talk and the more cider I drank, the more appealing he was becoming to me. But seriously, Shane and I had about a half an hour span of good conversation and then, things turned weird. I have nothing against going out and having a little drinking fun with the friends, but throughout the evening, Shane is totally downing the Jack Daniels one after the other, after the other, after the other. I turned to check on Adam and he's occupied in a deep intense conversation with some Gypsy woman. When Shane observed this, he leaned over, looked me straight in the eyes and slurred, "I'm gonna tell you somethin' 'bout Adam." After he swore me to secrecy, Shane whispered, "Adam thinks his soul belongs to the devil." O.K. Trying not to laugh, I asked, "Who does this guy think he is, Robert Johnson?" Shane told me, actually yes, he does kind of think that. As Shane's eyes began to glaze over, he looked at me in an attempt to be intense and asked if I believed that there were evil forces in the world. From what I could make from Shane's drunken storytelling, he and a friend of his got into a really brutal motorcycle accident a few years back. Shane made it, but his friend wasn't as lucky. Shane then looked at me and exclaimed dramatically, "And I died with him!!" With the straightest face I could muster I asked him, "what are you talking about?" With a flourish, Mr. Dream Man whipped his hand out in front of my face and continued, "Because of this!" Before my eyes appeared a hand with half of a pinkie. How do you react to a guy who just told you he almost died and then whips out his hand to display a pinkie stump as proof? Should I have looked at him tenderly and said, "Oh honey, you have no finger!" Or maybe, "let me kiss it and make it better." I don't think so.

The image I created for my dream man was crumbling before my very eyes. The more I looked at Shane, the more things I noticed that made me wish I was home alone reading a good book. Huge tatoos suddenly spurted out all over his arms and if that weren't enough, Shane informed me that he had tatoos on several other important parts of his anatomy. He attempted to show me the "foot long" tatoo on the small of his back, but luckily, the bar was too crowded for him to lift his shirt up. There is a God.

When I asked Shane about his job, he shook his head no, meaning he didn't have one. In between puffs of his cigarette he said, "Music's my life babe, that's all I want to do." Gee, after hearing that stuff, I really wanted to start a family with him. On a sad note, I found out that this boy virtually grew up without a father. Downing his fifth Jack, Shane threw in, "I come from a long line of alcholics. But I'm not one!" Uh huh. His drink was so strong that if we lit a match too close, it definately would have exploded. Shit, I felt like I was in a bad After School Special. STRIKE TWO!

Two A.M. finally rolled around, but not soon enough. By this time, my inebriated date was so wasted, he could barely walk, let alone form a sentence. As we walked outside, Shane started yelling in the middle of a crowd of people, "Adam! Adam! Where are you?" I proceeded to walk to the parking lot, hoping that with any luck, I would lose them. If only I could have been so lucky. During my sprint to the car, the boys followed behind me while Mr. Dream Man called after me in a drunken, pleading voice, "Don't be scared of me! I'm scaring her!" Sorry hon, but fright was the last thing on my mind. A cab for you was more like it. To make matters worse, when we got to the front door of my building, Shane tried to kiss me goodnight. Hello, did I miss something here? I was like, "I don't think so," but gave him a peck on the cheek anyway. Shane managed to slur out a final "Awww, is that all?" STRIKE THREE!

What a night. What a sad, sad night. I guess I don't know any more about Shane than I did before we met. One night, he was the cool, sweet guy that I've been dreaming about and waiting around for. The next night, he was a drunk, immature devil-worshiper with half a pinkie.

I believe that everyone in this world dreams about finding that someone out there that was created to live alongside them. Sometimes, the desire to find love is so strong, we awared a stranger with a personality before they've had a chance to earn it. Frustrating as it may get at times, however, I am still committed to my search for a soul mate. I have all the faith in the world that he is out there somewhere, fingers or not.

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“School is a battlefield for your heart.”

Angela Chase, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"