What is the worst date you've ever been on?
Really? Do we have to go there?
Alright, rewind the clock all the way back to the Spring of 1985 – Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was big and I was a sophomore in college. I lived in a co-ed hall and I was friends with this cute pair of sorority sisters named Risa and Diane. They had a spring dance in which they were supposed to set up one of their sisters with someone they personally knew but the sister didn’t. R & D asked me if I wanted to take their friend Doreen to this dance. Figuring that it would score me some points with Diane (who I was interested in), I said sure.
Now rewind a bit more to the Fall of 1983, when cuts from “Thriller” were still ruling the airwaves. I was a freshman in an all-guys floor. Most of us got along pretty well. Except for one of us. My randomly-assigned roommate Erik. Erik was ok, but he was a loner and chose not to partake in the dubious male sub-culture that was emerging on our floor. At first, we tried to bring Erik in, and after being ignored repeatedly, I guess you could say we sought to teach him the error of his ways… you know, “pennying” him in so that he’d be late for class, “liberating” some of the cookies from his care packages, hiding an occasional textbook and the like. Not surprisingly, Erik moved out at the end of the semester to a different dorm. Mission accomplished. (In retrospect, my friends and I were real jerks to him, but we were 18, our moral centers were still somewhat under construction…)
Anyway, forward back to 1985 and the day of the dance. I send my new roommate (Roomie) to Doreen’s with flowers that have a note from me saying that I’m looking forward to meeting her that night – a nice touch (I thought) with two objectives: 1) convey a sense of excitement for the evening, and 2) have Roomie report back as to whether Doreen was hot. She was definitely excited and pleased by the flowers, but Doreen was determined to be “o-k”. Ah well.
Anyway, I pick her up and we go to the dance. I thought she was nice enough. A little dull, not very outgoing. The evening progresses…we dance, we mingle, we chat. It’s going fine. During one break, we discussed our freshman year.
Doreen: Where did you live last year?
Steve: I lived in Dickinson B.
Doreen: Oh, so did my good friend Erik <lastname>.
<Steve being not so swift>
Steve: Ooooh! Erik was my roommate 1st semester. How’s he doing?
<Doreen’s smile fades, her brow furrows, face reddens>
Doreen: That was YOU?!?! YOU. WERE. HIS. ROOMATE!?!?
Doreen: YOU #$&$#!!!
At this point, Doreen throws her drink in my face (the only time that’s happened to me) and storms off leaving me the center of attention of the crowd that’s overheard and seen the escalation. I quickly slunk away.
So … how’s that for karma?
Oh, and I never got the date with Diane, either.