Thursday, August 2, 2012

Your Worst Date is Someone Else's Best Date

The subject of perception has been on my mind a lot lately.   It all started with going to my niece's wedding in Orting, WA a few weeks ago.  My niece told me that the only music that would be played would be country and some old rock.  I immediately got agida because I absolutely hate country music.  I was prepared for the worst.

I'll tell you what happened after these messages...

About 10 years ago I dated this guy a bit when I lived in Denver.  I had been divorced for about 2 years and was hoping to finally find some romance.  He certainly seemed charming.  So charming that he conned me into thinking he was an ex-NHL player, which I found out later was untrue via the wonders of that newfangled Google.  Anyway, he was charming, sent me flowers, the whole shabang.

Valentine's Day was coming.  Oh boy, this is it, he's romantic, this is gonna' be killer.  Finally!  I hadn't had a romantic Valentine's Day in years! 

Days before Valentine's Day he says he will pick me up that night at 6pm, and it's a surprise where we're going.  Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.  The day arrives, he picks me up at 6pm, and he starts driving out of town.  *squeal*  He starts driving toward the mountains.  *squeal*.  He's driving further up the windy mountain roads.  Surely we're going to a quaint bed and breakfast... but he didn't tell me to pack a bag?  Oh well, who needs clothes, right?  Forty Five minutes later we arrive at our destination... 

A casino.

Hmmm, well it's a casino in a hotel, maybe we are eating at a great restaurant and spending the night!

We park the car and go inside.  And he stops at a blackjack table.  He sits down.  Lights up a cigarette.  And starts to play.  While I... just stand there.

Uh, oooooook.

Three things you should know about me - 1.  I don't particularly care for casinos.  2.  I can't stand cigarette smoke.  3.  I hate gambling or playing any card games or slot machines.

I stood and looked around.  Homeboy was kind of oblivious because he was thrilled to be there.  I let him play for a while and then finally I announced I was hungry.  He said, great we can take care of that.  I thought, ok we'll have a nice meal and it will be a wash.

We walk around, he's looking around like he's trying to find something.  I said, "Did you have a reservation somewhere?".  He answers no.  *red flag*  It's Valentine's Day, no ressie, no eatie.  But we keep walking... and then he's tickled pink he's found the answer to our prayers!

A buffet.

Yes, a classic casino buffet restaurant that you stand in line for half an hour to eat imitation crab legs and industrial mashed potatoes.  It was God awful.

I tried to be polite and grateful.  I ate, watched him play and smoke some more and then we went home.  He did not get him any.

I've told this story to many people over the years and multiple times people said, "That sounds like a great date to me!".  Which made me feel like I was some sort of snobby bastard, but the fact is that it was just everything I don't personally care for.  It's fine if you like that stuff, but I was miserable because he never did ask me once what I did like to do!  A perfect date to me is a good dinner in an upscale restaurant or homecooked, and then a night in a room with flowers and candles and a fireplace.  Now some of you may hate that, but it's my perception of romance.  Did he ever even ask if I liked casinos?  That would be a no.

So back to present day and my niece's wedding... we go to the wedding and it's like Country Mouse and City Mouse.  A lot of my family are East Coast city people.  My niece lives in rural Washington state.  They like hunting, fishing, country music, and pickup trucks.  Yes, yes there was a bit of that, but they were also nice people that like to have fun.  And honestly my niece's first dance with her husband was the most romantic thing I'd ever seen.  She was wearing a traditional white cotton strapless gown, and he was in jeans, cowboy boots, white button down, brown vest.  They danced to a slow country song (don't ask me the artist, I don't listen to that stuff), but they started to do a little slow two step.  My heart melted and I began to tear up.  That was their perfect idea of romance and their perfect wedding.

Perception.  Is perception reality?  It's my reality, it's your reality.  But in the end, it's just perception.  (Man, I'm deep)  :)

Tell me about your worst/best date the the other party perceived as the opposite...


  1. I had a friend once whose first date with a stripper included picking her up from her trailer and having her throw her worldly belongings into the bed of his truck as she yelled "go! go! go!" with the ex following close behind and punching the sides of the truck.

    They wound up in a hotel room where she cried and said she wanted him back. My friend unplugged the phone and she kept talking without figuring it out.

    At that point, he figured the best thing to do was to go. Far.

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