Welcome to Literary Lagniappe!
Lucky or not so lucky? Instead of telling great stories about how we fell in love under cherry blossom trees while sipping blush wine, we thought we’d give you something a little more exciting. So, how about some “worst date ever” stories?
Be sure to tell us about your worst date (doesn’t need to be long). We’ll pick two winners at the end of the hop. One will receive a book off Lisa’s backlist and one will receive a book off Emily’s backlist. Please leave your email address in the comments!
As some of you may know, I used to bartend on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. All kinds of people come to New Orleans from all over the world, and they all eventually end up on Bourbon Street. I’ve met crazy people and wonderful people, drunks and geniuses and celebrities. I’ve overheard some of the most random and insane conversations imaginable. If there is bad a pick-up line out there, I’ve probably heard it. If it is especially asinine, I’ve probably heard it twice.
Anyway, this story opens with an attractive man in blue jeans and a casual T-shirt walking into my bar one quiet Tuesday night in August. He smiled as he sat down and when I heard the soft, unmistakable Texan twang in his voice as he ordered, I was instantly smitten. I have a thing for Texans.
I made his drink, placed it before him, and started the conversation with the usual bartenderly question: So, what brings you to New Orleans?
He told me he was in town for a conference and that he was a genetic engineer at a [major] chocolate company. I was impressed. So I asked, “What exactly does a genetic engineer do at a chocolate company?” He said, “You’d be surprised.”
I didn’t really want to be surprised, so I stopped that line of questioning. I like chocolate. I would like to continue liking it forever.
We chatted for a while, and when he asked to see me the next night, I agreed. Our chat wasn’t all that memorable, but he was attractive and I was flattered. It really was that simple.
We met at the bar in the lobby of his hotel and honestly, I fell a little bit in love with him when he suggested we go to the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. If you are not familiar with it, the hotel is an official literary landmark (seriously), and if you are ever in New Orleans, I highly recommend you go have a drink there among the essences of Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, and many, many others.
This date should have been perfect and maybe for someone who is not me it would have been, but I have to admit, as the night went on, I began to find him a bit creepy.
He loved the Carousel Bar and decided that it was the perfect place to bring someone special, someone who he really connected with, who understood him. Now I know this might sound nice and good, but trust me, it wasn’t. We had only just met after all, I had literally known him for maybe five hours at this point, and it just seemed odd and kind of uncomfortable that he would begin laying on the “special connection” stuff so quickly.
It didn’t take long for him to move a lot closer, awkwardly using any excuse to touch me in some way. He told me how he just wanted to stare into my “beautiful eyes” forever, how the length of my hair was perfect because “long hair gets in the way, if you know what I mean,” (I still don’t want to know what he meant), how he just knew that I had “a romantic heart” just like him. Then he looked at me, making a real point to do that “gaze deeply into my eyes” thing and said, “When I see something I like, I’m not afraid to go after it.” Again, it might sound nice on the surface, but really, it wasn’t.
By the time the third round of martinis arrived, I was pretty much done with the night. The Carousel Bar used to serve these awesome overstuffed olives in their martini which were beyond yummy. Sadly though, no amount of yummy makes up for him plucking the olive out of my glass when it arrived, turning to me with a grin and saying, “Open wide now baby, Daddy’s got a sweet treat for you.”
It was then officially time for me to go.
I gave him my best possible smile and made my excuses. He nodded like he understood and then launched into the long sorrowful tale of his ex-girlfriend, the woman he believed he was still not completely over, whom he wanted to marry, but she was already pregnant with her new boyfriend’s child. At one point, I thought that he was going to cry.
I consoled him the best I could, while simultaneously working him toward the exit. He seemed so distraught, my conscience wouldn’t let me leave him no matter how much I wanted to. It took a while for me to get him out of the bar, and then back to his hotel. I left him in the lobby with an awkward hug and fled for home. It was only through the grace of the gods of New Orleans that I didn’t have to see him again. I was told by one of my coworkers that he stopped by my bar one more time before he left the city, but I was off that night.
I debated between two different stories. They are equal in my record books, but one is funny and the other is just plain sad. Since I like when people pity me for hilarious reasons, I went with the funny one.
It was my senior year in high school and I thought I was super cool because one of my good friends, Deb, was already in college at a university 45 minutes from my hometown. She often had me come visit and hang out with her and her new college boyfriend. One weekend, she invited me to come down and offered to set me up with her her boyfriend’s best friend for a double date. A date with a college guy (even if was only a year older than me) was a BIG deal. I was so excited that I could barely contain myself for the few days before the actual trip down.
So, I drove down, stowed my stuff at a family friend’s place (easier than crashing with friend and her roommate) and waited. Soon, Deb and her boyfriend Paul showed up and we drove off to go pick up his friend Brian.
It did not take long for things to take a turn for the worse. The minute we walked in, something seemed off. Brian asked for a minute to talk to Paul, so Deb and I went out to the car. Both boys appeared shortly later, got in, and we drove to dinner. Conversation in the car went pretty well. It wasn’t until later that I realized that Brian and I hadn’t actually spoken to each other outside of the initial pleasantries.
So, dinner. It was during dinner that things actually got weird. I would ask Brian questions and he simply wouldn’t respond. Not until Deb would say something to him. He talked a mile a minute, but directed every single comment toward either Deb or Paul. When the meal finally ended, he went to the bathroom and I pulled Deb off to a corner. She apologized and said she had no idea what was going on. When he walked past us, Brian turned to her and said, “Girls are so obvious.” Unless he meant obviously annoyed and confused, I doubt he knew what he was talking about.
Fast forward to the movie. We went to see The Borne Identify. During the previews to this movie, Brian said the only words he actually spoke to me all evening. My friend and her boyfriend were kissing and he looked over at me and asked “Do you think they are going to do this through the whole movie?” I responded, “Probably.”
That was it. He said nothing else to me on the drive home. I was dropped off and the three of them left to do whatever it is that college kids do. Deb apologized a lot in the coming weeks. It was only two weeks later when she called and told me that Brian had asked if she thought I would be willing to go on another date with him.
Um…no. That’s okay. I didn’t get to do the older guy thing, but my next boyfriend was my rebel boy that is no good for me stage. That is a story for another time though.
*Names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty
Also, make sure to check out all the blogs participating in this hop. There’s two big grand prizes to enter and you can leave a comment on each blog for an entry. That mean you can enter over 200 times! 1st Grand Prize is a $100 gift card to either Amazon or B&N and the 2nd Grand Prize is a big swag pack full of books, cover flats, magnets, pens and more (only for US winners).
Thank you for visiting us! Every Tuesday and Thursday, Emily Cale and Lisa Fox invite romance authors from all genres over to discuss the behind-the-scenes workings of their books. Every author also brings along an awesome giveaway for our blog readers. We hope that you’ll come back and join us again soon!