Forty-three percent of Americans over the age of eighteen are single. So, it comes as no surprise that many first dates are more sour than successful. Here, an excerpt from a new book that will leave you cringing
Writer Sarah Z. Wexler has had her share of awful first dates. So, she took to the streets and compiled a book of (100% real) stories from women across the country. Here, we've excerpted 14 for your enjoyment. All are anonymous, except for the few celeb confessions peppered throughout.
We made plans to go to a movie and then get coffee afterward. I offered to pay for the movie if he sprang for the coffee. We were supposed to meet at the movie theater, but he was eighteen minutes late, so we missed the movie. I was pretty annoyed but tried to let it go as we walked to the coffee shop. As soon as I order my mocha, he pipes up, “Since you got out of paying for the movie, why don’t you get the coffee?”
He picked me up in an iridescent convertible and made sure to rev the engine a few times before coming to my door. On the way to the movie theater, he revved the engine at every red light, which was mortifying. He apologized, but not for that, saying, “Oh sorry, my eyebrows look a bit unruly. I didn’t have them waxed this week.” Then he paid for our tickets with a $100 bill because “that’s the only bill worth carrying."
"It’s very odd to start dating after being married for a long time, and this was one of my first dates since the divorce from my husband. My date might have been only six or seven years older than me, but my kids see me as very youthful. He came to the door to take me out. My daughter was teeny tiny at the time, and she announced, ‘Mom, he is too old for you’ right in front of him." --Andie MacDowell
He spent the whole date obsessively talking about his ex-wife, even saying, “She’s an absolutely stunning woman.” He said he’d get over her, though, because all his female co-workers, his best friend, and even his own cousin were attracted to him. I never heard from him again, until a mutual friend said the guy didn’t call because I clearly wasn’t over my ex. Um, pot, kettle, black!
"In my twenties, I went to meet my date at a really chic, fashionable restaurant. I wasn’t dressed up necessarily, but I had on a nice shirt and jeans. My date showed up in cutoffs and a tank top. I knew half the people in the restaurant, who were all looking at me like, ‘Who is this guy with Michael Kors?’ it was so embarrassing. My tip: always have your first date at a casual place." --Michael Kors
We agreed on meeting up after work for dinner and drinks. As I eyed the menu, I noticed that he hadn’t touched his and asked, “What are you ordering for dinner?” He said, “Nothing. I’ve already eaten.” Okayyy. Then I asked, “What are you drinking?” “Oh, I don’t drink,” he said. We’d been at the table fewer than five minutes. “I’m on Prozac because I’m absolutely crazy, and Prozac doesn’t mix with alcohol.”
After dinner, we went to his place so he could drop something off, and while he was in the kitchen, I decided to peek in and check out his bedroom. When I flipped on the light a man started yelling—it was his dad, who was asleep in his bed. My date ran in to explain who I was. I asked why his dad was in his room (it was a one-bedroom apartment, and my date was thirty), and he explained that they shared the bed. His dad worked the graveyard shift so slept in it during the day, and since my date worked days, he explained, “I have the bed overnight, so we can still get freaky.” On sheets warm from his dad.
"I was a smart dating girl. I always had enough money for a cab wherever I was. I didn’t have any problem breaking a date. Like I’d say, ‘You know what, this date is really not working out. Don’t worry—if you don’t pick up the tab, I will, and I’ll take a cab back to my house.’ If you say it like you mean it, the date’s can't be bad—they just end." --Wendy Williams
I’m an English professor, so I said in my online dating profile that a shared love of books is important to me. Over dinner, I asked my date what his favorite book was. His reply: “1984.” Which is fine, but kind of high school age reading. So I asked him why it still stood out for him, and he said, “Well, I haven’t actually read it. I read the CliffsNotes. But I could tell that if I did read it, it would definitely be my favorite.”
"I went out with an actor who said he’d come to see me in the play I was in and then we’d go out afterward for a drink or dinner. Then he called to downgrade it to nothing after, just him coming to my performance. He showed up at intermission." --Kim Catrall
This may have been the shortest date ever. I picked him up at his house and, as I pulled out of the driveway, he pulled out a cigarette. I’m not a smoker, so I said, “I prefer if you didn’t smoke in my car.” He took out his lighter and lit the cigarette anyway, so I pulled back into the driveway and asked him to get out.
He wasn’t exactly perfect—he’d arranged our date via text message, suggested we go to Chili’s, and showed up ten minutes late. But within the first five minutes of conversation, he felt superior enough to nitpick everything I said. He insulted my choice of wine (“You might as well order grape juice if you’re going to order white.”) my eating habits (“You don’t eat meat but you do eat fish? That just doesn’t make sense.”). To top it all off, he even managed to criticize the hospital where I volunteer (“My friend had an awful experience there.”) I wanted to tell him I was having an awful experience here.
"My first date with my husband started badly. I didn’t even know it was a date. I thought I was going to an event, and then there was just one person at it. I was set up by friends to think I was going to an event, because they knew I wouldn’t go on a date. I was angry. And he didn’t know, because he thought I knew I was coming just to meet him. It started out really badly. But as you can see, it ended happy." -- Salma Hayek
Ed note: Here's Salma with her bad date gone great: Husband François-Henri Pinault