99 First Dates
Chapter 1

Copyright© 2011 by Stultus

Some of you might not see the benefit of really bad first dates; or the point of trying to endure almost one hundred of them. But I do.

Isn't dating essentially a trial period to discover what makes each other tick ... and if you can stand even being around each other without a boxing referee to forcibly separate you both? Would you rather discover in the very early going the little quirks and oddities that she has rather than have her try and cover up her dysfunctions in order to 'reel you in', only to later reveal her frigidity, weirdness, excessive religious devotion, ownership of twenty cats or eight kids by eight different guys? In my opinion it is far better that you find out from the get-go what a loser she is, rather than waste any more time trying to see how she is 'deep down inside'.

For a lot of women (I'd venture to guess that it is a majority), there isn't actually all that much really hidden deep down inside. Most men think that women are an unfathomable mystery of complicated urges and emotions, often contradictory ones, but in my opinion they do put all their act out there for everybody to see. Usually because they don't think there's anything at all wrong with them ... and it's your fault if you refuse to observe this.

I was now a good fifteen years out of the dating game and wasn't even close to fifty percent sure that I was ready to start the strange and mysterious rituals of romance once again. I'd married (unwisely) at the age of twenty-two and was ecstatically delighted to be a divorced and single man once again by the age of twenty-five. My ex-wife possessed nearly every single negative personality quality that I could think of, but like a fool I rushed into the relationship for trivial reasons - mostly involving that all of my blood had flowed out of my brain and into my cock, and we were married long before the blinders came off of my eyes.

During those three years of married life she ran up nearly $22,000 dollars of credit card debt that I was stuck with, complained about every single action (or in-action) that I ever made, and had affairs with my two best friends ... and the husband of her own female best friend. She didn't even care when she was caught and didn't show the slightest bit of remorse.

Our divorce triggered off a domino effect of three additional divorces for the other equally outraged spouses and the dust didn't really settle for several years after that. Good riddance. Her next husband, a man of far less patience than myself, physically attempted to murder her and she fled for the wilds of Oregon and is now happily married to a small town doctor somewhere surrounded by a lot of trees. She says she has got her shit together now and 'wants to be friends' but I couldn't give the slightest shit. I've just barely gotten my own shit back together again!

I, in turn, spent much of the next decade paying off her debts and trying to build up a small but marginally successful antiques and collectables business. I managed to achieve this minimal fringe edge of financial solvency largely because I routinely worked one hundred hour work weeks busting my ass off running to endless estate sales, junk shops, and lower market end dealers where I could buy cheap and sell for slightly less cheap, and occasional sell something dearly for way more than I'd paid for it.

I don't regret an hour of it. Still, working or travelling non-stop looking for an item or two that I could sell for a significant markup didn't leave much time or opportunity for dalliance with young ladies, or now mature women.

With the bell of time now chiming that I had just turned forty, my friends all pretty much decided that it was past time that I once again took the plunge into the deep and turbulent waters of the dating pool. The big problem was that even a casual glance at the single women of near my age range displayed several significant problems. The primary problem being that now, at this stage in their life, I was almost certainly going to be inheriting someone else's problems. Namely, children.

Nearly all of the divorced women that comprised most of the dating pool even close to my age, had preexisting children by other fathers. Sometimes multiple fathers. Many, if not most of these single parents were first and foremost looking for a father figure that her kids could call 'Daddy'.

While this wasn't a complete and utter deal-killer, this was a significant obligation that I wasn't at all certain that I was suited for, let alone eager to assume.

On the other hand, the remaining women who had never married by their late-thirties all seemed to have 'issues', and often lots of them. Either they were still partying like it was 1999 or else they had severe behavioral defects that frustrated all of their previous attempts to snare a mate.

Conversely, another significant sub-set of this unmarried pool consisted of career oriented women who had placed career advancement above home and family ... but now their biological clocks were starting to tick ever closer to midnight. Most didn't care by this point about finding Mr. Right ... any sort of Mr. Right Now would do! The leopard hadn't really changed any of her spots ... they were mostly all really just looking for a sperm donor and not an equal companion and partner for life.

No one wants to die alone, and the older you get the more willing to settle for less than 100% perfection you become. A twenty-year-old woman wants a man who's handsome, intelligent and very rich (at minimum). A thirty-year-old-woman wants a man who's just sort of handsome and slightly intelligent and rich. A forty-year-old woman will settle for a man who is just sort-of rich ... and fertile. A fifty-year-old woman just wants a man.

This forty-year-old man just wanted a nice woman who wouldn't try to make his life a complete living hell ... but an occasional (or even frequent) romp in bed would be really nice too.

I spent about a hundred hours looking over dating web sites and message boards for singles on the Internet and what I saw disturbed me. Then I took a look at the ads on Craigslist that this scared me off the idea of dating entirely for nearly another six months.

Eventually I decided that I needed to do something ... but something else grabbed all of my time for a big chunk of the next year instead. It was definitely career improvement for me in a great many ways, but it wasn't contributing in the slightest to getting me laid more than just occasionally.

My small antique shop was on a decent main street in our large city right in the heart of the 'alternative lifestyles' part of town. Artists, bikers, counter-culture folks, punks, musicians, new agers, eccentrics, gays and lesbians and Methodists all more or less happily nested together. There were lots of other antique, junk and vintage clothes shops right nearby and this created a sort of 'antiquing' vortex that attracted customers into the area, both young and hip and also the seriously old money. My landlord recognized this potential disgustingly early and after a couple of years he now owned about half of the commercial real estate within five city blocks of the heart of this Mecca and he was always prospecting to buy out more.

He was a screwy but likeable elderly man of Middle Eastern descent who had arrived in this country with only a few dollars in his pocket just before the Iranian Revolution of the late 1970's, but he proceeded to work hard and make a small fortune. Maybe even a medium sized fortune. In addition to collecting rent from over two hundred properties, just for fun he ran a junk shop right next door to me filled with absolute rubbish and crap that sold just about as fast as he could bring it in by the truckload. It was junk that was little better than scrap metal, but the guy sure knew how to wheel and deal!

We talked shop a lot together as we both shared the love of old things from elder days and we actually got to be reasonably close friends. I'll call him Ankar, but that's not really his name.

That one spring day just after my fortieth birthday, Ankar suddenly made me the proverbial offer I couldn't refuse.

"George, your problem with life is that you think too small – you need to expand ... spend some money to make some more money, you should! You are a smart and hard working businessman and my only tenant that pays his rent on the first day that it is due – you need to be more successful in life, and then find a woman to fuss over you and give you many fine children!"

"That's nice in theory, Ankar, except for fact that I really can't afford to move into a bigger space and take on any more rent. I have these awful food addictions and need to be able to afford to buy groceries occasionally. If I have to eat Kraft Mac & Cheese or Ramen noodles for dinner more than twice a week I start having dreadful cannibalistic thoughts."

"Perhaps if I were to have an alternative for you? We could then help each other, we could!" Yes, I kid you not ... he really did speak pretty much just like Yoda from Star Wars.

"Ok ... maybe. Such as what?"

"You know I'm building that new strip shopping center three blocks up the street? What if I could offer you part of that space right at the corner for your new shop ... but at your current rent? What a deal that could be!"

"My current total rent price, or at the same rate per square foot? Nice but the NNN would kill me." NNN is the extra 'common area maintenance fees', an extra significant surcharge added to your base rental lease of usually about an extra $10 per sqf, which in my case could nearly double what I paid now, even if the rental cost were to be the same.

"That entire space, 3800 square feet for only your current total rent cost. All of it, for exactly only what you pay me now for your 1200 square foot lease. A bargain it would be at twice that, and for you my friend ... no triple net, except for electricity."

He wasn't just whistling Dixie. I was paying $25 per sqf now for half of a dumpy old refurbished former house that had been turned into a retail duplex. That was $2500 rent each month ... but now for just over three times as much retail space, or the ridiculous rate of $7.9 dollars per sqf!

I began to smell a rat. This was way too good to be true, or rather I was sure that there was going to be some sort of minor condition attached for this serious 'favor'. It had to involve something that would really help him out of some major jam. Ankar was a decent honest man, but he was also shrewd, wily and pinched every dime until it squeaked. He never gave away money either. He liked me ... but not nearly enough to hand me money from out of his pocket. When I found out what his side of bargain entailed I really had some second and third thoughts.

Ankar had a niece named Farahnaz (she shortened it to just Farah) who was married to an old family friend from the old country. It was one of those traditional family arranged marriages where the husband and wife had never even laid eyes on each other until the wedding ceremony, and saying 'No' wasn't an acceptable excuse to get out of it. Tribal politics and old family connections (and money) had priority over domestic happiness.

She was a baker and a good one. She had studied at a top Parisian baking school before her marriage and was quite 'western' in her dress, attitude and behavior and she spoke flawless English. Her husband Hooshmand was frankly an insufferable weight around her neck and an albatross that tainted every business they had tried to run so far. In theory, his name meant 'wise', but he was loud-mouthed, arrogant and ignorant, and would have been much happier living back home in the Middle Ages rather than in a modern western city in the twenty-first century. He only bothered to learn about twenty words of English, most of those were really not entirely suited to dealing with customers ... politely anyway.

Together, well mostly due to Hooshmand, their two previous bakeries had failed badly and they were currently significantly in debt. Since they were 'family', he was willing to spot them for one final third time – but this time with a boatload of conditions.

Ankar's cunning plan was to create a large antique & collectables mini-mall with a built in café and bakery at the end-cap of his newly constructed corner stripmall. I could have nearly three-quarters of this new space to expand my own stock to my hearts content, but my main #1 job would be to keep rein over Hooshmand. I would be the manager of the combined operation. He could still serve customers ... but from now on he would be banned from handling the financial accounts or the money. Especially the money ... that would be my job now.

Since they would now have essentially free rent, the forlorn couple could concentrate solely upon their cafe, and I had the full and unlimited authority from Ankar to crack whatever sort of whip I needed to keep the operation going.


This was much more responsibility than I really wanted, but in the end I said yes and accepted the deal. It was just too good of a financial deal for me to pass up. We shook hands on the deal (no written contract) and over the next six months Ankar put the finishing touches on the Antique shop/bakery/café (hereafter shortened to just the café) and I cleared out my shop, my garage and a house jammed full of lovely old crap into the new digs. Even after I was completely done moving in, I still had about half of my space under-utilized and ripe for future expansion.

Ankar was right, if I could keep Hooshmand under control, I had the possibility of finally turning a decent profit and growing my business up nicely!

Naturally, I did have endless trouble with Hooshmand right from the very start but his wife Farah was a joy to work with and the two of us saw eye-to-eye about nearly everything about how the new business would be run.

In less than a week after we were open, I caught her troublesome husband's hands in the central cash register for the third and final time and that was the last straw. We had one very final disagreement and parting of ways:

He threw a snit...

I showed him the door (politely).

He called me a lot of very bad names in Farsi at the top of his lungs.

I showed him a clinched fist and the will to use it...

then the idiot pulled a knife on me!

Ankar had politely warned me that this day might come, and told me just what to do!

I first twisted and broke Hoosh's wrist and then shattered his nose when I smashed his face into the floor six or ten times. I was having so much fun that I sort of lost count. Then I grabbed the rat faced bastard by his pants and literally kicked his ass outside onto the curb and told him to get lost and stay lost. Then I phoned Ankar to give him the happy news.

Hooshmand returned an hour later with some angry looking friends for moral support and they all started to pull out knives the moment they walked in the door, until I drew my .45 Colt automatic which I always kept under the cash register, and that stopped them dead in their tracks. I pointed the weapon right at Hoosh's shattered nose and told the thieving asshole to sit down and shut up. Two minutes later Ankar arrived with a few friends of his own. Bigger, meaner and nastier friends ... and they all had guns too!

Big Rule in Life #1 – Never bring a knife to a gunfight. Rule #2 would have to be - Never piss off the Persian Mafia ... Ankar didn't even need to hear my side of the story in person, and he was more than ready to deal with his idiot nephew-in-law, once and for all after a brief conversation with Farah.

Ankar and Hooshmand had a long loud and very angry talk in Farsi but I think some sort of settlement was eventually reached. Hooshmand left and none of us ever saw him, or his angry looking friends again. Farah wouldn't ever discuss any of those personal 'family' arrangements, but it did seem to involve her obtaining a divorce and her ex had returned home to Iran with a little pocket money ... and to stay.

Don't get me wrong. I liked Farah very much and she was an ideal business partner, but the two of us never struck any romantic sparks. She remarried a few months later to a much nicer husband that was entirely of her own choosing and he worked at least as hard as she did to make the bakery-café side of the operation a resounding success. He was quite well educated and also spoke excellent English and unlike his predecessor, he actually enjoyed greeting and chatting with the customers and soon became extremely popular with everyone.

No one missed the departed and unlamented Hooshmand.

With the family drama over and done with, we all settled down to making money.

With some of the empty display space left-over I put in some big tall glass display cases and started to take in consignments. I sub-leased out a large section along one window to a big antique glass and china dealer who was willing to also work the cash register on weekends so that I could get out and do some antique stock shopping of my own. His sub-lease rental to me also fully paid for all of my overhead costs so that all of my sales became nearly pure profit!

The bakery could soon easily afford to handle half of the utility bills, and when we added in tables, chairs and a few comfortable big padded armchairs, our customer base just about doubled overnight, and tended to now stay much longer ... and spend money.

Within six months we were the 'hot' trendy destination place in our very artsy community. We'd bring in the folks on the way to work in the morning for a cup of early morning coffee, then the housewives came for breakfast, then the local business workers came for lunch, the interior decorators and artsy crowd came for high tea, and the students then came and spent half the night studying and drinking free coffee. On weekends we were packed.

For fun, we added a kiosk of six computer desks to make a sort of Internet cyber-café for catering to customers wanting to get some work done. Instead, the on-line gamers usually had all the PC's in constant use every evening and all weekend long. We rearranged things around a little and added another four computer desks and soon every night we had groups scheduling ten-man 'Raids' for their favorite online game and staying until long after midnight. And drinking bottles of Mountain Dew or Jolt Cola like water. With later business hours, if anything, this just lead to us becoming the fun place to visit after clubbing late at night, or even very early in the morning on weekends. Soon, we didn't even bother closing between Friday morning to Monday morning!

We hired a night crew and Farah and I tried to get out the place at a civilized hour. At first for awhile anyway ... until I started to learn first hand much more about World of Warcraft and elves and orcs ... and Raiding than I ever really wanted to know from our all night weekend customers.

Did I mention that for the first time in my life money was flowing in faster than I could spend it? Different ... and rather nice!

Financially secure now for the first time in my entire life, and just shy of my forty-first birthday, the great challenge of finding a woman that I could enjoy spending the rest of my life with began. One friend bet that I'd find Ms. Right in less than ten dates, but the wiser and more cynical Farah thought it would take me at least thirty. It ended up taking exactly ninety-nine first dates!

Before I can even to describe this adventure I first need to clarify my original ground rules just a bit. My sources for dateable women were mostly via three separate on-line dating services, a professional 'Introduction' service, and identical ads in the Men-Seeking-Women section of our local alternative newspaper and on Craigslist. In every case I described myself and my interests and wants accurately and provided a recent photograph. The ad read like this:

"40+ WM seeking 30+ F. Disappointed in love long ago and unlikely to be a fast horse out of the starting gate, but patience might be rewarded by a speedy finisher. I am a busy small business owner and a bit old fashioned in too many and numerous ways to count. Financially solvent but not looking to become a sugar daddy. I like books, cats, cheap Italian red wine and anything old and dusty. Hate slimy vegetables, 'Type 'A' over-achievers and anything resembling emotional drama. Am honest, sincere, emotionally stable, non-smoking and happy with where I am in life, and I am (reasonably) height/weight proportional – I expect the same from you! Uncomfortable with children but might try, for a truly exceptional woman. Sorry, no long walks on the beach – I sunburn easily."

Once contact was established by either phone or email, I would first suggest (strongly) a casual get-together on the evening of her choice for 'just coffee'. If she then offered dissatisfaction with this plan, I would then instead offer a 'casual dinner' for a weekend evening. In mostly most instances, unless geography was an issue, the coffee date was held at our antique shop/bakery/café. I wanted a bit of home field advantage, plus Farah and our other staff wanted to make their own first impressions of my date. We rarely ever disagreed.

For a coffee date I'd dress in casual Dockers slacks, polo shirt and sneakers. For a restaurant date I'd wear a white shirt and decent dress slacks and shoes. No suit or tie under any circumstances! When I said casual I meant it. I would of course judge her own attire by these same looser standards in all fairness.

Concerning how I graded my date, I created a post-date checklist of items. Did she demand the full dinner treatment rather than just a first casual meeting? Did she sneer at my middle-class restaurant choice (usually my favorite local Italian place)? Did she abuse the serving staff? Did she even pretend to act interested in me? Did she pretend too much? Did she fuss that I wasn't wearing a suit and tie? Did she talk non-stop about vapid topics? Did she discuss her work problems/money problems/ex problems/children problems excessively or even nonstop? Was she stark raving loony? And so forth.

These dates are listed more or less in chronological order, and identified by the single most blatant aspect of her personality. Some traits were shared by many of these women, but in every instance something particularly grabbed my attention about her ... usually in a bad way.

Now, let the chronicle of pain and misery begin!

1. Ms Eager Beaver - She was way too eager. So eager that she had the aura of desperation about her that she plainly wore like a coat for everyone to see. She agreed to my casual 'coffee date', and within the first five minutes had made instant plans for the next month of our relationship. Scary. I broke off the date the moment it was decent to do so and ignored her repeated pleading phone calls for me to call her back, anytime at all - day or night!

This was just supposed to be a casual meeting with no talking about problems or how compatible we are with each other. This is just a first date ... it's supposed to be light-hearted and relatively carefree.

2. Ms. Fattyass - I'm not usually ever rude about other peoples personal appearances, but she wasn't even remotely height/weight semi-proportional. She had sent me a photo of herself that was about a decade old (and over a hundred and fifty pounds lighter than she was today). This massive 300+ pound blob of femininity had demanded the full dinner treatment for our date, but I nipped her feasting plans right in the bud. I was firm but unapologetic; she had patently tried to deceive me by lying (badly) about her appearance, so that she could exploit that old chestnut about her 'beautiful inner self'. Nice try. If she had been honest, I'd have at least fed her. She threw a loud fit and I walked out of the restaurant on her.

I wasn't expecting a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, but I also don't want a wife or girlfriend that is clinically and morbidly obese ... and lies about it.

3. Ms. Cheapskate – Another gal who demanded the full wining and dining treatment. She was good looking, pretty smart, and very flirty and an otherwise rather suitable young woman, so we went out a few times over about two weeks. From appearances she likely earned at least three times what I did, and she was apparently used to nothing but the best, and on someone else's wallet. I paid the $150+ dinner checks and then our tabs at the night club next door. Never once did she ever offer to even pay the tip or even once hint about picking up a single round of drinks. I was slightly bemused by her but I got the true message fast when I got the unsubtle hint that she wanted an expensive present for her upcoming birthday.

I'm old fashioned and used to paying for the date, but it's nice when the woman at least offers to pay once in awhile. No, I don't expect you to actually pay on the first date, but after that you should at least reach for your purse occasionally to make the offer, or maybe even cover the tip to the waiter while I cover the cost of the meals, drinks, and whatnot. In Europe while on various antique buying trips, most girls I dated would insist on sharing the bill. It had something to do with personal pride. I guess that's what real emancipation makes out of a woman: They want to show they can pay for their own meals and don't need a spineless sugar daddy that has to pay for female attention.

4. Ms. Strip-Mall Guidoland Nails – Farah told me later after this coffee date that she always preferred the term 'ghetto talons' for the insanely long claws that this women possessed. Even a wolverine would have been proud of those claws! She acted fairly hot-to-trot and hinted that we could have another cup of coffee at her place, but I declined.

I didn't want those fake nails anywhere near me, let alone raking my back during sex. She had French tips longer than actual carpentry nails! This screamed 'high maintenance' and I decided to avoid a round two with her.

5. Ms. Child Drama – Many of my dates exhibited a good bit of concern about my possible acceptance of their children, but this date sprang this delicate topic by surprise right in the middle of dinner! The 'I have kids' bombshell. Odd, there were none listed in her online dating profile. In her case, with the worry that she was exhibiting about them, there obviously must have been some serious drama going on backstage there, possibly with an ex-husband or baby-daddy who was getting out of prison soon.

After hearing what my brother has gone through with several psycho bitches who had kids by equally unstable other men, I wouldn't ever go down that road except for the lady of my dreams ... and this one wasn't it.

6. Ms. Faux Posh Bit - She dressed up for our casual dinner date like she was a lady of high society. She was appalled at my appearance and gave me a sharp dressing down for my sloppy attire. Then she became unhappy with the normal restaurant menu choices, and she requested the presence of the head chef and special requested that he make her a parmesan-crusted duck breast with balsamic reduction. Then she ordered the most expensive wine on the menu without consulting me. Apparently for her, only the very best of anything would do.

I knew that she was a poseur when she mispronounced half of the words on the French wine bottle and after I had engaged her in a probing discussion about other good wines. She then failed nearly every question I posed to her about places in Europe; I'd been there a few times and knew a few odd things, but she just tried to continue to bullshit that her family had estates in both England, France and Tuscany ... but she couldn't name a single airport or town nearby any of them. If I had gotten her faux designer gown onto my bedroom floor, I would have been certain that it was also a fake knockoff.

I also don't like any sorts of breasts with any kind of reduction. I refrained from laughing in her face and tried to enjoy the evening of low comedy, and I lost her phone number afterwards at my earliest convenience.

7. Ms. Just Low and Outside for a Ball - I have had a few unbelievably awkward dates -- dates that I couldn't wait to get away from, they were such disasters ... only to get calls/emails from the ladies asking 'what's next?' This was one of the worst of these. I thought our chemistry during our coffee date was poor and that we really didn't click together as a pair. She thought otherwise. I shrugged and gave her a second try over dinner but it really wasn't any better.

There were other situations where there was really absolutely nothing wrong with the date -- we just had nothing in common and we weren't a good match. I'm sure this goes equal for the women who didn't catch onto my act the first time around either.

8. Lydia the Tattooed Lady - She was young, wild, uninhibited and actually a decent bit of fun at our coffee date. She was really too young and wild for me but she was such a fun gal that I took her out to dinner the next night. After which we did a few clubs that had live music and we ended up later at my place. She had so many tattoos all over her body that all I got to see was a poorly drawn comic book!

Tats aren't usually a major turnoff for me, but when 95% of your skin is covered in ink I have to wonder exactly what you're rebelling against. I think a few tasteful or pretty tattoos are a perfectly fine way to rebel, I have a very small one myself, but many ladies get extremely defensive when they hear that a lot of guys think they're just over done and gross. When a girl is covered all over with loud and very obvious tats, it sadly says to me that she's probably either a used-up tramp, or a nice girl who has a used-up tramp history. Why permanently mark yourself down a few points with nearly everyone you'd meet? So you can rebel against daddy or feel a little more punk? Sorry, just my opinion. A few would have been fine, but not nearly her whole body.

The tats weren't the final deal-breaker – she was just too young and way too wild for me, and she did have a lot of drama going on in her life with lots of ex-boyfriends waiting for the call to be back on her A-list once again. She had wanted one 'normal' boyfriend not in any alternative punk rock or biker lifestyle and the novelty of my more mundane life wore off fairly fast. We parted friends and she stops by the store occasionally to say 'hi' and refers the odd customer to us, but she's still playing the party road hard and fast and sometimes I feel sorry for her.

9. Just Plain Nuts - She was a screeching, mad as a hatter, howling at the moon BPD case that could embarrass hillbillies at a trailer park meth cookout. Oh my god, but she had the crazy! She probably had full-blown Borderline Personality Disorder and I considered myself lucky to escape her after only half an hour with her.

She called the next day to threaten suicide if I didn't take her back again. In her deranged mind I was calling her up non-stop wanted to be with her, but the voice in her head was saying that I needed to prove my love to her by cutting her name into my arm, and to do it right now!

She tried to call me for weeks until I managed to get AT&T to block her phone number from calling mine. Thank goodness she never learned where I work!

10. Ms. I have to take this very important call for just a moment - I hate cell phone shenanigans. That has got to be the biggest put-off on a date. If we're having a good conversation and your phone rings and you instantly take the call without even acknowledging the interruption, it says to me that I'm not interesting enough for you to even focus on me for minute or I'm just not worth it for you to even pretend to be considerate. The first time she did it, it was just annoying. By the fourth time I decided that I'd much rather be somewhere else too.

Most women will almost never receive a text/phone call in their entire lives that has to be answered immediately, certainly not the inane 'lol r u 4 ser-e-us?' nonsense that her friends seemed to babble at her all day and all night. It's self-absorbed, egotistical behavior - no excuses about it. She can receive all the calls she wants as long as I'm not sitting there in silence like an idiot waiting for her to finish discussing what the high class whores on Sex and the City did on last night's episode with one of her friends.

After this happened the fifth time with the constant phone interruptions, I finally gave up, got up and excused myself to use the bathroom, and when I came back she was still blabbering on the phone. I then just quietly found the waiter and paid our check and told him that anything else she ordered was on her own tab. Then I left – it was a matter of courtesy.

I set my phone to silent when I'm out on a date and I'd really appreciate the same consideration. Don't talk on your cell phone during a date unless it's a genuine emergency (and the color of someone's nails does not qualify as an emergency). Blood or fire! Your 'oh so very important call' had better involve either the police, EMS or the fire department!

11. Child Drama Lady #2 – This mother of the year candidate was so paranoid about my immediate acceptance of her crotch spawn that she brought both of her vile little darlings along with her on our first date at the restaurant so that I could meet them right away. They were a nasty and rather surly pair of brats that obviously already didn't like what they saw in their 'future father' and they were determined to wreck the marriage long before it had the faintest hope of happening.

I faked an emergency at work, paid the restaurant tab and ran, not walked, out of there as fast as my feet would carry me.

12. Super Cling-Wrap Lady - She was either the most super affectionate huggy-touchy sort of woman that I've ever met or else she was really freaking desperate! She seemed scared that I was going to leave her after just the first date. Kissing on a first date? Heck, she snogged me in the first five minutes! I could hardly keep her in her own chair and out of my lap!

She called me about twenty times during the next three days until I convinced her that I was going to have to suddenly move out of town to take care of my poor ailing mother who lived in the wilds of Nova Scotia.

I just wanted to deal with women that were already more or less already happy with themselves. I'm not going to enjoy time with you if you don't enjoy your own life. Like Bugs Bunny meeting the Abominable Snow Monster, she just wanted to hug me and hold me and pet me and stroke my hair and call me George. Ack!

13. Ms. God is my Co-Pilot, or Religious Zealot #1 - I never discuss religion on the first date, or usually even the fiftieth. In fact, I don't really have any thoughts about any religion at all. The coffee date started off alright and I was asking her about her weekend plans so that I could fish for some interesting second date ideas. She proceeded to tell me all about her bible school and the next exciting sermon that she just couldn't wait to hear next Sunday. She then revealed her true fundamentalist colors by asking me about abortion and monstrously wicked theory of evolution. Finally she asked me to join her fundamentalist church and by then I had had more than quite enough.

No religion/political/vegan/whatever discussions. Period. Again, this is the first date ... I have to like you first before we dive into disagreements. If you start right off with disagreements, I'll likely find you disagreeable.

As Robert Heinlein once wisely said, "Avoid zealots, for they are generally humorless." So very true!

14. Ms. Bundle of Insecurity - Another coffee date that went horribly off course right from the very start. She was one of those folks who hide her inner insecurity by talking about themselves nearly non-stop. You know the kind; the one's that yap about how great they are, how beautiful they are, or else they'll argue over silly little trivial unimportant things that they should just drop and let go. The crowning touch was when she told me outright that something I had just said was 'stupid'.

Not exactly the way to impress me. That's alright; I didn't impress her either apparently.

15. Ms. Bowser – Ok, that was rude, but her on-line picture didn't remotely match the face and body that showed up for our date. Not even vaguely. She'd borrowed a photo of a model from off of the web somewhere to portray the beautiful swan that she saw herself as. Unfortunately, I in turn only saw a rather unattractive woman that displayed many years of hard driving over rather bad roads, with little or no maintenance ... and a willingness to deceive.

I didn't even stay to greet her. When I heard her ask at the café cash register for my name I just sidled right out the other door and stayed gone for a few hours. We had a brief email exchange later where I chastised her for her rather blatant lie and she forgave me for ditching her. She did have a very nice personality and she even forgave me enough to later on buy a few Christmas presents from the antique shop. If she had been honest with me from the start we could have had a rather interesting date.

16. Ms. Shameless Liar - Even more than the dog above, this gal tried to pull the full scam over me. Her profile photo was of a rather famous supermodel and actress, and her actual likes and dislikes and her actions in reality didn't remotely match what she had listed on-line. The last straw was when she had earlier said in an email that she didn't smoke or drink, but yet she did both incessantly during our coffee date.

I evened the odds later by getting an IT geek friend of mine to send her a fake email that pretended to be a message from Brad Pitt, stating that he was going to fly here right away in his private jet to whisk her off, hand-in-hand. She then immediately called afterwards to rather rudely dump me, and I could hardly keep from laughing myself silly.

17. The Human Chimney - I had to admit that she had a rather hot body, but she chain smoked absolutely non-stop during our brief coffee date. I left her to get a breath of fresh air and then just decided to stay gone. I'm not at all sure that she even noticed. She was too busy with her life-long three packs a day affair with Joe Camel.

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