So a few weeks ago, I told you the story of “Marge” and how she signed me up for online dating sites without my permission or my knowledge. You can read about it here. (It’s quite a story.) However, I can’t blame all my weird dates on her. Some I’ve managed all on my own, some with help from my friends.
Today’s story takes place in the summer of 1998, in the midst of the aforementioned online dating drama. My friend, we’ll call her Gertrude, decided that she wanted to set me up. The guy she wanted to set me up with was someone her husband worked with. We’ll call him Dick. Because he’s a dick. Big creative stretch, I know, but I can’t stand the guy to this day. Anyway, according to her, Dick thought this guy was made for me. Keep in mind that Dick liked me as much as I liked him, so that didn’t really put him high on my list of trustworthy people when it came to dating. Neither was my friend on that list, considering she’d married Dick the dick. That particular choice made us all question her thought processes. So I said hell to the no. Emphatically and often. Apparently, however, my wishes on the subject were equally as valued by Gertrude as they were by Marge. So not at all. Awesome.
Let’s call the guy Herbert, mainly because it rhymes with “pervert,” which is apt.
So one day, she calls me to tell me that she’s done it. She’s set me up with Herbert, dinner the following night at the Mexican place in town. And she went all in on this in an attempt to give me no reason to argue. She called my soon-to-be-ex stepmother and arranged for her to take my kids for the night. That part was the only part of all of this that was okay. The next part was not.
She gave him my phone number and address, told him to pick me up at 6. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the bitch gave him ALL my info to a guy I’d never met. And as it turned out… NEITHER HAD SHE. She fucking set me up with a total stranger on her ass clown of a husband’s recommendation only. A misogynist pig who couldn’t stand me and frequently made rape jokes about me. What the ever loving fucking hell? I was pissed. I demanded his number, so I could call and cancel. But funny thing about that… she “forgot” to get it. I told her to get her ass on the phone with her husband and get it. She begrudgingly agreed.
An hour later she calls me back. Without his number since she once again “forgot” to get it, despite the fact that that was supposed to be HER ENTIRE MISSION. What she did do is tell him not to pick me up, that I’d meet him there. Like that kept him from knowing my address. What the fuck?
At this point, I didn’t know what to do. Yes, I could have stood him up. However, I wasn’t that far from removed from a marriage to a man who’d been next-level controlling and abusive. I didn’t know this guy, but he knew exactly where I lived, thanks to my friend. I was afraid of pissing him by not showing up. I was afraid he’d come to my house, and God knows what could happen then. She knew all this and didn’t care. She told me I was being a drama queen. Thanks for the love.
So I went. Fortunately, it was a place where I knew a lot of people, including my brother, who was one of the cooks. Thank goodness. I knew the hostess, and I whispered to her what the deal was, arranged a signal, asked her to tell my brother to keep an eye out for me. That was the best I could do. Also fun was that I had no idea who I was even looking for since I knew nothing other than his name. He’d refused to give her a photo to show me. Hello… RED FLAG!!! But she’d showed him a picture of me, so that was cool. Not. Then some random guy came up to me and put his hand on the small of my back. Which is a nice way of saying his hand was half on my ass. And then he leaned over my shoulder and… licked my ear before whispering my name. This was the guy. He wasn’t bad looking, but he could have been Jensen Ackles in the flesh, and I would have still felt like I’d been licked by Ted Bundy. Blech.
Dinner was… interesting. He talked about himself the entire time. I got lurid descriptions of the event of his deflowering. I heard the deets on every kink he had, including a 15-minute lecture on Japanese bondage tying. Cool, bro. I mean, you do you, but do I need to hear about it on the first date? Especially when he made sure to let me know how much he inflicted pain and that safe words were for “pussies.” I will never forget what he said next. It was chilling.
“I like my women to scream. There’s something about the sound of a woman in pain that gets my motor running.”
What?! No. Hard pass.
That was when I politely excused myself to go to the bathroom, gave the hostess the signal. She waited a beat and came down the hall where the bathrooms were, only to tell me he was walking toward the back, apparently following me. She thumbed in the code to the employees’ area in lightning speed and shoved me through. I waited there and, a few minutes later, my brother appeared, the hostess having called upstairs. One of his buddies was with him and the guy took my keys, went out and got my car to pull it around back. So I ghosted him out the back door and headed home.
HOWEVER… the dude caught up to me. Somehow, he figured out pretty quickly what I’d done, he came after me. I got stuck at a traffic light and happened to glance back to see him seven or eight cars behind me. So I went around the block to the police station, but there wasn’t a single open spot to park, and I was afraid he’d get me between the car and the building. So I tried to lose him. And I did. I knew he knew where I lived, but my plan was to get home, lock the doors, pull the shades, and hunker down. Just as I reached the door to my apartment building, the motherfucker pulled into the guest parking spot. I ran. My apartment was on the first floor, the back right corner of four. I got the door unlocked, got in, and locked it. He pounded on the door for a good fifteen minutes, getting more angry by the moment. I tried to call the cops, only to find my cordless dead. Of all the times to have forgotten to charge it.
So, I changed clothes and yeeted out my bedroom window. I slunk along the back of the building to the apartment across the hall and knocked on the kitchen window. The old lady who lived there was a bird lady, and the damn birds went insane. But fortunately, she liked me, so she let me in and let me use her phone. I called the cops and I called my dad, who was a lawyer. They showed up at the same time, which Herbert was still pounding on the door.
They arrested him for harrassment, and he spent the night in jail. He was arraigned the next day and posted bail. By that afternoon, he was calling nonstop, emailing, messaging me on Yahoo! Messenger. It was a nightmare. And there was nothing anyone could do. He stalked me for weeks, but there were no stalking laws then. The first stalking laws came the next year, so yay for me. He did end up getting community service for harrassing me, but that was it. And he got fired, but not because of me. He apparently beat up a girlfriend a couple years after me.
What a guy. Thanks… friend.