I once went on a date where I got so nervous that I talked about serial killers the entire time. In fact, when my date excused himself to check the score of a game, I didn’t take a deep breath and think, “Okay, you need to calm the f***k down,” but rather, “Great! Now I have time to remember that story I heard about Ted Bundy.” It wasn’t my best moment. However, despite the way we cringe and decide that we are destined to die alone after dates gone wrong, I don’t think any of us really lose hope. Instead we go home, stick our heads in the freezer, call a friend over and then we listen.
We listen as our friends pat our backs and tell us that Public Safety will definitely notice if we buy five cats off Craigslist and attempt to keep them in our apartment. We listen as they list all of our good qualities and tell us, “everyone can get a little crazy, and at least he’ll probably never want to see you again so you won’t have to deal with awkward run-ins,” and then we listen as they tell us dating horror stories of their own. Like that time they met their boyfriends mom for the first time and in an attempt to find some common ground enthusiastically declared that they loved apricots too, because eating an apricot was like “eating an elbow,” thus gaining the nickname “that Jeffery Dimmer girl” for the rest of the relationship. Or how there was that time they accidently told their girlfriend’s dad that Jesus was a Jew who went “straight up cray” during a heated debate about salvation. Who could forget when they went to use the bathroom during a movie, but got lost in the theatre for half an hour and later tried to convince their date that walking to the bathroom was like “walking through a labyrinth Harry Potter style, except no one died.” Maybe that’s what makes dating worth it, though. I mean, sure, making out is great but isn’t part of what makes the stress of dating worthwhile the stories we get to tell and hear? Despite every terrifying experience we’ve either had or inflicted on someone else we, never doubt that our final dating story will be our very best.