I am the Date from Hell


When I am the Date from Hell

 I had a date Saturday night with a very nice guy. Unfortunately I was the date from hell.

We met at Humble Pie for a drink (Michelob Ultra me, Vodka Collins him.) The conversation was going well, about education. He’s a high school English teacher.

The talk was beginning to get to personal and we mentioned going to dinner and perhaps taking in the show at the Rhythm Room.

Then my youngest son called. The dog I had just gotten, a rescue twelve-year old Malti-poo, had gotten out. My son chased it but she ran into the street and was hit and killed by a car. He was beside himself and I had to deal with the situation. I live nearby, so I told my date to sit tight and I would call him in half an hour. That was my first mistake. I should have said good night and another time would be better.

I told my son to gather up the dog and take it home. When I got there, I tried to calm my son down and reassure him that it was not his fault. It was an accident. The dog had escaped a few days before and sometimes whined at the front door. He missed his dead owner and the woman who fostered him, and was probably trying to go home. I only had the dog for four days.

I googled “dog cremation” and found a rescue site that picked up dead animals and cremated them. It would be $75.00; they would take a check, and could be there in an hour. I should have stayed home. But I am currently at odds with my son, and was annoyed he was even at my house. I chose instead to call my date and meet him back at Humble Pie. He suggested dinner so we went to my favorite neighborhood diner, Randy’s. We had a good conversation but I could tell he was confused, or maybe concerned that I wasn’t broken up about the dog. I told him I was in shock, and it would wear off soon, so we should skip the Rhythm Room. We talked books and movies and I would like to see him again. He seems like a stand-up good guy. He said maybe we could go to a movie sometime.

The next day, at my sister’s insistence, I emailed him, thanking him for the date and acknowledging the adverse circumstances. I haven’t heard back. I really don’t blame him, if I look at it from his point of view. He meets a woman, she has an emergency. Okay, that could be a front for “I don’t want to be with you.” She tells me to hang around for an hour. We meet again and go to dinner. I see no sadness about the dog. I get negative vibes about her relationship with her son. Scratch her off, she’s weird and has baggage.

I’ll bet our date is the topic in the high school teacher’s lounge. Oh well.

Of course there’s more to the story. I had to call the woman who gave me the dog and tell her what happened. She said she had to hang up and deal with it and would call me later. She did, telling me that she and her friend cried, and they wanted her ashes to sprinkle on her original owner’s grave. I had to call the rescue organization and pay $115 more dollars (which was hard for me to afford but I paid it out of guilt) for individual cremation and make the decisions about the urn. It was included in the price. A cardboard box was not a choice.

I spent time with my son the next day, talking him through the traumatic experience of seeing the dog die.

I still haven’t shed a tear. Am I hard-hearted? On too much Prozac? Or does this tragedy pale in comparison to the others in my life?

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