In honor of tomorrow’s release of SUNSET AT KEYHOLE CANYON (a Mustang Ridge e-novella), which is the story of a spunky boutique owner and a sexy surgeon reconnecting after a blind-date backfire, I want to dish about bad first dates.
I really haven’t had all that many first dates, but one stands out as Awkward. Back in college, there was ROTC Guy. A cousin of a friend, we had some decent yelling-over-loud-music-and-flat-beer conversation at a party, and he asked me out. We made plans, I drove the couple of hours to where he went to school ... and discovered that I was going out with his entire ROTC class. And while Pizza Hut and Spinal Tap can make for a perfectly cool first date, the presence of his twenty best friends didn’t exactly lend itself to romance.
Lacking any really juicy stories of my own, I hit up Arizona, who was active on Match.com for seven-plus years before he sent me that first “Hey, what do you say we skip the twenty questions and write a story together instead?”
(Note to guys: this is an excellent way to get the attention of a girl with “WriterChick” in her user name. Especially when you can write. The story--a pirate erotica peppered with in-jokes from Star Wars and Monty Python--will forever stay between the two of us, but darn, it was fun to write.)
He didn’t have any Crazy Psycho stories for me (his psycho meter is pretty good), but did allow that he’d had a couple of surprises along the way. Like the girl who wanted to go to a wine bar, then turned out to be underage (contrary to what she claimed in her profile). Or the woman who went for a pre-date spray tan and wound up an odd shade of orange, earning a whole lot of doubletakes when she came into the restaurant.
Mostly, our first date stories were of the “perfectly nice, but not right for me” variety. A few, though, were near misses. You know, the amazing first date that somehow doesn’t make it to a second. Mine was when my crush and I made plans for the following weekend, but I later realized I had a conflict. I called him and said it turned out I was busy, but maybe we could do some other time. I was thinking he would suggest another night. Instead, he said, “Okay, fine,” and hung up.
It wasn’t until like two weeks later that I realized he thought I was blowing him off. Yes, it’s true. I have no game.
Anyway, that’s closer to what happened between Nina and Ben in my new novella. They had a great first date, totally hit it off with sparks, fireworks and all that good stuff … but date number two doesn’t happen until a friend conspires to bring them back together for a week’s vacation at a picturesque Wyoming dude ranch.
Meanwhile, I have a feeling that there are probably some far worse first date disasters out there. So what’s yours??