A dating regret I wish I could do over? Hmmm…
Like Amanda, the main character in my novel, MILKED, I didn’t have the best taste in men when I was younger—and I’m using the term “men” loosely. The ones I dated weren’t exactly showering me with poetry and roses. So, it’s no surprise that one of the all-time worst dates I ever went on was at an “Around the World” fraternity party during my sophomore year in college.
Let me back up and set the scene here. If you have never heard of this, an “Around the World” party is (or at least was, back in the year 2000) an event where each room in a house features a different type of mixed drink, and you’re encouraged to sample and get as many stamps in your passport as possible. It’s kind of like EPCOT’s Food & Wine Festival if it were run by a bunch of 19-year-old guys with fake IDs and a penchant for SoCo.
I went with my then-boyfriend, (let’s call him J) who lived in the house. He was officially a business major, but he could easily have gotten a minor in Crappy Boyfriend Studies. He flaked out on me all the time, teased me incessantly, and generally found new ways to push my buttons. I was already peeved at him for flirting with a freshman hanger-on earlier that week, who constantly fawned all over him. Of course, she showed up at the party, and every time I turned around, he was eating up her attention with a spoon.
Feeling irate and abandoned, I drowned my sorrows in jungle juice and jello shots. I then made a scene (okay, a couple of scenes) throughout the night by screaming at anyone who would listen about J’s shortcomings as a boyfriend, smacking him at one point, and throwing a tantrum that would have made Honest Toddler proud.
I woke up sick as a dog the next day and completely horrified by what I could remember of my behavior.
I sat by the phone for a week. J never called.
When I finally mustered up the nerve to come by his house to apologize, we had a short, but sweet, mutual breakup. Walking back, I felt relieved that we could put our unhealthy relationship in the past, and that we’d both handled the split in such a mature way.
I next made a stop at the student center. J actually worked there a few days a week, but I knew he wasn’t due there anytime soon. When I was checking out, the cashiers were chatting with each other about their weekend plans, and one of them was blushing and excited.
“I’m going over to J’s for dinner tonight—he’s cooking for me! Isn’t that sweet?”
Yes—the same J who had technically been my boyfriend half an hour earlier.
If I could have a re-do, I’d have dumped J before the party and saved myself from this double dose of humiliation. But, an embarrassing experience is at least good material!