As Valentine’s Day approaches, we thought that we would lighten the mood by celebrating that which often goes uncelebrated in February: disastrous romantic misadventure. Without further ado, we present several 100 percent true anecdotes of terrible dates that we have been on.

Tucker: In the summer of sophomore year, I briefly attempted to convince a first date that I was a member of the intelligentsia by meeting him at the Corcoran Gallery. I thought this would be a great way to convince my date that I was clever, refined and artistic. Instead, we arrived at the Corcoran to discover that the entire gallery had been given over to a spectacularly gruesome exhibit on war photography. We spent the next two hours looking at pictures of dismembered limbs. He did not call me back.

Thomas: I recently visited the alma mater of a woman I have been seeing. By recently visited, I mean drove in a car for six hours to New Haven to visit an Ivy League school that has asked to remain anonymous. After visiting a building more spacious and more beautiful than anything we have on the Hilltop, we returned to her old college to watch some very attractive shirtless men shoot hoops in its basement basketball court. She then asked me if my college at Georgetown had a basketball court in its basement. I had to inform her that we had neither basketballs nor basements. It all ended well, though: I later serenaded her on the piano with a moving rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The piano was in the common room, the type that anyone could play. It was a Steinway.

Tucker: Once on a date with someone I had been seeing for a few weeks while studying abroad, the conversation turned to the subject of children. My date, who was about 30, expressed in no uncertain terms that he wanted to have kids and wanted to have them very quickly. Jokingly, I apologized that I would be leaving the country too quickly to help him out with that attempt. He responded, “Sure, but if you were staying we would be having kids together.” I replied: “Excuse me?”, and he said, “I mean, we would date for a few years, you would graduate, and then we would have babies.” It became increasingly clear to me that he was not joking, and he grew increasingly insistent that in this hypothetical future, we were bound to have children. After that, I became very glad my visa had an expiration date.

Thomas: During my freshman year I developed romantic intentions for the only other Mormon woman on campus. Certain particulars about her were both a blessing and a curse. She had recently joined my church, which was a blessing. She had joined because of her boyfriend, which was a curse. Refusing to be a victim of circumstance, I took matters into my own hands the week of  the Snowpocalypse, making my desires clear through an awkward game of footsie and showing her pictures of her boyfriend (whom I endearingly called “Gorilla Face”) side-by-side with pictures of me. Don Draper himself could not offer a more convincing pitch. All this exploded in my face at Café Bonaparte, where she told me she had decided to stay with Gorilla Face after I had already bought escargot. I made her eat a bite anyway.

Tucker: Although this is not strictly a date, I once met a friend that I dated several years previously while we were both studying abroad in England. I came down to London to see him for an afternoon, and we had a nice time together. I was confused though, because his hand kept grazing against mine while we were walking down the street, I caught him staring at me somewhat intently when he thought I wasn’t looking, and he stood a little closer than necessary to me on the subway. Finally, I cracked and asked him, “Do you touch all of your friends this way?” He laughed and said I was imagining things. I departed London a little bit later.

Rather than keeping a blog, he used to send out email updates to a bunch of his friends; I was on his listserv, and he knew it. Two days later, I received his little weekly update. In it, I read: “Tucker came down and visited this week. It was so hard for me, because I just spent the whole day wanting to kiss him, but I didn’t know if I should! I was definitely getting some signals though … maybe next time ;).”

I never spoke to him again.

And so, on this Tuesday, Jan. 27, we wish all you singles out there as many terrible returns as we’ve had.

(You can find Tucker on Grindr. You can find Tom on J-Swipe.)


TuckerAndThomas_SketchTucker Cholvin and Thomas Christiansen are seniors in the School of Foreign Service. Culture Clash appears every other Tuesday.

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