Stranger Craig And The Worst Date Ever

It had been the longest of days. I looked like the Walking Dead, the product of a sleepless weekend of trying to explain Hamlet in some original way in 14 single-spaced pages. I hadn’t showered in days. The tangled mess that was my hair had grown from one single French braid into a mop of braided stray pieces, my ‘genius’ plan to conserve time by keeping with the braided theme. I wish I had photo evidence. Needless to say, attending a blind date was the last thing I wanted to do.

A champion of love-related optimism, my roommate Lauren refused to let me phone Stranger Craig to call off the date.

“What if he is your soulmate?!” Lauren protested.
“I’m too tired to be witty, and frankly I wouldn’t want the soulmate who was attracted to this,” I Vanna-White’d my frame.
“I can take care of that.”

And take care of it she did. Lauren transformed into my own Fairy Godmother/Nursing Home aid as she washed my hair for me, picked out a purple and blue outfit (so I could look the part at the Jazz Basketball game), and applied make up to my face. The doorbell rang. I looked at Lauren with pleading eyes, but she opened the door and shoved me out of it.

Stranger Craig was not as creepy as I had imagined him to be. He managed to engage me in small talk as he led me to the backseat of a running Ford Explorer. SC introduced the couple in the front as his newlywed cousins.

“Newlyweds! That’s fun,” I said a little too loudly to cover my intrinsic horror. A blind date is bad enough. But a blind date with another couple you don’t know, who are newlywed affectionate?! “How long have you been married?”
“We got married on Saturday” they said in unison while gazing into each other’s eyes.

It was Tuesday. This was going to be a long night.

My fight or flight response kicked in, and since I had already tucked-and-rolled to get out of a date earlier that year, I decided to gear up for the long battle. Surprisingly I was able to double-dutch two conversations: a getting to know you first date with a stranger line of queries, as well as a wedding recap to include the aforementioned married couple. My date turned out to be a juvenile 27 years-old and found my picture from an advertisement for writing advising sessions around campus. The couple had a bouncy house at their reception. My date enjoyed Japanese anime cartoons. The couple’s married siblings pulled an amusing stunt and covered their car with condoms and lubricant before their getaway, which is why some of the seats were a little slippery. I prayed to Jesus for strength and conversation topics.

About 30 minutes away from the Arena I ran out of words. Part of me was relieved because I was beginning to see how every answer I got was just more information I did not care to ever know. I suggested we play some tunes and SC produced his iPod.

“Wow, you sure like the Jonas Brothers,” I exclaimed as I scrolled past his 7th rendition of “Love Bug.” If there was ever a time for a car accident, it was now.

We completed the JoBro anthology as we approached Energy Solutions Arena… and arrived… and drove straight past it.

“I think you missed the turn,” I stated, certain that I was being abducted.
“Oh we’re going to go eat first,” SC explained, “We have a couple hours before the game.”

I looked at the clock. It was 6 and the game started at 8. I pondered what I did in a past life to deserve this as we parked outside a neighboring Applebees.

We spent the next 2 HOURS in Applebees nursing our 1 appetizer per couple. The conversation somehow made it’s way to sexual intercourse again and my hollow stomach suddenly became satiated.
“Just wait until you guys can have sex,” the couple told us while their hands moved up and down the other’s bodies.
“I’m going to have so much sex when I get married,” SC agreed.
I gave up on trying to hide my disgust.

The game was unremarkable. I played the part of over-enthusiastic basketball fan, which was difficult because the Jazz weren’t giving me much to go on. Silently I promised God that I would destroy all of my Kanye West CD’s if he would only make the KissCam malfunction. I made it through relatively unscathed, aside from minor psychological wounds and the beginnings of an ulcer. All of the nonexistent energy I had mustered up to survive this date dissipated. I was running on 3 hours of sleep for the past 72 hours and my body wasn’t prepared for all of the work it had to perform this evening. As I slid my way into the lubricated backseat my brain decided that it would be best to play dead for the long ride home. Within minutes I had fallen asleep on the shoulder of SC, who insisted on sitting in the middle seat. I was too tired to care what message this might send him. I was done.

I awoke from my nap prematurely. I momentarily forgot where I was, disoriented from the exhaustion. What was unmistakable was the putrid smell enveloping my nostrils. I stifled an urge to gag on the thick, warm air violating my open mouth and trailing down my throat.
“What the Hell?” I thought to myself as I opened my eyes.
It appeared that SC had rearranged my body while I was sleeping. My head, previously on his shoulder, was now located in his lap. And that rank, humid air that had just yanked me from my slumber, was a fart.

“He just farted in my face!” I was aghast. “He LITERALLY farted IN MY FACE”
My immediate reaction to choke SC out was halted as my wise mind remembered that it was 11 PM and I really needed to get back home. I waited for the stench to fade and then I employed all of my acting training to fake a sleepy transition, so my eyes could have a better vantage point. Outside of the window a sign read “Provo 26 miles”
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” I cried inwardly. I thought I had slept longer than that. So choking was not going to be an option.

At this point I know what you’re thinking. A normal person would have called him out immediately after. It was a blind date. I had no obligation to this guy. But for whatever reason (I like to think it was my kindness but it was probably because my marbles were missing) I was fixated on not humiliating SC. I was plotting my next move when IT HAPPENED AGAIN! A sulfur-laced heat rose from his jeans ON TO MY FACE. One fart in the face was not acceptable. This was insanity. Was he not aware that he had placed a girl in his lap? Did he think it was okay to release his stored up date gas because I was asleep? Paying less attention to my performance, I moved over to the window and pretended to fall back asleep. I kept one eye squinted open, counting the road marks every mile of those 26 long miles home.


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