One day, several years ago, I got a text from a guy named Rob…
“Want to get a drink?” it said, then suggested a fancy bar in a trendy neighborhood.
An image of Rob floated into my mind: dark hair, short stature. I had recently met him at a friend’s barbecue, where he talked about his affinity for aquatic animals and vintage children’s books. I was surprised yet happy to hear from him, and we made a date for the following week.
The day of the date arrived. I walked up to the bar, smoothing my hair in that excited-yet-anxious way reserved exclusively for those moments leading up to dates and interviews. I scanned the bar. I saw no Rob.
Then, somebody waved.
I squinted. It was a slightly familiar looking stranger — very tall and very blond. How did I know that guy? I scanned my brain, where I discovered the answer: IT WAS A DIFFERENT ROB. This Rob was a work acquaintance I had begrudgingly shared my number with and never expected to see again. But now he thought we were on a date. Because, technically, we were.
“Hi!” I said, hoping my face resembled the face of a person who was meeting someone on purpose.
And then, I sat through a looooooooong drink with a person I did NOT mean to go on a date with. Rob was a bit of an aggrandizer. He shared stories of his recent trip (“A rugby match in England!”) and photos of his new apartment (“The view is killer! The kitchen is huge!”), while I offered up what I hoped was a convincing smile. After far too much of this, the accidental date was over.
Forever after, I was careful to put last names — or at the very least descriptions — into my phone. (Cut to months later, when my contacts list contained entries like “Dog Park Mike” and “Silly Hat Evan.”) But the Accidental Date will live on in infamy.
To that end, I’d love to hear about your awkward dating experiences. What’s your best/worst awkward date story?