If All Your Bad Dates Happened on the Same Night / by Melissa Swantkowski

Date invites you to a lounge. He says: You should dress up. It’s that kind of place. I'll be in my designer jeans because when I dress nice I act less pervy.

You ask: What is a lounge? No one will tell me?

Date cancels date via text just minutes after date is scheduled to begin. Then Date shows up. When questioned, says: Shit, cancelled the wrong one of you.

Date hides teased and permed blond hair under hat until drinks have been ordered but not paid for. Unleashes it in slo-mo: hat off, deep neck roll, hair toss, smile. 

Date says: I have to pee. The last girl who went out with me left when I went to bathroom. Can we neck before I go?


Look longingly at the revolving door when Date takes verb "to neck" literally.

Date details recent shoulder injury. Date details daily diet. Date details five year plan. Includes you.

Invent old hockey injury. Invent lesbian leaning future. Describe your last period for sake of conversation. Detail.

Date asserts that teased and permed blond hair is the best thing going for him. Date says: This hair is the one thing that will never change.

You say: But surely you have a job? An apartment? A nagging sense of guilt over the repeated teasing of your follicles? 

Date picks fight about appetizers over appetizers. Pounds fist on table, says, "I like to make sure a girl can hold her own." 

Find long crimpy blond hair in drink. Find long crimpy blond hair on table. Find long crimpy blond hair in teeth three weeks later.  

Date sneaks bottle of whiskey into the movie theater. Finishes it during previews. Hands over empty bottle.

Self-soothe with the fumes.

Date avoids pickles as general rule. Reveal that you are made of salt and/or brine.

Date buys dessert to share, opens messenger bag to show a toothbrush, asks you to take his virginity.

Date trips on uneven sidewalk, cracks both front teeth on the curb.

As Date recovers dignity, collect white specks of tooth to blow into wind like dandelion fluff.

Date says: This is as good a time as any for me to invite you to Queens to meet my Beta fish.

You say: What is a lounge. No one will tell me.