Friday, October 21, 2011

The World Series of J-date Stories

Certain events trigger certain memories. Some good, some bad, some so absolutely horrid that you can't rid your mind of the association between the memory and the present time. The St. Louis Cardinals playing baseball while the whole world is watching is one of these scaring moments for me.

You might think I am referring to a bad first base call when my Kansas City Royals played the Cards in the 1985 World Series. Nope, guess again.

Remember the night Mark McGuire hit his famous 62nd home run? That would have been September 8, 1998 at 8:18 p.m. CDT to be exact. I know exactly where I was that night- I was in dating HELL. I recall this particular first date as the all time, World Series of J-date FAILS.

A prospective gentleman caller had e-mailed me from my profile on the Jewish dating service. I was working in Personal Touch the wardrobe styling and personal shopping service at Nordstrom. At the time, I was not seeing anyone special, and everyone I knew was married already, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. From his photo and on line profile, I learned he was 42, Jewish, divorced and living in Leawood.

We agreed to meet for dinner at Yahooz restaurant. I chose that particular spot so we could watch the Cardinals play against the Cubs while we ate. My date had lived in St. Louis and was really pleased that I kept that in mind when selecting the venue. As we sat in the bar talking and watching the game, I detected there was something shady about him. I could not put my finger on it, but there was something.

During our meal my date kept asking me questions about my family. He wanted to know if I had any brothers? No, just a sister, she is a lawyer. He continued, by asking if I had any cousins named Eichenwald that lived in Kansas City? Again, I said no, and changed the subject. He was a little obsessed with the whole genealogy thing but when you have a last name like Eichenwald, people remember it- and obviously he knew one of my relatives.

As the meal progressed my date took every available opportunity to brag about his fancy cars, his big house, his Harley, his collection of Peter Max artwork, blah blah blah. All I knew was that he was shallow, had a full head of dark hair, worked out and was a self centered schmuck. It was clear to me that there was no love connection.

After Mark Mcgwire hit that 62nd home run there was an enormous ruckus in the bar. People were cheering, toasting with drinks and it was an exciting time. I sat there wondering how long I had to stay before I could leave without seeming rude. We had dessert and I continued to fake interest in his bragging and constant topic of his wealth. Feh.

This was the actual conversation during dessert:

date: "Are you sure you aren't related to Howard Eichenwald?"

me: (thinking, Wait, huh? He had never asked me that, he had only fished for information about male relatives named Eichenwald.)

me: "Yes, I am related to Howard Eichenwald."

date: "How are you two related?"

me: "Howard is married to my mother."

date: "You mean to tell me that Howard Eichenwald is your father?"

me: "Yes, right. Why do you ask?"

date: "We graduated from high school together."

me: "That makes you a liar, on J-date you claim to be 42- clearly you are 52."

date: "Helene, I date women in their 30's and if they see that I am 52 they won't go out with me, so I just subtract 10 years.

me: "Well, perhaps can set you up with one of my parents friends then."

After that I could not help but laugh. It was either laugh or cry. The absolute absurdity of the whole thing made me skeptical of all things dating. If this was the best there was, I was going to be single forever.

As soon as I got in my car, I called my dad. Keep in mind, this is when cell phones were in a bag, hooked up to the cigarette lighter, and it cost an insane fifty some cents a minute to actually talk on one. Regardless of the cost, I had to call my dad right then and there. I point blank asked him, "Dad, do you remember some guy from high school named XXXXX?" My dad said, "That asshole? Why do you want to know about him?" To which I replied, "I just had a blind date with him."

So when I am channel surfing this week, and I see the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, I look at the hitting coach, Mark Mcgwire and smile. I am ever so grateful that I did not throw in the towel based on that J-date experience. I could have called it quits based on the 52 year old asshole, and I would have never met Jeff.

I am working on a more positive St. Louis Cardinals and Mark Mcgwire association, but so far, I can't get past it. I had the World Series of J-date horror stories.

I beg anyone to top this one.

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