ot all of Cupid's arrows hit their mark and not all dates end with romance and continue happily ever after.
In fact, some are doomed to fail right from the start — even if both participants aren't aware of that sad fact.
Below are some examples of dating disasters that are sure to make happily-married couples give a big sigh of relief and those who remain single food for thought. And of course, one or two of us — likely still single — may well recognize ourselves in the following.
Of course, the names and locations in the tales have been changed.
Short, not sweet
The most disconcerting date I ever had was when I was in my 20s and the cute guy who came to hook up my cable service asked me out.
We arranged that he would pick me up at my home later (conveniently, he already knew where I lived) and we'd go out for a few drinks.
He showed up in a panel van, jumped out and held my door for me.
"Gentlemanly!" I thought.
I turned around in my seat to check out the van's interior. The walls and ceiling were covered in red fun-fur, and at the very back was a bed, half-obscured by red velvet drapes — with gold fringe, no less.
Facing forward, I saw that the whole dash was covered in blue fun-fur. Something was embedded in the fur right in front of my seat.
I leaned forward to peer at it ... it was a Polaroid photograph of his sexual organ.
That was the briefest date I ever had.
Close call with a killer
Many years ago, in a province far, far away, I went on a very memorable date.
It was a blind date, set up by one of my best pals.
The guy seemed nice enough, but there as something about him that rubbed me the wrong way.
He took me to a movie — I can't remember which one — and during the course of the show he put his arm around me.
Something about him got my spider senses tingling.
His arm felt like a 200-pound weight and my shoulder was almost dislocated by the end of the fiasco.
I felt really uncomfortable and I didn't go out with him again.
Years later I learned that he went on to kill two members of his own family.
Third time lucky?
At the bar one night, a gang of us watched from across the room as our friend Danny brought a new girl in on their first date. He'd had a few shots of tequila to settle his nerves. He decided to show her his latest trick, a Flaming Sambuca shooter.
You set fire to the liqueur, slap your open palm on the glass (this extinguishes to flame and creates a vacuum that holds the glass to your hand), shake your hand, then peel off the shot glass and down the shot.
His first try didn't go too well.
With a flourish, he lit the alcohol, but not enough of a vacuum was created, and the sticky liqueur sprayed all over the annoyed girl.
He apologized profusely, came back with more Sambucas and tried again.
This time, the glass stuck to his hand; he flapped it up and down, peeled it off, and downed the shot.
Then he turned and threw up all over the girl. We fell down laughing.
I don't think they had a second date.
During the war years, the city I grew up in, Halifax, Nova Scotia, was perhaps closer to the war than its English namesake. We experienced blackouts, air raid sirens, a submarine net at the harbour entrance and the Bedford basin full of freighters one day and empty the following morning.
Even more noticeable were the downtown streets, which were crowded with sailors from all over the world.
As a teenager, this spelled trouble, as the most popular dance palace in the city, the Olympic Gardens, was crowded with matelotes, as we called sailors, on Saturday nights.
On occasion, their sheer numbers made it virtually impossible for us locals to get a dance with our high school sweeties. Cutting in was a favorite activity and caused the odd scrap in those days.
I was one of the fortunate teenagers. My dad was a car salesman and had a company car known as a demonstrator — with a substantial gasoline ration allowance.
He was very generous in allowing me to drive and I had my license since the day I turned 16.
One cold and lightly-snowing Saturday night in February, to avoid the crush at The Gardens, I took my girlfriend for an extended drive in the car. The snow had let up, the moon was now shining brightly and we parked on an unpaved, slightly uphill side road, well outside the limits.
It was very cold, so we had the heater turned up high, the radio playing softly. We had an exciting necking session and did what most teenagers did in those days — even today I would expect.
As the curfew hour approached, even passed, we attempted to start the car. Guess what? It wouldn't start. Dead battery!
"Never fear," I declared. "No problem. Simply open your door and push. I'll do the same on my side. I'll leap in when we get her rolling back down the slope and jump start her."
Unfortunately, and before I could jump-start the engine, I didn't notice that the passenger's side open door had hooked on a sturdy maple growing in the ditch.
No amount of pushing and shoving, slipping and sliding on the snow-covered uphill grade would enable us to free the car from the tree's determined grip.
However, on our way onto a side trail, I had noticed a house at the corner with its lights on.
I walked back and despite it now being well past the witching hour and no lights on, I knocked several times before a gent in his bathrobe opened the door.
With true Bluenose hospitality, he allowed me to use the phone. I called the dealership where my dad worked — and where I knew they operated an all-night towing service.
The tow truck arrived a short while later, the driver jumped the battery and we were on our way.
I neglected to inform my dad of the incident and, by the end of the weekend, thought I had gotten away with it. Company car — no charge — no problem. Right? Wrong!
Noon time Monday, when dad came home for lunch: "Had a little trouble with the car on Saturday night did you?"
The grapevine around the back shop and the sales floor had worked well and everyone had a good chuckle at my expense.
My February date had turned into a great Valentine's disaster!