Dating disasters

Parksville Qualicum Beach News columnist Neil Horner tells a tale and invites you to send him your dating disaster stories

This is your  captain speaking. It appears I have completely lost control of the situation up here in the cockpit and we are crashing as I speak. On a side note, yes, that is smoke you see and yes, the plane is on fire. Thank you for flying NeilJet.

We’ve all had them, those special crash and burn moments when you realize that any thoughts of this date leading to romance have become not only unattainable but laughable. Ouch!

I’ve certainly had my share of evenings when I had to switch my settings to “endure” after some supposedly-witty line went south. The worst time of all though saw me unaware — although not blissfully so — of the debacle falling down around my ears, or rather, hers.

It happened just up the road and across the water from Buckley Bay, many years ago, when I finally managed to arrange a weekend at a cabin on Hornby Island with a young woman whom had been the subject of my, to-date-unrequited affections. I’ll call her Wendy.

She lived on Fiddlehead Farm up Powell Lake with us back in the late ’70s, renovating an old chicken coop with cedar shakes to turn it into a . . . relatively . . . comfortable cabin.  She was an all-hippie girl, funky, bright, smart, with a big sense of fun. I was smitten.

We got to the liquor store in Parksville just before it closed and stocked up on two big bottles of cheap red wine. We took them with us back up Island and found an obscure bit of beach. We sat on a log as the sun set, drinking red wine and watching the water. We drank quite a lot of it, actually.

We were able to catch the last boat to Denman and made our way to the hall for the big dance. I remember it being a pretty good band, just the sort of show that used to get me up dancing. It wasn’t long before we were up with the others, moving to the music.

And then it happened. Jumping around on the dance floor after consuming that much red wine was a pretty potent mix.  The room started to spin.

“Ohhhh,” I groaned. “I think you’ve gotta get me outa here.”

She held her booze better than I did, because she took my hand and took charge, leading me across the dance floor towards the sanctuary of the bathroom.

I made a sort of bubbling noise at one point on that long,  long walk and Wendy heard it and leaned closer to hear what I was saying.

Now, an argument could be made that if she hadn’t leaned closer it wouldn’t have been nearly as bad, but regardless of who was at fault, the result was really quite vile.

I’m no expert on the female psyche, so I can’t speak about other parts of their anatomy, but I can tell you one thing for sure — take notes guys — throwing up on their actual heads really, really doesn’t do it for them.

Somehow I found myself outside and I hung over the porch.

Wendy eventually rescued me a couple of hours later, pouring me into the back seat of some guy’s car. He drove us to his house and they tucked me into a bed.

“He’s not going to throw up on it, is he?” I heard the guy say before the lights went out, I fell into oblivion and they went off together for the night.

As we head into the Valentine season, let’s have a little fun. I know I’m not alone in having had a date disaster. Not every attempt at romance has a fairy-tale ending.

If you send in a brief tale of a dating catastrophe, we can run it in this space between now and Valentine’s Day.

I won’t use real names if you don’t want me to.

I bet there are more than a few howlers out there.

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