The true story of the worst date I’ve ever been on.

This story is meant as a cautionary tale for fellas who want to woo a special lady. It’s not great to under impress a girl, but it’s even worse to overshoot the landing.

I will say as a preface that I was really rooting for this one to work out. It happened a little over three years ago when I was going through a bit of a rough patch in life, having just broken up with my first “real” boyfriend of sorts.  I will not name names, but for clarity I will refer to him as one of my favorite actors.

Morgan Freeman was a fraternity president, an accomplished musician, a chef, and a very accomplished scholar. We met at a pageant of sorts in which I was playing the ukulele and he was playing the guitar. I’m pretty sure he won. I came in second. No, I’m not making this up.

Just like this.

Just like this.

Anyways, Morgan Freeman and I totally hit it off, and push comes to shove, he invited me back to his room in the frat to play music.

Calm yourselves, internet, nothing untoward happened. We actually played music. Beatles, mostly.

It was really nice. I had a fantastic time. We were jiving and the conversation was flowing and all that good jazz. I remember being impressed because his room was ridiculously impressive for a frat house, and I think he told me his mom was an interior decorator or something like that. Super posh. I went home to my fantastic roommate all revved up, and then we probably watched a hockey game and ate goldfish and drank a really horrible cocktail and went to bed or something.

So Morgan Freeman texted me the next day asking me if I’d like to do dinner. And that’s when Things Went Downhill. Because of course I said yes, and in my head I was picturing a slice of pizza, and if things got really impressive, ice cream. And in his head there was apparently a 5 course candlelit meal with a string quartet and a dozen roses.

Gentlemen, here’s some life advice. Impressing women is not always about buying the gal roses and champagne. Sometimes, it’s about knowing whether or not she even likes roses and champagne, or if she’d far prefer dandelions and an ice cold beer.

I’m mostly a dandelions and beer kind of girl. So when Morgan Freeman told me he wanted to cook dinner, I said okay, but I was a little apprehensive. Then when he told me he was planning on making a blueberry wine marinated rack of lamb with an impressive assortment of sides, I said I’d make dessert, when what I really meant was You’re cooking what now? 

This is the part where some of you are shaking your heads and thinking I’m an ungrateful snot. Maybe I overreacted slightly, but in my mind, the first date is about getting to know each other, not impressing your date with a crazy meal, especially if your date knows about as much about making dessert as a business executive in L.A. probably knows about ice fishing. Let’s just say that I stressed out about what I was going to make the entire meal and when the chocolate mousse I decided to make (I was so naive) was about as cooperative as a cat in a bathtub, I was in full panic mode.

Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman was waltzing about my tiny kitchen with the grace of a true pageant winner, going on and on about exotic cheeses, and I felt so out of my element that I kept adding vodka to my screwdriver. It didn’t help that he showed up in a button down shirt with a nice sweater and pressed khakis (!!!) and I hadn’t even bothered to brush my hair.

So good.

Oh Morgan. You don’t have to cook to impress me.

Add to this scene my pajamaed roommate running in and out grabbing things from her pile of school books, the neighbours having some sort of rave next door, and the fact that my notoriously finicky oven kept misbehaving. By the time the food was ready to eat, I was already tipsy, we had run out of conversation starters, and my mousse had lost what little stamina I’d managed to beat into it and had melted into a goopy puddle. Disaster.

Happily, the meal he’d prepared was really, really good. Unhappily, we we both so stressed out and on edge that we barely touched it.

Like a true gentleman, he rallied to my deflated mousse, but by the time we parted ways with one of those awkward hug – handshake – only-one-person-goes-in-for-a-kiss situations, I’m pretty sure we were both ready to call it a night.

Moral of the story – Dudes, know your ladies. Pick something out for a date that puts both of you in a non-stressful situation. And if you ever have to “just whip up” a dessert, for the love of all that is holy DO NOT try to make mousse.


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