The 5-Year Anniversary Issue Preview :: Plus, Jesse’s big news, your worst dates and much, much more — it’s a long one because we’re making up for missing last week …


I was dating a girl in college for about 3-4 months, and during that time my father passed away. Being devastated, I asked her to come down (we lived about an 150 miles from each other) for emotional support. After the rosary service (kind of like a wake), we went back to her hotel and at the bar caught up. I thanked her for coming down and how much I appreciated her support. She said "don’t thank me yet because I came to break up with you. You must realize we haven’t really connected emotionally." I was stunned and she left to go back to her room. To make matters worse the parking garage I had parked in across the street had closed and my car was stuck. I had to go back to her hotel room and ask her to drive me to my mother’s house. It was the most awkward drive of my life.
Another story, In high school I was dating this girl who had just moved to Arkansas from Georgia. We dated for about 5-6 months (which was bad because she was engaged), when on a drive home she said, "You know, if I hadn’t met you I probably would have killed myself by now" (she was rather depressed when we first started dating). This was bad because I was planning to break up with her that night and I did. Thankfully, she didn’t kill herself.

Cody Bennett

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1) My freshman year of college, a guy I had gone on a few dates with asked me if I wanted to go on a walk around campus one evening. We were about as far away from the dorms as possible, just chatting when I casually dropped a “your mom…” joke into the middle of an otherwise pleasant conversation. The guy stopped, looked me in the eye, and said “my mom died a couple of years ago”. I thought he was joking and started laughing. But he wasn’t. We walked back to the dorms in silence and didn’t go out again.

2) Before that disaster, I had dated a guy from chemistry class who also lived in my dorm complex, for a couple of weeks. One day, my roommate (who never spoke to me) came into my room and said “Keke…I feel bad, because everyone thinks it’s funny…but…George is gay. We thought you knew at first…but apparently not.” Sadly, she was very very right.

3)Last spring I decided I wanted to visit Yale’s graduate school. At the time I was regularly IMing and chatting with a guy from a message board (relevant’s, actually), and mentioned that I was trying to plan a trip up there. A couple of days later, he tells me that his mom had offered to let me stay with his family while I was there, and considering the plane ticket was already sucking the life out of my this college student bank account….I agreed, against everything my mom had taught me about strangers. We had technically never met, even though we had talked and flirted online for a couple of months, so when we agreed to meet up in Grand Central Station, I figured it wouldn’t be too big of a deal. I was terribly wrong. When I finally got there, I was slightly smitten, but also came to the startling conclusion that he was pretty much a stranger. So we rode the train into CT, and then drove to his house, saying very little that wasn’t awkward and forced. The next couple of days were PAINFULLY awkward. We half-flirted and kept having those moments where you get too close to a person, only to realize it too late and have to act like it was just an accident. At one point his sister in law (who’s about my age) called him and was talking so loudly into the phone that I could hear her saying something along the lines of “Sooooo, how are you two doing so far??” Sunday I went to church with him, and while standing in the class room waiting for Sunday school to start, everyone there knew who I was because apparently he had been talking about me for a while, so every person that walked in said “oh, you must be keke!”
However, the very last night I was there, we finally got the “hey, I think I like you"s out of the way, and have actually been together for almost 10 months, now. I would never, ever recommend going through something that painful to anyone.

Keke Pounds

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This story is one of the worst moments of my life.

Not the worst date, but the worst moment on a date.
I was 16 watching a movie with my girlfriend, in her room at her parents house. After a while of watching the movie, we started kissing. Note: I was new to the kissing experience. After a few minutes, I noticed that something was tasting terrible. I thought to myself "what the heck is that? oh well, this is great." A couple minutes later, I couldn’t stand it anymore, I moved away & was in shock because my girlfriend had blood all over her face. I said to her, "you’re bleeding" but before I really got the words out, I came to the terrible realization that she was not bleeding, I had a bloody nose. I rushed to the bathroom, in shame, to clean up & thought about how I could recover from that. I was in there for a long while… a seriously long time.
We never spoke about it. We hardly kissed again & the relationship didn’t work out.
Worst moment ever.

Matthew Reiswig

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I was in my first year of college (Bible College) in Abbotsford, BC (about an hour and a half east of Vancouver, BC, Canada). I had been hanging out with this girl from Langley (about an hour east of Vancouver) and we heard that Delirious was coming to town on their Glo tour. We were all excited, and we went to the mall, where she bought the tickets, since I was a poor college student. Unfortunately, the concert wasn’t for a couple of months, and in those couple of months we stopped hanging out or really even talking to eachother. I think she lost any feelings she may have had, and I was just sort of along for the ride in the first place. Anyways, she had our Delirious tickets, and the day of the big show came. I called her that day, expecting that she could give me a ride, since I didn’t have a car. That’s when she told me she was at a friend’s house in Abbotsford, and if I wanted to go I needed to somehow find a way to get to this house. I managed to hitch a ride with some students and get to the house. We then drove in to Langley to meet up with her family. At this point I knew the date was definitely going downhill. We all got in her parents’ van, along with her highschool sister and friends, and went off to the concert. We had the worst seats in the entire stadium. I seriously couldn’t see Martin Smith because the light towers were in my way. It was ridiculous. Then we all piled in the family van and headed back to her parents’ house. I still needed a ride back to the college. This is when things got really ugly. She said, "Yeah, my car has been acting up, and my dad wants to take a look at it. Do you mind if he gives you a ride home?" I was thinking, "Seriously? You’re making me ride home with your dad?" But she insisted, and so I rode the last half hour home WITH HER DAD. She stayed home! It was just me and her dad! It was really awkward, and we pretty much never talked again.

Dan Donkers

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In high school there was a girl I was interested in for some time never got up the courage to ask her out. After awhile she started dating someone at the Catholic school 3 blocks down the street from our public school. It was a small town. After dating for a few years they split. (That’s "years" in teenage dating years – not real time, so they may have only dated for a couple of weeks). After enough time had passed that it seemed like the split was permanent, I mustered up that courage and asked her out. Our date included a movie, and as we were walking up one aisle to our seats I see her ex and his "band of brothers" walking up the other. Our eyes caught. He now knew we were there. It was an awkward moment – at least for me. Though in hindsight, maybe not for him. We sat on the left side of the theatre. My date sitting on my right side. Her ex sat on the right side of the theatre a couple of rows back. During the movie, she occasionally glanced toward her ex. This made me curious, so I occasionally glanced his way and he seemed to be returning her glances. Between the 3 of us there was a lot of glancing. It suddenly became clear to me their split wasn’t "taking." It then occurred to me that maybe him being there was not a coincidence. I felt like I had become the third wheel on my own date.

I wasn’t terribly upset that they wanted to get back together, but if that was the case I felt like there was a better way of handling it than him showing up at the theatre during our date. So the least I could do was try to make it a little uncomfortable for them. Now as you can tell from lack of courage to ask her out in the first place, I’m not a fast mover with girls. I had to see some signs before making *any* moves. But not on this night. I snuggled up to her as close as I could the rest of the movie without trying anything that would require her to reciprocate. I don’t really know if it annoyed either of them or not, but I liked assuming it did.

When the movie was over I thought I would take her home and that would be the end of it. But no. Upon exiting the theatre I found my car and been picked up and moved so that one side of it was up on the sidewalk. My brilliant deductive reasoning took over. Knowing that our small town had no good natured German body builders, I reasoned that it must have been her ex and his friends. He and his boys must have been having a laugh at my expense – and at the same time declaring a holy war that would inevitably ravage the 3 blocks that lay in the battle zone between our two schools.

I stewed over it the rest of the weekend thinking how to retaliate for being made the chump on my own date. Not so much because he showed up at the date, but for moving my car. You don’t mess with a guys car – especially in the small town culture — even if it is a diesel VW rabbit. Well, the couple did in fact get back together within the week. And I never got a real date with the girl. But all was made right for me by Monday when some friends of mine fessed up to the prank of moving my car. And I was much relieved, because I wasn’t really confident about going to "battle" with someone who I thought could pick up and move cars.
And a final note: The friend that orchestrated the moving of my car was named Shoemaker. So though not a body builder, he was of German descent and he was pretty good natured.

Matt Cookseyprospector.jpg

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And, finally, Jordan Halland sent us this photo, completely apropos of nothing.jesse_the_gladiator.jpg

He may be little, but he’s got the biggest heart!