In this mini-series I'm calling Freaky Friday, I'm going to take a retrospective look at the anatomy of the date (including finances) and glean some life knowledge from my awful experiences (if only to make myself feel better and hopefully help you to avoid the same mistakes). Here's round two, a continuation of a month-long series I started last week. Names as usal are changed to protect the embarassed.

Hootersnicole It was one of those scenarios that didn't quite match up for me and Hoot. He though I was cute from seeing me in a meeting and then we just kept missing each other, he was gone, then I was gone. We talked by phone and had good chemistry. I even asked around town about him and was told he was a fine specimen of a man. Great.

After a few weeks of back and forth, we both found we were going to be in town on the same night. It was a Monday and where I lived, there was nothing open on a Monday night. He was going to come over after work and we would have dinner at my place and maybe watch some television.

An hour later then I was expecting (I was avoding housework and other chores so as not to break a sweat) there was a knock on the door. True to form, Sadie Dog yelped like the part beagle she is and I got up to answer. I had carefully chosen a slightly off the shoulder green sweater and nice-on-me jeans. I was showing a little skin in the neck area, sexy without over doing it and the sweater was soft, in case he would happen to touch it. Light makeup and hair up, I was up for anything. Why am I going into my appearance? You'll see…

I open the door to Hoot and he's wearing… a Hooters t-shirt. It wasn't even a brand-new looking one but one that had clearly been worn out and about more then a few times. The only thing I could think to do was laugh. And I did, for about thirty seconds.

"Wow, way to try hard on the first date!"

"It was on the top of the pile."

"Hooters, though? Come on!"

"It was clean."

The night that followed was awkward. He came in and wanted to watch 'the game'. I thought this was just an excuse to put something on but he really got into it. Now I'm not really into sports so I was pretty bored and tried to drop hints as such.

The night was a blur, and not in that good way. We played Mastermind. He won, and then essentially called me dumb for losing. I think the laughing in his face at the front door may have put him on the defensive. Fair enough.

"I'll call you tomorrow" he said but this turned into an awkward email two months later, telling me he was moving and no longer going to be part of our shared organization. I forwarded the email to my friends, saying "guess this is him calling me"… I bet you can guess what happened next.

My friend reamed him out over email and accidentally sent it to him instead of back to all of us! Hello even more awkwardness!

Yes, there is knowledge to be gleaned even from Awkward Central:

1) Don't laugh in someone's face in the first minute. It puts things in the Awkward Lane forever.
2) Don't put anything in writing that'll bite you in the butt. It's true in work, and true in your personal life. It's very easy to forward an email and you never know how long people keep things for. Texts will also incriminate for those of you more plugged in then I am.
3) If you don't feel like heavily investing resources in a date, have them over to your place. It's an excuse to clean the house and being on your turf, you'll be much more at ease. And your house is free, except for that rent you're paying anyway.
4) If he's coming over, tell him to bring something. He'll have a stake in it if he feels he's part of the plan. He'll also feel a need to show up on time, for example, if he's bringing a key ingredient for dinner.
5) Be honest, but be nice. I still stand by the fact I was right in telling Hoot how I felt but I could have been nicer about it. Though I hope he learned a lesson: sexism doesn't get you second dates, at least with me.

Stay tuned next Friday for more freakiness. Until then, share your bad date stories below…so long as they weren't with me anyway!

Image: Nicole has fun with Photoshop…

Read an interesting essay about a women studies major who worked at Hooters…

Need marketing help?