Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Best of the Worst: SNAGadu

Unfortunately, I can easily do a whole series on my worse-case scenarios: dates, exes, breakups, etc. Also, rather unfortunately, I enjoy these experiences because they're a hell of a good story. To start off, let's not undermine my idea of the worst. For instance, my best of the worst in movies would include Urban Cowboy (a story about a mechanical bull rider who wants to be a better mechanical bull rider), or Baptists at My BBQ (a story about a Baptist that dares to intermingle with modern-day Mormons). How can you beat that for favorite bad movies?

So for my best bad date let's go with SNAGadu. He is a now famous story that my friends occasionally ask me to reenact. I met him when I had first moved to North Carolina. He was several years older than I was, had a PhD is Gaelic studies (if you know me, this is cool), wrote a book, recorded a CD- all-in-all, very talented and interesting individual. I thought surely this guy is  smoochable. Turns out not so much.

We were both at a ceilidh and I noticed that he "presented" himself to each partner with great theatrical elan. I should not have ignored this. I also noticed that most of my friends thought he was gay. Despite these barriers, I carried on and we had our first (and last) date. We met at this restaurant and he kept asking the waitress if she honored the NPR coupon. In fact he harassed the woman so much I thought she was going to leave for the night. Turns out this was a 2-for-1 coupon he was trying to get.

The conversation began and he asked me very specific questions: could I sing opera?; had I ever illustrated a children's book?; was I part Cherokee? To most this would seem odd until you knew that these were all things his ex-girlfriend was. Then the conversation went downhill: "I'm a SNAG." "Huh?" I say, half listening. "I'm a SNAG: a Sensitive New Age Guy." "Ugh," I reply, not even able to hide my disgust. He proceeded to tell me all about himself- the fact that he was a 40-year-old man living in a hippie commune, how 'theatrical' he was, etc. etc. By the end of dinner I was past wanting to go home. I had cable and the History channel and surely it was better than this.

"Let's get gelato," he insisted. "You know, I think I'm done," I replied. But after even more insisting I caved and agreed to walk the block and a half to the gelato store. We go in, he selects his, I select mine and then he leaves the store... many awkward moments pass as both the server and I realise that he intentionally wanted to stick me with the bill. I guess he wasn't over not getting that 2-for-1 discount.

I go out and he skips down the street, pointing his toes. "What do you think of my new shoooooes?" he sings. "Did you just skip like a little girl?" I ask, "I kind of want to punch you for that." This violence from me brushed aside, he repeats his lilt and then tells me how he got them for $1 at the garage sale. I sigh. We can skip through the tirades about his family, the Bad Renaissance festival jokes in poor accents, and all of his other delightful personality… quirks.

As we walked back to our cars he asked me what the story is on my friend, Brenda. "Are you seriously asking about my friend while we're on a date?!" "Well, it's just that I met her first, and well, I was just curious about her status." Good grief, and yet I was more offended that he skipped like a little girl.

He asked me out the following day. I told him I had t.v. that took precedence, i.e. NO. The good news is that my father (known to threaten castration to... say a brother-in-law at the Wedding Rehearsal) heard this story. He has never met any of my boyfriends (can you blame me??) but he heard about SNAGadu. And while he chuckled about the idea of he and SNAGadu skipping down to the barn together I know that I saved any guy I might introduce to my dad. After all, he only has to have the tiniest bit of testosterone and walk upright and he'll be now be golden with my dad. I should probably be embarrassed that my dad thinks this is what I attract but I prefer to see it as paving the way to the future. Any guy I get serious with has no idea the favor I just did for him.

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