I’m sure everyone has bad dating stories from the past, and I’m certainly no exception. My problem is that one of my worst experiences came on New Year’s Eve, so I think about it every single year.
I was working at WBNQ and had been dating a girl named Nancy. At the beginning of December, I accompanied her to her office Christmas party and had a great time with her employers and friends from work. My office Christmas party was scheduled for the following weekend. Nancy called me on the Sunday after her party and broke up with me over the phone. It wasn’t a total surprise, as we didn’t have a ton in common, but all of a sudden I didn’t have a date for my Christmas party. I asked her to at least go to the party with me, but “she didn’t think it would be a good idea”. Thanks Nanc…sure was a good idea when YOU needed a date for YOUR party.
I was at work the following week, and out of the blue, I got a phone call from a girl I hardly knew. In fact, I didn’t know her by her name…she had to describe to me who she was. I used to hang out in downtown Normal at a place called “Big Rudy’s”, and she was one of the waitresses there that I used to flirt with when I was in there (I know, it’s hard to imagine me flirting). Her name was Teresa, and after I made the identification, she said, “I know this is really forward, and I don’t know if you’re dating anyone, but I was wondering what you were doing for New Year’s Eve?” I explained that Nancy had just ripped my heart out and danced on it, so I had no date and no plans. She explained that she and a group of her friends were going to dress up and ring in the new year in the Grand Ballroom at the Pere Marquette Hotel in downtown Peoria. She asked if I would like to be her date, and I agreed. She shared an apartment with a friend of hers not far from where I lived, and suggested that I come by that night to meet her roommate, who would also be attending the Peoria party along with her boyfriend.
That night, things went well. We all got to know each other, and I was looking forward to hanging out with all of them on new years. While I was there, Teresa said, “Oh, by the way, we’ll be spending the night over there so pack a bag.” I asked if she had already made a reservation for me, and she assured me it was taken care of…she had already reserved “our” room.
So of course, I immediately think I’m in like Flynn! She told me what time to come by to pick her up the day of the party, and said she was excited to be going with me. I had to agree.
The day came, and I stopped by to pick her up. I was suffering from a really bad cold, and if this were not our first “date”, I probably would have cancelled…that’s how rotten I felt. Nevertheless, we had a great conversation on the way to Peoria, with her telling me about some of the other people who would be there. When we got to the lobby of the hotel, she immediately saw her roommate and her boyfriend, so she ran over to talk to them and kind of said over her shoulder “go ahead and check in.” So I sauntered up to the front desk and claimed that I would like to check in. The friendly clerk said, “Certainly. Name please?”
There was a pause, as my mind raced. I was sure that Teresa made the reservation under her name (it was on her credit card)…but I didn’t know her last name. I told the desk clerk that I would be right back and went over to where Teresa was, and quietly asked her “Um, what name is the room under?” She told me her last name, and I proceeded to check in.
We went upstairs, and each spent time in the bathroom, individually, getting ready for the night. Neither of us came out until we were fully dressed. It was like sharing a room with my sister.
Things quickly went downhill from there. When we went downstairs to the party, we sat at a large round table full of her friends, none of whom I knew other than her roommate and boyfriend. They all started talking about their world, and I slowly started to disappear. I asked to dance a couple of times, but I’m not even sure she heard me because she was so engrossed in conversation. I was so bored that when people remarked that they needed another drink, I volunteered to go get it for them just to give me something to do!
On one of the trips to the bar, I ran into a guy named Jay who I had worked with in radio. I was so glad to see a friendly face that I hugged him! I explained what was going on, and his reaction was “why don’t you just leave?” I thought that felt a little rude, but I have to admit, the thought sounded appealing.
I can’t even remember if we acknowledged each other at midnight. But by about 2 a.m., people started retiring to their rooms. She looked at me and said, “Are you ready to go upstairs?” I said yes, and immediately wondered what was in store for me, being the Don Juan that I am.
Nothing, with a capital “N”. She went in the bathroom, put on about as many pajamas as one person could wear, got into bed and immediately rolled over onto her side with her back to me. She mumbled a quick “night” and, as far as I could tell, went right to sleep. I went into the bathroom, changed into sweats and a t-shirt, and did the same.
When I woke up the next morning, she was already showered, dressed, packed and ready to go. By this point, I wasn’t really concerned about what she thought, so I took a long time showering, getting dressed and packed and ready to go.
I asked what she was doing the rest of the day, and she said something about hanging out with her parents. When I dropped her off, there was no kiss goodbye, no affection of any kind. I said I would call her sometime.
Sometime came the following week. Yet, when her roommate would answer my calls, Teresa was never home. And she would never return my calls. I ran in to her a couple of weeks later, and she apologized for not calling me back. I asked if she would like to go out sometime, and she responded, “Well, I’m kind of seeing someone right now.” Hmm…that was quick.
That’s when it dawned on me. I was a date. I was an escort. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I think about this experience every New Year’s Eve. If Teresa reads this, I hope you go to at least one party where your husband or whatever ignores you all night. And Nancy, I hope that at one point in your life you’ve had to go to a party or event and explain why you don’t have a date.
Happy freakin’ New Year.