Have you ever had a date that was so unusual you have never forgotten it? Well, three stand out in my mind.
A University of Hawaii East-West Center grantee from a foreign country hired me to do some library research for him. After I’d spent four hours at the library and then handed him the results, he asked me out to dinner at, of all places, McCully Chop Suey. It was nothing fancy, that’s for sure, but I happily perused the menu. When the waitress came to take our order, the grantee immediately said we would have ONE plate lunch and two forks. The waitress shot me a condescending look, and I nearly died of embarrassment. Talk about chintzy! When we finished dinner, we drove to his friend’s apartment. His friend was also a grantee and married to a young woman. Saying nothing, I listened to them chat for what seemed an eternity. The grantee then took me home and made a confession: He didn’t really need an employee; he wanted a girlfriend – that is, me. Needless to say, after that lousy dinner, I turned him down. But, yes, he later sent me a $16 check for my efforts in the library – after I called to remind him.
Another unusual date began on the bus. A guy in his late twenties sat next to me and struck up a conversation. He was engaging enough so when he asked for my phone number, I gave it to him. I got off the bus near my home. He later called and asked me to an outdoor concert. The catch was he didn’t own a car. He told me to take the 5:30 pm bus at my stop in Manoa, and he would board it at his stop near the University. Sure enough, we rendezvoused on the bus. He was carrying a bottle of wine, wrapped in a towel. We got off, listened to the concert, and returned home the same way – he to the University and I to Manoa. That was our first and last date, because we just didn’t click.
Finally, I must tell you about the local man, who proposed to me by mail while a student on the mainland. He wrote: “I have thought it over and have concluded that you should become my wife. Please call me collect with your answer.” Yes, we’d gone to dinners and the movies in the past, but what a horrible, unromantic way to propose marriage! I decided not to call him. Instead, I wrote back that he had not mentioned the word “love” in his letter and, therefore, I was declining his proposal, wishing him all the best.
You probably have your own memories of bad or unusual dates, but these are the ones I’ll never forget. I thank God for David, who always ordered two dinners for us at elegant restaurants, who owned a car, and who swiftly bought me a diamond ring the day after we decided to get married. Life has been sweet for both of us.