The other time with the hot sauce…

So, I wish I could tell you that I only had one run in with hot sauce on a date. But I can’t. I can’t tell you that. Well, I probably could tell you that…but I would be lying.

We’ve already established that online dating is super fun, as is being set up by friends. But what many people fail to realize is just how enchanting going on a date with a guy from church can be.

It can be magical.

Or so I’ve heard. My experience with that was slightly different.

For a while when I was going through my divorce, I needed to be around others who were going through a similar situation. As much as my friends and family were supportive, there is something about meeting other people who have the same thing happening in their lives that makes you feel less alone…less like a huge failure.

So, I found a local church that had a group for divorced and divorcing people. We met every Thursday evening and went through a class on how to cope with divorce, and we talked to each other. Basically trying to figure out how to cope with divorce.

And, as is the case with any group of people meeting frequently for long periods of time, friendships developed. And I developed a casual friendship with several people in the group. We exchanged numbers and would sometimes go to the movies or other places as a group.

One day, I got a text from one of the guys asking me if I’d like to get together on our own. I didn’t have my kids that weekend, so I said sure.

I had agreed to go on my first date as a single person.

As this was the first date I’d been on since I was 19, I was a little rusty with how everything was supposed to work. But, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t like this:

I agree to let Church Dude pick me up at my house. Huge mistake, looking back – and one that has never occurred since then; however, remember I was a dating novice AND I had known him for several months at this point. Anyway, he drives up to my house to pick me up in a 10 year old car. It was a sedan. (The age and model of the car is not the actual issue…keep reading).

After we sit down in the car, he puts a radar detector up in the windshield.

This was a problem for two reasons.

  1. How fast, exactly, do you expect to be driving in a mostly residential area and never going on a highway, at all, during this drive with me in the car?
  2.  Does your car actually even go that fast?

I choose to ignore the warning voice in my head, as I figured it was probably just his habit to put up a radar detector when he sits in the car.

It wasn’t just habit. He needed it. He drove like a maniac. A blind maniac. A blind maniac with a lead shoe on. But he wasn’t wearing lead shoes. He was wearing sandals. (There will be a footwear quiz later on…hold on to this nugget of info.)

But now I’m strapped in to this car that is older than my child and kind of stuck along for the terrifying ride.

Anyway, we’d decided we were going to grab a bite to eat. He told me he really wanted chicken wings.

So – he took me to Hooters.


(Please read the above understanding who was driving and that it was before Uber and Lyft were a real thing in my area.)

Anyway, we get there, and as you can imagine, it was the perfect setting for a romantic first date. If your idea of romance is a first date in hell.

We were seated at a high top table. You’ll be shocked to know that he said I should look into getting a side job there…but maybe not, because the other wait staff would be jealous of the tips I would get due to my…you know…well, I’m not going to say it, but he did. (Boobs.)

He then proceeded to eat his chicken wings as if he was a two-year-old who had never been allowed to handle food on his own. There was sauce everywhere. On his forehead, his shirt, up his arm, even on his eyelash. He spent as much time trying to lick the hot sauce off the various areas of himself as he did talking with food in his mouth.

It was everything you’re imagining it to be.

He also had on slider sandals (think black Adidas that all athletes wear when they take off their cleats) and he was swinging his legs back and forth. Hard. And — you know where this is going — his shoe flew off his foot. And landed on the next table over. In their food.

It was truly hilarious. Except it was happening to me.

Well, you’ll be happy to know, Church Dude did not have to get into a fist fight to retrieve his shoe. But, he also did not apologize, nor did he offer to pay for their food. It was clearly not the first time he had to hop off a stool to retrieve an errant article of footwear. He was not the least bit phased shuffling across the restaurant, covered in sauce, to pick up his shoe.

Finally, having gorged himself fully on hot wings, and his feet again fully shod, the meal was blessedly over and we were once again speeding in his car hurtling toward my home. As we pulled into my driveway I was already opening my door. He started to lean over, trying to kiss me. And he asked me if he should run over to Walgreen’s to buy condoms.

Which, again, was truly hilarious. Except it was happening to me.

During my duck and weave pattern to avoid the kiss, and get out of the car as fast as humanly possible, I told him that those probably would have been better purchased prior to dinner, as they certainly would have come in handy since could have been rolled onto his hands in an effort to keep some of the sauce off.

I then went in the house quick as I could and locked the door behind me. *Shudder*

Needless to say, after that, I no longer found it necessary to go to that church group.

The time I accidentally insulted the Mayor…

Lest you think all of my posts are going to be tales of dating woes, I’m switching gears today to talk about the time I accidentally insulted the Mayor…to his face.

I have eclectic taste in music. I love alternative, rock, folk, classical, even hip hop to an extent. My iTunes account has everything from Foo Fighters to Mozart. And I love seeing live music. In fact, my very good friend and I decided to see Ray LaMontagne when he came to town a few years ago.


As you can see from this photo, we are in Chicago. (I didn’t tell her I was posting this photo, thus the heart – though I do really love her!)¬† I actually grew up in the city. It’s a very culturally diverse area of the country. And I love that fact. It’s one of my very favorite parts of having grown up here.

In any case, I was really excited to be going to the concert. Ray LaMontagne, for those of you who don’t know, has a very folksy sound, mostly acoustical guitar, and has a gritty voice. He’s very good.

So, the concert is at the Chicago Theater. Which is in the middle of…Chicago. Which is culturally diverse. As I’ve already established. Except…as I was watching the seats in the venue fill up, I started noticing something really abnormal.

It was not culturally diverse. At. All.

No diversity. Anywhere. Even the pages and other workers were not diverse.

And, I started to get really uncomfortable. In my entire life, I had never been anywhere in the city where I could not see the beautiful diversity that I loved. Old, young, all races, and creeds – men and women all blending together making this place great.

It started to make me feel anxious and really strange. And it suddenly became very important to me to find diversity. Why? Because I’m awkward, I guess. And I know you’re thinking that “of course there was no diversity at a folk concert, and of course the venue would be filled with yoga pants wearing, latte drinking moms who look the same, you idiot”, but at that time, it didn’t occur to me that this was the case.

So now, I was obsessed. I was watching all the people as they entered the auditorium. The yoga pants wearing moms who dragged their husbands with…people like my friend and me, who got sitters and were having a big night in the city…and others who all looked the same. And I pointed this out to my friend. And she patted my hand and told me to calm down.

But I couldn’t calm down. I needed to find diversity. I wanted to feel the heart of the city.

And then I saw her. I saw the one person I’d been praying to see. I needed to see. And she was beautiful. She was cutting across the aisle of seats about four rows in front of us.

So, at this point, a normal person would let it go. But not me. Nope. I gestured to her with my chin, while saying to my friend, “oh, whew, finally”. But this beautiful woman wasn’t alone. She had a man following closely behind her. In fact, she was showing the Mayor to his seat.

And the Mayor thought I was gesturing to him with my chin. So he picked up his hand and began to wave at us.

Now, I had only ever seen him on TV. And I live in the suburbs now, so I really don’t pay much attention to him. That is my excuse for what I did next.

I gasped. Then I said, loudly, “OH MY GOD IS HE SHORT! HE’S REALLY THAT SHORT?! MAN, HE’S SHORT!”

Simultaneously, he wretched his hand back down shooting me a dirty look, while my friend elbowed me in the side telling me he was standing right there and could hear me.

So, that wasn’t awkward.

In my defense, if you’ve met me, you know I am not what anyone would describe as tall. I say I’m 5’2″, but that is just when I’m standing on a chair, on a hill, wearing stilts. I think that maybe I was just in shock at finding a similarly sized person in real life. Or maybe I just don’t get out much. Either way, it’s clear that I don’t always remember to censor the things going through my head before they come out of my mouth. So…yeah.

But, you’ll be happy to know, as the venue started to really fill up, and more and more people showed up, the diversity of the city that I was so afraid I’d miss wasn’t an issue. More and more people came. All races, creeds, and ages. And it was a beautiful concert.

Except for the death stares I was getting from the Mayor.