Aug 2, 2014

Spring 2004: The Worst Date in Florida History

My day with Ryan in the spring of 1992 has won awards as the Worst Date in West Hollywood History because everything that could go wrong, did.  But 12 years later, when I was living in Florida, I had the Worst Date in New York History.  Before the evening was over, I hated the guy.   And his house. And his crazy housemates.

I should have known Andre would be a problem, when we met at the Filling Station: he was wearing a leather vest and a t-shirt that said "Flowah Powah."  Dropping the r's?  Really?

But he was hot, with 3 of the 5 characteristics that I find attractive: dark-skinned, shorter than me, and muscular running to husky. Most likely he also had #4, gifted beneath the belt (when I visited South Africa, I met someone with all 5).

We exchanged email addresses, and a few days later he invited me to dinner at his house on Saturday night.

Things went downhill from there.



1. He lived a 45-minute drive away. In West Hollywood we wouldn't date anyone who lived more than 10 minutes away.

2. In a swamp.  To get to his house, you had to walk across a bridge over a muddy moat occupied by an alligator.  

3. His house was in the midst of a major renovation.  The living room and kitchen had a floor, but you had to walk on bare boards across mud to get to the bedrooms and bathrooms.  I saw mice, frogs, and a garter snake.  Probably food for the alligators.

4. No one understand the phrase "I don't drink," so when I'm invited to dinner, I always bring 2 cans of Diet Coke.  This time I forgot. Andre had only beer, wine, and whiskey.  I had to drink brackish, bad-tasting tap water.

5. He said "I'm quite a cook.  I love experimenting with new dishes."  And indeed, he had a whole bookcase full of cookbooks.  But he served some tasteless lentil-squash horror over brown rice.  And no dessert.

By this point, I was thinking "You'd better be spectacular beneath the belt!"

6. One of his housemates joined us for dinner: a tall, thin, swishy queen from Alabama named Beau.  Not a problem per se, except in Florida it was customary to invite your roommate to "share" your date, and impolite for the date to say "no."  

7. During dinner, they both drank quite a lot and got very tipsy.  Drinking is one of my Top 10 Turn-Offs.

8. While we listened to slow, lugubrious, depressing torch songs.  One after the other. Like Judy Garland:

The night is bitter, 
The stars have lost their glitter, 
The winds grow colder 
And suddenly you're older, 
And all because of the man that got away. 

"Do you have anything lively?"  I asked.  "Energetic, upbeat, non funereal, from this century?"

Andre frowned.  "I don't know -- I'll check."  He sifted through his voluminous collection of CDs, and finally came up with one lively track.  Barbra Streisand singing "Lucky."  Beau lip-synched and acted out the moves.

9. After dinner, we sat on the couch, with more torch songs playing in the background.  Beau put on a drag outfit and lip-synched to Avril Lavigne's "Happy Ending" (which isn't about a happy ending), before saying "Sorry, can't stick around to play, girls.  The night awaits!" and flouncing out.

10. "Want to do some crystal?"  Andre asked.

No!  

"Coke?"

I hate drugs even more than drinking!  You'd better be phenomenal beneath the belt!

11. Finally Andre led me back across the bare boards to his bedroom.  I hid my wallet so it wouldn't vanish, like I always do when visiting someone for the first time.  We started kissing and groping.

Then we heard a door slam.  "Oh, that's my other housemate, Ricky.  He's still in high school, but he stays here sometimes."

"High school?" I repeated in surprise.  "How old is he?"

"Eighteen -- he just had his birthday.  We gave him a spanking.  You should have seen him when he was sixteen, though.  The cutest little hustler you'd ever want to meet. "

Suddenly the teenager was at the door.  He was Hispanic, light skinned, with three earrings in one ear and none in the other.  Wearing a Flowah Powah t-shirt.

"Whew, Daddy got it going on!" Ricky exclaimed, looking at me. "Hey, how you like these guns?"  He ripped off his t-shirt and flexed.

"Very impressive," I admitted.

"You can touch them if you want.  Or touch something else, even better."  He flounced onto the bed.  "You into sharing, Papi?"

"It's just our first date!"

12.  "Hey, Boomer's with me!" Andre exclaimed.  "Go to your room!"

"This is my room, Papi." He flounced onto the bed.  "Got any crystal?"

"In the chest in the living room.  And turn on some Judy while you're out there."

That was the last straw.  I had to get out of this mad house!

I made an excuse, pieced my way past the mud, mice, alligators, torch songs, drag queens, underaged hustlers, and miscellaneous drugs, and zoomed as fast as I could back to the normalcy of Wilton Manors.

13. I left my wallet in Andre's house.

See also: The Surprise in Comic Book Guy's Bedroom; and 15 Simple Rules of Gay Dating.