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Love Train by Lindsay Perry

Let me first just say that I have dated a lot of different kinds of men, and some of my worst dates have been with military men -- Marines and SEALs, to be specific. However, I am thankful for the part they play in America's safety and security, and I support them 100 percent. With that said, I met this particular Marine, "Darren," at the Amtrak station in Oceanside on my way up to L.A. one Friday evening. We ended up sitting next to each other on the train and exchanged life stories. He was sweet and charming and from Texas (I'm from Texas), and from what I could tell from the right side of his face, kind of cute -- although I'm not a big fan of the haircut. Darren and I got along well, but he was getting off the train in Anaheim, so we parted ways -- him with my number and me with a good beer buzz.

He called the next day, having deciding to shorten his stay at Disneyland so he could come back, and we could go out that night. Ridiculously hungover from Le Deux [a band] the night before, I reluctantly agreed to a date with him that evening when he returned to Oceanside. Of course, Darren didn't have a car, and when I went to pick him up in Oceanside, where his train was supposed to let him off, I learned that he had decided to get off in Solana Beach. So the irksome evening began.

It continued with margaritas at a Mexican restaurant in Del Mar where Darren explained every single detail of his military life -- why he joined, what he planned to do, his tattoos, his daily routine, and why he made such a good Marine -- without so much as looking up from his enchilada to ask me anything about myself. It was at this point that I mentally checked out and decided to focus on his physical qualities.

Now, I realize that these guys do some pretty hard-core training, but how dark must it have been for me not to notice his two black eyes until halfway through dinner? He also explained later that he had a broken leg, but it was fine to walk on. After dinner I was ready to call it quits, but all his buddies were still at Disneyland -- he had nowhere to go, so we headed to a movie. I got talked into the new Bond film, which I'm usually not a fan of, but Daniel Craig was able to occupy my attention through the second half of this awful evening.

To give Darren credit, he did pay for both dinner and the movie, which was probably a $50 evening, and I was thankful. But I wasn't into him. While I thought I was making that clear through body language (arms crossed and body facing away from him), he took that as an invitation to try to hold my hand. Seven -- I swear -- seven times he put his gritty palm out on my thigh, hoping for reciprocity, but I played it off, pretending to be confused. I suppose it was just too much work for him -- he fell asleep.

What man who's still half alive falls asleep on a date with a fairly attractive young woman, much less during a Bond movie? I kid you not -- this guy was snoring during Casino Royale. No, wait, he did wake up when he realized he dropped his can of snuff (which he smelled like) on the ground. He literally crawled underneath his seat to recover it. I was livid, but I couldn't just leave him there. I was his ride, and he had my number. I called him out on falling asleep but otherwise didn't say a word on the drive back. I drove as fast as the law allows, without knowing where I was going. Apparently, neither did he. God help me...if this guy thinks he is staying with me... I made him pick some random hotel in Oceanside and dropped him off without looking back. "Darren train," as he was listed in my phone, called several times that week, but his calls were not returned.

Tell us the story of your breakup and/or date from hell and we will publish it and pay you ($100 for 500-2000 words).

E-mail story to [email protected] Or mail to: San Diego Reader/Dumped Box 85803 San Diego, CA 92186

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Let me first just say that I have dated a lot of different kinds of men, and some of my worst dates have been with military men -- Marines and SEALs, to be specific. However, I am thankful for the part they play in America's safety and security, and I support them 100 percent. With that said, I met this particular Marine, "Darren," at the Amtrak station in Oceanside on my way up to L.A. one Friday evening. We ended up sitting next to each other on the train and exchanged life stories. He was sweet and charming and from Texas (I'm from Texas), and from what I could tell from the right side of his face, kind of cute -- although I'm not a big fan of the haircut. Darren and I got along well, but he was getting off the train in Anaheim, so we parted ways -- him with my number and me with a good beer buzz.

He called the next day, having deciding to shorten his stay at Disneyland so he could come back, and we could go out that night. Ridiculously hungover from Le Deux [a band] the night before, I reluctantly agreed to a date with him that evening when he returned to Oceanside. Of course, Darren didn't have a car, and when I went to pick him up in Oceanside, where his train was supposed to let him off, I learned that he had decided to get off in Solana Beach. So the irksome evening began.

It continued with margaritas at a Mexican restaurant in Del Mar where Darren explained every single detail of his military life -- why he joined, what he planned to do, his tattoos, his daily routine, and why he made such a good Marine -- without so much as looking up from his enchilada to ask me anything about myself. It was at this point that I mentally checked out and decided to focus on his physical qualities.

Now, I realize that these guys do some pretty hard-core training, but how dark must it have been for me not to notice his two black eyes until halfway through dinner? He also explained later that he had a broken leg, but it was fine to walk on. After dinner I was ready to call it quits, but all his buddies were still at Disneyland -- he had nowhere to go, so we headed to a movie. I got talked into the new Bond film, which I'm usually not a fan of, but Daniel Craig was able to occupy my attention through the second half of this awful evening.

To give Darren credit, he did pay for both dinner and the movie, which was probably a $50 evening, and I was thankful. But I wasn't into him. While I thought I was making that clear through body language (arms crossed and body facing away from him), he took that as an invitation to try to hold my hand. Seven -- I swear -- seven times he put his gritty palm out on my thigh, hoping for reciprocity, but I played it off, pretending to be confused. I suppose it was just too much work for him -- he fell asleep.

What man who's still half alive falls asleep on a date with a fairly attractive young woman, much less during a Bond movie? I kid you not -- this guy was snoring during Casino Royale. No, wait, he did wake up when he realized he dropped his can of snuff (which he smelled like) on the ground. He literally crawled underneath his seat to recover it. I was livid, but I couldn't just leave him there. I was his ride, and he had my number. I called him out on falling asleep but otherwise didn't say a word on the drive back. I drove as fast as the law allows, without knowing where I was going. Apparently, neither did he. God help me...if this guy thinks he is staying with me... I made him pick some random hotel in Oceanside and dropped him off without looking back. "Darren train," as he was listed in my phone, called several times that week, but his calls were not returned.

Tell us the story of your breakup and/or date from hell and we will publish it and pay you ($100 for 500-2000 words).

E-mail story to [email protected] Or mail to: San Diego Reader/Dumped Box 85803 San Diego, CA 92186

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