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About seven years ago I went on a date with a rather odd woman (we'll call her Allie). She possessed two bachelor's degrees and was working on a third, yet worked at Restoration Hardware -- a clear indicator of Peter Pan syndrome.

My idea of a great date is one that is open-ended, timewise, and set in a place public enough to provide protection should one be wary or insecure, yet intimate enough to allow for conversation, for I am the type who must talk with a woman for several hours to see if an attraction exists.

I picked her up and we proceeded to a local eatery that fit the aforementioned description. While eating, we began to talk -- well, she began to talk. I believe a good date consists of two people conversing, not monologues or soliloquies. She proceeded to unburden her soul on me, turning the date into a pro bono therapy session. I'm a high school teacher, so people like to pick my brain; I am not, however, a psychologist, and I certainly don't want to spend what should be a date playing Lucy "Five Cents Please" Van Pelt.

Among other things, Allie told me she had been raped on two occasions. She then proceeded to disparage every form of Western thought with the exception of Judaism (which she pronounced Joo-DAY-ism), which she vacillated on with praise of the Jewish culture and diatribes bordering on anti-Semitism.

I am a patient person, so I was polite. I listened and ate.

We then moved on to a local bar. I had hoped that, after a couple of cocktails, the evening would take on a lighter tone. This was not the case. Her borderline psychosis intensified exponentially with each drink. As we left the bar, she was on the verge on tears.

I dropped her off, and we exchanged pleasantries. I knew I'd never want to date her again, but because I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, thinking that perhaps she'd had a bad day, I gave her a courtesy call a few days later and left a message saying that she could drop me a line if she wanted to meet up and chat. I was hoping that she would not call, of course, and to my delight she did not. I have since abandoned this unnecessary courtesy.

A few months later I met a woman online. This woman turned out to be a former friend of this Allie. She informed me that Allie did not call me back because she'd observed that, lacking an available cocktail napkin, I'd stuck the wad of gum I'd been chewing under the table at the aforementioned bar.

I had to chuckle. Apparently, turning a date into a psychotherapy session is acceptable, but something as insignificant as placing a gum wad underneath a table is indefensible.

This former friend of Allie's also told me that Allie had a tendency to counsel her female friends in their relationships and then proceed to have sex with said friends' boyfriend or husband.

I have since become far less tolerant of such nonsense. I'm married now, but if I weren't, and I had another experience like this on a date, I'd be at best curt and at worst outright nasty.

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).

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Or mail to:
San Diego Reader/Dumped
Box 85803
San Diego, CA 92186

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