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He began by asking me what is my religion. With my salad in front of me, I replied that I was Roman Catholic. He informed me that I should know that the Pope is an agent of the devil. That it was well documented that the Roman Catholic was created by Satan as a way to spread his evil deeds throughout the world. Since I am curious by nature and I was famished, I decided to see where this strange date would take me.
I changed the subject to my discovery of the scene at the University of Berkeley. I told him it was wonderful to find street artist and vendors. The people were very interesting. I inquired if he had ever had a tarot reading on Telegraph Avenue. With a look of horror on his face, he said by participating in tarot and reading astrology I was damning my soul to the hell fires forever. I suppressed by laughter as the waitress brought the entrées.
In between bites of pasta, I decided to change the subject to family. I told him I am a mother of a young child. I had two years prior ended a fifteen-year relationship and marriage. I asked him if he ever had been in a long-term commitment. He replied that he was divorced and he had four children. He sputtered that he had received custody of his eldest son and his ex-wife had the three children. When I inquired into their ages, he informed me that he had not seen his three younger children. Surprised, I asked why. The witch, his ex-wife, had obtained a restraining order against him. She had taken their children and returned to Europe. He had no way to contact his kids except through his ex-in-laws whom he badgered to get information. I began to worry as to why a woman would need to get a restraining order against this man.
I searched for the waitress and asked for the check. As we waited for the bill to arrive, I changed the subject to employment. How did he like working for medical company? I asked. He said he was doing a favor for a friend and did not work for the company. He was on disability and recording at a hospital. In turn, he began to quiz me regarding my employment history. Why had I switched from teaching to nursing? How had I liked attending university? Why had I taken time off from work? I searched my mind as to how this man would know so much about my education and work history. Then, it hit me.
He had memorized my résumé. The feeling of nausea spread throughout my stomach with the realization that this strange weird man was privy to the last fifteen years of my life. As he paid for the meal, he informed me that this meal had been expensive for him. We would no longer be going to the movies. He said, "The next date can be at your place. I prefer to stay in and watch a video." Oh.
As we walked to the car through Jack London Square, I thought about ditching him. He could hail a taxi to Hayward. I was tired of his strangeness. Then, I remembered he had my home address. I drove us to Centennial Hall.
Along the way, he informed me of the numerous peculiar ideas floating through his head. Had I seen Texas Chain Saw Massacre? No. Did I know it was a true story? No. On and on, he continued telling me of his beliefs. Finally, we reached our destination. As he stepped out of the car, I explained I needed to leave and raced away from his car.
Now, in 2009, I am happily committed to my loving family. I can look back at that crazy date as one of the strangest and worst dates in my short dating life.
Cows and Courting
About four years ago, I was working as the day manager at a bar in a small town in Minnesota where there were weekly cattle sales. This guy, a rancher from South Dakota, would come in every week after the cattle sales and hang out at the bar. One day, he came in early before the sale and ordered a lemonade. I thought it was a little weird but didn't think much of it. He stared at the bar for a good two hours and finally, without looking up, asked me out to dinner the following week. He was so shy and nervous that I felt I couldn't say no. Plus, he seemed like a nice normal guy.
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