‘Twilight’ This Was Not
Okay, kids, it’s time for yet another story from my brief but illustrious dating career (I dated in high school, often finding myself in more awkward and horrifying situations than I care to think about, before meeting my husband in college and being saved from further humiliation. Whew!). Once again, you have Sara to thank for this gem. Were it not for her, I probably would have spent the Saturday night in question in the relative safety of my own bedroom writing bad poetry and plotting my glorious final escape from small-town hell.
Now, I should preface this story by saying that Sara and I have known each other for-freaking-ever. We were drawn together by some great cosmic joke force at the age of ten and subsequently found ourselves in more bizarre, ludicrous, and sometimes frightening situations than most people could handle, usually through no fault of our own. Heh. Suffice it to say that if our parents had had any idea what the two of us were up to, even the best cardiologists around would not have been able to handle the fallout.
This particular adventure began when a friend of a friend suggested some sort of blind date type situation that, to this day, I still don’t quite understand. Said friend wanted to see a movie with Sara (once again confounding us with the date/non-date conundrum), but he had a friend who wanted to come along and would be in need of a female counterpart.
Enter old reliable (dumb) Ruth.
Blind date? Sure! Why not? Let me just slip into my Docs and my best flannel (always the fashion-forward grunge chick was I).
People, I gotta tell ya, I really was a stupid kid. When that beat-up old red Escort with a total stranger behind the wheel pulled into my driveway, I was ready to rock! Not once did I consider that I’d be taking my life into my own hands by hopping in the front seat of that bucket of bolts. Apparently, Sara also lacked the proper amount of sheer terror at the prospect of careening down the road in what can only be described as the Clunker of the Damned.
Upon entering said vehicle (using that term very loosely here), I was greeted by Sara, friend-of-Sara, and the…er…(sub)human who was to be my companion for the evening (he also happened to be the owner/driver of our gas-powered casket). Unfortunately, it was dark in the car and I was unable to get a clear vision of the creature that would be my date for the evening. So, throwing caution to the wind, we began our adventure…under the cover of darkness.
For, you see, there was a reason that things were so very dark when I stupidly happily hopped into that car. It had no headlights. Or, rather, the headlights only worked in optimum situations – specifically, when the radio was turned off and/or the car was moving at a speed not exceeding 55mph. The fact that we lived in the sticks where the speed limit on all the surrounding roads was 55mph, and we were dumb kids who couldn’t travel anywhere without Pearl Jam blasting in the background, made for an exhilarating (and then terrifying) ride. Adding to the horror was the fact that the Clunker o’ the Damned was also missing some other key elements that add to the safety and comfort of a vehicle…you know, like floorboards. In his defense, our driver knew we had nothing to fear if the brakes should fail. With access to the road below and two functioning feet, he was fully equipped for a little Fred Flintstone action.
As we raced along on what could very well have been the final ride of our lives, attempting to contain our stomach contents as well as ourselves (another symptom of our conveyance’s terminal illness was that the hatch would frequently fly open unexpectedly), it started to become apparent that our decision to embark on this little adventure may have been just the teensiest bit….well, stupid. Any doubt of this was quickly spirited away when the lights of the movie theater parking lot revealed the pure eye-roll-inducing loserosity (yeah, I made that word up, whatever) of my date. For he was…a vampire(-ish dork)!
Now, I know that the whole vampire scene is taking the kiddies by storm these days with their Edwards and Bellas and whatnot, but this was 1993 and the dude was just a loser in a black trench coat. And lucky yours truly was going to be stuck sitting next to this popcorn-hurling poor man’s Barnabas Collins for the duration of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.
Sigh…countless are the horrors that can be visited upon a young (stupid) girl in a movie theater.
Fortunately, thanks to Gawd and Tim Burton, we were back on the road in approximately 76 minutes, holding on for dear life and praying we would make it home before the bottom completely dropped out of our situation – literally. Heh. In hindsight, I probably should have used this time to plot some kind of hideous revenge to visit upon my dear friend Sara for not putting the brakes on this little escapade as soon as Count Dorkula rolled up to her house.
You had the power, Sara! You had the power…