I hate dating.

Blind dates? We’ve all had them. Some of my “favorites” happened when I worked at QVC. While I had a few nice relationships during my 15 years there, I was single for the entire time. That meant my married coworkers had to try their best to hook me up with their friends and/or relatives.

I once had a blind date laugh out loud when I told her what I did for a living. (I figured she had been holding it in since we met. I am pretty funny looking.) She couldn’t believe a grown man made his living selling stuff on TV. When I asked her what would be a more respectable occupation, she said anything where I would be working in an office. Luckily, we were at the bar, waiting for our table. I suddenly fell ill and had to take her home early.

Interesting sidebar – I also asked her what she thought a good salary would be for an adult. She quoted a figure that was about 10 times less than I was making at the time. I didn’t tell her, I just smiled and told her I hoped I would make that much someday. I think my parting words were “F**k you and thanks for the memories.”

With the weird schedule we all had at the Q back then (I hear it has since improved), it was difficult to maintain a relationship. When you work every weekend, usually at night, it’s tough to carve out a social life. My dog Mandy was my best friend and we spent a lot of time together. She actually became a good judge of who was right for me and who wasn’t. She immediately took to Rosanne. I think she knew how perfect we were for each other.

I tried my best to avoid the dates they were trying to set up for me. But some people were insistent. One lady they set me up with was very attractive, tall and thin with enormous breasts. She was proud of the fact that she had a boob job many years ago and was now a 46 quadruple D. I don’t know how she walked upright, but she managed.

There was a problem. We were both in our late 40’s and time had not been that kind to her endowment. She had a large butterfly tattoo on one breast that was visible under her blouse. Problem was, there had been some stretching and sagging over the years, so the butterfly looked like Mothra after a battle with Godzilla. What had probably been bright colors were now faded and the streaked pastels that reminded me of the paint in my first dorm room.

She also had a bit of a problem with wine. She had four glasses with dinner and was really drunk. Some guys would have thought of that as a benefit, making the trip to her bedroom much easier. I grew up with drunks. I felt sorry for her and really found her disgusting.

When I took her home and refused her invitation to come inside for a “nightcap,” she got really nasty. Nothing like trying to get a belligerent drunk out of your car late at night in a crowded condo complex. I finally convinced her that I would indeed call her the next day. Luckily, she didn’t work at QVC, so dodging her was easy. Although persistent, she finally went away.

A few times, I was set up on a date with someone who wanted to be a QVC host. As you would suspect, they were awful. Some did an “audition” for me at the dinner table. Nothing like a bad DRTV presentation to spark up a first date. I had to pinch myself to keep from laughing as they picked up a salt shaker or something else from the table and launched into a sales pitch. Yeah, I considered the “casting couch” approach, but I really didn’t want the grief when QVC turned them down.

One of these blind dates brought her 20-something daughter to dinner with us. She asked if it would be okay and I realized that she was just dating me to get her daughter a modeling gig with the Q. That was an evening from Hell. She had her daughter do a “model walk” across the restaurant floor. Yeah, she was awful. She had the grace of a charging wildebeest.

A few blind dates fancied themselves the next great inventor on QVC. I will never forget the “Humane Mousetrap.” It was a regular little cage trap with a water dispenser glued to the inside. This way, the budding inventor told me, the mouse would not suffer after you caught it. You were supposed to release the creature back into the wild. Excuse me? Release a disease carrying rodent who already knows the way to get into my house? The inventor asked to be taken home after I said I wanted anything that chewed its way into my house to suffer and die.

Another Thomas Edison wannabe gave me her “Lapkin” when we went to dinner. It was a cloth napkin that clamped to each leg with bicycle clips. She sewed the clips on a napkin and thought it was her ticket to fame and fortune. The clips are designed for your ankles. They cut off the circulation when I tried to clip them to my thighs.

She also ordered an appetizer, desert, coffee and an after dinner drink along with her surf and turf entrée, causing the date to last what seemed like months. When I told her the “Lapkin” was not the next “Miracle Mop,” she cried, actually bawling out loud in the restaurant, causing most diners to think I had wacked her across the face. I hailed her a cab, handed the cabbie $50 and told him to give her a tissue and drive her home.

I tried one of those high-tech dating services, figuring they would be better than the random matchups I was getting from my fellow employees. When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. A dating service is another name for “endless bad blind dates.” I got to meet bitter divorcees and long term bachelorettes, all of whom held men in contempt but, as their biological clocks now had a busted mainspring, they were looking for company.

Online dating was just as bad, although it proved to be a great way to get laid. I met a bunch of horny women on one of the famous online services. Most were obvious about wanting to get me back to their place and have sex. Believe it or not, this got old. There was no challenge, no thrill of the hunt. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. Plus, this was back when medical folks were saying if you have sex with someone you’re also having sex with everyone they slept with in the last several years. I had no desire to have sex with the entire city of Philadelphia. This was the first sign to me that I was getting old.

I have always really loved children. But after one date, I woke up in bed with the lady and her three young children who had crawled in bed with us while I was asleep. “Say hello to your Uncle Steve,” she told them. They climbed on top of me and started hugging me. Keep in mind that I was naked under the sheets and blanket. I could just see the headlines now – QVC HOST CHARGED WITH PEDOPHILIA.

I told the kids I would see them downstairs and one of them said, “Uncle John was here last night. We have a lot of uncles.” When they finally got out of the bedroom, I put on my clothes and headed off to the nearest VD clinic in case Uncle John was a carrier.

Speaking of VD, a couple of ladies told me they had “inactive” genital herpes, but I would be okay if I used a condom. When I told them that I always wore a condom but also wanted to wear a hazmat suit with them, they asked me to leave. Plus, do they make tongue condoms?

As I said at the beginning of this, I hate dating. Although I must admit there were some very entertaining moments, like the time Lady A showed up at my house while Lady B was there. I never told either of them we were exclusive, but that didn’t matter. It’s a noisy but effective way to break up with 2 people simultaneously. As I am rather dense, this actually happened to me twice, with completely different women each time. But the end result was the same. Lots of yelling, screaming and crying…and that was just me.

I did date a few people I worked with. Huge mistake! Don’t ever do it! You will regret it, I absolutely guarantee it. And, if you’re on TV or radio, don’t ever date anyone who is also on-the-air. I did it 3 times, each time more disastrous than the last. It might seem easy because you have similar weird schedules, but you will wind up hating them and yourself. I consider telling you this to be a public service.

If you are with someone, I hope you are as happy as I am. If not, hang in there. Like when I met Rosanne, it will come out of the blue. And check into that tongue condom thing just to be safe.


© 2017 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and reposted on any online site or read aloud on any audio media without the express permission of the author.

TV Shopping Host and Coach, Musician, Author, Teacher.

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