Bad romance: Who had Sacramento’s worst date?

Presenting the winners of SN&R’s Worst Date Contest

We’ll admit it. We had no idea just how bad a bad date could be. When we read your submissions for the Worst Date Contest, we were shocked, amused and even a little saddened. We expected awkward stories, but some of them were downright criminal. We learned two big lessons from your entries. First, some people are bafflingly thoughtless. Try not to be one of them. Your date might not live up to your romantic ideals, but that’s no reason to abandon common courtesy.

Second, don’t sweat the small stuff. After reading stories of dine-and-dash dinners, unwanted groping, racist jokes and drunken vomiting, we had to smile at entries that detailed an “offense” like failing to check a restaurant’s hours of operation or having a thick French accent. These are not deal breakers. First dates are a lot of pressure, so go easy on the person who invited you.

That said, SN&R is proud to present the winners of the Worst Date Contest. Our first-, second- and third-place winners each received $100 at Raku Sushi. We’re grateful to everyone who shared their uncomfortable stories and shined a light on the dark depths of Sacramento’s dating pool. Be safe out there, and don’t let these stories keep you from swimming.


First place:

What would Jesus do?

I was asked to a Valentine’s Day dance at my sister’s church. My sister and her boyfriend were already there and had reserved a table for us. I told my date I love to dance. He was just nodding his head. He was not into talking much.

He drank four cups of punch. I reached over to grab his cup, smelled it and sure enough, it was spiked. Then the deejay announced it was time to boogie, so we headed for the dance floor. We were dancing our asses off! My date kept on going to the table and grabbing his (spiked) punch.

They began to play romantic songs, so we slow danced. He held me tight, then tighter and then I felt something. Oh no! It can’t be! He was like the chorus of that song by “Too Close” by Next: “You’re making it hard for me.”

I slowly backed away. I looked down at his package and he had a wet spot! I turned red, and ran into the ladies’ room.

When I came out, people were looking at me like it was my fault he had the wet spot. My date didn’t even care, because he was drunk. As if the night couldn’t get worse, they told us each table had to go to the picture booth, and our table was next. Really? Why, Jesus?!

After the photos, I told my date I was leaving, and he gave me an envelope and said thanks. When I got home, I opened the envelope, and there were several photos. They were the funniest pictures ever. I was looking at the wet spot, and my face was red in all of them, like a tomato.

I will never forget this date. Not ever. By the way, I did not continue to go to church.

—Maricela Martinez, 35, medical assistant


Second place:

Drinking problem

This goes back to the summer of 1993. My sister worked with this gal that was a total knockout! This girl was the prettiest, hottest girl I’ve ever gone out with—hands down! For two weeks we talked on the phone, but it was kind of a blind date when we saw each other. At dinner, I ordered a soda, and she ordered apple juice. As we talked, she ordered a few more apple juices.

We decided to play miniature golf. As soon as we got there, she complained her stomach was hurting. About 15 minutes goes by, and she was almost buckled over in pain. I put my golf club down to comfort her. All of a sudden, I heard this disturbing sound like a thousand farts. She had uncontrollably gone to the bathroom on herself.

She was wearing a skirt and the poor girl started freak out as she realized what had happened. I helped her quickly to the bathroom where she tried to clean up. After that, she was embarrassed and wanted to go home. I was very sympathetic, and felt bad that I had to find a cardboard sheet out of the trash so she could sit on it and not my seat.

I still called her for another date. I mean, shit happens, right? Not her fault. But I guess she just couldn’t face me after that, and we never went out again.

—Ken Koenig, 43, musician


Third place:

Uncle Touchy

New Year’s Eve 2009: I was going to see Utz! and the Shuttlecocks at Harlow’s. My friend chatted with a guy outside who she thought would be perfect for me. He went to Oregon State [University]. He worked at UC Davis Medical Center. He was in an argyle sweater! What man in an argyle sweater isn’t an upstanding citizen?

I acted like I gave a rip about football (having seen on TV literally minutes before that Oregon was playing in the Rose Bowl). He invited me to watch the game with him the next day, and we went our separate ways.

New Year’s Day: The guy called! He mentioned he was going to his uncle’s place to watch the Rose Bowl, but that his uncle was “really cool” and he would love for me to go with him. I decided to follow him in my car. We drove. We kept driving. Where the hell were we going? We exited somewhere in Rancho Cordova and turned into a trailer park. After we parked, the guy falls out of his car wearing his solid-green Oregon Ducks jumpsuit. He stood up, balanced himself, and said, “You’re pretty.”

I realized this guy was tanked at 1 p.m. We walked past a few trailers, and I hear “Who’s that sexy thang?” coming from a double-wide a few slots down. This was his “really cool” uncle.

As we walked up, the uncle grabbed my chest, like a “honk honk” situation. I know. It sounds ridiculous, but this happened. I was honestly so scared, thinking they would do something crazy if I tried to run.

I went inside the trailer. They had three televisions stacked on top of each other, all with rabbit ears. I sat down, trying not to let on that I was absolutely repulsed and in fear of contracting scabies from the couch. At each play, the guy jumped up from the couch and screamed and danced. At one point, he hit the ceiling fan above us, and a giant pile of dust fell over me. He kept trying to kiss me and said things like, “I’m a good lookin’ guy. You think I’m good lookin’, don’t you?” I just kept dodging the kisses, acting like I didn’t want to make out in front of the family.

I told them I had to be somewhere at 2 p.m., so I was only there for 45 minutes. Longest 45 minutes of my life.

—Kimberly Hicks, 30, nonprofit account executive


Honorable mentions:

Mr. Dash

I met a friend of a friend who channeled ’90s grunge. He gave me a white carnation at a show and dropped the line, “We should go on a date sometime.” I agreed. He picked me up one afternoon from my studio apartment, and we were off to grub on some Indian food.

At a restaurant that will remain anonymous, he ordered us drinks and picked the food, with a side of this and a side of that. I was impressed with his take-charge demeanor. The food came and went: warm naan, stiff drinks and then the bill.

Pulling out quarters, dimes, rolls of pennies and crumpled dollar wads, ’90s Grunge placed all his money on the little black tray where the bill lay and informed me we needed to dine and dash. Dining and dashing is something one does at 16 years old, at a Denny’s, past curfew with too many friends—not on a first date.

I’m a freelance writer. I didn’t have the cash to cover said bill and, hey, I was asked on this date. So, I guessed we were dining and dashing. I got up first, he got up second, we exited the building and I just strode really fast around the corner and into his vehicle. The food was so great, but I’ll never go back there again because I am forever scarred.

—Steph Rodriguez, 26, journalist

Designated driver

I was sitting at my place on a Saturday night when I was contacted by a female friend of mine. She informed me that one of her friends had spotted me at a party, and was wondering if I would take her out on a date that night. I got the woman’s number and gave her a call.

What this woman wanted to do for our date was “live action role playing” (or LARPing). We would all pretend we were vampires. Being a huge nerd, I thought this sounded like a great idea.

I picked her up. I must admit, she looked fantastic. After she got into my car, she asked if I could pick up her friend who lived nearby. We picked him up and were on our way.

I quickly noticed something was wrong. Once I started to drive, she started talking more and more to him. Once we were on the freeway, she was touching his hand. When we finally arrived, they were walking hand-in-hand.

It turns out my “date” had me pick up her boyfriend for their date. I asked some of the others who were there, and they informed me that the two had been a couple for a few weeks already. She was never interested in a date with me; she was interested in a ride.

—Ron Edens, news producer, KCRA 3

Count your drink tickets

On a first date, this girl wanted to come to one of my shows in Modesto. By the time I got off stage, she was hammered! Not like sexy-hammered. I mean trash-talking drunk. So I was in the car with a drunk date for an hour-and-a-half drive back to Sac. She was trying to light a cigarette in my car where I’d told her not to smoke.

She got a call from our mutual friend about a party and wanted to go. I told her when we get to the party, the date is done. Before we walked up to the party, she vomited most of the booze she got from using all my drink tickets at the show.

As the night proceeded, one girl informed me that the girl I came with was all over her boyfriend. After a while, another girl came up with the dude who was throwing the party, and they told me she was being rude. In the background, I could hear her tell some girl that her shoes were ugly.

We called her a cab. I paid the cabby and went back in. She was calling my name and said she wouldn’t leave without me. (Mind you, I had the sympathy card from all the ladies in the party for dealing with that girl, and there was no way I was leaving.) I told the cab driver, “I’m going to get in, but I am going to sneak out the other door and as soon as she is all the way in the cab, I want you to take off.”

I got in first and scooted over all the way to the other door as she got in. She started to wave bye to everyone. I sneaked around the back of the cab and waved bye to her with the rest of the party and as they started to drive, she realized she was waving bye to me. The look on her face will forever make me smile.

Twenty minutes later, I was outside joking with some people about what just went down. I saw a cab and said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that was her coming back?” I looked in the back window of the cab, and it was her!

The driver had taken her home, but she wouldn’t get out and demanded he take her back. I told him we were going to do the same play in reverse at her house. Once she was out of the car, I was going to close the door and take off. He agreed, but wanted another fare. We argued a bit, then agreed on $10 upon my arrival back at the party.

I hopped in the front seat and we headed to her house. The plan worked. Once I was back at the party, I jumped out of the cab and told him to screw himself about the additional fare. He called the cops on me, but I left before they got there, and now I am a wanted man.

—Carlos Rodriguez, 29, stand-up comic

The catch

We met at Sudwerk when it was on Exposition Boulevard. I arrived first and told the waitress I was on a blind date. She said she’d keep an eye on things. The guy showed up and proceeded to tell me about all his past girlfriends and how none of them were up to his standards, and a guy like him really deserved someone special. Every time I thought I might slit my own throat listening to him drone about how great of a catch he was, the waitress would come over and give a little reprieve and say something nice to me.

As soon as she left, he was off and running about how street smart he was or how he was stronger than he looked. Just when I though it couldn’t get any worse, he said to me, in a condescending tone, that it was probably obvious that we didn’t have any chemistry. He went on to say men had to be men, and he thought the waitress was very cute, and he was sure I wouldn’t mind if he asked her out. I replied he should do whatever he felt he had to.

The next time the waitress came over, he proceeded to tell her how pretty she was and that they should go out sometime. The waitress knew we were on a date, and told him what a jerk he was and then pointed out her husband and kids sitting at the next table. She walked me to my car with a sweet pep talk and said she was sure the “dude” could pay for the meal.

—Melissa Gelbart, 39, Sacramento County employee

Gas station grooming

For quite a while my worst date was the one where the guy showed up in a “Will Work for Sex” T-shirt, told me I wasn’t very sexy, inquired as to the severity of my menstrual cycles, and informed me that he had a live-in girlfriend whom he couldn’t bring himself to break up with because she was “a really good piece of ass.” I had been pretty sure it couldn’t get any worse than that, but then a few years later, I had a date with a guy who arrived 45 minutes late with tiny bits of bloody toilet tissue dotting his face.

He explained that he didn’t want to make a bad impression by showing up unshaven, so he’d stopped to shave in a gas-station bathroom. It went downhill from there.

I spent the evening riding in his giant four-by-four truck with a gun rack, hoping the AC/DC blasting out of the aftermarket speaker mounted next to my head did not rupture my eardrum, and hanging out at a bar where his family was gathered to eat chili dogs and drink beer. I sat through his endless stream of “hilarious” impersonations of homosexuals, Mexicans and mentally disabled people—one of which required that he hump his sister-in-law’s leg.

As we were finally leaving, my date rolled his eyes and said to his family, “I said I’d take her to dinner.”

His mother’s boyfriend responded by yelling in my face, “If she can’t eat a goddamned chili dog, she’s got no business being in this family!” Amen to that.

—Leah Rosasco, 40, freelance writer