One Date with A Mortician

Tonight Mara was in my office recounting her recent escapades in boyville as we watched the fireworks over Soldier Field in honor of the Obama/Clinton debate. I mentioned that a friend of mine wanted to set me up with one of her boyfriend’s friends. (I’ve heard he’s already affectionately named me “Miss Kansas”.)

I started thinking about set-ups, and whether I’d really ever been on one.

Then it came to me, like a bolt of lightning. There was one. And it nearly killed me.

When I was a 4-H agent, we shared a building with the Health Department. And our building was conveniently located across the street from Dairy Queen. I’d become good friends with one of the women who worked in the Health Deparment, and one day she suggested that we go over to Dairy Queen after work.

When we got there, we “ran into” a guy, who ended up sitting with us. I truly had no idea what was going on — in a small town, you run into people all the time and sit with them. Why should this be any different?

I learned his name was Eddie. Profession: Funeral Director.

After ice cream, he suggested that we go for dinner. Still completely dumb to the situation, I declined. I think I really did have to go home and watch Felicity that night, because as you know, that was well before the advent of Tivo. (I didn’t even own a cell phone.)

The next day, it occurred to me that I’d been the victim of a set-up, and I hadn’t even realized it. But, never fear, Eddie called me the next night to set up a date.

So that weekend he picked me up in his Jeep, proceeded to talk about himself the entire 45-minute ride to the “city”, and then make racist comments throughout dinner. Then he asked me if I was diabetic because I was drinking what was apparently an abnormal amount of water.

After an hour, I was dying. And given that I didn’t have a cell phone yet, I couldn’t even go to the bathroom and call a girlfriend to commisserate. I think he caught the drift, and both agreed that it was getting late (at 9:00 p.m.), and that he should take me home.

To give you an indication of the amount of pain, I actually smoked a cigarette on the way home. One of 10 in my life.

Unfortunately my luck in dating didn’t improve. Shortly thereafter, one of the county commissioners — 20 years my senior — asked me out to see him play drums in his band called The Weasels. (Later that year he got married for the 4th time.)

Please, please ask me why I’m still single.


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