When I’m The Bad Date – Excerpt #4 From The Next Book

Excerpt from the Next Book #4 – When I’m the bad date.

There seems to be some curiosity regarding this next book in the “Life Before” series. To satisfy inquiring minds, there are currently twenty-three chapters written with the next book divided into five sections. A little disclaimer: please note that this next book is a work in progress, has not gone through editing, is subject to change at any moment, and is in no way meant to embarrass anyone but myself. All of the stories depicted of the incredibly charming and the not-so-charming are true–except of course for the ones that aren’t.

Aptly entitled Life Before Happily Ever After and filled with a compilation of entertaining stories of dates gone wrong and love gone right, below is an excerpt and a sneak preview of what’s to come in the next book. My goal is to reveal a story from each section in hopes to inspire, entertain, and even encourage those (both married or not) to live life off the couch no matter what stage or season of life you’re in and to engage in adventures even when you don’t know how they’re going to turn out. You don’t have to know the ending to step into your beginning. If you must, tip toe into your dreams. Don’t stop dreaming. There is life before happily ever after…there is also a life after happily ever after.

Stay tuned for stories from the following sections of the next book, Life Before Happily Ever After.

1. Awkward first date bloopers
2. Relationship bloopers
3. Good dates - they're definitely out there!
4. Times where I'm the bad date


Excerpt from Section IV: When I’m the bad date.

When I’m the bad date.

As I tell these bloopers and foibles of these various prince charmings and not-so-charmings, I feel the need to set a reminder that it takes two to tango. There are two people involved in any relationship, which means there are always at least two versions of every story. Prince charmings aren’t perfect and I have also had some charmless moments as well. Admittedly, there have been moments in my quest and adventures in love that I myself have given a prince charming a tale or two he can tell of a date that went south.

I know it may be hard to believe, but there have been an occasion or two where I’m the bad date.

*Gasp* Noooooooooooooooooo! Prove it, you say?

These are just some of the awkward moments that I am the guilty culprit and was the one who was not-so-charming. At least the ones I am willing to tell! Yes, without a doubt I have given some wonderful prince charmings some less than stellar moments.

Once upon a time in Southern California was a boy who took a girl to a concert on a first date.

 “Concert” is a loose term. This particular musical encounter was at a small venue and a rendition of a 90’s band that had a one hit wonder and somehow managed to milk a mic from a stage at one of the local restaurants in the area. Given this was one of the next encounters after I had accidentally gone out with a married man (see chapter one for that story), I had lost a bit of wide-eyed innocence and was now slightly more skeptical in this SoCal dating market. However, this one seemed quite nice, was oh-so-charming, had a great smile, and let’s not forget that he had two tickets to a rockin’ show. I was in.

Roughly halfway through the evening I started feeling a bit nauseous but did my absolute best to fight the rising chaos within me and stay engaged in the conversation. Evidently I failed because my date asked me if I was okay as I started turning green right in front of him. This was not going well.

No, I was not okay. I needed air. As we made our way to the patio and I desperately tried to inhale the fresh air in an attempt to calm the churning beast within my stomach that apparently was determined to make an appearance. If you’ve ever had a splitting migraine and had someone try and talk to you or ask you a difficult question, you might understand the moment I was having. I was focused on one thing and one thing only—not to lose it in front of my date. Everything went from bad to worse as I couldn’t take it anymore and excused myself to begin the race to the bathroom. It was happening.

I lost the race.

In a moment of pure horror, as I rounded the corner into the ladies room I projectile sprayed what seemed like my entire insides in the general direction of the bathroom sink. I couldn’t even make it into the stall to do the deed in private. The two women who were already in the ladies room watched in utter disgust and froze as I finished what I started with wretched convulsions into the sink closest to me. What was happening?!?

Nothing is worse than being sick and far from the comforts of your own home–except perhaps being sick in public while on a first date. Correction: even worse is being sick in public on a first date while your date waits outside the ladies room for your return. What on earth was I supposed to do? After what felt like hours, I swept the ratty pieces of my hair back and lifted my eyes to see the girl in the mirror staring back at me. I was still green.

Yes, I was the girl who puked in the bathroom sink. I was now the girl that somehow had to figure out a way to clean herself up in order to go back to her date…or figure out a way to ditch him. Forget first kisses. If there was a back exit I would’ve used it. All I wanted to do was sink into the floor and magically appear back home in my apartment with the safety of my own bathroom and bed and finish the date with my pillow, not clean myself up and bum gum and breath mints off of the horrified audience I had just performed in front of. I was that girl.

Let me clarify. There are a million bad date stories that begin with alcohol. This is not one of them. Unfortunately, this was not alcohol related in any way. I was not the over-served girl who had too much at a concert and couldn’t hold her cookies. With that in mind, I had other suspicions as to this unexpected hurl.

Eying my date suspiciously as I walked towards him, I was now on the defensive. Had he spiked my soda? Had I been rooffied? As far fetched as this seemed, in my world weirder things have happened. I didn’t even need an answer, I was taking myself home and I was taking myself home now.

I don’t even remember what I said or how I got to my car. I was too ashamed and at the time too suspicious at this sudden change in direction of this date that I couldn’t get to my car fast enough.

Turns out, I had food poisoning from a chicken sandwich I had earlier at a beach side sandwich shop. How do I know this? I found out later as I recounted my experience to my friend whom I had lunched with in Laguna Beach who also had the same unfortunate experience–except hers didn’t include a public bathroom sink, a date, or an audience. I am ashamed to admit that, no, I did not have the decency to call this prince charming and follow up with an apology. I was too embarrassed, disgraced, and downright humiliated to even think about seeing him again. There was not one ounce of me that wanted to ever see him again. Ever. And after the turn of events, no one would blame him for not wanting to see me again! Ever.

This poor, poor prince charming. Somewhere out there is a guy who can tell the story of the girl who got sick and lost it in the sink…and then accused him of spiking her drink with the date rape drug. Yes, I was the horribly bad date and that really did happen.

(As for this charmless girl…there was no second date.)


Ashlee Bratton - Life Before The Lottery

Ashlee Bratton – author of the book “Life Before The Lottery: Living Beyond The Bucket” is a professional photographer, freelance writer, and inspirational speaker with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and master’s degree in business administration.

Along with completing 29 of the 30 things on her 30×30 list, her writing contributions include numerous publications such as Vail’s EAT magazine, creating a 56 page Visitor Guide for a mountain ski town, blogging and guest blogging, being featured in multiple newspapers and e-zines, and various other projects.

Currently, she keeps her camera in hand in Southern Colorado, is a complete and total foodie, and takes plane rides for fun. She likes things that go.


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