December 2, 2023 | Rome, Italy

Triple dating

By |2018-03-21T18:18:10+01:00December 1st, 2004|Lifestyle Archive|
Awkward silence fills every nook and cranny of the car.

ast month, I brought you Weirdest Dates, Part I. To conclude our investigative series, we bring you the Mount Everest of Weird Dates. Our very own roaming correspondent (the intrepid Ms. Kate) sniffed out this scoop while in Greece for the Olympics. Here is her report:

So, I was at the Casaitalia party for the Paralympic Games and I met a chatty woman who told me the most unbelievable story over a glass of warm ouzo too many.

A few years back, she met a handsome guy — her age — at a marketing cocktail event in Turin, the city where she lives. Inspired by his good looks, smooth conversation (he casually let slide that he was recently split from his girlfriend of many years) and the unmistakable chemistry between them, she decided that if he asked her on a date he could be an interesting prospect. Sure enough, he did.

After a series of flirtatious phone calls, date plans were made. He would pick her up at 8 p.m., they would go for drinks, and then to a cozy polenta restaurant just outside town that he knew of.

Eight strikes, no date; 8:30, ditto; 9, silence. At 9:15, the doorbell rings. She buzzes him to come up, but he replies in a hurried voice: “Just come down.” No explanation or apology for the tardy arrival is offered, but she figures she’ll grill him later over drinks when they get more comfortable in each other’s presence. Jacket on; lipstick touched up, grimace of having waited 75 minutes wiped off her face, she’s ready.

She breezes over to his parked car but immediately notices something odd. Someone, in silhouette, is sitting in the backseat. Maybe a friend needs a ride into town? Maybe the evening has turned into a double date? He jumps out of the driver’s seat with a warm smile, gives her an affectionate hug, kisses her on the cheeks, and gallantly opens the passenger door for her.

She takes her seat and turns around to say hello to the person (a woman) in the back seat. Upon closer inspection, she sees clear signs that the woman has recently cried: Her nose is puffy and black mascara streaks stain her cheeks. The mystery woman’s succinct reply to the hello is a steely cold look. Awkward silence fills every nook and cranny of the car.

The date hops into the driver’s seat and they start to chitchat: How’s work? We’ve been having great weather, haven’t we? What have you been up to since the party? Blahdy blah.

After more intolerable conversation, she musters up the nerve to ask if there have been changes to the plans: double date? carpooling?

“No. I already called the restaurant to move up our reservation, and, oh by the way, she will be following us until it hurts too much and she finally pisses off,” he says, abruptly motioning to the embodiment of gloom seated quietly in the backseat.

Our protagonist ventures a timid, barely audible: ‘Umm, and who is she exactly?’

A whimper is heard from the backseat.

“She,” says the date in an audibly pronounced way between clinched teeth; ‘is my ex-girlfriend.’

Sniffle-sob-sniffle from the backseat.

“Excuse me, but why is she with us?” asks our protagonist.

“Because the b*&% wants to suffer, that’s why!” he bellows. “She planted herself in my car and I couldn’t get her out so I told her if she wouldn’t leave I’d be forced to bring her along with us.”

And so the evening ticked forward one tortured minute after the next. They went for drinks and the ex-girlfriend tagged along, sitting at the table without ordering, and shooting evil death glares for an hour and a half at each unfortunate individual in the bar that night. Same scene throughout dinner: candlelight and polenta for two, at a table with three. Finally, the date is over and our heroine can’t scramble up the stairs to the safety of her apartment fast enough.

She only heard from the man one more time after the evening. He called about a week later to say how mortified he was about what happened and to announce that he was getting back together with his ex-girlfriend since he couldn’t get rid of her. That evening she had slept in his car parked in his garage.

About the Author:

Monica Larner is Italian editor for Winer Enthusiast Magazine. Rome-based, she is the author of three books on Italy including "Living, Studying, and Working in Italy." When not in Europe, she can be found with pruning shears in hand at Larner Vineyard near Santa Barbara, California.