Jockstraps, hairpieces and home teaching — oh my! Utahns share the horrors and hilarity of their best ‘worst dates’

(Illustration by Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

From the margarita-guzzling woman with the plane crash fetish to the guy who offered to sedate his mother so he and his date could have some privacy, finding a soul mate can be clumsy, comical, creepy or just plain crazy.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, we asked you — our readers — to share your best “worst date” stories.

You delivered.

You told us about the guy who took his first date to go Mormon “home teaching,” and the woman whose agreeable (or noncommittal) palate led to the ultimate dining experience: hot dogs.

OK, so you didn’t find true love. You did find laughter (albeit later) or loathing (at least in the moment) or a lasting memory (even if you’ve tried to forget). So take heart with this sampling of the stories we received (edited for length and clarity):

Sue Bergin of Orem met a guy online. “On the second date, he told me our next date would be reading things his late wife wrote and looking through her photo albums so I could get to know her — because ‘if things work out, this will be a relationship of three, not two.’”

Sherri Park of West Jordan shared an experience involving her mother, who owned a dating bureau. “Once my mother had a client with a strong German accent. She found him several dates and one of them seemed to be getting serious. He came in to ask her an important question. He said he was really interested in a particular woman and wondered if he should tell her something before they got even more involved. Should he tell her he had ‘herpes’? My mother became alarmed and told him that this was important information that he really needed to tell her. Then he started talking about being bald and she suddenly realized with great relief that he was talking about his ‘hairpiece.’”

Dave Dix went on a date with a woman in which "the first thing she did was pull out a 50-question questionnaire asking everything from my sexual history, criminal record, and relationship health with Mom to details on my theological views.”

Donna Sparks Williams of Salt Lake City remembers when a date “walked me back to my car and said ‘I live with my mother, but if you want to come over, I can drug her.’" She did not go to his house.

Matt Martinich of Colorado Springs shared a double-date story that happened to his parents. “Right after they got married, a couple in their ward asked them to go on a double date. They showed up to their house only to find out that after they arrived, the couple had left so that my parents could baby-sit their children and they could go on a date by themselves.”

RoseE Hadden of Moorhead, Minn., remembers a first date with someone from her Salt Lake City Latter-day Saint singles congregation. “The first-date activity that he planned was … visiting less-active ward members. We basically went home teaching in the worst possible way — no warning, no gifts, no prior relationships with these people.”

Christian K. Anderson of South Carolina, though he grew up in Utah, remembers a date when “the woman ordered another margarita every time the waitress came by and told me that, for fun, she liked to watch plane crashes on YouTube.”

JaLynn Prince, of Potomac, Md., recalls a first date when "a fellow drove me to my family home in Heber. He was quite boastful and wanted me to understand his brilliance. After boasting of how deeply he had studied many topics, he pulled over to show me the stars in the evening sky on the outskirts of town. He insisted, not once but several times, that one bright star, which he pointed to, was the center star on Orion’s Belt. Asking if he was sure about that, he became a bit testy and assured me he knew the constellations. I was chuckling to myself because the star was actually a light on a TV tower on one of the hills.”

Bart Barker of West Jordan took out a woman during college. “At Trolley Square, we were going to grab lunch. She had no idea what kind of food she wanted. Each time I asked if she wanted a type of food or to go to a specific restaurant, she replied: ‘If you do.’ Sweetly and sincerely. I grew exasperated. As we walked by one food kiosk, I asked her if she liked hot dogs. ‘If you do,' she said. We had hot dogs on this our first, and last, date.”

Sherrie Gavin of Australia and a graduate of Southern Utah University, recalls a date when "the guy showed up two hours early and then said he needed a ride to a bank. I drove him to the local bank, where he took a long time doing whatever. Then he told me to drive to my choice between KFC or Burger King. I chose KFC. He used a coupon to order our meal — and one drink, so we could share and pinch pennies on refills. I am happy not spending money, but when he grabbed and ate the skin I had pulled from my chicken, the whole thing started feeling gross. After dinner, he asked me to take him to a sporting goods store — where he proceeded to buy himself a jockstrap. I was done! I suddenly recalled that I had a study group and he could walk home, since we were only a few blocks from where he lived.”

Melissa Oviatt of Denver was living in Provo when she was 19 and working as an assistant manager at Domino’s Pizza. “I was told by a 29-year-old guy who was a cashier at 7-Eleven — I was giving him a ride because he didn’t have a driver license — that the reason I hadn’t found a husband yet was because I wasn’t ambitious enough."

Pam Shepherd of Alexandria, Va., met a guy online and he seemed “normal,” so after some phone calls and texting, "I agreed to meet him for dinner. Immediately after our food was delivered, he said: ‘I can’t do this.’ I misunderstood, so I told him to order something else. He said it was too soon since his divorce to be on a date. He’d been divorced seven years. So I said: ‘I’m going to eat my dinner and then we never have to see each other again.’”

Mark Muir of Los Angeles hadn’t seen a particular woman in a long time. He called her up and they chatted for a while. Then Mark asked, “I have tickets for a concert on Saturday. Would you be interested in going?” (Long pause) Woman: “Mark, I’m on my honeymoon.” (Long pause) Him: “Does this mean no?”

Katie Drake of Salt Lake City agreed to a first date with a guy she was “totally uninterested in,” but he had passed out while she was drawing his blood during a blood drive, and she had “to sit there monitoring him for two hours waiting for his mom to come pick him up.” During that time, the guy asked her to his Latter-day Saint fraternity formal. “I mentioned that I’d really wanted to serve a mission, but after much prayer and reflection, just kept getting the impression that it wasn’t the right path for me.” His reply? “Oh, so did you have some worthiness issues?”

Brian Neff of Laguna Beach, Calif., shared a dating episode that could only happen in the era of texting. “My daughter was on a blind date sitting in a movie theater prior to the beginning of the show. Next to her were her date, her date’s friend, and her date’s friend’s date. At some point before the movie started, my daughter’s date thought it would be a nice idea to put his arm around her. However, being a dating novice, he thought he should take the temperature of the moment before proceeding, so he texted his friend. ‘Do you think _____________ would mind if I put my arm around her?’ was the question he shot to his friend. The friend then texted his date. ‘Do you think ______________ would mind if ____________ put his arm around her?’ Her reply was similar. “I don’t know, but I’ll check.” At this point, the date of the friend sent a text to my daughter. ‘Would you mind if __________ put his arm around you?’ My daughter thought about it for a few seconds and replied by text to the other girl, “That would be fine.” That texting chain then went in reverse, eventually giving my daughter’s date the go-ahead. Moments later, a nervous young man put his arm around my daughter and together they watched the movie.”

Pattie S. Christensen of Sandy was single and getting grief for not dating so she agreed to go out with the next person that asked. “Dude asked me over to his place for dinner. I was about one minute away at the designated time and he called to push the time back,” she recounted. “I said no, I am in your parking lot. So I went up there and he was all sweaty and gross trying to clean the already spotless place. He then showed me around. All of the furnishings still had price tags on them turned so I could see the price. He had a computer in his place that had his Mormon temple recommend taped on it. He bumped the mouse and the screen saver turned off to reveal a porn page. He was cooking like a madman — enough food to feed an army. He kept talking super-fast and scratching his arms like crazy. He said that he was a drug rep. His conversation made no sense. He did say that he wanted to marry one of his daughter’s friends. He was clearly on meth — or some pharmaceutical equivalent.” Christensen politely excused herself. “He wanted to walk me to my car. But then he couldn’t remember which building he lived in,” she said. “Craziest thing ever. But I never felt threatened at any time. He was older and quite frail.”

Rosemary Card of Salt Lake City was on a date with a guy who was obviously texting another girl the whole time. “I called him out on it and he said she wanted him to come over after our date,” Card explained. “When the date was over, he asked if I could get her address from my LDS Tools [app] because she was in my ward and his phone was dead.”

Tracy McKay of Virginia started dating again as a single mom. On her online profile, McKay wrote that she was open to being in a step/blended family but was done having babies. On a first date, a guy said he was eager to start his “eternal family” and asked, “So ... what’s wrong with your uterus?”

Melodie Shaw of Riverton was attending a small Latter-day Saint college years ago and wanted to find a date for homecoming. Her friends set her up with a guy, whom she calls “C.” They had never met in person but chatted online for hours. The school had a carnival the night before homecoming with inflatable climbing equipment, booths and food, where they were planning to meet and enjoy the activities. The day arrived and, when she met C, he said a short “hi” but not much else. Before they could say another word, a girl at the school (“L”) walked over and said, “Oh, C! I haven’t seen you in forever. Let’s take a walk so we can talk.” Shaw was horrified that L interrupted the date, but before she could protest, C said “OK” and the pair walked away, not even acknowledging Shaw. Her friends assured the abandoned young woman that C was a nice guy who would surely return soon. After an hour, though, she went alone to her dorm room, and an hour and a half after that, a friend stopped to say that C and L had returned from their walk... and that they were now engaged and were going to the dance together.

Jennie Fugate-Peterson of Holladay endured a “disastrous blind date,” and, at the end, the man asked if he could use her bathroom on his way out of town. “When he came out, I could smell my hair gel,” she recalled. “I realized he used that instead of the hand soap.”