New Year's Eve was going great... then his date showed up.
To most young men, the worst dating disaster is when you can't get any dates at all. However, mine had to be at least as traumatic. I had dates with two different young women for one New Year's Eve celebration.
It happened during World War II, when I was assigned to the U.S. Navy Base at Treasure Island, California. The little plot of land in the Bay is under the Bay Bridge, halfway between Oakland and San Francisco. It originally housed the World's Fair in 1939, and three years later it became a wartime Navy facility. The Navy closed it down in 1997.
As an 18-year-old sailor back then, I found Treasure Island the perfect base, and whenever I had liberty, I hopped the bridge train or Navy van into the beautiful city of San Francisco. On one liberty night, I met a beautiful student nurse at a dance at the USO, then downtown on Market Street. Dating Disaster: His Name Wasn't Scott, Evidently
We hit it off very well, and as often as I could get into town, we were together. When year-end approached, I asked her for a New Year's Eve date at the very upscale Top of the Mark on Nob Hill. In World War II days, that was the epitome for Navy dates in San Francisco, and usually only for highly-paid officers. I made reservations for the night at a cost of $60, a month's pay for a lowly sailor, but felt she was worth it.
Then, about noon on December 31st, the first phase of my dating disaster struck. My nursing student girlfriend called to say she had hospital duty and we couldn't get together that night. I moped a bit, but because I'd already paid my hard-earned $60, I decided to go to the Top of the Mark and join the celebration.
I found the place jumping, mostly with Navy guys and their dates. Feeling like a fifth wheel, I had a drink. I was nursing it when someone yelled my name. I turned to see a guy from my unit standing there with two very pretty girls. One of them had the same problem as mine. Her date had cancelled at the last minute. Dating Disaster: A Guy, A Girl, Her Gas
We paired up to dance, drink and laugh. After an hour, we were cuddling and smooching along with the rest of the celebrants. Being with this fascinating girl was making me forget about my original date. Then, my dating disaster struck! During a particularly close smooch, I looked over her shoulder into the furious eyes of my student nurse.
In very angry words, she told me she had managed to get off duty that night just so she could join me at the Top of the Mark. She shouted many other descriptions of what she thought of me. As she turned to stomp off, I tried to follow to apologize, but my new love's arms remained tightly wrapped around my neck. Sadly, I never saw my student nurse again. Dating Disaster: A Double Date Gets Double Drunk
However, very happily, my instant New Year's Eve date became a treasured and permanent part of my life. We and our extended family will be celebrating our 65th wedding anniversary together later this year.
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