Dating Disaster: My Convertible Was Not Rain-Proof

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raining the car
No one likes the guy whose car leaks.
My car was a crackerjack in sun but a sieve in the rain.

I experienced my worst dating disaster long ago, but the harsh memory of it is still painfully clear. It involved a vintage convertible, its rumble seat and a devastating thunderstorm.



I had a 1939 Plymouth coupe that had cost $100. It was a major investment because I was then a college student on the G.I. Bill. My only income was from a fast-food job, earning me $100 in monthly spending money.

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I'd succeeded in getting a first date with a beautiful classmate. The attraction must have been the colorful lies describing my wartime heroics. She'd agreed to attend the student dance with me, but only if I'd include her sister and date for the evening.

When I chugged up to her house, she and the other couple were appalled when they saw my car, an ancient coupe with an open-air rumble seat. It was one of the last Plymouth cloth-top models of popular early 20th Century roadsters. Except for the uncomfortable couple jammed into my rumble seat, all went smoothly when I drove to the campus gym for the dance.

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The evening went very well. We all piled back into my Plymouth. First, I drove to an isolated spot where students parked to do what young people traditionally do. Then, just as we were getting comfortable, disaster struck!



A sudden thunderstorm brought a heavy downpour, and in a few moments the two in the outside rumble seat were soaked, and the cloth top was leaking profusely inside. I needed to find shelter, but my car wouldn't start. The storm had knocked out its electrical system!

After a furious harangue from my passengers, I jumped out to search for a phone booth. There were no cell phones back then. After 20 minutes, I finally sloshed to a drugstore and called my date's parents. We shared an angry, wet and silent ride in her father's sedan. Dating Disaster: I Will Not Sleep With Your Dog

Of course, that was my first and last date with the beautiful classmate. I didn't see her again until 10 years later at a reunion. When I approached, she politely asked my name, and insisted she didn't remember me. She then turned and disappeared into the crowd.

I was left alone, rejected and questioning myself. Was she indicating a backhanded forgive-and-forget attitude, or had she totally erased the nightmare of our disastrously stormy, one-and-only date?

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