On this bad date, I will trade you my retail discount for an emotional scarring


Sometimes when you're a teenager an older man makes you feel special and beautiful!  And you should pretty much guess there that this guy is going to try to molest you at some point in the near future.

I was working at a retail store, doing to awesome job of unclipping and reclipping a bunch of sports gloves so that I wouldn't have to do any real work one Saturday, when a shortish, blond guy with a great smile came up to me.

"Hey, do you have these in any other colors?"  He asked, holding up a pair of insulated ski long underwear.

"Um.  Maybe," I answered grabbing the pants and going to the ski department to ask.  This often happened, people brought random shit over to me, that clearly wasn't my department and asked questions I would prefer to have ignored as I was watched whatever sports video was playing on the overheard televisions.

When I returned with an answer, "No," blond guy asked me another question.

"Hey, if you give me your discount on this stuff, I'll take you out to dinner where ever you'd like.  Sound good?"

He winked.

"Seriously, just an exchange, I'm not hitting on you or anything."

Hmmm.  Being that I was about sixteen, wherever I'd like was really the Chinese food place two blocks away that had a $4.99 lunch special (free soda-yes!) But, I had started to think that maybe I should begin doing grown up things lately.  Like eating food whose prices didn't end in 99 cents.

"Maybe," I answered.

I gave him my discount and made plans to meet him that night.

We went to a Japanese restaurant that I think just got turned into a Mexican restaurant, or as my alcoholic friend calls it, the Margarita restaurant, on Laguardia Place. Dinner was pretty great.  He was interested in everything I was interested in!  Nick Hornsby--he loved him!  Dawson's Creek--secretly obsessed!  Tattoos--Would I help him select his next one? 

Yes I would!

We were walking uptown past Union Square when he asked if I might like to see his office. "It's really cool, you'll want to see it," he promised as we went into a building on Park Avenue.  He unlocked the elevator and we traveled up the floors.  Two, four, five, seven - Ding!

The doors opened to a dimly lit Indian call center.  It was basically a rent a space for new businesses that couldn't afford an office, and/or wanted to lure teen girls into well hidden kill spaces on weekend nights.

He pointed out his desk.

"We're getting those other three so we can have this whole area-" Then he lunged for me.  I'm not sure if his lips actually touched my face, because as I remember it I spun wildly away and slammed into one of the call center desks, knocking papers and computer speakers off in a tangled mess and amassing a bruise on my thigh that years later is still attempting to heal.

"I gotta go."

So we left and he apologized, like someone's dirty uncle at a party and I slowly realized what an idiot I was.  Little teens don't be fooled--No dinner is free!