California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Lenore – She Who Comes Bearing Gifts

This girl I worked with asked if I would meet her friend for a date. I’m always apprehensive about these sort of things. But I had a great work relationship with my friend at work. So I took the friend’s number and called her. We chatted on the phone a few times. One topic of conversation was me always eating Pringles potato chips when we were on the phone. One of my bandmates worked at a supermarket, and we would clip a few items occasionally for his poor bandmates.  (this becomes relevant later). She seemed like someone I’d enjoy spending time with, so we decided to meet for dinner.

I was excited to meet. In hindsight, there were a few warning signs that this might not turn out well for me.

1. In one phone conversation, the topic of butt size came up, and she said something to the effect of, “don’t be scared by how big mine is.”

2. When discussing our dinner date, she said, “You have to promise me that no matter what, we’ll meet again after our date, even if it doesn’t work out, we can have drinks and laugh about it.”

3. When she was describing how I’d recognize her outside the restaurant, she said, “I drive a purple Camaro.”

Being young and naive, I didn’t think much of it all, and arrived at the restaurant that evening with an open mind. How soon things changed. After waiting outside a few minutes, up pulls a purple Camaro convertible. If you’ve ever seen the movie Friday, where Smokey gets set up with “Janet Jackson”, you know what comes next. Back then I weighed about 118 lbs. and am 5’9″. That’s a lean build. This girl had at least 50 lbs. on me, if not more. “HEYYYYY!!!” She greeted me, and I did my best not to look scared to death.

In addition to her purse, she was carrying a brown paper bag. I didn’t really want to know what might be inside. We went in and got seated at our table and after a minute or two of uneasy conversation, she said, “I brought you something.” Out comes the paper bag, from which she pulls out a Ken doll, dressed as Superman, with “Mr. Pringles” written on the cape. My face felt like it was on fire and I could feel everyone in the entire place staring at me.

After ordering dinner, I excused myself to go to the bathroom. On the way back to the table, I passed the front door and seriously considered making a run for it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Defeated, I slowly walked back to the table and we had our dinner.

We had also planned to go to a comedy club afterwards. I intended to offer to drive us both there, but instead told her to follow me in her car. Again, I considered maybe trying to drive fast and lose her on the way, but figured my VW minibus couldn’t outrun her Camaro. Fearing getting heckled by the comedians all night, I found a table in a dark corner towards the back and the rest of the evening was fairly uneventful. After the show, we said our goodbyes and before I could turn to go, she grabbed me and, giving me a giant bear hug, whispered, “Make sure you call me.”

Needless to say, that was the last I ever saw of Camaro girl. I learned a lot about dating the “friend with the great personality” that night. But to be totally honest, I would have hung out with her again, but that whole “Mr. Pringles” thing really creeped me the fuck out.

 

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Author: phicklephilly

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