How Facebook Helped Me Dodge a Bullet

Facebook Dodge a BulletSo then…my sister Della urges me for the 52nd time to look up people from the past on Facebook so I can catch up with all my old friends from high school and college.

I tell her that I prefer to think of those people as perennially young, vital, and attractive – rather than glimpse them as their current wrinkled, paunchy, older selves. Like me.

To prove my point, I share with her some emails I recently exchanged with one of my high school friends Liz.

TO: Della (my sister)
FROM: Darcy
Subject: Why It’s Better Not To Know

Della, here’s a good example why I don’t wanna participate in Facebook and School Reunions in general. My high school friend Liz sent me this email:
“The other night there was a happy hour thing for alums of our girls’ high school and the boys’ high school because a guy named Tim “Mac” MacIntyre* was coming into town from Nebraska or somewhere up north. I went, and it was fun and all, but am I supposed to remember this guy? He said he remembered me, and I feel horrible for not knowing him. He was a football player all 4 years & graduated the same time we did. Anyway, do you know him? He has a pic on Facebook if you wanna look him up. Catch me up if you know this guy. –Liz”

So I replied:
Omigosh, Liz, you don’t remember that you lost your virginity to Mac?
And he tattoo-ed your name on his inner thigh!
And you signed a contract that if he ever needed a kidney, you would be first in line to donate.
How could you not remember this guy?
(OK, I don’t remember him at all either. Sorry. I even looked him up on Facebook and didn’t recognize him.)
The only football player I remember was Kevin Riley* who I thought was pretty dreamy — but he was very shy. I asked him to a Sadie Hawkins dance and he declined! I prefer to think he objected to dancing in general, and not to me in particular. But I will never know!
— Darcy

Then Liz sent me this response:
Thanks, and I’m glad I don’t have total amnesia for my high school days! I do have some further scoop on Kevin Riley*. He married a friend of mine and they had 5 kids and then a few years ago, he had some kind of midlife crisis and divorced her and moved in with a younger woman in Texas, last I heard. So, be glad he refused your dance invitation; that could have been you! — Liz

So my dear sister, do you see what I mean? Prior to this email exchange, I had fondly recalled Kevin as that dreamy football player who was so shy, that most other girls didn’t notice him, but I had a crush on him. And in my mind, he was young and cute and muscular — and represented a cool “what if” fantasy if he HAD said yes to the Sadie Hawkins dance.

But NOW I picture him as some plump, balding, desperate middle-aged man having a midlife crisis and being such a jerk that he dumped his wife and 5 kids to run off to Texas with some cheap young floozy.

THIS is Why It’s Better Not to Know.

My sister Della responds:
OR…maybe his wife was a pyromaniac, kleptomaniac, nymphomaniac shrew who stole things, set fires, and slept with his friends — and he is still dreamy, cute and muscular, but he had to leave for the safety of his children. Jeez — Why do you always think the worst of people?

(But you still dodged a bullet — ‘cuz he’s got FIVE kids. Who needs that hassle?)
— Della

(*not their real names, by the way, to protect their identities!)

Ha!  Indeed, sister, indeed!  Who needs that hassle?  Better the Texas floozy than me!

— Darcy Perdu

(Any Facebook posts or Reunion events where you discovered your crush has not aged well – or hasn’t turned out the way you thought? How about that mean girl in gym class – what happened to her? Anyone who HAS held up surprising well – or turned out really nicely? Share updates on your classmates in the Comments Section below; just protect their identities!)

How Facebook Helped Me Dodge a Bullet P Small

Does He Get Up Early Just To Get It So Wrong?

Mother's Day Cake Pans
So then…I give big hugs and kisses to Tucker, 7, and Chloe, 4, for their homemade Mother’s Day gifts and thank them for the gorgeous flowers in the vase next to the cupcakes they made.

And now for the store-bought gift. I unwrap the gift with delight, knowing that at long last, I will receive something I truly want for Mother’s Day. Because this time, I told David exactly what I want. Specifically. Precisely. As in the make, model, serial number, price, and store.

Past birthdays and Mother’s Days have included gifts that have less to do with function or fashion – and more to do with being available at retail establishments in close proximity to David’s favorite coffee shop.

His beloved Starbucks is in a small retail center that houses a book store (countless gift cards) and a Hawaiian clothing shop (over the years: 1 dress, 2 shirts, 1 vest – a Hawaiian vest, people!).

So this Mother’s Day, I ask for something very simple and specific.

I need new cake pans. I love to bake and my old cake pans are pretty dinged up. So I ask for two 9” round cake pans from Target for $6.99 each. Which I mention repeatedly — and even point out to David when we were at Target a couple weeks ago.

So all of us are grinning with anticipation as I open the box since we all know that I am going to LOVE this gift. Come to mama, 9” round cake pans!

The box contains:

Two 8” round cake pans from Williams & Sonoma
Two 10” round cake pans from Williams & Sonoma

Honestly, it’s like he has to get up early just to get it so wrong.

I immediately exclaim, “Omigosh! They’re perfect! I love them!” The kids beam.

Dave shoots me a smug smile and a self-satisfied nod of the head that means, “Hey, no mass merchandise store for my wife – I went to upscale Williams and Sonoma. Only the best, baby.”

I sneak a peek at the price sticker on the bottom of the pans. $19.99 – each!

The two 8” rounds are too small to contain a standard size box of cake mix.

The two 10” rounds are too big to fit in my oven side by side on the same rack.

This is why 9” is the perfect size. This is why I asked for 9” rounds.

And believe me, I’m grateful to receive gifts at all.

But instead of two 9” rounds from Target for a total of 14 bucks –
I now have $80 worth of cake pans that do not work.

But being a good mother means kissing and thanking everyone, gushing over the fantastic cake pans –

then at the earliest opportunity during the week – sneaking over to Williams and Sonoma to return the bizarre-sized cake pans and buying the 9” rounds at Target – confident that no one in my family will ever discern the difference between these rounds and the gift rounds.

The exchange leaves me with $66 leftover which I blow on a manicure, a new mystery novel, and a long lunch at Tito’s Taco Bar, downing margaritas with my friend Melissa whose Mother’s Day gift was a Handi-Vac.

— Darcy Perdu

(Out with it, ladies:  share the worst – or most puzzling – gifts you’ve received for Mother’s Day, Birthday, Christmas, Hannukah, Valentine’s, Anniversary, Arbor Day. Yes, Arbor Day IS a gift-giving holiday! Have you not been receiving gifts that day? Hmmm. Share in the Comments Section!)

We’ve Been Robbed! (And My Husband’s Ready to Name Names!)

We've Been Robbed! And My Husband's Ready to Name Names!  But... #funny #robbery #theft #HOA #humor

So then…his hand shoots up and the neighborhood HOA president calls on him. My husband David stands up at the homeowners meeting and announces: “We’ve been robbed!”

Two gasps and a shudder from the assembled homeowners.

They’re alarmed by this news since we live in a safe neighborhood, behind a guard-gated entry. It’s a newly-constructed neighborhood and so far, crime-free.

“What happened?” asks the HOA president.

“Well, I just wanted to tell the other residents to be cautious because our TIVO DVR machine was stolen right out of our living room,” David explains.

When did it happen?” asks another HOA board member.

“I’m not sure exactly, but sometime in the last few days. The TIVO machine was right there on top of the big screen TV and now it’s gone. Someone stole it right out of our house,” he says.

“Did they take anything else?” a homeowner asks.

“No, just that. But we called the TIVO headquarters and they said if the thief tries to use it, they can try to trace the phone number on the line and maybe find out who took it. We sometimes leave the garage open so the gardeners can access our sprinkler system controls. I think it might be our gardener’s new assistant.”

“What?” I hiss at him. “Don’t accuse someone!”

“Well, I’m just sayin’ — he appeared around the same time that the TIVO machine disappeared…”

I glare at him. (It seems odd that a robber would come into our living room to steal only the TIVO machine that records TV shows — and nothing else.) But now David’s tossing out potential suspects?

Homeowners murmur nervously amongst themselves, discussing the robbery and the relative safety of our neighborhood.

The president calls everyone to order, cautions them to keep their garage doors closed and to be vigilant for any suspicious activity in the neighborhood.

On Monday, TIVO calls us to say that the current phone number on the TIVO is — OUR PHONE NUMBER! Yikes! It’s like the story when the operator tells the babysitter that the scary “phone calls are coming from INSIDE the house – run, RUN!!”

But David says maybe the thief hasn’t hooked it up yet to his own home, so that’s why it’s still showing our phone number.

Meanwhile, I call George, our AV tech guy, to ask him if we can buy a new TIVO machine and can he hook it up for us. (We’re not very savvy with tech stuff, so George usually sets up all the computers, TVs, stereos, etc.)

He comes over with a new TIVO and asks which TV we want to connect to it. David tells him it’s for the living room TV because a thief stole the old one.

George looks at us funny and says, “Nobody stole your old one. It’s in the garage where I put it the last time I was here.”


“Yeah, last time I was here installing something, I moved the TIVO to the garage and hooked up the remote so it can work from there – this way it doesn’t clutter the top of your big screen TV,” he says proudly.

David says, “But the TIVO doesn’t work. Are you sure?”

George looks around and asks, “Did someone move this desk? The cord to the TIVO must have got unplugged, but look — I just plugged it in — and now — it’s working fine.”

We look at the cord. We look at the desk that David moved a couple weeks ago. We look at the TIVO screen that’s now working. We look at the TIVO machine on a shelf in the garage.

I raise my eyebrow at David.

“So Matlock, did you want to trace that phone number again?” I ask. “Maybe fingerprint the gardener’s assistant, just in case? Anything else you’re missing? Your shoes maybe? Haven’t seen your sunglasses lately? Let’s run some DNA tests!”

He has the good sense to look sheepish.

I waste no time in lifting the veil of suspicion from our assistant gardener and the whole neighborhood in general. I don’t even wait ‘til the next HOA meeting.

I just immediately start telling the story to my neighbors and ask them to spread the word.

In fact, it’s such a funny story, I even tell it to people who don’t live in our neighborhood. I tell my co-workers, my family, party guests, the mailman, anyone who’ll listen.

As you can imagine, this pleases David no end. But I don’t feel bad since I am usually the one who’s jumping to conclusions (Creepy Stalker Dude’s Tye-Dyed Pillow) and making assumptions (Sex in a Pan).

So I’m delighted that for once, he can take the blame for being the bonehead.

For months afterward, party guests ask to see the Infamous Garage-Mounted TIVO Machine. Bwahaha!

— Darcy Perdu

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Illustration for So Then Stories by Innovative Ocean (

(Anything gone missing in YOUR house?  Any other spouses who jump to conclusions on things? Any funny tales about neighborhood meetings, gardeners, or unexplained occurrences in YOUR house?)

His Flippant Words May Come Back to Haunt Him — (or ME!)

Funny - His Flippant Words
So then…I wave the papers in my husband’s direction and say, “The lawyer wants us to answer some questions before we meet with him to fill out the living wills.”

“Uh-huh,” he says distractedly, playing with his phone.

“You know – like who gets to pull the plug.”

“OK,” he says.

“So we need to tell him what our wishes are when we die,” I say.

“Yeah,” he says.

“Like, do you want a full Church Mass or a memorial service? Do you want to be cremated or buried?” I ask.

“Surprise me,” he says.


OK, so I will surprise him.

I will have him taxidermied.

And he shall be my hat rack.

— Darcy Perdu

(Does it drive you crazy when people only partially listen to you while they play on their Iphones, Ipads, Itoys, etc? Any friends or family who have expressed odd wishes for their eventual Departure to the Great Beyond? Share in the Comments below.)
His Flippant Words May Come Back to Haunt Him P2

Colonel Mustard with the Drapery Cord in the Living Room!

Funny Design Tips - Hilarious Encounter between the Interior Deisgner & My Husband #funny #interiordesign #decorate #humor #designer

So then…she curls her lip almost imperceptibly as she examines the heavy brocade drapes on my living room windows. As she lifts the thick fabric, dust motes fly up into the sunshine streaming through the glass.

She casts a disdainful eye at the burgundy carpet and scribbles something in her notebook.

I’ve never interviewed an interior designer before – and I’m not entirely sure what I should be doing.

But I’m pretty sure I know what she should be doing – and that’s not acting all judgmental about the current state of affairs.

I want to shout, “Hey, I didn’t pick out those monstrous curtains – or that hideous carpet! The elderly couple who lived here before us left those in the house. Curl your lip at them!”

But I don’t say a word. To be fair, I have absolutely no sense of style or fashion. When I choose clothing or furnishing, I suppose the kindest description of my style would be: monochromatic.

So I asked this designer Brenda to come give a bid to redo the living room since we haven’t done anything with it since we bought this home in Tarzana two years ago.

As a young couple, we spend most of our time in the kitchen and adjoining TV room. This is the Fancy Living Room for receiving Fancy Guests. We don’t really have Fancy Guests — but maybe we would if we made this room look less like a mausoleum.

She walks to the middle of the living room, sizing up the couple pieces of random furniture. She arches an eyebrow and makes a note.

Just then, the door opens and my husband David walks in the house.

I call him in to join us. “Hey, honey, come over here. This is Brenda, an interior designer. She’s giving us a quote for redoing the living room.”

They say hello.

Brenda consults her notebook and says (in a tone of voice that indicates she’s doing us a favor), “Including furniture, window treatments, and carpet – I can do the whole room for $40,000.”

David looks at her a moment and says, “This is the second time I’ve been in this room since we moved in. That’s $20,000 per visit. Are you insane?”

And she was never seen again.

(I don’t mean she met with foul play. Although David was ready to string her up with the drapery cord. I just mean that her definition of a reasonable amount of money to spend on decorating did not coincide with ours, so we parted ways. When we sold that house, the next young couple inherited the burgundy carpet and brocade drapes. Good luck, dear residents, good luck.)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any interior design stories? Or vendors who made you feel inadequate – or whose prices seemed outrageous? Any times your spouse interjected with a pithy remark? Share in the Comments section!)

Illustration for So Then Stories by Pedro Kerstitzsch

Sex in a Pan

So then…I cradle the kitchen phone between ear and shoulder so I can spoon the whipped cream into the cream cheese, as the store clerk says he’s not sure if he has the DVD movie of Reservoir Dogs in stock, so he’ll have to check in the back.

As I wait, I click on the mixer to blend the creamy mixture with sugar.

On hold for about a thousand minutes, then I hear a click. Disconnected.

Hang up. I continue making a luscious chocolate/cream-cheese/whipped-creamy dessert dish which David describes as so delicious it’s like “Sex in a Pan.”

Redial. Now a new store clerk tells me that she has to go look in the storeroom. David really loves this movie, so I’m hoping I can pick it up this afternoon for our Big Date Night. The kids both have sleepovers tonight, so after we attend David’s friend’s dinner party – for which I am making the Sex in the Pan dessert – I am hoping we can come home, watch the movie, then make some of our own Sex in a Pan.

Now smashing the pecans into the flour and butter mixture.

On hold for a million minutes, then I hear a click. Disconnected.

Argh! Redial. Now another new store clerk tells me HE will have to check in the back for the Reservoir Dogs movie. I hear Dave rattling around upstairs so I keep my voice low so he doesn’t hear me ordering his favorite movie.

“Be careful!” I warn the store clerk in a whisper. “Two of your co-workers have already gone back there, never to be seen again. It’s like a bad horror movie. Do you promise you’ll come back to the phone? I just need to know if you have the movie. It’s not on Netflix Streaming so I just want to buy the movie from you. Help me help you sell me something!”

He assures me he will be right back. I whip chocolate pudding and milk into a fluffy mixture.

On hold a billion minutes, then I hear a click. Disconnected.

Furious now. I put down the mixer, wash my hands, throw the flour/nut/butter crust into the oven, shove the chocolate/cream-cheese/whipped-creamy layers in the fridge, exit through the patio door and press redial on the portable.

Before the store clerk can even finish saying “Hello,” I immediately launch into a tirade.

“Look, do you have Reservoir Dogs or not? It’s a simple question! Why is it taking you so long to answer me?”

He says, “I’m sorry, what? You haven’t asked me anything.”

Me: “Yes, but I’ve asked everyone else there and they keep DISAPPEARING on me – and DISCONNECTING me! How incompetent are you people? Just TELL me – do you have Reservoir Dogs or not?!!!!”

Him: “I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

Me: “You don’t THINK so? Isn’t it your job to KNOW? You either have Reservoir Dogs or you don’t!! I NEED Reservoir Dogs. I keep ASKING for Reservoir Dogs. Seriously, what is wrong with you fucking people!!?? DO.YOU.HAVE.RESERVOIR.DOGS!!??!!

Him: “Well, um…we have some cats, but no dogs.”

Me: ???

It’s as this point that I realize this may not be a store clerk. I look at the phone’s screen which says “RON MEDINA” – Dave’s friend.

I hang up immediately. My heart is pounding.

I yell upstairs: “David, did you make a call from the upstairs phone a couple minutes ago?”

David yells back, “Yeah, I called Ron about bringing some wine tonight. Why?”

I respond with a cheery, “Oh, nothing.”

David immediately leans over the banister. “What have you done?”

Of course I try to wiggle out of it, but he breaks me with an accusatory glare.

I blurt: “You made a phone call in the middle of MY phone calls – so when I hit redial, I accidentally re-dialed your friend and screamed at him for not knowing if he has Reservoir Dogs or not! And he must be really old because he wasn’t even familiar with the movie title — so he thought I was some deranged woman talking about disappearing people and some strange breed of dog that I absolutely had to have!”

David laughs out loud. “So what happens when he meets you tonight and recognizes your voice as the crazy woman who attacked him on the phone?”

My eyes pop. How mortifying! I don’t want his friend to think I’m the sort of person who would be so rude and profane to harmless store clerks. Even though – clearly, I am.

All night at the party, I avoid Ron and use a faintly British accent whenever he speaks to me. I mumble a bit and add a slight stutter. David keeps grinning at me from across the room, silently mouthing the words, “Reservoir Dogs.”

I am so annoyed at him for relishing my discomfort — and so irritated by the store clerks who still have not returned from the storeroom with the Reservoir Dogs.

At my house tonight, no one is having Sex in a Pan.

(OK, out with it – confess an embarrassing mistake you made. Or share a story about phone calls, store clerks, parties, Reservoir Dogs, or Sex in a Pan! Love to read your Comments!)

— Darcy Perdu

Quick! Insert Two Cups of Margaritas!

When I asked my neighbor for advice, he totally cracked me up  with the description of his wife!  #funny #marriage #humor

So then…I kick the dishwasher. And the dishwasher is singularly unimpressed.

So I hop online and send an email to some of my friends in the neighborhood:

Dear Neighbors:
Did this happen to any of you when the power went out yesterday? When it came back on, my dishwasher now makes an odd persistent ringing noise.  The “reset” button won’t work, nor did unplugging and plugging it back in. If you have advice (or a dishwasher repair guy), please let me know! Otherwise we’ll have to wash dishes by hand! Gasp! Thanks, Darcy

A few people send me names of repairmen; then I receive this priceless email from my neighbor Dan:

My dishwasher makes an extremely annoying and persistent noise every time she washes the dishes…it started well before the power went out the other day, but certainly got worse during those hours…

Whereas yours makes an “odd persistent ringing noise,” mine makes more of an “incessant whining and bitching noise” that sounds more like: “Why do you always have to use so many dishes??…..Why can’t you bring your dishes to the sink??…..Why can’t you ever wash the dishes as well as I do??…..”

She was working fine when I first got her, but sometime right after I got married, the noise began…unfortunately there’s no way to unplug mine either…

Sorry I can’t help on yours, but any advice on dealing with mine would be greatly appreciated!!
– Dan

I crack up because I know Dan and his wife Tina — and they’re both very funny.

I write back:
Omigosh, Dan, I literally laughed out loud when I read your email! And yes, I do have advice on how to deal with the “incessant whining and bitching noise” emanating from your dishwasher. Buy your dishwasher a dozen roses and a gourmet meal at a restaurant so there are no dishes she has to wash — then watch the kids for a whole day so your dishwasher can lunch with pals, see a chick flick, have a massage, then enjoy a manicure for those poor wrinkled dishwasher hands of hers! – Darcy

Darcy, I tried that already…it worked REALLY well that night, but was back to the same malfunction the next day…
– Dan

You slay me!! If you want to keep your dishwasher running smoothly, insert 2 cups of frozen margaritas daily!
– Darcy

(When I share these emails with a friend, she says: “First of all, tell him the thing to insert isn’t a margarita!”)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Ever have any appliance (or spouse) malfunctions happening at YOUR house?)

Biker Beauty?

So then…I swoop down the hill on my bike, zipping through the bike path at Mason Park, and just as I gracefully glide around a massive oak tree, I see him again. My lips can’t help curving into a smile as I recognize the sleek blue car with the attractive dark-haired guy behind the wheel glancing at me admiringly.

And why shouldn’t he? I ain’t no supermodel, but damn, I’m looking good! Birthin’ two babies in the past couple years sent my body weight careening into Orson Wellsian proportions, so I frantically adopted the advice of every weight-loss guru since the beginning of time: “Eat Less, Move More.”

I’m pretty proud to reach my pre-pregnancy weight (minus 5 lbs), so yes, I am wearing a bikini top with tight little biker shorts. And my daily bike rides in the California sun have tanned my long limbs a lovely warm brown. So I’m a little flattered that Sleek Blue Car Guy has driven past me a few times at the park.

As I’m loading my bike onto the back of my car, he drives over and says, “Hey, you’re pretty cute. Do you have a boyfriend?”

Suddenly I flashback to another guy who said the exact same thing to me a few years ago at this very park. I hadn’t had kids yet, but I was married, so when a fellow bike rider stopped me to say, “Hey, you’re pretty cute. Do you have a boyfriend?” I said, “Oh, not only do I have a boyfriend — I have a husband!” (I meant that a husband was even more serious than a boyfriend, so I really couldn’t go out with Nice Bike Rider guy.) But the guy jokingly interpreted it that I had BOTH a boyfriend AND a husband, so he laughed and said, “Oh, well, you must be really busy – I guess you don’t have time for me too?” And we both laughed and waved and rode our separate ways into the sunset – him feeling proud of his witty remark – and me feeling flattered to have attracted his interest in the first place.

So now, as I’m faced with a similar situation – and in fact, the same question, I smile and cleverly say, “Oh, not only do I have a boyfriend — I have a husband – and two kids!”

The car guy looks at me, frowns, and says, “Jeez, I didn’t ask for your whole life story.”

And he speeds off.


I stand here totally deflated.

I was trying to reject him in a graceful, witty way – and he rejected me!! Instead of feeling flattered, now I’m feeling guilty that I bored him with my verbose personal history!

But I mean really, I only said 15 words! Was I really imposing on his time so much as I conveyed my “whole life story?” I want to yell at his receding bumper, “YOU stalked ME for half an hour, you jerk!”

I turn to my car and pull the last strap in place for my bike. I console myself with the thought that Car Guy was probably just looking for naïve women to fall for his line so he could sell them into the Serbian sex slave trade.

In which case, I’m glad I’m married and have two kids. I don’t even like baklava.

So there.

— Darcy Perdu

(Heard any good pick-up lines? Any gentle rejections? Share your stories of first meetings or awkward over-sharing in the Comments Section!)

Madcapping Adventure

Madcapping Adventure
So then…I fake a ghastly gastro-intestinal malady to exit work early, grab a cab to my apartment, and throw together a couple ensembles appropriate for the flash and dazzle of Vegas. Hey, why spend a lonesome weekend in my New York apartment when I can surprise my boyfriend on his business trip at a big casino hotel?

I board the flight with much excitement. Here I am, madcap gal, flitting cross-country for the weekend! I am spontaneous! I am wild! I am…actually…exhausted. How long is this flight? Finally, I land in Sin City, ready to Sin. In the lobby, I call my boyfriend’s hotel room but no one answers. Hmm. Perhaps surprising him was not such a good idea after all. I call again. Still no answer. I had not planned on this.

Plan? Plan? Madcap gals do not plan!

So I charge over to the registration desk and request a key for my “husband’s” room, certain he’d be pleased with the instant promotion. And wonder of wonders, the clerk gives it to me! I’m amazed he does not require documentation of some kind before so blithely passing over a hotel key! But hey, this is Vegas.

I zip down the hall, eager to freshen up before searching for my soon-to-be-surprised paramour. But as I approach the door to his room, I hear voices. My key poised just above the lock, I pause. There is only one reason you do not answer your hotel room phone when you are in your hotel room.

Oh…my…God. He’s in there with some blonde blackjack dealer. He is having sex. He is…shooting guns. Shooting guns? Wait. Car crash. Sirens. Oh, thank God. It’s the TV! He left the TV on! I quickly enter the empty room. What was I thinking? He would never shoot guns while having sex.

So I look in the mirror, as I am wont to do occasionally, OK, frequently, OK, obsessively. And I notice that the cross-country trip and near brush with infidelity have taken a toll. If I hurry, I can shower and change before my boyfriend returns to his room. Then I can surprise him in clean and glowing splendor.

I strip, rush into the bathroom, slide open the glass shower door, and — CRASH! It smashes into a million shards of glass. Good grief! I didn’t slam it! Now what? I survey the pile of jagged glass. My boyfriend could return to his room at any minute. I can either notify the front desk…or I can succumb to vanity and take a shower anyway.

Cut to: Me showering, gingerly tiptoeing on bath towels covering the broken glass.

Hair dryer. Curling iron. Make-up. Gold-spangled mini dress. I lift the towels to survey the damage, nicking my finger in the process. Damn. Blood on the bath rug, the mini dress, and the curling iron.

OK, now how do I deal with the fact that I broke the hotel’s shower door – AND I’m not even supposed to be in his room in the first place? How much do shower doors cost anyway?

Not feeling so madcap now. Descending in elevator. Descending in mood.

BRAINSTORM! I march over to the front desk and demand the front desk manager’s attention post-haste. “I almost killed myself in your shower!” I exclaim. “Your door shattered into a million pieces and look – the glass slashed my finger!” I thrust my nicked finger in his face, wincing with pain, while still maintaining my accusatory glare. “My husband is NOT going to be happy when he hears about this!”

Cut to: Me, supervising the bellmen packing and moving all my boyfriend’s belongings to our new (and complimentary) hotel suite.

I am ecstatic. I nibble a strawberry from the complimentary fruit basket and sip the complimentary champagne as I lounge on the sumptuous king-size bed, wearing my most revealing nightie, waiting for my honey to enter and enjoy the benefits of my clever madcapping.

Regrettably, he is downstairs in his old room, frantically reporting to hotel security, “I’ve been robbed! And look in the bathroom: Glass everywhere! Blood! I think someone’s been stabbed!”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any madcapping adventures to share?  Have you ever tried to surprise someone?  Or taken a spontaneous trip?  Share your fun stories in the Comments Section!)

Crisis Conspiracy in a Dim-Lit Restaurant

Dangerously Funny Date

So then…the server drops off our drinks and hands us the most impossibly long menus I’ve ever seen. Each menu is one extremely tall sheet made of beautiful parchment paper and printed with an elaborate typestyle, bordering on calligraphy.

I’m only 26 so my eyesight is still good – but even I’m having trouble reading the ornamental curlicues on the script, especially since this swanky Manhattan restaurant is darkly romantic — lit mostly with candles.

My date excuses himself to the men’s room, so I sneak a quick glance over to the large mirror in the bar. I’ve dressed up for our date and I must say, I’m looking pretty damn good. This sentiment seems to be shared by the two guys talking at the bar since they both look in my direction and smile.

I smile back demurely, but quickly return my attention back to the nearly illegible menu – after all, I’m already on a date. I hunch over the menu, leaning closer and closer, trying to read the ornate descriptions of Italian dishes in this dim lighting.

In my peripheral vision, I see the two guys at the bar staring at me. Inside, I’m all: Really guys — cool your jets. Didn’t you see I’m with someone?

Now they’re smiling and motioning to me and pointing. Are they asking me over for a drink? Oh, stop, I think. Really – I simply couldn’t! I’m blushing from all the attention.

I shoot a mock scolding look at them and return to my menu – which is on fire.

Yes, on fire.

I’ve leaned so close to the table’s candle, trying to read the damn thing, I have now set it on fire!

The flames are flying – the blaze burning briskly to the bottom of the parchment — ashes fall to the table – everyone whips around to see the spectacle — but I’m afraid to drop it and start a bigger fire — so I just hold it, in shock.

The server swoops over, grabs the bottom of the menu and dunks it into the wine bucket of the table next to me. Instantly a bus boy races over and removes the glasses, silverware, candle, and tablecloth. He whips out a fresh white linen tablecloth, resets the table, returns the drinks and hustles away. Meanwhile the server swiftly replaces the wine bucket of the table next to me – then zips back to delicately place a fresh new menu in my hand.

I swear to you, this all takes 60 seconds. They move with such effortless grace and quick thinking, I can only imagine that this sort of thing must happen frequently at this dark-romantic-illegible-menu restaurant.

No sooner does the server sail away than my date rounds the corner and rejoins me at the table. He is none the wiser. All evidence of my near-calamity has been eradicated. I look exactly as he left me – except my heart is hammering wildly.

I shoot a look of relief at my would-be admirers at the bar, who I suppose were really would-be rescuers all along. They smile and give me a thumbs up.

The other diners who were momentarily alarmed all return to their dinners.

When the server gently places the bread basket on the table and winks at me, I realize that the entire restaurant has unanimously decided to join a conspiracy of silence so my date never learns that I almost burnt the place down while he was taking a piss.

But of COURSE I tell him – because how could I not!? Oh, the drama! Lives were almost lost while I tried to distinguish between the tagliatelle and the tortellini!

— Darcy Perdu

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(You must have a fun or funny “happened-on-a-date” story to share! Something embarrassing? Something your date didn’t know? Or a story related to an accidental disaster you may have started? Share it in the Comments Section!)