By Kate Richlin-Zack
Why the hell would you write this book?
Yes, that thought has crossed my mind many times. But I’m doing it anyway.
When it comes to my dating history, friends and family have been telling me for years, “You should write a book … no, no you need to write a book.” From the start of my dating career at age 14 until three years ago, when things got serious with my husband, I’ve dated some of the most interesting guys: Lazy Eye Guy, Bird-Call Man, and Misdemeanor Evan to name a few. The stories have been told so many times that they’ve evolved into folklore.
If you’ve had dinner with my family, you’ve not only heard my parents’ favorite embarrassing stories from my childhood, but you’ve also heard my mother’s rendition of Little Pete or Married Jeff with some clarifying input from my father. My sister was kind enough to include some of her favorites in her Maid of Honor speech at my recent wedding. (Yes, I managed to find an incredible man who is absolutely nothing like any of the guys that waltzed in and out of my life before him.) As she was giving the speech, I overheard guests at nearby tables whispering excitedly, “Ooh ooh! I know this one!” Like I said, folklore.
So why do it? Why dig through your dirty laundry and share it with the world? And why now?
For starters, the stories are really good. Calling them “dating disasters” is an understatement of the best possible kind. We’ve all shared our dating horror stories with our girlfriends over a glass of wine or a post-walk-of-shame brunch; but my friends all agree that my stories take the cake. At the time, these experiences seemed horrifying, inexplicable, and heartbreaking. In retrospect, they’re hilarious and inconsequential. Inexplicable still applies.
Before these stories evolve beyond friendly folklore into fairy tales more closely resembling the original Brothers Grimm, it’s time to put them on record and turn my pain and confusion into entertainment. The events that I describe actually happened to me. The only thing I’ve changed are the names to protect all parties involved—on the off chance that these guys have grown up into respectable gentlemen who would prefer not to reveal that they used to leave their t-shirt on during sex or that they kept their torrid affair with me in the office supply closet a secret from their girlfriend.
Fortunately, my husband has already heard most of these stories … and he married me anyway. I doubt any of the content in the book will come as a surprise to him. Hopefully. Aside from sheer entertainment value, perhaps my long list of unsuccessful dates will give you hope that no matter what life throws at you in your quest for love, happily ever after is possible.
Kate’s Dates is a column that will run every other Wednesday on Kate-book.com, starting in T-minus two days. So stay tuned! Kate’s Dates is written by Kate Richlin-Zack, who you should follow on Twitter @K8RZ.