by popular demand, I give to you the story of the first date who brought his ex

(I feel a little weird writing about an ex since I'm married now, but this story just needs to be told. Plus, you've all been asking!) 

All names have been changed, just in case one of them happens to find this. Which I doubt will happen since I haven't spoken to these people in 4+ years. And they will still know it's about them. Moving on!

It was the summer of 2008. I had only been in North Carolina for several months. It was a magical time when I weighed next to nothing and had long, flowing locks.

And I took bathroom pictures. Obviously. 
By some miracle, I made a pretty good group of friends within the first several months. We had a lot of fun together. There were warm summer nights sitting outside, sipping iced coffee, and laughing until the wee hours of the morning. There were movie nights, Sunday afternoon lunches, and playing Wii tennis while amped up on Red Bull.

Oh, and for the record? All these friends were guys. To this day I don't know how to be friends with girls.

Moving on.

Eventually, another guy joined the group. A guy named Collin. He was quiet and shy, but absolutely hilarious and charming. He had this gorgeous, thick, shaggy blond hair. Guys...this hair. It spoke to my soul. It was out of this world. I once heard a girl literally gasp when he walked into a room. His hair was that perfect. Not like 90's Nick Carter shaggy hair, like hair almost to his shoulders. Hair so luxurious and perfect no one could pull it off but him. Hair a grown woman would give anything for. I think King Solomon says it best in Song of Solomon 4:1 when he says "Your hair is like a flock of  goats descending from Mount Gilead." So naturally I developed a massive crush.

Collin and I hit it off pretty much immediately. We stuck together when our friends would hang out. We would go to his parents house in the evenings and swim in their pool. We had some killer pool parties that summer. I became good friends with his roommate, Tim. But anyway, after several months of this nonsense, he IMed me on AIM and asked if he could take me to dinner one night. I screamed. I was so excited. I wore my cute little American Eagle denim mini skirt, a tank top, and I managed to straighten my freaky long hair despite the Carolina humidity.

He picked me up in his white Mini Cooper. As he backed out of the driver, he looked at me and sheepishly said "Umm, I hope you don't mind...but.....Nellie is coming too." Nellie. His ex girlfriend. His ex girlfriend turned best friend (hmmm...). Nellie, a girl I worked with at Olive Garden. I tried to smile and play it off when really I wanted to run out of the car at the next red light. But then I looked at the hair, and I was calm again.

We had dinner at a sushi joint. I sat on one side of the booth, and Collin and Nellie sat on the opposite side next to each other. They talk and laughed and told inside jokes while I choked down my tuna rolls. It was like watching their romance rekindle right in front of my very eyes. It was the longest dinner of my entire life. I felt silly in my denim skirt, and I wanted to go home and throw something. But then I looked at his hair, and I forgot Nellie was even there. Sort of.

Nellie finally got the hint and left. Collin apologized and said he invited her at the last minute because he panicked and got nervous. For God knows what reason, I decided to get ice cream with him after dinner, sans Nellie. I guess my inner shy girl sympathized with him....to a point. Or maybe it was the hair that convinced me. So we drove to a 50s style diner for some frozen custard with the windows down and The Avett Brothers playing.

We went on a few more dates after that; there were beach trips and more pool parties. I started my sophomore year of college, and he started his senior year. Like an idiot, I still had a huge crush on him (the hair!), but I didn't know what was going on between us. We hung out nearly every day, but nothing was happening. Just as I was giving up on him, my lab partner in my Chemistry class asked me on a date. I begrudgingly said yes. He only had short brown hair, but whatever. That same night? Collin asked me to be his girlfriend (over AIM. Sigh). So long, lab partner.

We dated for 4 months. It was so fun. We went to concerts, and we sneaked onto the rooftop of a building downtown. We sat in the hammock he had on his front porch. His hipstery, bohemian ways rubbed off on me, and he completely influenced my taste in music to this day. His roommate Tim started dating Ashley, and the 4 of us would hang out sometimes. We spent every Thursday night at his apartment watching The Office. One Thursday night was different, though. After the show finished, he walked me out to my car, and he dumped me. He dumped me. Completely out of the blue. I was crushed, to say the least. He said he wanted to teach English in Japan when he graduated. I say it's because I took pictures like this:

Make me stop.

But whatever. He never moved to Japan. In fact, he moved back to his parent's house after he graduated.

Here's the funny thing...I pretty much stopped talking to that group of friends after we broke up. But I got a job 6 months later at a doctor's office. Unbeknownst to me at first, Ashely was hired the same day I was. We immediately recognized each other and awkwardly tried to work together, though we eventually became friends.

James and I had just started dating at this point. James got a job, and guess who he worked with? Tim. He worked with Tim. All while I worked with Ashley. We saw them together at work functions. It was awkward, to say the least.

But all in all, the breakup was for the best. A month later, I met another guy who asked me on a date. He took me to a Christmas party for our first date. And I met James at that party. I love how these things play out.

Oh, and as for the hair? Well it's no wonder I started dating James. He looked like this when I met him:

He also had a lip ring, but he wasn't wearing it in the picture. Shaggy hair + lip ring = yes.


  1. Oh dear. Bringing your ex-girlfriend along pretty much makes the whole thing not a date. Wow. Guys can be so annoying. But like you, they're pretty much the only kind of friends I've had my whole life, so I guess you have to put up with them.

  2. Oddly, I actually think this is one of the sweetest stories. Probably due to you meeting James, but still how sweet!
    Lovely blog :)
    Katie x


  3. My high school/early college boyfriend had the most amazing hair. I think that's why it took me forever to break up with him. I mean how can you replace hair that gorgeous? The answer is, you can't. I've never dated anyone else with that pretty of hair. But I've also never dated anyone that was as big of a douchebag as he was/still is.

    I once went on a date with a Bosnian sushi chef. He took me to an MMA fight. I wish I was making this up.

  4. I lost it at the point where you quotes King Solomon. You have the best stories. FOR REAL. I also agree, that a great coif of hair can take a man A LONG WAY. I mean... look at Jim Halpert. What would he be without that hair? I don't want to know.

  5. 1. You are an excellent friend to me, so I don't even want to hear it.
    2. I love how detailed you were about his hair. Hair is important!
    3. I also had (and I think I still have them somewhere) jean skirts from AE.
    4. Nellie can kick rocks and find her own dates.
    5. The hair. Sigh. I get it.
    6. I love how many dates you were asked on in this post.
    7. And I love that you met James when you were on a date with someone else.

  6. Michelle, how do the most awkward things always seem to happen to you? This is a fantastic story. I think the most crushingly awkward part is you working with Ashley and James working with Tim.

    I have never had a thing for surfer hair. Probably because I was into guys in the military. But I understand the draw. I feel that way about good arms.

    For the record, I had 4 different guy friends in college who wanted to date me, and I had no clue. It was only 2 years after I had graduated that I put 2 and 2 together. I had way more guy friends than girl friends, so I figured I just got along better with guys. Apparently, guys don't invite you to their apartments every single week to study, make you homemade chicken enchiladas, then take you to Starbucks just because the two of you are friends. Who knew?

  7. My first day of college, I went to my English class and this dude walked in:
    Long (to his shoulders) brown hair, beard and barefeet.
    looked just like Jesus.
    And I fell in love instantly.
    While we never dated, I sat by him every day and he told me to try being barefoot for a day. I did it for weeks. yes. I went through barefoot stage. so gross. And then one day, he just disappeared.
    Years later, when I was dating Landon, I saw him at the movie theater. I immediately left Landon's side and ran to say hello. And I don't think he had any idea who I was.
    And even though I never dated him, hadn't seen him in years and was dating Landon, I was crushed.

    It was the hair.

  8. oh my gosh, hilarious! though I'm sorry you had to endure that.

    I never really dated, so thanks for showing me what I didn't miss :)

    and a lip ring? oh girl you got a good one! (mine has great hair too, and used to have an earring, which is forever in our wedding pictures)

  9. BRILLIANT!!!!!
    What is wrong with some men??!! So sorry that you had to put up with all that shit from that asshole...
    So glad you met a real gentleman though!

  10. I don't care how nervous a guy is, it is so unacceptable to bring an ex on a date!!! Haha. That same thing semi-happened to me once, too. The guy I was dating at the time was still "best friends" with his ex (never trust a guy who is "best friends" with his ex) and he invited her to go bowling with us once. They spent the ENTIRE TIME flirting non-stop and leaving the room to go play pool together, leaving me alone with his roommate. You know it's bad when your boyfriend's roommate notices how messed up the situation is and asks if you're okay.

    I have no idea why I dated that idiot for another year and a half after that...

    I digress. Exes drool, husbands rule. ;)

  11. That is the weirdest thing to do, ever. Bring another guy friend! JEEEZ.

    The hair. Once, and this goes down as one of my favorite awkward moments in life ever, I dated a hair guy. A drummer. In a band. With the hair of a god. Blonde. And one time, I said, I love your hair. And he replied, IS THAT ALL YOU LOVE? Yes, yes it is. We had been dating for like a minute, I swear.

  12. Best. Lunch break. Read. Ever.

    I'm now going to be imagining that hair all afternoon.

  13. Sounds... awkward. I can't even imagine!

    I am convinced that the Lord has put you in the most awkward situations ever just so you would have something to write about in the future. CON-FREAKING-VINCED.

  15. I can not believe how many crazy/absurd stories you have! You will be able to keep your future children/grandchildren entertained for years.

    My hubby's best friend when we met was an ex-gf of his from high school. We can actually thank her for helping us meet. Which is bizarre because we don't even speak to her now.

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  17. I'm annoyed with Nellie just because that name is annoying. Boo on her! But boo on Collin? He gets the douche lifetime award for sure!


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