The curse of underwear ignorance

Encountering my thong, he yelped, "Your underwear doesn't cover your butt!" Right then, I knew my dream of great sex would not come true.

By Salon Staff
Published July 2, 2003 7:10PM (EDT)

The recycled rose

He was absolutely gorgeous, but I never noticed him really -- probably because I felt he was so out of my league that I didn't even bother looking at him from across the college magazine office we both worked in. So it was a pleasant and real surprise when, one night at a fellow writer's party, he walked up to me, introduced himself and asked, "Do you want to go to Angel Island with me next week?"

I spent that night in amazement at the thought that he had actually been checking me out for a while.

The day arrived and it was pouring rain but we drove to Marin anyway, talking the whole drive. He'd been out of a long-term relationship for over a year now, was ready to date again and was very happy that I'd agreed to go out with him (swoon!). He was erudite and articulate, well versed in poetry, literature and the arts, which showed in the artsy photographs he'd taken for the magazine. We got to the loading dock for the Angel Island ferry but missed the first one because we'd snuck off to grab a quick coffee. Since the next one wasn't for another hour, we sat in the cafe and read the paper and chatted over breakfast.

The rest of the date was perfect -- we climbed around the island, took photos of birds and the ocean and ourselves, talked about our likes and dislikes, which were mind-blowingly similar. We drove home and held hands and made plans to see each other again the following day. He pulled out a silk rose from the back seat of his car and handed it to me before he kissed me on the cheek goodbye.

A few hours later, I was still smiling like an idiot and fingering the rose petals when the phone rang. All I could hear was a muffled sound -- as if someone was rubbing a towel against the receiver. I hung up.

The phone rang again. More muffled sounds but this time I could hear a man's voice yelling in the background, "Get off the phone -- don't -- wait!" and then a woman's voice: "Hi, who the hell is this? What the fuck are you doing?" then him again: "Give me the phone! Wait, I can explain -- wait!" and then a dial tone.

I found out later that his girlfriend (it seems they had not, in fact, broken up) ripped the phone out of the wall after she finally wrestled it from his grip. She was pretty upset when she found out that he had borrowed her car, without asking, to take me out on a date ... and that he'd given me the rose he'd given her just a week before.

-- Clare Kleinedler, San Francisco

He didn't know the thong song

The summer I was studying for the bar exam, I was swamped with work and my sister's wedding, but I had time for a little light dating. I went on about a half-dozen dates with a very nice guy from my law school class. We had a fine time at the occasional party or dinner or concert, but there wasn't much in the physical chemistry department. Still, I liked him, so by the end of the summer I found myself inviting him up to my apartment after dinner. We were on the couch finally doing some real kissing, when he started to run his hand up under my sundress. At last.

Suddenly he stops, his hand on my ass, and in a startled tone says, "Your underwear doesn't cover your butt!"

"No," I said, "it's a thong."

"What's a thong?" came the shocked reply.

I had never met a guy, pushing 30, in the 1990s, in New York City, who had never encountered a thong, much less never heard of one. Had this man never so much as seen a Victoria's Secret catalog? I tried to salvage the evening, but it was too late. There was no way I was going to be able to have great sex with a guy who considered a simple thong as shocking as a full-body crotchless latex catsuit.

-- J.G., New York

Mistaken identities

So I met a very cute boy at a local bar, a boy I knew nothing about. We decided to meet the next night for drinks. I'll call him Pete.

Quick note: It had been months since I'd had sex, so I was definitely proceeding with that ultimate goal in mind. As the night progressed and many drinks were had, we decided to head back to his place to finish off the night in first-date style. I drove because my alcohol intake had remained the lowest. When we arrived at his house, he realized he no longer had his keys, and his roommate was not home.

So Pete did the obvious thing: He broke in through a window.

We then proceeded to his roommate's room, where things got very heated very quickly. The clothes were off, and things were happening. I was just about to get what it was I'd come for, when we were interrupted by a floodlight in our faces from outside.

I quickly slid under the covers, confused about what was going on. I could hear only a very deep voice saying, "Are you Pete Smith?" to which he answered, "Yes."

"This is the Boulder police, could you please come open your front door." Now at this point I was thinking ... drugs? Am I in bed with a wanted man? The police proceeded to tell Pete, through the window, that his roommate had called them. She'd come home and seen the window had been broken into, and since Pete didn't answer the door (guess we didn't hear the knocking), she thought someone had broken in, and she called the cops.

So this story could have easily ended here, if Pete had said, "Sorry to have taken your time, Officer, but that was me." However, that is not what Pete did at all. Instead he flipped out, came running back into the room where I was to tell me, "Someone tried to break into my place while we were in here." I laughed and reminded him that it was probably him, to which he oddly responded, "No, I don't think so."

He then walked back to the police and continued with the story. A full investigation was opened, complete with taking fingerprints and the description of the guy that Pete apparently "saw running from the apartment" when we drove up. Apparently this guy had jeans -- "the denim kind" -- white tennis shoes and a hoodie. Never mind that there was no guy -- it was Pete who had broken into his own house. I stayed in his room for two hours, waiting for the police to leave, hoping they weren't going to question me, since I knew the burglar was actually him. At 4 o'clock in the morning, the investigation completed, I crawled out of Pete's bed and wearily headed home.

Needless to say, they never caught the "hoodie guy."

And the most frustrating part of the evening: I still didn't get laid.

-- Nancy

Salon Staff

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