Dating Horror Stories, or, How I Met JM (#47)


Jocelyn Eikenburg, unofficial President of the AMWF Cyber Society, recently posted several pieces on Speaking of China about the perception that interracial dating and interracial relationships are more difficult than coupling within your own race.

Well, I can’t speak for everyone else, but dating my Chinese-American guy Andy was SO easy. He was thoughtful and smart. There were no games. Neither of us ever lied.  We never had to have “the talk” about our relationship status because we were both equally committed. It was only after his China-born parents entered the picture that life got tough. Luckily, they live three thousand miles away and sex is a powerful incentive. If there’s a battle, I’m totally going to win.  I think.

Now, dating before Andy? Well, like vintages of wine, some dating years were more palatable than others. One year I managed to date the emotionally unavailable guy (Latino), the emotionally abusive guy (half-Hawaiian, half-Caucasian), and the cheater (Caucasian of Italian descent). I celebrated New Year’s alone, since the cheater was off with the coworker he’d met at my office Christmas party. Yeah. Not a good year.

There was the white guy who dumped me at the airport right before I got on the plane to fly home for Christmas. What is it about the holidays that makes men such asses? Seriously, guys, “Good will to men” is wishful thinking on your part if you ditch a girl at the jetway.

There was the guy from Singapore who invited me over for dinner on our second date. I was barely in the door when he said, “Take off your clothes.” And then I was back out the door. Pretty sure dinner was take out, anyway.

I still have a souvenir, though, from my favorite worst dating story. Ben Lee was a white boy, a sophomore in college in Air Force ROTC. I was a freshman, and I repeatedly ran into him one night with my laundry basket. We laughed, we talked, and he helped me fold a few things. Every so often Ben Lee of ROTC disappeared into the stairwell. He told me he had a friend a few floors up that he was supposed to be hanging with, but that the friend kept getting tied up on phone calls. By the time midnight rolled around, our hang out session was a make out session.

His family lived an hour away from campus. Ben Lee of ROTC left for home around 1 AM. I slept on Cloud Nine. Clean laundry and a new guy. College was awesome.

The next night, different AF ROTC guy invited a group of us up to his room to watch a movie. Afterwards, I chatted with another freshman on that floor. I discovered she used to live near the DC area. We bonded over our size 11 feet, our deplorable taste in moderately historical romantic fiction, and our excellent taste in fantasy. I asked her how she liked college.

She beamed. “I love it! I’m away from my mother and I’m already dating this great guy!”

Me: “I met a guy, too! Just last night.”

Her: “He’s so cute and he’s in Air Force ROTC!”

Me: “So is mine! Wow, there are a ton of them, huh? So what’s your guy’s name?”

Her: “Ben.”

Me: “Ben WHAT?”

Her: “Ben Lee?”


Her: “Wait a minute. Were you the ‘friend’ Ben had to keep running off to help with laundry last night? While he was supposed to be with ME?”

Me: “Oh, my GOD. Are you the friend that kept getting phone calls?”

Her: “Don’t you know how to work a laundry machine?”

Me: “Don’t you know how to work a PHONE?!”

Her: “Did he kiss you?!”

Me: “Yeah! Did he kiss you?”

Her: “Yeah!”

Me: “I wasn’t looking for a commitment, but seriously, THE SAME NIGHT?!”

At this point we realized everyone else in the room was silent. And staring at us. A girl from Jersey popped some popcorn in her mouth and asked hopefully, “Fight?”

I pulled JM – yes, this is how I met my best bud JM, kissing the same guy the same night — out into the hallway. It wasn’t easy, JM rowed crew and cut an even more Amazonian figure than I did. I guess Ben Lee of ROTC had a type. A type of death wish, really. Either of us could have physically kicked his ass.  JM was bigger, so maybe she could have kicked my ass, too.  But she was an only child and my ability to fight dirty had been forged in many, many sibling melees.  I’m pretty sure I could have taken her if we’d come to blows. But we didn’t.

We schemed instead. Sunday, JM called Ben Lee of ROTC and asked if he wanted to come over to her room at 8. He did.

He immediately called me and asked if he could stop by at 6. I said he could. Less than five minutes after he arrived in my room, I had Ben Lee of ROTC in a compromising position. He didn’t notice I left the door unlocked, but he did notice when JM barged into the room, waving a romance novel.

JM: “You’re right, this wasn’t as good as –” JM stopped abruptly.

I leapt off the bed, all faux innocence. “Oh, sorry! I should have locked the door. JM, this is Ben, the guy I was telling you about.”

JM (in freezing tones): “We’ve met.”

Ben Lee of the ROTC leapt off the bed like he was on fire, forced a laugh, and said, “Of course we’ve met. Ha-ha. JM this is Autumn, Autumn this is JM. Ha-ha?”

Me (in full-on melodrama, complete with hand to my chest): “No! This isn’t the BEN YOU’VE BEEN DATING, is it?”

JM, tossing her head: “Yes.” She flung the book on the bed and stalked out of the room.

I followed, shooing Ben Lee of the ROTC out the door ahead of me. My room was next to the elevators and stairwell. The students waiting for the elevator watched as Ben Lee of the ROTC extended his hands and pleaded, “Ladies, can we just talk about this?”

JM: “No, you scummy liar!”

Me: “No, you worthless bastard!”

She stormed into the stairwell. The door slammed behind her.

I stormed back into my room and slammed the door shut. Then I watched through the peephole as Ben Lee of the ROTC slunk by the giggling elevator folk and into the stairwell.

JM and I spent the rest of our evening putting up flyers on every bulletin board we could find. Those flyers invited any woman unfortunate enough to have dated the lying louse Ben Lee of the ROTC to join a support group meeting on Monday night in front of the library at 8 PM.

I don’t believe Ben Lee of the ROTC got another date until after he graduated. He did have a girlfriend when I saw him years later at a former AF ROTC guy’s wedding. Ben had the gall to hit on me again.

Him, I kicked him to the curb.

JM, of course, I kept.

Because a girlfriend with your same shoe size and taste in books is worth way more than a pathetic player.

Published by

Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

25 thoughts on “Dating Horror Stories, or, How I Met JM (#47)”

  1. Oh my gosh….what a douche!!! Ben Lee….I had a crush on a guy who’s last name is Lee. He was my Jordan Catalano or whatever from My So-Called Life. He leaned, had similar hairstyle and wore flannel…yeah, and he was also a douche. Sorry. Flashbacks. xD

    “Because a girlfriend with your same shoe size and taste in books is worth way more than a pathetic player.”

    1. Oh, wow, sorry for the douche flashback! Those can be unpleasant. I recommend wine or chocolate.

      I try to preface all thoughts of terrible exes with, “There, but for the grace of God, go I!”

      It does’t sound like it, but I did have mostly not horrible boyfriends. They just don’t make for good stories. 😉

  2. “A girl from Jersey popped some popcorn in her mouth and asked hopefully, “Fight?”

    This is absolutely my favorite part of the narration. I wish I was there when you kicked him out of your room to witness to such a scene. I truly do!

  3. Well, at least you found out at the beginning what he was really like. I bet he thought he was so cool running back and forth between you and your friend, but then…well, everything backfired!

    I am actually like you – my husband and I have no problems because we are an interracial couple and believe it or not, my in-laws are amazing.

    1. Constance, is this why I never hear any in-law stories? Sigh. Well, while I would love to read about lovely in-laws, it might just make me bitter. So I’m glad to just look at your gorgeous photos.

    1. I know! That is also my favorite thing. I hate it when women fight each other over guys. So not worth it. I wouldn’t want a guy who didn’t adore me above everyone else anyway. Geez.

  4. Lol!! Wish every cheater was exposed like this!!! YES… the girls remain friends, and the dude is kicked to the curb… YES!! I’m sure it was painful at the time, but the response was perfect!!

  5. Ben Lee. Got it. 😉

    Seriously, good stories, might have to do a post on my dating history, too. One day…so much to love (your stories,not mine). Ben Lee, the son of a…

  6. Your story is so easy to visualize. I can see it as part of a movie–romantic comedy or just plain comedy. Excellent and funny as ever.

  7. Autumn, what a story! Gosh, I LOVE how you guys ganged up on this two-timer…you go! So, so funny!

    (BTW, I chuckled at being the “unofficial pres. of the AMWF cyber society”! 😉 )

  8. Brilliant writing! You can turn this into a book. XD Make a movie. Go go go!
    I hate to see gals fighting over guys, which means I loved the part where you said you all ganged up on him. Give him what he deserves! xD

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