The best (and worst) first-date story ever

The best| (and worst)| first-date story ever

By Djanka Gajdel

We met the good, old-fashioned(ˈfaSHən) way. In a bar. It was a time when Tinder(ˈtindər) was inconceivable(ˌinkənˈsēvəbəl)| and computer dating| not yet invented. I’m grateful(ˈgrātfəl) our courtship(ˈkôrtˌSHip) was void of technology| because at least no one could record our first date. It was an event ripe(rīp) to become a sketch(skeCH)| on Saturday Night Live.

It was 1983| in the dead of an Alberta(alˈbərtə) winter. My date picked me up in a van| I thought was the colour of rust(rəst). When in fact, the rust| was what was holding this clunker(ˈkləNGkər) together. The interior(inˈti(ə)rēər) was covered with a sickly(ˈsiklē) orange-brown shag(SHag) carpet(ˈkärpit). A dye(dī)-lot of which I had never seen. Straight(strāt) out of a seventies thriller(ˈTHrilər), it boasted interior(inˈti(ə)rēər) design elements| one might see in a kidnapping(ˈkidˌnap) movie, and yet| I was immune(iˈmyo͞on) to all of it. Considering the severely(səˈvi(ə)rlē) frigid(ˈfrijid) temperatures, as long as there was heat(hēt), I was fine. I typically dated guys who drove(drōv) shoddy(ˈSHädē) vehicles(ˈvēəkəl,ˈvēˌhikəl). My experience was that they were kinder and gentler, confident(-fəˌdent,ˈkänfədənt) and sweet – not needing a shiny(ˈSHīnē) fast car to impress or define who they were. This thing on wheels((h)wēl) was the absolute(ˈabsəˌlo͞ot,ˌabsəˈlo͞ot) worst car yet. According to my reasoning, this guy| had the potential(pəˈtenCHəl)| of being a gem(jem).