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Romance Funny

“It sounds like hell.” 

“You’ll be fine. Now, the women stay stationary in the circle while the men rotate around the perimeter. You’ll switch to a new partner every three minutes,” he carefully explained.

“It sounds like square dancing,” I protested. “Do I allemande right or left?”

“It’s not square dancing. And you will not be promenading with anyone unless you at least try to talk to someone. Just be nice. Don’t be an ass,” he warned. 

He sounded like my new ex-wife. Just be nice. Being nice lost me my home, limited visits with my children, and saddled me with a crippling alimony payment to a woman who needed to find herself. Instead, she found herself a podiatrist. All I found was a one-bedroom apartment.

“When can we leave?”

“Let’s go around at least once, okay? The women fill out little cards about you and then drop them off with the hostess.”

“So I can be humiliated in real time,” I concluded. 

“That’s the spirit!” he laughed and drained the last of his drink.

“I’m not really up for this,” I said. Anxiety gnawed at my vital organs. And speed dating at a Ramada Inn near the airport was the exact definition of sad. 

“Look, here are our name tags. See? You are lucky MALE #18.” 

“How is 18 lucky?”

“You are obviously not Jewish,” he frowned. 

“If I were Jewish, I would be much more interesting.”

“18. Chai. The Hebrew letters in chai add up to 18. It means alive and living. You’re still alive,” he said, patting me on the back. “You’re still living.”

“If you say so,” I replied, sceptically. 

“Let’s get you a drink. They’re just about to start.”


Drink in hand, we awaited the cheery master of ceremonies to welcome one and all to speed dating. 

“I’m MALE #19,” my friend said helpfully. “I’ll warm up the ladies for you as you come around.”

“Let’s just let things proceed organically,” I replied. Organic as in fertilizer. As others looked around the room to get a preview of possible mates, I checked for the exits. This exercise in futility had the potential of going south very quickly. If I left now, I could catch the end of the game. 

“Take your positions!” said the MC. 

A few characters made off color jokes. 

Get it? Positions! Oh, you’ll get it. 

A few women tittered at what passed for wit at the Ramada Inn this time of night. “After three minutes,” the MC continued, “I will ring a bell. That is your signal to rotate!”

“That’s what she said!” heckled a prime specimen from somewhere in the back. I cringed for him. 

More nervous giggles as middle aged men and women held in their stomachs and scuffled around to take their positions around an outdated sunken bar with wood paneling. Music from the 1980’s blared, its synthpop attempting to enliven the mood. 

As M maniacally sang about “Pop Muzik,” I wandered over to the chair with an #18 Scotch-taped to the back. 

“Hi, I’m MALE #18,” I said, introducing myself to a 40-year-old with absolutely too much makeup on. Her eyeliner would have made Cleopatra proud, blazing out into little black wings from her slightly bloodshot eyes. I managed a grin that was essentially a lopsided grimace. In hindsight, it probably looked like indigestion. 

“I’m FEMALE #18. We start with the same number. That’s how this works until we rotate. So, what do you do?”

“Do you mean how do I do?” I attempted to reconcile her rudeness.

“No,” she said, sizing me up quickly and finding me wanting. “I mean what. What is it that you do?”

“Shoobie, doobie, do wop / Infiltrate it / Pop, pop, shoo wop / Activate it . . .” sang M through the overly loud speakers. 

“What do I do?” I practically yelled to be heard. “Well, tonight I am speed dating,” I joked. 

“First time?”

“First time,” I smiled. “Can you tell?”

“I can always tell,” she said wearily.

"Have you done this speed dating before?" I tried.

"Yeah, a few times."

"Okay. Do you work nearby?" I asked lamely.

"Look, let me guess," she said. “Just divorced, right?”

“No,” I said defensively. “It’s been half a year.”

“It’s been six months. You aren’t over her. If you want my advice, just wait until you don’t hate her anymore. The opposite of love is indifference. That’s good advice from me to you.”

“New York, London, Paris, Munich / everybody talk about pop muzik!” At the direction of the MC, most of the crowd all joined in on the last two words. 

“POP MUZIK!”

A bell rang and we rotated to the left. 


CARD FOR MALE #18 FROM FEMALE #18 - It’s obvious you aren’t ready to move on. Take care of yourself.


Depeche Mode was now singing “Just Can’t Get Enough” and I found it very ironic since I, Depeche Mode notwithstanding, begged to differ. 

FEMALE #19 was overdressed, but not for a nightclub. She sat like an over pampered cat, with accessories that were matchy-matched in the most unnerving way. The exact shade of mint green seemed purposefully coordinated: her hairband, sweater set, modest jewelry and handbag. I was absolutely sure everything in her house was sanitized for her protection.

“Hi, I’m MALE #18,” I said, sitting down.

“God bless you,” she said, eyes unblinking, head slightly tilted. 

I didn’t know how to respond.

“God bless you,” she repeated, her smile threatening to become brittle.

“And also with you,” I said, trying to remember the last time I went to mass. I made the sign of the cross anyway. For a number of reasons. 

“There are no accidents,” she quietly said. 

“How about car accidents? I don’t think people smash into each other on purpose, right?” I attempted humor. 

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“But reasonable people don’t cause accidents,” I circled back to her previous claim. 

If she had blinked, I would have stayed all three minutes. But three gin and tonics and sheer terror made me excuse myself to the men’s room. 

I made it back in time before the MC rang the bell. 


CARD FOR MALE #18 FROM FEMALE #19 - "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins." Proverbs 10:12. Call me. 


As Soft Cell crooned about “Tainted Love,” someone loudly yelled “Taint!” 

I couldn’t help putting my head in my hands, wondering what sloppy bucket of stupid I had fallen into. 

“Hi FEMALE #20, I’m MALE #18,” I said. I didn’t even look at her.

“Hi MALE #18, I hate all of my friends for dragging me here. The last guy asked me about my bra size,” she said matter-of-factly. 

I looked up to see a pretty brunette in a simple grey sweater that matched her piercing eyes. 

“My whole life turned upside down six months ago, and I’m not even sure who I am anymore,” I confessed.

“I recently lost my job and I am having panic attacks about interviewing,” she replied. “Apparently rejection never fails to sting a little.”

“Oh, I am an expert in the field. I majored in rejection in college,” I smiled.

“Really?” she smiled back. “I normally reject people who are into rejection.” 

“So, did you help yourself to the Ramada Inn’s nacho bar?”

“No,” she shook her head slowly. “For some reason I’m just not that interested in having explosive diarrhea tonight. But next time. Absolutely.”

“Is there any chance you want to skip out on this love fest? There is an excellent diner around the corner. It serves the best coconut cream pie you’ve ever had.”

“I’ve never had coconut cream pie,” she said, with a wry grin. “So I guess you’re right.” She grabbed her coat and purse. 


CARD FOR MALE #19 FROM MALE #18 - Had to leave early. You were right. #18 is a lucky number.


August 23, 2020 02:31

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68 comments

Krishi Norris
00:39 Aug 24, 2020

I envy you so frickin' much, girl! Your stories are always so unique; this was one of those romantics that weren't cheesy to the core! Nice job, keep writing!

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Deidra Lovegren
00:42 Aug 24, 2020

Always time to fall in love In different incarnations — fun to write 🥰

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Krishi Norris
00:43 Aug 24, 2020

Yes, I agree!

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18:14 Aug 23, 2020

😂😂 Dei this was funny 😂😂 I so much love your stories and I seriously just wished I could follow you TWICE! I was immediately engulfed when I began reading this😂😂 And I just absurdly LOVE the sprinkles of Bible themes you add to your story. It's so unique, I do INCREDIBLY SAME (I preach! 😜) 😂😋#ONGOD I . Loved . This Dei, like ALLLLL your stories, I love ALLLLL of them!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ You've actually inspired me to take more comical approaches to my stories😂 And Dei, I've just written two new ones, "How's B...

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Deidra Lovegren
19:26 Aug 23, 2020

You give me life ❤️

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19:32 Aug 23, 2020

AWWWWW!!!😭😭😭❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Len Mooring
05:42 Aug 26, 2020

Oh, God. Is this what I have to look forward to next lifetime? You captured the desperation well, I quite squirmed with this modern set-up. First-rate, as always, Deidra.

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Deidra Lovegren
14:58 Aug 26, 2020

It's a brave new world. Swipe left or right, it's all up to Cupid anyway. :)

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Amogh Kasat
12:50 Aug 24, 2020

It's a wonderful story! Please read my latest story The Secret Organisation { Part 2 }

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Deidra Lovegren
15:35 Aug 24, 2020

Thanks! Will do :)

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Amogh Kasat
17:02 Aug 24, 2020

I would be waiting for your comment and like

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Doubra Akika
14:56 Aug 23, 2020

D&D I loved this so much! Your writing is so quirky and beautiful! I laughed a lot reading this. You’re an amazing writer! Love how the environment comes to life and I can picture myself in your stories whenever I read any of your works! I’m blown away, again. Keep writing and please stay safe!

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Deidra Lovegren
15:18 Aug 23, 2020

Thanks, Double D. Sending you much love and laughter and hopefully properly conjugated verbs :)

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Doubra Akika
15:31 Aug 23, 2020

😂😂It was my pleasure! If you ever get the time to check out my recent story, I’d love your feedback on it

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Deidra Lovegren
16:16 Aug 23, 2020

Will do :)

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Doubra Akika
16:35 Aug 23, 2020

Thanks so much!

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Pragya Rathore
08:28 Aug 23, 2020

The reason I love your stories is because they are always uniquely quirky. Lovely story, Deidra! I loved all the characters and was completely invested in them to the end. Male #18! This is the most creative romantic comedy I've ever read. Great job! :) Please check out my story if you get the time :p

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Deidra Lovegren
08:35 Aug 23, 2020

Just read “In You Arms” and cried. Then I cried some more. Nothing worse than losing a child, and you capture the utter horror and despair. I want to hold that poor mother and cry with her.

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Pragya Rathore
08:40 Aug 23, 2020

Thank you so much! It may sound corny, but it's true: I'm learning from you! (Wow, that rhymed!) :p

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Deidra Lovegren
08:51 Aug 23, 2020

That makes me so happy. 😀

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Keerththan 😀
00:52 Sep 10, 2020

Loved it lots. Wonderful story and a great concept. Your writing style is very unique with the # 19 numbers. Keep writing. Would you mind reading my new story? Thanks.

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Nirosha P
10:42 Sep 09, 2020

Loved this story here! This was creative and original :) Just one thing.... the prompt was to write the different perspectives of two people meeting on a blind date... I didn't see too perspectives in this story. Only one... Other than that a perfectly delightful story!

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Sampada Sharma
14:23 Sep 03, 2020

This was so unique to read and I lovedddd the storyline. It kept me wanting to know more. There was never a boring moment. I hope I can write like you one day. Finally posted my first story on this account. Hopefully, I will learn as I go. And so glad I found you. Following!

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Deidra Lovegren
15:00 Sep 03, 2020

The best way to get better is to keep writing :) Thanks for reading. It's so nice to not just write to the VOID. YAY YAY YAY

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P. Jean
22:45 Sep 02, 2020

Yes I did like it. Very much. Good character development. The descriptions and dialogue was perfect. Boredom, nerves, panic, desperation...yep...dating!

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Deidra Lovegren
23:02 Sep 02, 2020

Glad I'm out of that world. Blech. :)

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02:06 Sep 02, 2020

This is so funny. I could feel the awkwardness of these dates. Bra size 😆

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Deidra Lovegren
09:00 Sep 02, 2020

All romance is awkward. Every damn bit. At any age.

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11:14 Sep 02, 2020

Agreed. And you captured that beautifully.

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M Daly
14:32 Sep 01, 2020

I absolutely love this! Funny, endearing and entertaining. Great job. I can absolutely relate to Female *20s hatred of interviews (today is the day I discovered that I don't have a hash key on my keyboard!)

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Deidra Lovegren
16:25 Sep 01, 2020

Nothing like presenting yourself to strangers only to be wholly rejected. That's basically most interviews. I don't know how actors do it. Just to have someone look at you and say, "No." Terrifying. Rejection in all forms is so demeaning...at least there is always some pie to eat at a diner.

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Lee Jay
20:39 Aug 31, 2020

"Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins." Proverbs 10:12. Call me." This line just cracked me up! I love your style, and the perfectly inserted humorous quips!

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Deidra Lovegren
20:57 Aug 31, 2020

Thanks Lee Jay :)

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Phil Manders
09:58 Aug 30, 2020

Hi Deidra, Normally in my experience if something is oozing from someone it’s not usually a good thing. But you ooze humour and for me...that is a very good thing. Oh and can you keep a look out for my creative mojo as it appears to have deserted me😕

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Deidra Lovegren
10:06 Aug 30, 2020

Yes, I am familiar with avoiding things that ooze. Even women who flooze. Men who booze. Relationships that snooze. False friends that schmooze. Your creative mojo is THERE. Especially you, Mr. Phil. When mine is missing, I know I need to weep at 3:00 a.m. Sensitive souls that we fellow comedians are, it is precious hard to cope with the collective comic despair of the world. The Greeks were right to put comedy/tragedy masks together. The larger the comic, the bigger the tragic. So grab a box of Kleenex. Usually the JO of MO is at the ...

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Deidra I'm convinced that the mc and I are the same person. Sometimes people don't get my jokes either. Your stories always have me intrigued to read more. You write with such ease and I admire that very much. Great job with this. I'm glad this wasn't some cheesy romance, you had the right amount of quirkiness, well done!

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Deidra Lovegren
09:58 Aug 30, 2020

Life = Quirkiness We are all living in the Theater of the Absurd, desperately trying to make meaning out of the random events in our lives. Luckily fate or free tosses us a rare moment of peace, joy, and happiness to get us through the other 94% of not that. Thanks for taking time to comment. It keeps me going :)

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Your very welcome, I like your reply. :)

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Sarah K
00:40 Aug 30, 2020

This was a fun interesting story!

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Deidra Lovegren
09:55 Aug 30, 2020

The perfect compliment! Everything should be fun. Everything should be interesting. YAY :)

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Karen Johnson
16:52 Aug 29, 2020

What a great imaginative story. I enjoyed this twist on almost blind dating!

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Deidra Lovegren
22:58 Aug 29, 2020

Blind dating is probably less neurotic. Speed dating is one of those things that probably sounds good in theory. The reality is probably a horror show unless one is very drunk...

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T.C Morgan
01:12 Aug 29, 2020

Amazing story!! Your characters are so unique, they give the story a pulse, making me feel like i'm really there. I'm not usually a fan of romance stories, but this one was so different and quirky, I loved it!! Stay safe and keep writing!! If you could check out my newest story and tell me what you think, I would really appreciate it. :)

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Deidra Lovegren
08:34 Aug 29, 2020

Thanks 🙏🏻 for commenting. I’d be honored to read you work!

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Bianka Nova
23:14 Aug 28, 2020

I only have one complaint: Why so short? XD

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Kristin Neubauer
16:22 Aug 27, 2020

Super-cute! Such great dialogue - and I am really impressed with your taking the male pov in this. I am glad it had a happy ending for Male #18!

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Deidra Lovegren
18:15 Aug 27, 2020

Everyone deserves a little happiness. Even sad middle-aged divorcees. I wish them both the best :)

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