Jeff Dugan

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Bad Moon Rising: A Halloween Story

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image via sheknows.com
image via sheknows.com

My 1979 Halloween was one strange trip. It was my sophomore year of college, already full of freedom and weirdness. That year, every day felt like Halloween as the country was swept up in the mania of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s twice-weekly screenings at over 230 theaters. And punk rock ruled. It was the heyday of bands like the Ramones, the Cramps and Richard Hell and the Voidoids. I knew lots of people who sported mohawks, wore dog collars routinely and pushed giant safety pins through their lips. But this was Halloween, the freakiest night of the year, and I was eager to blend into the mayhem myself. But I had one mundane chore to finish first.

The Worst Dates Were Probably All My Fault

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image via heydolly.com
image via heydolly.com

Writer/television producer Jeff Dugan’s been on some great dates, but he learned more from the bad ones.

Everyone has few good horror stories of dates that went awry. As I look back on mine, I have to admit the problems seemed to stem from some oafish action or oversight on my part. Here are my top 10 worst dates, in chronological order. Please, learn from them.

Spring Couldn’t Come Fast Enough

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Sending her flowers without a reason is usually a safe bet but showing up at her door unexpectedly could be a disaster. Don’t get me wrong. I love spontaneity. One of my favorite memories was the time a buddy and I spontaneously drove two hundred miles just to find a good place to smoke a cigar.  But spontaneity isn’t always good. Like the time I dropped in on my girlfriend unannounced only to find her deep cleaning her toilet. She was not amused.

My favorite spontaneous date took place on a Sunday. I’d been communicating regularly with a woman named Joy (not her real name) who lived in New York City (yes, her real home.) We’d met by chance a month earlier at a New York café on a cold February night.  We talked and flirted through dinner while a soft snow blanketed the city. After a wonderful meal Joy loaned me an umbrella to get back to Penn Station and my train to Baltimore.  The memory of her smile kept me warm all the way home. Soon we were communicating daily through phone calls, texts and emails.  As our long-distance romance blossomed the one thing we strongly had in common was a desire to see the first day of spring.  

A Valentine Tale: Reunited after 25 Years

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image via loveizlyf.blogspot.com
image via loveizlyf.blogspot.com

Right now I’m on a plane. It’s a Friday afternoon and I’m flying across the country from my home in Baltimore; when I get off this plane I will be greeted by my ex-girlfriend. It’s been 25 years since I’ve seen her.

We’ve both just turned 50 and found each other via Facebook. And we’re both single again. I learned that she was still living in California, where she’d moved shortly after we broke up. What would it be like to see her again? I wondered enough to make the leap. In  minutes I will find out. I have no idea what this reunion will hold — even though I’ve dreamed about it half my life.

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