Dispatches From Dating Hell
By Maya Parmer
Published Apr 7, 2009 9:03 AM
We've all been there — that moment when the sweet possibility of love is shattered. The intolerable date from hell that makes a dentist visit seem painless or a trip to your accountant seem interesting. And now, it's all on the online record.
At the beginning of 2009, Victoria Namkung M.A. '00 and business partner Jessica Ramakrishnan turned nine years of one-upping each other about disastrous date stories into MyVeryWorstDate.com, a website where readers can commiserate about their courtship woes. MVWD is a compilation of submissions by everyone from college students to grandparents — even Namkung's own parents submitted worst-date stories.
A successful freelance writer with credits in USA Today, the LA Times, InStyle, The Huffington Post and city blog Las Angelenas, Namkung wanted to build a fun space to escape from the economic recession. The Brentwood-based Bruin and the New York-based Ramakrishnan use their writing and editing expertise to comb through, edit and post horror stories to the site for hopeless romantics and bittersweet lovers to read. Within two weeks of its launch, MVWD already had readers in Africa and Eastern Europe.
"One person thought they recognized themselves from a story," laughs Namkung. "That's when we realized we were successful."
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The pair drop in hilarious posts that share places to purge yourself of gifts from an ex, or comedic books with tidbits like "The World's Worst Pick-Up Lines." But the meat of the site is its horror stories, like the epic tale of a woman who embarked on a date with a dreamy doctor, only to watch him give his number to a woman at the next table and hear him reveal that he wore leopard-print tighty-whities with monkeys on them.
Or the poor gentleman who invited his date to a fancy wine tasting charity event, only to have her beg afterward to go to a bar across the street, where she rudely ran into another man she was dating, and finally collapsed slurring, and with a bloody nose, into the original gentleman's lap, while passersby shot him suspicious looks, wondering whether he had punched her in the face.
Even worse is the English woman who accidentally tipped off her date's toupee in front of 120 people at his birthday extravaganza.
Add your own sad story to the ongoing saga of dates from hell at My Very Worst Date.