Suzanne Lockhart's worst date turned into a box of chocolates.
And that worst date? Whew. It was a doozy.
It had induced vomiting, 100-degree heat, an oil light, a long talk with the date's father at a wedding (where the date was), more vomit, an incredibly long drive from Chico to San Francisco, and then weeks and weeks of long voicemails with Tracy Chapman playing in the background, which, subsequently, resulted in a $300 phone bill.
So, yeah, of course Lockhart is going to win our worst date contest.
"Is this a positive thing that I won worst date in Danville?" she asked me when we met Monday.
I, of course, answered with a resounding: "Heck yeah!"
The contest kicked off a few days before . We got several in, we chose three, and put it out to the voters to choose the best of the worst.
We had in our (unscientific) poll. Lockhart's story of beat out a date by grabbing 54 percent of the vote.
Her prize, for winning our worst date contest, was a box of chocolates from .
The story with a few extra details
The date took place in 2001. Lockhart had met an EMT. They had gone on a few dates prior to the "worst date." The EMT asked Lockhart if she wanted to accompany him to his brother's wedding in Chico.
Lockhart was living in Sacramento going to college at the time and the EMT was living in San Francisco. He didn't have a car so he took the ferry to Vallejo where she picked him up. They drove back to her place to get ready for the wedding.
She had a dress but he didn't have anything. Only the clothes he was wearing.
"Well, come to find out, this guy brought no extra clothes," she wrote in her story. "Oh yes, he was planning on wearing dirty ripped jeans, sandals and a white tee to this wedding."
But then it starts to go from bad to gross. The EMT went into the bathroom.
"I heard him getting sick in the bathroom, I heard it," she told me.
She said he didn't look sick or seem sick but when he came out of the bathroom he said to her, "I feel sick."
The thing is, he didn't exactly throw up in the toilet... and he didn't bother to clean it up.
"I had a toilet right next to the sink, he just had to turn his head," she said, still in disbelief of the situation. "But he threw up in my sink and told me he couldn't clean it up because it was making him sick. I didn't want vomit in my sink so I cleaned it up."
Lockhart said she was young and maybe naive and if she had been older, the date would have ended there... but it didn't.
They got into her Honda Accord, in the sweltering Sacramento heat, and started to drive. The oil light popped on. Worried about this, she pulled over into a nearby Safeway, thinking he would get out and assist in figuring out the issue.
"No, he just sat there," she said.
She said a worker who was collecting shopping carts helped her out, checking the oil and, eventually, adding oil to the engine.
"I'm in my dress, checking the dipstick. I thought he would help me out with this but this creature stayed in the car, complaining of heat," she said.
Oh, but there's more.
After the wedding, which was actually farther than Chico, during the reception, he disappeared. A short time later Lockhart and the family found the EMT passed out in the bride's waiting area.
"He was passed out and there was more vomit on the white wedding dress," she said. "He was drunk, but I don't remember him drinking."
A long personal conversation about Lockhart's commitment to the EMT ensued with the father of the EMT. But, to say the least, it was awkward, she said.
So, after two vomit sessions, an oil light, and an awkward conversation with pops, Lockhart and the EMT start to make the trek back to Vallejo to drop him off at the ferry.
"He tells me the ferry isn't picking him up. He says the ferry stopped," she said. "My husband told me that was his plan all along. But I was young and naive I guess."
So, dreading spending more time than she had to with this guy, she decided to drive him all the way to San Francisco.
"Then the phone calls started," she said.
Lockhart said he would leave half hour-long messages with Tracy Chapman playing in the background. She said he would talk very slowly, saying things like, "I really think we had something special."
At the time, Lockhart said, her phone service charged her for the minutes used in voicemails. So, if the EMT left a 30-minute message, she would have to pay for that.
"I got a lot of phone calls and I had a $300 phone bill," she said. "I couldn't pay it. I was in college. I had to have my mom pay it."
She said these calls lasted for a few weeks before she finally said enough and told him to stop calling.
"I still have a phobia about listening to my voicemails," she said.
Life after the EMT
But she's put the date behind her -- for the most part (because you can't really forget that story). Lockhart ended up meeting her husband, Ryan, shortly after the "worst date."
They got married in June 2010, they live in Danville, and they have a 15-month-old baby boy named Pete -- also known as Petey.
I asked her what her husband thinks of this "worst date."
"Oh, he thinks it's hilarious," she said.
Hilarious, gross, worst date ever... however you may want to describe this story, I guess it's safe to say there is love after induced vomiting.