Addicted to novelty since 2001

A Shameful Truth About My Early Dating Life

Okay, I’ve got to come clean. In a previous post, I implied that a particular girl was the first one I ever dated. That isn’t technically true. Preceding Michelle, I had many phone conversations and went on a couple of dates with another girl.

My first ever date was at the Capilano West Chinese restaurant on Marine Drive in West Vancouver. We ordered way too much food, and I’m sure the bill cost me several weeks’ worth of allowance. I can, with a kind of vague recollection, remember the shirt I wore. I believe it might be back in style these days.

Shortly thereafter, I unceremoniously dumped this girl for grade 8 reasons which I cannot remotely fathom. I’ve felt bad about that to this day, and will no doubt take that particular act of youthful stupidity to my grave.

And do you want to know the other thing? I can’t remember her name.

Okay, I guess that’s two shameful truths.

I can remember the names of grade 6 and 7 (and earlier!) crushes that preceded her, and all the girls and women since then (though I know they’d never match my sweet imagination — rockin’ MIDI ahead!), but there’s a memory gap for the blonde-haired girl who liked sweatshirts (it was the style of the time) who lived in Dundarave. We went to different high schools, and I don’t think that helped.

I even asked Rob, one of my oldest friends, about her. You see, because I have such a lousy memory, Rob is my longterm storage device. He came up blank.

And so, to my eternal shame, Date #1 was with the Unknown Girl #1. Perhaps when I have a house and garden I’ll make a little memorial with an eternal flame for the world’s forgotten names.

Hey, I just got an idea. Remember my write-up on the Kay Meek Theatre? It’s attached to West Van High, the school this girl attended. If they have all those goofy roster o’ grad photos posted in a hallway somewhere, I could go scrutizine 1990 or 1991 for her. My friend is the technical director of the Kay Meek, so he could probably get me in without my looking like some dirty old man. Closure, I have thee in my sights.

12 Responses to “A Shameful Truth About My Early Dating Life”

  1. Rob

    I am very sorry I can’t come up with her name. I’ll try to remember…

    Almost more importantly, I picked up some food from Capilano West on Monday and discovered that they are shutting down at the end of September (although they still maintain a location on Cap Road called Capilano Heights, which was for some reason never as good).

    My theory for the closure is that they own the land and can make twenty-brazillion dollars selling it now, so why not.

    I’m going to organize a HUGE dinner there on one of the last nights. Everyone should come.

  2. Laura

    The one on Cap Road is NOT AS GOOD?! It’s the best Chinese food I’ve ever eaten! And it’s always packed, always cars parked all the way up Clements Avenue (the intersecting street where the restaurant is located) no matter what day of the week. My parents live on that street and we order in take-out from Capilano Heights at least 4 or 5 times a year.

    Having said that, I never ate at Cap West so I suppose I shouldn’t say it’s not as good. I just can’t imagine another Chinese restaurant being better!

  3. James Bishop

    Who knows, maybe seeing names will trigger something. Poking around GradFinder for 1990 and 1991 at West Van High School resulted in:

    Sandy Maitland
    Carmen Lankester

    Now, West Van Senior Secondary participated a little more heartily, so I’m not going to post all of those here. :)

  4. Andrew

    Although I would make an excellent excuse to be in West Van Secondary, there’s no guarantee you won’t look like a dirty old man anyway.

  5. steve. bryan

    Darren, Sorry but have to say that this last post confirms you as a big fool… You’re a plonker Darren.


  6. darren

    Steve: If this post ‘confirms’ me as a big fool, you must have suspected it for quite a while. I can’t imagine why you’ve kept reading this site, but let me recommend some of the many alternatives in the sidebar on the home page. Hopefully you’ll find any number of non-fools there.

  7. Anne

    I still remember Capilano West when it was called Hennessy’s. In the seventies, I used to get gift certificates for Christmas from my employer.

    I am considering going for dinner there before it closes. In that neighbourhood I can imagine that anything else could make more money than operating a Chinese restaurant.

  8. steve. bryan

    Hi Darren – Thanks for the pointer to the links. Actually i’d spotted them before but thanks anyway for the recommendation.


  9. Richard

    I’ve been going to Capilano Heights in North Van for 30 years. Apparently the same cook from back then is still in the kitchen! I’ve found that Cap Heights is much better than Cap West. I’ll miss seeing the restaurant when it gets torn down and replaced with million dollar 1000 sf condos.

  10. Metro

    Isn’t this the secret shame of many if not all of us?

    Shame #1
    I took my first real date to Foo Hong’s on Fisgard in Victoria.

    Shame #2
    I wore black skin-tight jeans and a white short-sleved shirt printed with cartoons, and suspenders.

    I can’t recall the name of the first girl I kissed, but I’m okay with that. More importantly, I can’t recall the name of that delightful redhead from Mt. Doug.

    Darren, this is a web site waiting to happen: “” or something!

    You should develop it–imagine the warm feeling from providing closure to millions!

  11. Andrew

    When I asked my first date what she wanted to do she said “go dutch”. I thought “Where is there a dutch restaraunt around here?”

  12. Dave

    Anne wrote: “I still remember Capilano West when it was called Hennessy’s”

    Now, you’ve got me thinking… (and my memory is dim); wasn’t Hennesy’s a dark steakhouse kind of place in the middle of the other block – around where Delany’s and Starbucks now are.

    I do remember the Dairy Queen, though.


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