Just Like Moulin Rouge

I accepted a date with a very nice man with whom I had been exchanging e-mails. Our agenda: dinner and a movie. Dinner went swimmingly, and we settled into our seats to see "Moulin Rouge." About 30 minutes into the movie, I felt a trickle down the back of my throat. I didn't think much of it (other than it was a weird time to be experiencing serious sinus drainage), but I decided to excuse myself and go to the restroom to check things out. As soon as I reach the theater lobby, I touched my hand to my face and discovered I had a nosebleed! I had had sinus surgery about a month before, and thought that I was completely recovered--apparently not! I hovered over the restroom sink pressing paper towels to my nose while total strangers rushed to get me ice. The bleeding finally stopped, and I cleaned up and got ready to return to my seat. I had blood spots on the front of my knit sweater, but I turned it inside out thinking my hair was long enough to cover the tag hanging out in back. I returned to my seat hoping to avoid any explanation, and my date filled me in on what I had missed. Just as Nicole Kidman began her consumption fit, I felt the old trickle again and rushed for the bathroom. This time I could not get the bleeding under control. I sat in the lobby with an ice-filled paper towel over my nose and tried to calmly wait for the movie to end. Several other theater patrons stopped and asked if they could help, and I told them I was OK--just so embarrassed to have this happen on a first date! Minutes later, my date emerged to investigate my disappearance, and I had to ask him to take me to the emergency room. He was very sweet and accommodating (I adjusted the seat to a horizontal position and tried not to bleed on his upholstery), but of course the bleeding stopped completely once we arrived at the emergency-room door. So my date agreed to drive across town again--this time, to take me home. As I stepped from the car, I realized that I had left my car parked at the restaurant! If I had to return to the hospital later, I would have no way to get there. This incredibly nice man walked many blocks at 1 a.m. to find my car and drive it back to my house. I was completely mortified, especially when I saw myself in the mirror: bloody inside-out sweater with the tag hanging out, caked blood on my face and in my hair, and a big wad of bloody toilet paper in my hand. I had never looked so hot. ... Believe it or not, he called me the next day. But we never went out again; his old flame was back on the scene (or so he said). At any rate, he deserves an award for being the most understanding date ever, but what a mortifying experience for me!

— Amelia, 45

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