July 11, 2012 at 6:00 PM ET
We are a nation of stunted adolescents who learned everything we know about dating and love from 30-minute TV sitcoms with laugh tracks, at least as far as eHarmony is concerned … apparently.
Bad Date Rescue, a free iPhone app from the "No. 1 most trusted online dating site" will fake a phone call to help you exit an awkward rendezvous ahead of schedule. And it's about time!
As anybody who's ever watched TV knows, your human friends can't be depended upon to interrupt your date at a predetermined time, thus leaving you victim to all manner of humiliating hijinks, including but not limited to slamming into a waiter carrying a full drink tray and the inevitable loss of your pants before the next commercial break.
Better than your friends — and even other fake phone call apps — Bad Date Rescue will not only call you at a pre-scheduled time or via an emergency prompt from you, it will also pretend to be your mom, boss or neighbor via a recorded message with which you can interact.
Your mom — who has a thick Dakota accent — is having a devil of a time with that DVR you gave her and your dad for Christmas! Your boss is desperate to get you in the office to fix these software failures in Phoenix, Houston and Hong Kong! Your neighbor — who is British — doesn't "know what's going on up there, but it's running down my walls!" She's not kidding, "buddy!" (She calls you "buddy" so you know it's serious.)
If you don't have the acting chops or imagination to interact with a recording, Bad Date Rescue offers the "Repeat after me" option,in which some dude tells you what to say, and how you should say it (for example, "frantically"). After praising your delivery like it's a real dude actuallylistening, the recording then goes on to lecture you about how if you'd only usedeHarmony in the first place, "you wouldn't be in this mess."
Perhaps if you'd learned to communicate like an adult, you wouldn't be single.
Alas, your inability to politely tell a stranger that you're just not feeling it, or that his or her online photo doesn't match the actual product, or you don't care for obnoxious racists who don't bathe, whatever, dooms your love life to reruns.
Hopefully, the first person who busts you on using the old fake phone call routine — if only because everybody texts these days — he or she will do you the kindness of being honest with you ... and maybe even throw a drink in your face, shutting down your date with a hackneyed trope you can understand.