So far, I’ve focused primarily on first dates. But what about when you move further into a relationship. What happens when you’ve been out many times? You know eachother’s friends. You’re just short of buying a second toothbrush to keep at his or her house because you stay over so often.
I met Jessica at a friend’s party. We were the only people not caught up in a rousing game of strip beer pong. The evident allergy held by all the contestants for the gym drove us to an adjoining room as the game progressed. I couldn’t have been luckier. I had been pushed into a room with a beautiful woman and a topic of conversation had been dropped into my lap. Namely, my feelings about the overweight drunks in the next room spilling beer on their nakedness. I asked her name, her address, her favorite position in bed…I’m kidding. We made small college talk and agreed to meet up in a few days for afternoon coffee. Jessica seemed like a winner. But I still wasn’t willing to give up an evening I could possibly spend in a better way.
Our conversation over coffee was revealing.
- We both laughed without trying. Neither struggled to maintain a conversation that was interesting and amusing.
- We unintentionally ordered the same drink. I had arrived early to get a good table and purchased a hot caramel apple cider. I left $10 with the barista to pay for her drink. In a small college town with only one coffee shop, I was unable to mix it up for a casual conversation. In this case, it was handy that I knew the barista. Looking back, I wonder if he told her what I’d ordered!
- We had both been raised in devoutly religous homes. Mine, a conservative Christian, her’s strict Jewish. At first this seemed like common ground. It ended up being our undoing.
Three months later, we were grocery shopping together. The plan was to pick up things to make dinner at her apartment. Always the the one pushing for efficiency, we split up to get the last few items on our list. I found her, moments later. As I placed the bottle of wine and box of crackers in the cart next to the package of thick-sliced bacon. Then it registered: BACON!
“Jess, I didn’t think you ate pork.” I said.
“I decided I’d never had it and wanted to try it. You’ll help me cook it?” She replied.
Now that I’m older and, hopefully a bit wiser, I’d never say what I said next:
“I can, but do you think its smart to throw away 20 plus years of tradition without any thought?”
If you’re going to make a practice of dating intelligent individuals: Do not make the mistake I did and slice your own head off by questioning their intellect, upbringing, and food choices in one breath.
We went to her place for dinner. The tension was palpable as we cleaned up and I found some school-related excuse to leave promptly. I called her the next day. She had to go and I didn’t apologize for the previous night. I highly recommend learning how to say you’re sorry, if you don’t already. Practice in the mirror, on random strangers you’ve purposely offended, or on friends. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of thinking there are so many people in the world that it’s okay to be offensive and walk away. I wish I hadn’t.
I’ve not seen Jessica since. I wonder how she liked the bacon. I really hope she didn’t microwave it.
My pain, your gain!