Jealousy, Political Differences, and Statistical Improbabilities
#MyWorstDate: God, I hate dating.
I don't date much.
I don't really understand either romantic or sexual attraction, and my general experience with dating has led me to the belief that it's designed to torture people, possibly by the Church to punish heretics, or maybe by the Spanish Inquisition. What allowed me to come to that conclusion? What else but trying it out?
Freshman year of college, I met a girl.
I tend to be rather shy. That, coupled with my aversion to student groups, resulted in me spending a lot of time alone. I was far from home and I was lonely. So, naturally, I figured I should download Tinder to make some friends. That...kind of worked.
This girl was pretty, smart, and a fellow female engineering student. She complimented my pictures, told me about her dogs, and we had a lovely conversation about comics. After a while, she asked me if I wanted to go get a cup of coffee. I said yes.
As anyone that knows me could tell you, I'm painfully socially awkward. I don't understand general social cues, much less flirting. I get anxious and blurt out whatever thought comes to my head - I once, for reasons that I can't begin to identify, told a guy that my name rhymes with Leia and I look nearly as good in a bikini. So this date was weird, and I didn't see the signs until it was too late to avoid.
We met at a popular café on campus. I wasn't entirely sure this was a date. I figured that it probably was, because we'd met on Tinder, but who knows? I was mostly just interested in talking to people, maybe she was too. So I wasn't really prepared for anything strange. I expected we'd just have coffee, and at worst, some boring conversation. Nope!
I find kissing awkward at the best of times. I'm certainly not one for PDA. Which resulted in me completely caught off guard when she kissed me across the table, cutting me off midsentence. I just sat there, shocked and totally unsure what to do.
She apologized and told me that her ex had just walked in with a date and said ex may have spotted her. It was unclear whether the kiss was to avoid eye contact, or if she was trying to make her jealous. Regardless, I probably should have made my excuses and left right then, but I figured, okay, it was just a kiss, it's not like she groped me or anything, this discomfort is just regular first date awkwardness. So I stayed.
We started talking about scuba diving. I got certified in high school, but I've never done it in the ocean before. It was really cool to hear her talk about when she'd gone, and I started to have a pretty good time. That is, until the conversation shifted towards the then ongoing primaries for the 2016 presidential election.
My number one rule of dating has always been this: don't go out with a Republican. I assumed that statistically, that would be less likely on dates with women than men - not only does the GOP lean male, I have to assume they don't have a very high percentage of LGBT supporters. While that's probably still true, apparently, my luck was bad enough to meet one of the few. I went on a date with a unicorn: a right wing LGBT gun owner.
Something that I'm always astounded by: a great many people that are openly racist - in more than just the casual racism I've come to expect from white liberals - don't see an issue in dating and sharing bigoted viewpoints with me, a brown woman. This girl could be included in that great many. When she started talking about how the US has too many immigrants and it's not fair for hardworking white people, I started gulping down my coffee. While I was surreptitiously planning my path out of the café, she started talking about how much she loves shooting and refuses to ever vote for a Democrat because they want to take away everyone's firearms.
I always figured "card carrying member of the NRA" was an expression. Guess what? It's not. They actually have membership cards. She showed me.
I shoved the rest of my doughnut into my mouth, washed it down with the remainder of my coffee, and hightailed it out of there.