Saturday’s date was with Bachelor Number 4, a med student. I know, right? A med student. Everyone seemed to get super excited for this date once I disclosed his (intended) profession. I was indifferent about his profession to be quite honest—it’s not as if a date to get coffee (an interview to be exact!) automatically means I’ll one day be the latter on a Dr. and Mrs. introduction. Still, people were just flat-out excited that I was dating a potential doctor.
We met for coffee. At Starbucks. It wasn’t my original idea, because if I’m going to go for coffee, I’d at least like to go to one of the non-chain coffee shops that my city has to offer. There are two really great places, incidentally, one called the Golden Roast on campus and the other called Old City Java in the, who would’ve guessed?, Old City. But he was driving in to town and it would’ve been too complicated to arrange a meeting at a place that wasn’t off the interstate directly. Coming to campus or Old City requires parking, walking, meeting. It just wasn’t worth the hassle, I figured. So, Starbucks it was.
Incidentally, another issue pops into my mind at this time. When I go for these “coffee dates”, and I arrive first, is it poor form to go ahead and order a cup of coffee and begin drinking it? Or should I bet waiting on my date? I had absolutely no idea what to do in this situation, and cursed myself for arriving early. It seems creepy to wait in the car and only go in after you get the “I’m here!” text that seems to come with the territory of first meet-ups. And what if they park next to you? OH! The embarrassment. Anyway, someone tell me what you should do in these situations. Order solo or wait? I ordered. I dunno, I was jonesing for some coffee and I was nervous.
I sat down on one of those cushy chairs and started looking around trying to spy other coffee interviewees. I should have brought a book with me both to pass the time and to give my nervous hands something to do that doesn’t involve checking my cellular phone or twitter. I’m trying really hard not to ‘live tweet’ my dates .
And then I got nervous that I was making too much eye contact with other people. And immediately regretted sitting on a couch-type chair and not at a table that would provide appropriate personal space. But I had very little time to debate moving because Bachelor Number 4 came in. A stealth attack without the “I’m here” text message. Pretty sneaky, Bachelor Number 4.
I already had a coffee but stood at the counter with Bachelor 4 and we talked about the usual things—his drive, the weather (it was storming badly—tornado warnings, hail the size of softballs), and what we like at Starbucks. I remember making some lame joke about my Gold Card status. It was all going fairly well.
So we sat down and chatted further. The one thing I don’t like about online dating is that the ‘good stuff’ that you normally use on first dates to get through the first forty-five minutes is gone, essentially. The men I’ve been in contact with have asked pertinent questions that could be used to relax us on the actual date. So via text message and email I’m divulging things like my family structure and what I specifically do for a living. And then we sit in front of each other, talking face-to-face and it’s dead air.
We drank our coffee and stumbled through the first date jitters and eventually he asked if I wanted to move across the street to a restaurant, as there are quite a few grouped on that exit. I agreed to it, as I felt we hadn’t really had a proper date, and he had driven pretty far. It’s the first time I’ve ‘moved a date’, so I was excited to try it and see if the mood changed.
I picked the restaurant mostly because I was starting to get hungry (I made the mistake of not scheduling my meals properly for a Saturday date and, therefore, was hungry during a date that may not have had dinner involved), and decided to go to a Chinese fusion restaurant that is fairly quick but is still sit-down and has a good date atmosphere. Wok Hay, if you’re interested and in the area, is a mid-price-range restaurant but still has a ‘nice’ feel to it and you won’t spend forever waiting for either a table or a meal. Wok Hay didn’t pay me to say that, but I wish they would.
Anyway, we moved on to the restaurant, and I let him drive me. This was a definite difference from the date with Bachelor Number 3 where we awkwardly drove separate cars. To Sonic. I digress.
At this point it was pouring rain, so he pulled up to the door of Starbucks to pick me up and dropped me off at the Wok Hay entrance. I waited in the foyer and Bachelor Number 4 opened a door for me, which was a nice surprise, and guided me through by placing a hand on my back. I didn’t even realize I missed stuff like that.
Once we sat at a table and began pursuing the menu I decided to ask 4 what he thought of the area he’s currently living in—as he’s attending med school in my hometown (that I moved away from about eight years ago). And it turns out he really, really hates it. I told him he could be honest with me, that I wouldn’t mind. But I sort of did mind, I guess. Lesson learned, don’t ask things if you don’t want to know…?
It wasn’t bad that he found it small and lacking things to entertain, as I agree with him on those parts. It’s that he really finds them people to be intellectually inferior. And I take umbrage to that, sir. Real umbrage. He said that most of the people are simple-minded and ‘basic’. He kept using the word basic, as if the folks from my town are just standard model humans, and humans in other areas of the country (basically any other area, he seems to think) are the upgraded version. So my hometown is channels 2 through 10 and every other city in America is Dish Network? Okay.
I asked him to remind me again what part of the country he hailed from. You know, I can probably understand if someone is from one of America’s greatest cities and it just doesn’t compare to my little part of the world. Certainly, even Knoxville wouldn’t be impressive to someone from San Francisco, New York, D.C., Seattle, etc.
Alabama. He’s from a very small town in Alabama.
I truly believe that Southern stereotypes are just that—stereotypes. And that Southern states pick on one another out of inferiority. Jokes that I have heard (and told..sorry) that involve Alabama, Kentucky, and West Virginia, are told in these states…but have Tennesseeans as the inventor of the toothbrush, unable to read, etc. I think probably all Southern states have their share of “simple” and their share of “smart”. So it really started to irk me that he was just so determined to find this specific area “basic” and unworthy of any compliments.
I am ashamed to say what I did next. I’m almost afraid to even tell you, for fear of the hate mail I’ll receive.
I didn’t storm out, I didn’t argue with him, and I didn’t try to change his mind. What would the point be?
I just decided I’d speak in the absolute most southern accent I could possibly muster. I started saying words in weird ways that I’ve only heard people a couple of generations away from me use—words like thurr-apy. “Therapy” to you Yankees, cain’t (can’t), etc. I didn’t use words like ain’t nor did I dive into the double negative, but it was on reserve just in case. He sort of smiled a couple of times when I pronounced a word so sickeningly slow that even I was frustrated by my own accent…and I said “I’m sorry, I just have such an accent sometimes, despite not having lived in “the boonies” for nearly eight years. I guess no amount of studying takes me away from my roots..”
He smiled and nodded. I think he got it.
The rest of the date was pleasant, but I’m not sure that we click. Given the opportunity to test the waters again, I would. He studies relatively close to where my parents live, so I’d be willing to drive to him this time. Though I don’t know that he’d be interested in another meeting.
First and foremost, the distance is a factor for him. I could tell he wanted it to be worth the drive, but I’m not sure it was for him. Also, he’s super busy (with trying to be a doctor and all) so our communication is more than sporadic.
Also I’m a bitch. I pulled that accent thing and it came across really bitchy. Oops.
On to the next one?