Every Date I’ve Ever Been On
This year, I’ve been on more dates than my entire life combined. And every date has been about me avoiding talking about things I’m interested in. Why? Because the things I really care about (economics, politics, atheism, and board games) are not topics that impress most girls. So, most dates are about me asking her questions, and trying not to give her any answers.
“Hi, good to see you!” I say, and hug her awkwardly.
“Hi,” she says. Long silence. This is usually where the date goes downhill, and never stops until the goodbye hug.
We go to wherever we planned, but it doesn’t really matter. The beach, the movies, the dinner, the lunch, the brunch, the hike. It’s all the same really. Just something to do, so we don’t have to stare at each other the whole time.
I usually take this moment to ask her the most awkward and odd question, “So, what have you been thinking about lately?”
I’m not sure why I ask it. It’s just a habit. A bad habit. It’s something I ask to everyone, all the time. I guess it’s because I care about ideas, and I want to get inside their head. But it can really throw people off, because most people don’t really think about anything. Usually, the girl just talks about what she’s been doing lately, like working out.
She says, “Well, I’ve been playing soccer.” Either it’s soccer, or sky diving, or surfing, or hand gliding, or yoga, or running – it doesn’t really matter. Whatever it is, it’s always WAY more physical activity than I ever do, which is basically sitting in front of the computer watching youtube all day.
After she’s done telling me about how she’s the next Michael Phelps, she usually asks me, “So what do you like to do?” This is where I go into fight or flight mode. ABORT! ABORT! Do not tell her that you like to just sleep all day and watch youtube! Think of something!
“Well,” I say, “I like to play boardgames.”
She says, “Boardgames? Huh. Like Monopoly?” That’s what everybody says. Most people think that board games are only for kids, so I must be some sort of man-child. As if I sit around playing Candy Land all day.
This is where I present her my dissertation of how boardgames can be for adults too. Usually I talk about my board game club, and all the cool new boardgames that are coming from Europe like Agricola, and Carcassonne, and Ticket to Ride. At this point, most girls are thinking, “Oh god! Is this nerd going to make me sit around playing board games? Get me out of here!”
I have become the master at paying for the bill. After learning from my mistakes, I’ve become a bill paying maniac. So obsessed am I with paying that I can become extremely hostile at the mere mention of splitting the bill. Sometimes, some hip and progressive girl will try to say, “We can split it.”
“NO!” I scream, “I’M PAYING!” I will even go as far as mentioning weeks before the date that “I’m paying! I’m paying! I’m paying!”
I know I’m really going deep into this issue, but it’s really a continuous problem. Once, I went to the movies with a girl, and I paid for our tickets long before she even showed up. Then we went in the movie theater, and she said, “Since you paid for the tickets, I can pay for the popcorn.”
“NOOOOOOO!” I screamed. “I’LL PAY!” To be honest, I was so insulted, I wanted to walk out on her right then for even mentioning it. It was such a blow that I couldn’t get over it the entire night, and I lost all attraction for her.
There are certain topics that I avoid like the plague. As soon as I start talking about them, I just become a babbling idiot and I go on for hours and hours, barely pausing to even take a breath. These topics are atheism, politics, and economics. If I start talking about about any of these topics, the date might as well be over right then and there. The rest of the date will devolve into me talking non-stop, and her being lost and bored. You might as well lock me away in an insane asylum so I can have the time to say everything I want to say.
So during every date, I become a ninja at avoiding topics. I duck under questions. I dodge traps. My opinions hide in the shadows, never to come out. We’ll be having a good time. Talking about what we’re eating, when all of a sudden she’ll mention something like GMOs. What I want to do is talk for the next five years about my opinions about Monsanto, but I just try to pretend that I’m not interested in the topic at all. “Oh, GMOs you say? Huh . . . well, um . . . Do you have any brothers and sisters?”
Don’t give into the temptation that she might agree with you. Oh it’s very tempting! The thought pops into my head, “Hmm, I wonder if she’s an atheist too?” Don’t do it. Don’t ask . . . she’s not an atheist. Girls like that are one in a million. At best, she believes in horoscopes, or new age-y medicines, and at worst, she’s devoutly religious. It’s a trap!
The problem is that so many topics connect to economics, politics, and religion, that it’s almost impossible to avoid. She mentions Buddhism, and I dodge to the left. She mentions healthcare, and I dodge to the right. But then, she says something like, “I think that rich people should give all their money to the poor. They don’t need it!” At this point, it’s as if she has thrown a ninja star directly at me, and the only thing I can do is to fight.
HIYYYYAH! “Are you rich?” I ask. This spawns a debate about what it means to be rich, and property rights, and capitalism, the free market, and how poverty rates have fallen dramatically wherever individuals have been able to keep the fruits of their labor without government redistribution of wealth.
And at this point, the date is over. I’ve just lost. Mario has fallen down the hole – no extra lives – game over. Either we will debate (argue) about the topic, or she will remain silent, imagining that I’m cold, heartless, and insensitive. Either way, I will blather on and on, almost incoherently, connecting the dots between the military industrial complex, the Federal Reserve, and the price of ammunition.
Just once, I’d like to meet a girl who thought it was attractive that I was passionate about topics like that. I’d like to meet a girl who thought that all the studying I was doing was worthwhile. A girl who realized that all I want to do is help the world become a better place to live in.
Lots of girls say that they want to meet someone who is passionate about something. But, they want someone who is passionate about the right things, like sailing, or food, or animals. Not the Constitution! Not, economics. And never ever ever, atheism. No, it is quite a liability to be passionate about those topics.
But I am passionate about those things. I don’t really mind if I never meet a girl who knows all the things that I know. Most people in the world don’t know jack about economics. I understand that. But, it would be nice to meet a girl who thought that it was attractive that I was passionate about those topics, and enjoyed talking about the world with me, in that way. If that ever happened, I guarantee that I would be completely passionate about her.