There’s a reason they say you shouldn’t talk politics on first dates…

Hello again, friends! Here is another post from me, and also coming soon, my first guest blogger! She is basically one of the cooler girls I know who is joining me in the ranks of online daters and has some awesome and funny commentary on making a profile/reading the various amazing online profiles of Denver’s finest dudes (or at least the ones on free dating sites…).

Ok, yes, talking politics on first dates… I did eHarmony for a few months a couple years back. It was hard work! Because I wasn’t able to quit my job to spend 8 hours a day doing online surveys, I did not get to meet very many guys. The guys I did meet on there will pretty much all end up documented on this blog. Also, eHarmony would consistently match me up with acquaintances that I knew in real life to be horrible people or horrible matches for me. For example, I was matched with this guy I knew peripherally at work, and also knew him to be a first-class douche… But anyway, the guy featured in this blog was also a poor choice from the eHarmony robot/dating algorithm/whatever thing that causes them to send you matches on that site. 

So anyway, this guy was an engineer. I have been on a surprising number of dates with engineers. They always look good on paper because they tend to be smart, have decent grammar skills, have jobs, etc. But then you meet them and understand where the whole stereotype of engineers having no social skills comes from. Anyway, I suppose we could call him the Engineer.

So the Engineer and I chat on the phone and plan to meet at the Uptown Tavern, generally a hotbed of bro dude activity, but apparently this is near his work and he lives in the suburbs so it’s a good place for him to meet me for some food/drinks on a Friday. Fine, I won’t judge him and I happen to know that they have a good happy hour there, a fact I will later regret (many of the things that make this story blog-worthy are my own actions!)

So we get some drinks on the patio… 2 for 1 wine, what?!? And we start talking about stuff, I ask him about his work, he explains a lot of engineering-y jargon about what he does and I pretend to be interested and start drinking the wine… I order a salad or something that seems polite and suitable for a first date. Somewhere in this first 15 minutes or maybe half an hour, there is some bizarre turn of conversation which causes him to make the statement that, “Affirmative action is just special privileges for women and minorities.” I honestly don’t even remember what craziness brought the conversation there. My brain just about explodes because, you know, social worker… I begin to attempt to explain to him about what privilege really means and what affirmative action actually means and it doesn’t seem to help much. I decide to not make a scene on the Uptown Tavern patio, which is indeed full of groups of bro dudes and girls with blond highlights. I will just stick this out until we finish our food.

As I believe I have mentioned, I sometimes cope with awkwardness by doing something with my hands, eating, drinking, filling the silence, etc. Here I mostly went with drinking. After all, it was 2 for 1 wine! So we change the subject and talk about movies or something else fairly boring and neutral. And I forget what all else, maybe hiking or some sort of Denver-y shit… Meanwhile I am pretty much pounding wine. At least I feel less like punching him in the face and feel more like I just don’t really care. After a bit more of this shenanigans, I get up to go to the bathroom and realize how drunk I am. I do not have a great tolerance for alcohol and should not have been surprised, but somehow I was. I am also not coordinated in the best of times… and this was clearly not the best of times. So I manage to basically hit myself with the door while coming out of the bathroom. Luckily the bathroom was not in view of the table where the Engineer awaited. It was in view of several bro dudes and girls with blond highlights. Don’t judge me just because I am about to fall down and have no highlights!

So I make it back to the table, we resume a little more awkward chit chat, get the tab (I think he realized this was not a match as much as I did, so maybe I should take back the social cues thing, this guy was at least grasping that the date wasn’t going well!) and get ready to leave. We walk out of the bar together and I exert an amazing amount of energy trying to act and walk like I am not drunk. We exchange the obligatory lies about how it was nice to meet you and we should get together again. We both know that will never happen but it just seems like the thing to say. Our cars are parked in the same parking lot… Shit, I think to myself, I can’t drive myself home and he’s going to notice! I get in the car and pretend to fumble around, make a phone call, etc. until he leaves. Phew!

So the date is actually perhaps a bit less ridiculous than the randomness that happened after it. I decide that it seems like a good idea to just walk home from this date. In my cute-for-a-first-date-but-not-so-comfortable shoes… At the time, I lived in the Congress Park neighborhood of Denver, probably a good mile from the Uptown Tavern. But you know, clearly an excellent idea to walk home. I’ll clear my head and it will be meditative and I can think about new strategies to meet dudes because eHarmony is clearly not my jam.

I also decide that it is a good idea to walk down Colfax, so much better because if I want to, I can catch the 15 bus, or stop for Taco Bell, or buy some drugs… Or as it turns out, run into some dear friends of mine. I had previously been invited to go see Lupe Fiasco by a couple friends. But, in my eternal optimism, I thought that this might be a great date and I wouldn’t want to have to rush the date in order to make the concert, and declined their invitation. As I walk down Colfax past the venue where the show was to take place, I run into none other than my friends, heading to the concert. Clearly I could have made it. But the show is now sold out and I am on a drunk-walking mission to get to my house. So I tell my friends that my date was bad and I am walking home. They are good friends and don’t ask too many questions. They know I will tell them later. And they will probably read this blog.

I continue on my journey to my house, and manage to make it with only minimal bleeding of the feet due to my uncomfortable shoes… When I get to my apartment, my roommate is out so I busy myself with calling friends that live in the neighborhood to see if they want to get a drink somewhere within walking distance. Because clearly that’s what I need.

During this time, a new co-worker I don’t know very well yet calls me to inform me that I forgot to give her a key to a rental space she needs to use for an event early in the morning the next day. I realize that it’s true, I did forget to give her the key… it is still on my keychain with my car keys. Only it’s not still on my keychain. Shit! Did I lose it somewhere in the middle of Colfax? Is it in my car? Neither of these are great answers and I don’t want to reveal to my co-worker that I have the opposite of my shit together right now and am about to cause both of us a problem if I lost this key. Luckily, my co-worker can’t meet me until a little later, buying me some time.

Even more luckily, a friend of mine is coming over, ostensibly to go have that drink that I don’t need. She nicely volunteers to drive me to my car, which I still can’t drive, and miraculously, the key is on the floor on the drivers’ side of my car. We go back to my place and my co-worker comes over. I again bust out my best sober-looking walking skills and give the key to my co-worker. Crisis averted.

The moral of this story is… maybe there are two. First, for reals, don’t talk politics on first dates. Even if you both have similar views, which is probably likely if you are not meeting off a match created by a conservative-leaning dating site run by robots, you can save that fun stuff for a few dates in! Second, don’t cope with other people talking politics on first dates with too much 2 for 1 wine.