I suppose you are wondering, How’d that date go?
My Reaction: NOPE NOPE NOPITY NOPE NOPE!
Did I mention NOPE yet?
So the verdict is in: RUN AWAY.
He forgot to mention the photo he sent is about 20 years old. Which is extraordinarily substantial when you are 60 years old.
And the missing teeth. And how little hair is left compared to that photo he sent.
I realized that his brashness at the restaurant (not downright rude, but more assertive and bold than I care to have company with) reminds me too much of my father (who can be downright rude). I’m also not sure he left an appropriate tip, given how demanding he was. Having worked in customer service for many years, I pay attention to these things.
He does have a pleasant voice. The kind you’d expect on NPR, and that’s the first thing he talked about, listening to Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! and Car Talk. It’s got that Minnesota Nice quality to it.
But…still nope. It got worse.
He wanted to drive down to the marina for a nice walk with the sunset. He made the assumption that I drive and could follow him down there. Nope! No driver’s license here, and I felt much better about not having a reason to go down with him to the marina.
If things had ended right after dinner, that would have been fine. I would have thought, well, we can be friends. Interesting friends. Why not?
But nope!We took a quick walk around a block before he headed out. We talked along the way. Politics came up. He said something that was unforgiveable. Heartless. Unkind. It was so terrible, it tore apart every precious moment, bit of laughter, and pleasantry with him that I had.
I don’t think he realized what a grave mistake he was making–or perhaps he did, because after delivering that line that made my heart drop, he immediately said, “Well we’ve come this far without talking about politics, sex, or religion, so I suppose we should keep it that way.”
He was dismissive of Bernie, but at least he wasn’t a Trump supporter. It was clear he was going to vote for Hillary but didn’t think she would change anything. “I like Bernie’s ideas,” he said, “but he could never accomplish any of that in 4 years.”
“How can you say that?” I said. “I never thought I would see gay marriage legalized in this country, but that happened. Sometimes the amount of progress that can be made in a short amount of time is surprising.”
“That’s no big deal. How many gay people are there in this country? 1%?”
“No, it is much higher. I think it is closer to 8%?”
“Well you might be right,” he said. And then came the line the tore it all asunder: “Anyway, what’s more important is a minimum wage of $15 an hour. That affects way more people.”
My thoughts went to Orlando. My thoughts went to the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer people in this country who have been disowned and rejected from their families and live homeless. My thoughts went to the many of them who have suffered insults, injury, or death because of who they are and who they love.
You don’t know what it’s like to have someone hate you because you’re different. You don’t know what it’s like to be scared that you are not safe to walk down the street because people may be irrational and want to hurt or kill you for who you are and what you cannot change. You don’t know what it’s like to wear a mask at work and hide yourself because you need to our of survival. Real, physical survival.
By the numbers, sure, income inequality does impact more people and would be a significant change that probably would greatly benefit minorities who suffer the brunt of income inequality. But to put down any form of progress towards equality as not as important, to put down gay rights as not important, especially when the mass-shooting at Orlando was not so long ago, I can’t forgive that. In that one line, he immediately became the perfect image of an old, white, privileged male.