I like to think of myself as an open-minded person. Though I am a pescatarian and centrist democrat, I am open to dating people of all beliefs. I once dated a born and bred Texas hunter. Another time I (very briefly) dated a frat-boy football-playing type who thought transgender people were something you only saw on TV, (fortunately, he soon realized that wasn’t true upon moving to NYC). This little suburban Indian princess once even dated a guy from a trailer park. And even more shockingly, I even dated a guy who wanted thought Pearl Jam was the best band to ever walk the face of the planet. As you can see, I’m pretty open.
So when guy an admitted Republican asked me out, I figured it wasn’t a big deal. Many of my parents’ friends were Republicans. All perfectly nice people, all of them immigrants, and none of them who were radical right-wing whack jobs. They were more Chris Christie than Sarah Palin.
So though I have never even been on a date with a Republican, I went out with Todd. The VP of a major financial company, he hardly seemed like the extreme right wing type.
Todd suggested a place to meet in Manhattan called Nomad. And then followed up by asking me if it would be easier for me to meet further west as I would be coming from Brooklyn. I read the text twice confused by its message.
Brooklyn is 100% undoubtedly EAST of Manhattan. Kind of like the sky is blue and dogs who’ve been castrated have no balls. These are facts my friends. I suppose Brooklyn would be west if you kept going around the whole globe across the country, through Asia, then Europe and then back to the other side. But that just seems like a long way if you ask me. Don’t believe me? Here’s a map for you:
So I responded, “Well, I’m happy to meet at Nomad but as Brooklyn is east, meeting further east would be easier not west. So maybe somewhere in Gramercy or Union Square?”
“I’ve never been to Nomad so I really wanted to go there. But I guess we could go to Rose Bar.”
I was perplexed. Not only was he not acknowledging the fact that he was geographically-challenged, he was kind of whiny about switching venues when he was the one who asked me if I wanted to meet elsewhere in the first place.
Nonetheless, I chalked up his ignorance to an airhead moment and his moodiness to the fact that he perhaps stubbed his toe or was hormonal and didn’t have any chocolate nearby. I ignored that little voice inside me (I like to call it Gazoo, after that little green man from the Flintstones) that warned me to stop this hot mess of a date before it started. And I agreed to go out with him.
Off I went off into the wilds of Manhattan leaving the warm comfort of Brooklyn behind for a man who likely didn’t even know the East River was in fact east. I hadn’t planned on bringing up his snafu but it was the first thing he brought up when I arrived. After we exchanged pleasantries and discussed how snow really is the worst, he dove right in.
“So you came from the east?” he implored.
“Um, yeah I did. Because Brooklyn is east,” I responded incredulously. This was more confusing to me than the time I couldn’t find my sunglasses that as it turns out were sitting on my head. I thought for sure at this point, he would have realized his error and apologized. Or at least kept his mouth shut.
“Well it’s really not 100% east,” he responded. I felt my brain turning into pudding. It’s one thing to talk to someone with a different opinion. It’s another thing altogether to talk to someone who still thinks the world is flat.
“Let’s just settle this once and for all,” I replied eager to make him realize how idiotic he sounded. I pulled out my iPhone quickly googled a map of NYC. “See this is Brooklyn. This is the East river, which is east. To the west is New Jersey.” Please keep in mind this dude was a VP of a MAJOR financial institution. This guy handles millions of dollars yet doesn’t understand the concept of cardinal directions.
“Well it’s really kind of south actually,” he responded still unwilling to admit he was wrong.
“Omigod, this is like the most ridiculous conversation,” I said matter-of-factly. “Yes Bay Ridge is southeast. But I live in Williamsburg. Which is just east.”
“Well — ” he countered.
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore. Let’s get a drink,” I replied irritably. Honestly, I didn’t want to continue this absurdity of a date anymore, but at this point I needed a drink.
With geography behind us, the rest of date began to look up. We switched topics, talking about music and our mutual love of Led Zeppelin, then moving onto families, work, and hobbies. I began to reassess my initial irritation towards Todd. After all he was pretty cute. And interesting. And he seemed nice enough.
“So what do you like to watch on TV?” he asked.
“Parts Unknown, Conan, The Office, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, and Anderson Cooper,” I finished triumphantly.
“Anderson Cooper, huh? I watch Fox News.”
I knew he was Republican but the idea that he may actually watch Fox news never entered my mind. It was as though I was dating a guy in a band and I was surprised he told me he had to go on tour. What was wrong with me? Maybe I needed more Omega-6.
“I tried watching Fox News, but honestly I can’t deal with the hyperbole,” I responded. I thought that was a reasonable answer. I was trying to be truthful without trying to offend his choices.
“Oh, like the liberal news sources don’t exaggerate?” he said testily.
“Sure they do, but I don’t think it’s on the same level. And I do see them call out their own when they don’t agree. Like Obama’s policy on drone strikes for example.”
“Liberals are all fucking liars!” he said angrily.
Whoa horsey! How did this convo suddenly become so hostile? I’m a firm believer that one should be able to discuss politics in the form of spirited debate not wanting to strangle each other.
“You don’t think Republicans lie too?”
Honestly, I thought I saw flames shoot out of his eyes.
“Like WHAT?” Todd asked tersely.
I was surprised he was genuinely asking this. There were many lies, but what about the most obvious one?
“UM, like the Iraq War?”
“THE IRAQ WAR WAS TOTALLY JUSTIFIED!! THERE WERE WMD!!!” Yes, he was practically screaming. I was waiting for Todd to start foaming at the mouth and roll around the floor like a rabid animal.
“Dude, are you serious?” Practically everyone on both sides has admitted the war was a giant mistake from Chris Christie to Hillary Clinton. The fact that Todd was still riding hard for the war seemed absurd. “Cheney and his pals wanted to profit off the war big time with all the private contracts. We should stay the fuck out of the Middle East and let them figure out how to govern themselves. We’ve been doing it for decades and it’s only made things worse.”
“Oh yeah let’s let them govern themselves! What do you think would happen then? You’re naïve,” he retorted.
“And you’re an ignorant piece of shit. I’m leaving.” I didn’t have the energy to get into regime change with this bozo. I gathered my stuff and stormed towards the door. Fuck this guy, I thought to myself. Then I stopped in my tracks.
“Hey Todd!” I shouted. He turned around to look at me. “Brooklyn is EAST!”
I walked out, head held high. And I never went out with another Republican.
 I was living in NYC after all. I’d have better luck meeting a martian.
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