In the fifth installment of The Jew-Date Diaries, “Lisa” takes a break from studying to have a dating adventure. She wasn’t prepared for what she’d encounter.
Back in Chicago and buried under school books after a summer in Minnesota I took a breather from my studies and signed back on to Jdate.
I was intrigued by a Slovakian gentleman who described his love for Gauguin, the Symphony Orchestra and Campbell’s chunky soup in the same sentence. He dashed off a note to me before he went rollerblading – maybe we could get together that week?
Despite his boorish name (I tried to picture the wedding invitations for me and Franto and cringed) and multiple pictures on his profile taken at a distance (a warning sign that the pictures may be hiding fat, short or balding men), I cautiously agreed to meet him for dessert. When he expressed horror that I had never been to the fanciest chocolateria in town, and insisted on introducing me to its warm chocolate cake and champagne, I caved. Maybe I should have done a bit more vetting of the candidate, but I was distracted. Melted chocolate and fine wine – need I say more?
Within two minutes of sitting down at the restaurant’s patio, I knew this date was a mistake. While I had been admiring the bartender’s tall, muscled looks while I was waiting for my date to arrive, I now was sitting with only (and I am being nice) a moderately attractive man. He was slightly balding, preppy and short.
Somehow we got into politics before ordering dessert and he confessed his sins. “I’m a libertarian,” he said, and began a rant against Republicans and Democrats alike for their pandering to voters and inability to act on their morals. I fondled my keys, seriously contemplating leaving the table. I stayed rooted – partly out of politeness, but more so as a reaction to the smell of decadence around me.
As we ordered, Franto proceeded to interrogate me – Was I a feminist? Politically Correct? A Democrat? I admitted to being a Democrat and a feminist, but pushed him on what he meant by “PC.”
“Well, some people would think I’m a racist when I say things,” he explained, describing his un-PC nature with a smile. “Like when I say that I don’t like affirmative action, or talk about my roommates as being FOBs, Fresh Off the Boat.”
“Well, are you a feminist?” I asked, pressing on against my better judgment.
“I’m a man, I don’t change diapers,” he insisted, and described his only experiences with children as being “nightmarish” with children walking towards him like zombies, drooling and holding out food in their hands as he trembled against walls, fearful that the little monsters would foul his clean shirts. Small boys without diapers were especially terrifying, as he described a strong aversion to being near their nakedness.
“And I would never stay home with a baby. I wouldn’t know what to do with them.”
“But,” he stumbled and tried to save himself in my eyes, undeniably a by now impossible task, “I like chick drinks. And chick flicks.”
After polishing off my share of our delicious piece of molten chocolate cake, and a glass of dessert wine, I tried to find a reason to leave.
“I’m a bit sleepy,” I said.
“Maybe it’s the drink,” he offered. “I put Rufi in it. The date rape drug.”
“Excuse me?” I almost screamed.
“Ha ha. Just kidding. That’s the Slovakian way to date though. Ha ha.”
Horrified, I used that opportunity to excuse myself to go to the restroom, and stayed standing up after I returned.
“I think it’s time to go home,” I said politely.
He walked me to my car and I – despite my better breeding – drove away in the opposite direction, windows down and music blaring, as he walked himself home.