Saturday, June 18, 2016

Thought experiment

Here's a twist on my thought experiment from last week: when is it worth putting up with someone's logistical shortcomings that are no fault of his own? The practical consequences of the shortcomings remain--you're still stuck putting in extra work and cleaning up the mess--but there's, say, a medical excuse. Thus far this question has been an academic one for me; logistical issues were hardly the only thing keeping me from the men I've dated who suffered from them. But would logistical issues be enough to sink an otherwise worthwhile relationship? And does it matter if those issues are not the person's fault?

An aside: I came downstairs the other morning to have to clean up a bunch of cat poop and cat vomit. The former pissed me off more, because it was deliberate and gratuitous, even though it was very easy to clean up. I thought 'this has got to stop.' I want the vomit to stop, too--that's a huge pain to clean up--and Gracie's on prescription boring food for now. I'd never consider abandoning an animal because she's sick, but for a split-second, the poop made me angry enough to wonder whether it was worth keeping her around. But this isn't about Gracie, whom I'm definitely going to keep, as much as she angers me sometimes. This is about an incredibly weird date I went on the other night.

I went out with this dude the other night who is (allegedly) dyslexic. He was so strange and his dyslexia was so exaggerated that I wondered whether he was making it up to hide something. He implied that he was a native English speaker in spite of his accent-- he told me he'd gotten his accent from the teachers in the international schools all over the world--but I know how accents work; I have studied linguistics and foreign language acquisition academically, and that is not how accents work. So I had to wonder whether the dyslexia, which he mentioned repeatedly, was a deception measure to explain away any indications of his not being a native English speaker.

I'll spare you most of the details and share only the weirdest ones. I'd already regretted agreeing to meet this man the day before our date, but thought how bad could it be. He sent me this super-douchey text, and at the time it didn't register quite how douchey it was (I was walking). He'd asked what I was doing later, and I said I was looking forward to getting back to my book.

Dude: What book? 
Me: 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami). Do you know it? 
Dude: I am; but have not read it yet 
Dude (5 minutes later): I do study Quantum theoretical physics and Chaos/string critical mass and events. It's fun once you learn how to roll with it :)

WTF? At the time, I thought, that's not what the book is about at all (maybe I wasn't far enough in, but now I am, and his comment is neither here nor there). More importantly, that doesn't impress me. I'm Russian; assholes who are good at math are a dime a dozen in my world. But that text--douchiness/condescension apart--doesn't even make sense. "Chaos/string critical mass and events" is not a thing. Even if you try to parse it, none of it makes sense. I'm pretty sure that string theory is very widely discredited at this point, and if he "studied" it, he would know that.  

He texted me the day we were to meet up to ask if I'd like to have dinner as well as going for a walk. I emphatically did not. First of all, I hate dinner dates (early on). You could be sitting across from someone for a very long time with nothing to talk about. It's so much less awkward to be doing something (like walking). I didn't tell him that, though; I told him something else that was true: my week was full of restaurant get-togethers, and I didn't want to add another one. I was getting restauranted-out. I added that, if he wanted to, we could meet later so he'd have time to eat first. But he showed up even earlier than we'd agreed.

Things were already weird--I already wanted to escape--by the time this next thing happened.

Dude: You said you liked Vietnamese food. Are there any Vietnamese restaurants around here?
A.: There's one just up the street.
Dude: You don't say! What would you say if we went there?
A.: Um... I mean, I won't be eating, but if you're very hungry you could get some takeout.
Dude: Okay, then. Lead the way. I didn't really understand what you said about being restauranted out.
[I reiterated what I'd said about being restauranted out.]
Dude: Oh. So what do you do when you're restauranted out like that?
A.: I make my own food [like a normal person. What the fuck do you think I do?]

This really reminded me of RM.

So we go to the restaurant, and instead of ordering takeout, he sits down. In retrospect, I should have said "if this is what we're doing, I'm leaving." But I didn't.

He asks me if there's anything vegetarian on the menu. I point out that there is.

Dude: But it says 'chicken.'
A.: That's fake chicken.

Eventually, his food comes.

Dude: This looks like real chicken.
A.: It is real chicken.
Dude: You said it was fake chicken.
A.: No, [asshole,] I said there was fake chicken on the menu.

Dude: This is so much food. I didn't realize it would come with noodles.

It was under the 'vermicelli' category of the menu.

This conversation was infuriating, but how much shit could I give him for it if he was legitimately dyslexic? I don't know. But I do know that it didn't mitigate the annoyingness of the situation. I knew that even if I'd wanted to, I couldn't date a man who didn't pay attention to details--even if he had dyslexia to blame for it.

Luckily, I was so livid and creeped out by the whole situation that the cause of his other issue was moot; finding myself in a restaurant with him even though that's exactly where I didn't want to be, after I'd made that clear, was a 'Gift of Fear' scenario. He finished eating, we walked back to where he was parked, and I got the f* away from him.

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