30 tinder Dates in 30 Nights – {Date 3} The Lobbyist

The Last-Minute Scramble… 

It’s 5 pm on Friday night and I’m panicking because my original date for tonight canceled an hour ago! As I drive to the salon for my blowout, I go over my list of tinder matches in my head… let’s see, who has last-minute potential? I don’t want to appear desperate, but the truth is I kind of am! Not in the “I need to get married way”, but in the “I need to complete this task, so that I can achieve the unachievable, and not let my five readers down” kind of way. I arrive at the salon and as the stylist washes my hair I open tinder and go through my current 52 matches… “No, he said he was busy until monday”, “No, I’m afraid he might kill me.” “No, he wants to meet me tomorrow.” Damn! I’m running out of options here. I have no choice, I must swipe some more to see if anyone out there wants to go on a date in less than two-hours.

The best part about tinder is that you get to see what some people truly want. I begin my swipe-a-thon, and the stylist leaves me to my phone, as it very clear that I have no time for idle small talk, I must focus! I come across a married couple, huh??? On their profile it says: “Happily married and looking for a friend to complete our group of three.” Haha! I almost think about swiping right to see how this conversation would go, I imagine something like this… Couple: “Hi, are you free tomorrow night?” Me: “Sure, what do you guys have in mind? Dinner and a movie?” Couple: “Errr,… we were wondering if you owned any fancy swag like whips and blind folds.” Me: “Hmmm, does a sleep mask count as a blind fold? What do we need a blind-fold for? I really want to see Gone Girl and it’s playing at 9 pm, should we meet at the theater?” No answer…. Me: “Hello?” MESSAGE FROM TINDER: “Sorry, the user is not accepting messages at this time.”

I chuckle at the idea… “FOCUS!” I yell at myself on the inside, it’s game time! I swipe left on about 20 guys until I reach a few that I find attractive, and before I know it I’ve reached 72 matches. Okay, this should be enough for today, fingers crossed. I return to my tea and enjoy the Sex & The City movie playing at the salon… Two-minutes later he messages me. “Hi there.” he says. “Hey, how are you?” I astutely reply. He replies once, I say I’m glad it’s Friday, he asks what I do for a living… I keep it very broad as usual, “I work in marketing. You?” “I’m a lobbyist” he shoots back.

The chatting goes on for about one more minute, witty banter included of course. and five-minutes into our first greeting he says: “We should go on a date, here’s my number. Shoot me a text if you want so we can set it up.” Damn he’s fast! I secretly thank the Gods for putting this handsome man on my lap and I text him. He asks if I’ll meet him for a beer tonight, I of course agree and ask to meet him in an hour.

 The Date…

 I arrive and he’s sitting at the bar waiting. We have a small awkward moment where he tries to shake my hand and I go for the hug, don’t ask me why. But we end up hugging and it’s all good. We drink a beer and chat about what he does and what I do and how somehow our industries depend on one another. As I sit there listening I can’t help but stare at his gorgeous blue eyes and wonder what that would look like on a mini-me with curly hair and brown skin… “Easy!” I tell myself… Oh right, I’m on a date, focus!

Something very interesting happens when we decide to order food, we have to walk up to a window because it’s food truck style bar and when I order, he says: “I’ll get you this time and you get the next one.” “Thanks”, I say. And the following scenario runs through my head: 1. Is he joking? 2. Is he cheap? 3. Is he upset that he’s paying for my meal?

I decide not to wonder and instead ask him straight up. But before I have a chance to he says it again when we return to our bar stools: “You get it next time!” with a smile. “Ok, I heard you the first time” I say laughing. He tells me: “That’s my way of asking you out on a second date, but I totally ruined it because I said it too many times.” “Ohhh, so you don’t want me to pay next time? Because I can and I will, I just never know what to do anymore, some guys are insulted if I try to pay and others expect it. What are your thoughts on this subject?” I ask.

He proceeds to tell me that he doesn’t want or need me to pay next time, but that if I want to that’s fine. He just wanted to secure a second date and he thought this was a good opportunity and “excuse” to do so. Interesting… “So you want to see me again?” I say. “Yes, absolutely!” he answers. “Why didn’t you just say that?” I ask. “I don’t know it seemed easier this way” he replies with a half embarrassed smile. I find his attempt genuine and endearing so I smile back and ask the burning question in almost every woman’s mind…

“Do you prefer to pay on dates, or do you prefer to split the check?” He tells me he prefers to pay because he feels it’s the chivalrous thing to do and it makes him feel like he’s doing something nice, like holding the door open for someone. He doesn’t expect anything in return either. But he tells me that some women get annoyed and even insulted when he tries to pay. “I’m not trying to make it seem like they can’t take care of themselves, I just feel I should pay when I ask someone out.” he says. “I get it, I think some women worry that the guy might expect something in return, or that he might think the woman expects the man to “take care of her”, it’s a tricky balance.” I reply.

We determine that we’re both in agreement with one thing, chivalry shouldn’t be dead just because women want equal rights and deserve equal rights. I will always thank and appreciate a man who opens the door for me and offers to pay on a date. Does that make me less of a feminist? No! I believe in equal rights for women and men, I believe in qual pay and freedom to choose what we do with our bodies. So just in case there’s any confusion, let me clear it up: I am a feminist. Is it fair to expect a man to pay for you on the first date? I don’t know? Is it fair that women still get paid less that men do? Is it fair that women in this country today, on this rainy Saturday morning are still subjected to violence, harassment and even slavery because of their sex? I leave these questions to you…

Anyway, back to the date!

We switch gears and I find out more about him, he’s worked in politics for years now, he loves his job and probably works too much. I tell him about my recently implemented email policy in which I check and respond to email only twice a day, and he’s astonished. “I don’t know if I could do that” he tells me. “Sure you can, you just have to train people to expect it. Trust me, nothing is that urgent and if it is they can call you.” I say.

We discuss current policy, the state of our state’s gubernatorial race and the many people who’s citizenship should be revoked for not knowing the governor’s name. Okay, that last part was a joke, but we both share concerns about how little people care to be involved in their community and vote. He canvassed for Romney and I canvassed for President Obama… We’re a match made in political hell, or heaven, depending on how you choose to see it. But I’m willing to forgive that because he’s sweet, chivalrous, funny and has pretty eyes… 🙂

#NotTheCoolGirl

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