On Pies And Being Nice
One of my guilty pleasures is a blog named Piefolk (NSFW). Michael, the blogger, bakes pies with cute guys in his underwear, or less. But the posts which I find most fascinating are the ones where he offers a little transcript from a date.
The dates sound awkward. Two guys, there’s generally an acknowledged mutual attraction, but there’s always something in the way. Maybe the date wants to give Michael a hard time about his job, or say something about how he dresses, or say something negative about all gay men everywhere. They’re so ridiculous, so rude, and so unkind that you’re tempted to think it’s fiction.
Except it’s clearly not. If you’ve ever been on a string of blind dates (or dates from the internet, which are basically the same thing) you’ll recognize the truth. When I read his blog, I think of some truly terrible dates from my own history:
There was the guy in the toga. We went to college together, and I knew him casually. Would often see him around campus. We went out together one night, and after that date, he only seemed to wear togas. Before our date, he always wore clothes. After our date, he never spoke to me again, and I only ever saw him walking around campus in a toga.
Or the handicapped parker. On our second date, he picked me up and we went out to dinner. On the street outside the restaurant, he pulled into a handicapped parking space. I gave him a questioning look, and he reached into his glove compartment and pulled out a handicapped parking tag. “Oh,” he said, “when I was in high school, I broke my leg. Turns out you can just scratch off the date and put on a new one.”
Or the Republican gubernatorial staffer. He spent our entire date complaining about gay people. He thought that seeking legal equality was silly, since gay people already had “complete social parity” with their straight peers. Marriage equality, he told me, was just a Democratic political idea to make gay people hate Republicans. “Couldn’t Republicans make it backfire, then, by deciding to support marriage equality?” I asked. He rolled his eyes and told me that I had clearly been brainwashed.
But eventually, there was my husband. On our first date, we met at a coffeehouse in Somerville, MA. He was sitting in a booth and I walked over with my coffee mug in hand. When I sat down, I slipped and spilled my coffee all over the table. It poured across the table with a decent amount of force, and a lot of it went into his lap. As he wiped himself off and I tried to apologize, he said not to worry about it. “It’s the kind of thing that I would do,” he told me. “I’m just glad it wasn’t me this time.” (He was totally right, by the way. He spills stuff all the time.) He was just nice, and that’s how I knew he was a keeper.