Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What are the odds?

He's been at it for 40 minutes, and is showing no signs of tiring. Seriously, his endurance is incredible. Most guys can't stand to do this for ten minutes. I don't think he's even taken a breath.

But frankly, I'm getting a bit bored and I kind of have to pee, and I'm not sure how to tell him politely. I mean, it's good that he likes to do this, and I feel that I have an obligation to womankind to give him positive reinforcement for this behavior. Most women have to beg their guys to do this. What are the odds that I'd find a guy like this through a matchmaker?

C'mon ladies: back me up here. How many of your guys actually want to have meaningful conversations about your relationship?

(Wait. What did you think I was talking about? Oh, shame on you, Internet. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

The problem here is that he wants to have a meaningful conversation about our relationship, and we don't even have a relationship. We are on our first date, and the waitress has just now given us our entrees. Call me a romantic, but I'd like a chance to get to know a guy before he brings up the topic of marriage. This guy asked me my thoughts on marriage before I even finished my salad.

He began with the easy stuff. "Where were you born? What do you do for a living? Which college did you go to? What did you major in?"

All of these are perfectly fine small-talk topics, but he moves from one to another at such a rapid clip that I hardly have time to eat. I look at my food with quiet longing.

And then he gets more specific. "Where were your parents born? How did they meet? Are they still married? How often do you see them? Do you have siblings? How many? Older or younger? Are they married?"

I'm starting to feel like he's doing a background check for the CIA. I answer his questions, but my replies are getting vaguer. He doesn't need to know this stuff.

"Do you believe in God? What religion are you? How often do you go to church? Who did you vote for in the last election? Where do you stand on Roe v. Wade? How about the right to bear arms?"

What, am I a Supreme Court nominee and I don't even know it? Where are the C-SPAN cameras? At least Sotomajor knew what she was in for before she sat down in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. When the matchmaker said she had a new guy for me, I thought I was in for some polite conversation, and hopefully a little grilled salmon. I was not expecting Interrogation Guy.

"You know, Guy, I'm very flattered that you are so interested in me. That's refreshing, really. But I'd like to learn more about you as well. Where did you grow up?"
"Seattle," he says. "Where do you plan to retire?"
"I haven't really thought about that," I say as I bring my fork up to my mouth.
"Guess," he says.

I chew thoughtfully. He probably thinks that I'm thinking about a house in the country, or maybe the beach. Really, I'm thinking about how much of my dinner I can finish before he makes me talk again. "Hmm. Good question. I'll have to think about that some more." Chew, chew, chew. Maybe I can eat more if I get him talking. He seems interested in politics.

"How long do you think the economy will stay the way it is?" I ask him.
"Three years. Do you want to have children?"
I nearly spit out a new potato. I stall a bit by sipping some water.

"Well, Guy, that is an awfully personal question. I like to get to know a person more before I talk about personal stuff like that. Do you know what I mean?"
"No, not really," he says. "I'm asking because I need to know."

I tried evasion. I tried tact. Now I'm just going to ignore him.

Chew. Chew. Chew.

"Well, what's your answer?" he says.
"This salmon is delicious," I say, flaring my nostrils.
"I asked you a question," he says, pointing his fork at me.

Okay, that does it. Nobody puts Baby in a corner or gestures at her with silverware. This date is over. At this point, I'm only in it for the salmon.

"The sauce has a light taste. And it's...piquant...a hint of citrus," I say.
"C'mon. Tell me. What are the odds that you plan on having children?" he says.
Chew. Chew. Chew.
"Just give me a number," he says.

I look thoughtfully into the air in front of me, as if I'm doing calculations. "The odds of me having children with you?" I say to him. "That would be zero."

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