It’s been thirty-seven dates and it’s impossible not to be introspective with that kind of tally. Megan and I are bouncing from place to place faster than a ping-pong ball on a sugar rush (states are so small in the east!), and not having as much time to contemplate dating while we cruise through large patches of the country makes thinking a little harder than usual these days. But as we left Delaware, I had to ask myself: have I learned anything?
I’m obviously still not good at getting out of bad dates. I guess part of the point of the trip is trying to prove that the majority of first dates are not bad. Where does that leave me with dates like Delaware, though…That there are no bad dates, only bad people?*
It was impossible not to think about the balance of being respectful and kind toward another person and being respectful and kind toward myself while with Mr. Delaware. I certainly had moments of “What would Kristin and Eric say?” leaping through my brain. Would I be letting down womankind and daters everywhere if I didn’t say something to Mr. DE about his poor manners, crudeness, and desire to treat me like a commodity? Conversely, was I being too small-minded to a guy who obviously had a lot going on in his head and has an entirely different outlook on life than me?
Actually, is that true? Funny. Mr. Delaware was into YOLO, and while the branding and use of that statement makes me wrinkle my nose in disgust and contempt, is the concept any different than my own desire to see the world, experience it as many ways as possible, live in it differently each day, and love in it to depths I have yet to discover? Deep down, we had the same idea; we just express it differently. Mr. DE with trying to sleep with a stranger, me with trying to figure out what it means to be alive not just for myself, but for other people. From his point of view, I was an opportunity to be ceased. And who’s to say that’s not at least in some way what he was for me?
To give myself some credit on the learning curve spectrum, I did at least end the Delaware date (which was unfortunate because except for the date himself, both Megan and I were having a great time drinking amazing beer – it’s sensational, if you ever have the chance drink Old Dominion – and talking with the brewery manager, Lauren, who had her own insights on the Delaware datingverse).
Not sure if that’s enough.
*Even I admit that sounds preposterous, and doesn’t even begin to factor the idea that in the eyes of someone else, I might not be a quote/unquote good person.**
** Yes, I wrote out “quote/unquote” because I couldn’t not.