Charleston, South Carolina, is wildly gorgeous. It sits on “an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers.” Yes, I attempted to find a different way to describe that, but upon looking at two maps, one random online article, and consulting an outside source, I found no better way. That’s literally where it is. Antebellum houses line one end of King Street, chic stores the middle, and a strange “outer boroughs” industrial area the top. Megs and I spent hours wandering this one strip, drinking coffee, buying Topsiders, and snapping photos of architecture, strangers and the sunset. Very quickly I felt at home. Then this conversation ensued:
Me: I could definitely live here.
Megan: Yeah, minus the inherent racism, it’s perfect.
Regardless, we were both enamoured with the cityscape, so much so that we were almost late to meet my date, Jeff. You know the term Southern Gentleman? Yes, it’s old fashioned and brings to mind gents in tails sipping mint juleps, but let’s start there. Subtract tails, add modern day collared shirt. Subtract julep, add Maker’s Mark. Subtract old fashioned, add…superb manners. Jeff was remarkably polite: he held doors open. He insisted I walk ahead of him when it came time to move single file. He didn’t swear. I’m not sure I’d seen such chivalrousness since the Midwest, and Jeff was definitely giving those guys a run for their money.
And it felt nice. A little alarming, actually. But nice.*
We sat down for drinks and salad (don’t judge, I heart me some veggies on a date, and they pair well with a dirty Shirley or whatever mix beverage I ordered) and of course, conversation. I’d tell you what we talked about, except that would take away from what happened next: he paid for dinner. Like, all of it, and would have no other way. Part of the premise of fifty/fifty includes paying for dates (so they wouldn’t feel like we were mooching off of them and to try and keep a level playing field), and even after explaining this, Jeff said no. Rather than start an altercation, I rebuked his offer twice, then accepted gracefully, as any good Southern lady would. (I think? Gah, shoot. I bet Southern ladies would never have offered to pay.)
Post dinner, we scurried downtown for a Ghost Tour, or as he put it, the “Dead Children Tour.” Basically, it was a creepy tour through multiple haunted locations, murder scenes, and our guide told tale after tale of kids who had died in the past two hundred years. Jeff and I were probably the weird kids in the back who laughed when the guide wasn’t trying to make jokes, were being sarcastic and silly instead of stoic, but all in all, we were also probably having the most amount of fun.**
Date: two thumbs up.
*I blame my West Coast sensibilities for this reaction as I’m used to “too cool for school” dudes who think not making an impression makes an impression.
** The pre-teen who got too scared and had to leave the tour was definitely at the bottom of the “most amount of fun” list.