When the system of making a dating documentary goes kaput, and your date’s stomach goes kaput, the entire date kinda goes kaput. My date in Georgia was a glorious conglomeration of kaputness, though the guy himself, Yossi, was a fun first date. And hey, I managed to learn a few things about myself and my flaws as a date in the process. Not all was lost!
Before the date went all wonky (and not in a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory fun way) though, the date was rather enjoyable and had the makings of a romantic comedy written all over it. Yossi reminded me of a meerkat – eager and friendly, a desire to make people happy and be liked. Everywhere we went he ran into people he knew and I watched him charm strangers into being friends, too. We’d decided to be Halloweeny, as our date took place on October 31, and carve pumpkins in the park.
Being the chipper chap he was, I sponged off Yossi’s energy as I’m sure most who come in contact with him do. Bouncing along past a stunning fountain and some transients, I suggested we direct each other in what we’d have to carve into our bright orange squash.
His challenge to me: an evil horse.
My challenge to him: Mr. Potato Head.
Megs set us up, ambled away, and Yossi and I got to the brass tacks of carvation. I’m all about purpose on a first date. When it comes to strangers, tasks are good as it helps a natural flow of conversation, plus gives perspective to your date that isn’t merely what they choose to present verbally. Like me, though, Yossi was communicative and tangential, so our conversation bounced about.
Within minutes, Yossi sliced himself with a carving knife and I texted Megs to come back with a first-aid kit. She returned, bandaged my wounded date, and then left again. We went on with carving, scraping, and my favorite part – pulling the seeds out! (Gooey squash feels like some sort of bizarre skin-care substance.) Quickly though, Yossi seemed to get restless and wanted to run about, show off on the slackline some nearby hippies had set up, or just prowl the park.
Unfortunately, when you’re mic’d and filming a documentary on a budget, some things can’t just happen. Getting on a slack line with mics that might break that we can’t replace easily? Bad idea. Leaving cameras unattended? Bad idea. Before we could change locations, I needed to get ahold of Meg and confer. Yossi didn’t like this limitation, nor did he get it per say. I understood his frustration because I’m sure I felt that early on during the trip. But this is the game, and these are the rules. These are the tacit terms that perhaps I should have expressed more clearly.
I texted Megs, and called her when I didn’t get an answer. Finally, she said she needed a minute and she’d be back. I told Yossi it was totally fine to go talk to the slack-liners but I needed to stay put, and no, in no way did our insurance allow him to touch the cameras and move them with us, many apologies. He was frustrated but handling it reasonably well when Megs showed up, not looking like her usual, perky, filming self.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it again: due to the nature of what we do, and due to my nature in general, it’s impossible for me to ignore when Megs is obviously distressed. My priorities in life are to Megan first and dates second. Which is weird, right? But I mean, the same holds true if I was on a first date without a camera and not across the country. If one of my friends texted me in a tizzy, or if I came across one of them having a really hard moment, I would focus on them, not my date. Sorry, dates of the past and dates to come: I just met you. This is how it is. To prioritize a mostly stranger over a friend is both very junior high and very demonstrating of bad judgement.
However, Megs is a professional, and despite looking like she was having tea with Mr. Darcy (before we discover Darcy is a reasonably okay dude), she persevered in filming the date. Yossi and I decided to go to a bar and perhaps purchase beverages and walk outside. Savannah has open-container laws which are unique to Californians like me. Why not drink a gin and tonic whilst ambling the waterway? We entered the bar and Megan said she’d be back. Atypical behavior indeed.
Yossi and I sat down on a couch and I fretted about Megs, wondering to my date what I might do to ease her unhappiness and pondering my next move. Keep the date going, or nix it all? Yossi listened politely, gave me his two cents, and then started looking miserable. Was he really that upset that I was leaning toward bidding him adieu?
No, he wasn’t. He really was just coming down with food poisoning and feeling like death on toast.
Everything happened in fast-forward motion. Megan was collected, we all were outside, Megs and I got into Huckleberry Fit, and Yossi walked away from his car and toward the parking lot. I pulled away, asking Megan if she’d like to see a movie, getting directions to the theater, and trying not to get lost (because darn it, I hate missing previews). Fifteen minutes later, Yossi let me know he’d emptied the contents of his stomach and was ready to hang out again.
Crikey. Now what?