Friday, June 10, 2005

amen sister!

no, i will not have coffee with you.

feel free to skip the several paragraphs at the beginning to get to the real meat of the post:
On our date, I want to see you eat something. I want to know right off the bat if you are one of those "delicate eaters" who has to inspect every bite and scrape it around on the plate in an elaborate food Kabuki. I want to see you laugh at something or enjoy something or hate something. I want to see if you can hold your liquor or if you order 9 beers to my two in a 2-hour period. I want to know if agreeing on what movie to see is going to take up half my week. I want to learn something about you that you couldn't have just told me in an email. I want to see what you look like swaying to the house band in a dive bar. I want to see what songs you pick out on the jukebox. I want to see if you are game enough for karaoke. Look, I will watch you paint fucking pottery if it tells me something about who you are. Let's bowl. Let's go to free Tuesday at the Art Institute. Let's eat sandwiches on a park bench and watch people walk by. Let's fly kites. Let's ride bikes. Let's hop on the eL and try to see how many stops we can hit in a day. Let's play poker for pennies. Let's go to experimental theater or the Uptown Poetry Slam. Let's listen to terrible Mexican bands in the basement of the local anarchist collective. Let's go to the Observatory and look at the stars. Not everything has to cost money, or be weighed with Great Emotional Significance.

Because sitting across from you over a cup of coffee is not working. You never want to call me again. I never want to call you again. It's too forced. The light is too bright. The people around us clack away on their laptops. We can't even commit to an hour in each other's company, we're hedging our bets already. You talk, and talk, and talk about your job until I glaze over. I pull out all my best stories and try too hard to be funny. We are bored from the get-go.

So, boys of Chicago, are you listening? No more Coffee Dates the first time out. It is the path of least resistance. It is emasculating you. It is part of the culture that says "be safe, be detached, don't be too needy or geeky or freaky, keep it all on the surface, don't make a move, don't meet in a bar (that's sleazy), don't talk about anything controversial." This is an amazing city, full of life and things to do, and I know we can do better.

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