Muslim Girl in America

I'm an American girl, born and raised, and a Muslim.

Pardon My French

on May 29, 2013

So tonight I met with one of the guys from my latest speed dating venture – Mr. Name Change/Heritage Hater (I’ll just call him N from here on out). I know what you’re thinking: “How could you meet with him?!” I did not “match” with him after the event. For those who don’t know, after a speed dating event, at least the way these are run, you can go online and select the guys you want to meet with and, if they select you, then you’ve “matched” each other. Clearly, I did not select N as someone I wanted to meet with, but he contacted me anyway. The truth is that I’m a hopeful person, often to my own detriment, and I thought it couldn’t hurt anything to meet with him, so why not? And, I figured, if nothing else, I’d get some amusing anecdotes for my faithful blog readers (thanks for following my blog!).

So the two of us emailed back and forth through the speed dating website first. I asked him about his comment regarding Pakistani people (that he hated/disliked them). He responded with (and this is a direct quote):

“yes i did say that i should have not use the word hate. hate is a very strong word. let me explain or let me say it the wright words i dont hate paki ppl it just sometime the way they act i cant stand. some time they speak tooo loude its like you can here them for miles and miles away i am a very quite person.”

And yes, that’s how he wrote in an email. Not even a text. An email. With proofreading and spell-check capabilities. And, yes, I still met with him. Sometimes things get lost in email translation, so I thought he might be better in person. So, I suggested meeting for coffee. He agreed. I suggested a Panera  in a mall near my house – lots of options and I’ve never met anyone who couldn’t find something they liked at Panera. He agreed.  But then he emailed me for directions, which I found … interesting. In our digital age, where you can literally ask your phone to direct you, he emailed me to ask me. Whereas Google could have told him in the time it took him to email me, provided 3 different routes to get there, and provided information on parking nearby. It gives me the impression that he’s lazy. But, I did provide directions and, thinking about Google, I even provided him with nearby parking opportunities. Then, an hour before we were set to meet, he emailed again to ask where we were meeting. Okaaaay.

So, he arrives and we get in line to get some coffee/beverages. The second thing he tells me (after “Hello”) is that he hates Panera, that he ate at another location 6 years ago and his sandwich was horrible. Okay. I respond with, “Well, we could have gone somewhere else.” Truly, I just picked it for ease and their varied menu. He responds with, “I don’t care. I really don’t care. I don’t give a s*** where we meet. Pardon my French.” Okaaaay. And why would you hate Panera? That just doesn’t even make sense to me. So you had a bad sandwich once – do you routinely give up on things if they don’t work out once? You don’t think it’s important to give them another chance? And am I looking way too much into a decision based on a sandwich? All of these could be true. Moving on.

I look away to peruse the menu. I decide to go the smoothie route. There’s a new superfruit smoothie that I’d like to try, but it’s the most expensive and I don’t want to be one of those girls that orders something expensive, so I order the less expensive mango fruit smoothie. He orders the same. We chat as we wait for the smoothies. Or he talks. About himself. He owns his own business, and he mentions all the problems that came up just as he was leaving to come to meet me, and his tone suggests said problems are my fault.

We get our smoothies and sit down. He immediately says that there is something wrong with the smoothie, that it must be missing something. The conversation then moves on to various topics. Or, I should say, his talking moves on as he shifts between various subjects with no prompting from me. Eventually, I see an opening and ask him about his family. I should mention that he curses in every other sentence (at least), saying “Pardon My French” after many of them. He talks about his truck a lot; I don’t think too much about this (he is a boy after all and, yes, I realize that’s a sexist comment but that doesn’t make it less true here).

I bring up his comments about Pakistan again, and he says he’ll go to Pakistan “if he has to” and he’ll meet with my family and other Pakistanis “if he has to”. More cursing, pardon my French. I mention that while no one is perfect, and there’s no reason to discount an entire ethnicity. He says that’s true and that Turkish people are great (he’s half Turkish, half Pakistani). I don’t point out here that, based on some of the reasons he provided to dislike Pakistanis, he probably wouldn’t like himself if he met him.

Then he asks me a few questions, interrupting my answers each time. He seems to recognize the fact that I’m an intelligent lady, because, when I call him on his … interesting …. answers, he tells me that I “shut him down” with my “little brain” and that I’m clearly “old” (though I think he meant mature on that last one). And these are the first “compliments” he has given me in our conversation thus far. I’m not the type of person who needs to be complimented all the time or even that can’t take veiled insults, but on the first “date”? Really?

He asks me if I live alone (my creepy guy radar beeps more quickly) and then if I like to stay out late and go to bars (beeping even faster now). I ask him point blank if he drinks (which is not permissible in Islam). He pauses for at least 4 seconds before saying “Yes and no”. I respond with, “So yes, you do drink”. He repeats his response. I say, “It’s either a yes or no question not a ‘yes and no’ question”. So he explains that he started drinking in 2010 and is planning to stop … as soon as he gets married. That he can just put the drink down and walk away. Same with smoking, he says. Anyone who’s had a cigarette or had friends who smoke(d) know that it’s really hard to quit, so I don’t know that I believe his “cold turkey” approach will work. So I ask why he started drinking. He says he started because he was lonely and there were bars near his house where he could meet people. I can sense the sadness in him; I have sadness myself and can recognize it in others. But, at the same time, I didn’t choose to dull my loneliness with alcohol. So I mention that there are non-alcoholic drinks at bars. He says he knows. Okay.

So then he asks if his drinking is a dealbreaker. I say, “Yes, it is.” He responds with: well, since we won’t see each other, I can now tell you that I was married before. What??? When I tell you I don’t want to see you anymore, then you tell me about your past. And then, ironically, he says he’s going to leave me with 2 pieces of advice: be honest and be loyal (specifically telling me not to cheat on him with someone else). Okaaaay.

We’re now 45 minutes into the conversation and I’m more than ready to go. I wish him good luck and say goodbye, and don’t regret my decision to part ways with this guy. I’m disappointed that another meeting didn’t result in something better, but I’m still hopeful about the next meeting (whenever that might be). What I do regret is not going for the more expensive superfruit smoothie. Well, I’ll remember for next time.

Thanks for reading!

-M

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