I want to talk about a time when I went on a date with a 42 year old white, cis man. Not necessarily to give white people more space than they are already taking, but because a sister needs your support.
For the sake of this story let’s call him Charles, which also happens to be his real name.
First things first, we met on Hinge, back when I had the patience and mental health to fuck around on the app. Charles and I spoke intermittently for about a week.
And then he asked me out. That’s unfortunately my only argument as to why I went on this date.
I almost never get asked out on dates, and it usually tends to be me who initiates the offer.
Anywhooo, Charles seemed to have a genuine curiosity over me and my life over Hinge. I thought that was cute, despite the fact that he announced quite early on in our conversation that he is a ‘rider’, which apparently is a term for someone who cycles regularly as a serious hobby. That, to me, sounds just wrong. Why would I take myself out of my house but also get on a seemingly dangerous apparatus like a bicycle, and then proceed to go on roads with heavy traffic? That is what I would describe as an extreme sport.
I, however, digress.
When at one point I asked Charles to tell me more about himself, he sent me the following message:
Look, even at this point the flapping of what is clearly the sound of giant red flags, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. You know, some men think it’s conversational to describe the dick, and mention to a non-binary/trans person that they’re looking for a man to travel with.
I also do declare that I am a fool.
My general idea of going out with someone older is that there are very few to no men of colour around my age that openly date queer and trans people, and therefore the older the white man be, hopefully the more mature and open-minded he’ll be.
But as time so clearly tells us again and again, maturity has so very little to do with age.
So Charles asks me out. He’s overly keen and says that he would love to buy me a drink. At one point, he even asks me to come over “to avoid the heat”. Good one, buddy.
We decide to meet the next day, and he recommends a dessert cafe that’s quite central (and very close to his house, haha).
I get to the cafe the next day, looking flawless as always. I’d share a picture of what I was wearing but I prefer being witnessed in the moment of my glory.
The cafe was huuuuge and really busy. That’s also probably where I got covid from.
He is sitting amongst the throng of people, looking very business like, texting on a little phone. The lights are really bright reflecting on shiny counters. We say hi, do a hug that’s awkward enough for me to switch identities and leave the country, and do our general small talk.
And then it begins. Charles does this really strange thing that I often find white people do. I am going to try my best to describe it.
He wanted to get a tea, and the way he mentioned it was “I am going to get a tea, would you like a coffee”.
I said, “Oh, I don’t drink coffee, so i’ll get a hot chocolate”.
And he said, “Cool, go look at the dessert, and you should get yourself some.”
Now, I didn't particularly want dessert. And the venue was very loud and busy. I also wasn’t sure if he was going to get the hot chocolate or if I was getting my own, because he disappeared to a different part of the cafe.
So I decided to check out the dessert options, and get my own hot chocolate. Except that he returned a minute later, standing at the very back, behind a few people, texting on his phone again.
Like, broooo, stop being so shifty.
I therefore asked instead, “would you like some dessert?”
And he yelled from the back, “Oh, no, I am watching my weight”.
I am thinking to myself then why did you bring us here??
I pick a couple of desserts and I am going to pay when the person who was serving me asked if I would like to order a coffee too. And I turned to Charles who was a distance away (still texting) in the crowded venue and semi-yelled, “HEY! HAVE YOU ORDERED YOUR COFFEE?”
He said no. So I proceeded to order both our coffees.
Generally, I don’t care about paying. I hate owing white men anything even though I am beyond broke, unemployed, barely making rent. This man has been employed within his industry for apparently over 20 years. Feminism and my own brain would suggest that this man should pay given he asked me out, is incredibly privileged, employed, probably owns property and has coloniser ancestry.
But he did this really weird thing where he walked slowly to the counter whilst the person serving us was waiting. And then opened his wallet, and then didn’t seem sure what to do. And I stood there awkwardly, and decided to cut the drama and paid with my card instead.
Whatever. Age apparently doesn’t bring chivalry either.
The bill was this man’s less than half-an-hour wage. He doesn’t thank me either for paying.
I let it go.
Once we find a place to sit, one of this first thing that this man says to me, “Coming here is wayyy better than going to a pub to drink beer” and laughs.
I said, “what do you mean?”
He replies, “Oh I am avoiding alcohol at the moment.”
Man, neither do you drink or seem to want to have dessert. Why are we here.
All of this happened in about 10 ish minute. I was exhausted by this point.
What happened next - without sounding click-baitey - was even worse and will be covered in part 2!
Let me know your thoughts.
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The white assumptions 😶🌫️
I am cringeing because this is already so uncomfortable and typical.