Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Hungarian

Date #5 in the Arch challenge fell on my birthday. Since I had birthday dinner plans, I needed to find someone who was willing to go out a little later in the evening on a weeknight. So for this date, I cast a wider net and decided to arrange a date based mostly on how interested the guy seemed in me. I would not have otherwise gone on a date with a guy who said in his profile, "I'm not a reader." However, this whole challenge was meant to be a learning experience, and I needed a late night date. The Hungarian may not like to read, but he did like roasting pig fat over a fire, apparently the equivalent of roasting marshmallows among his people. Pig fat was just the silver lining I was looking for.

I had the Hungarian meet me at my favorite beer bar with the high end beer on tap. He was a day laborer who told me exactly what his hourly wage was. To him, this was a mark of pride. I found this behavior to be off-putting. He was interested in, albeit overwhelmed by the beer selection, and mentioned several times that he was only used to drinking "white trash beer." He made sure to make this comment to the bartender as well when asking him for help selecting a beer.

It became clear to me very quickly that the Hungarian was a good person, a hard worker who cared a lot about his family and watched out for the people in his life. I had nothing but respect for this. He was a pure-hearted guy who meant well. He very much embraced his role as a man in life, and to that end, he very adamantly paid for all of our drinks that night. However, the difference in our levels of education a barrier for me. When I talked about how many of the Hispanics in my childhood neighborhood did not attend school, I was about to postulate whether this was attributable to the prevalent underage labor in the Hispanic community due to poverty. Before I could, the Hungarian put his fingers to his mouth, sucked in air quickly, making the gesture of taking a hit, and said, "Because they were all off smoking pot." And then he laughed very hard.

In the end, a kiss was threatened and dodged. Aside from that, the date was pretty much a complete waste of my time, mingled with minor heartbreak. Our bartender that night was someone I'd never seen before, and he was quite charming and attractive. Whenever I ordered or spoke to him about the beer, the connection was immediately apparent, flirting was abundant, and in those few moments, I desperately wished that I had been alone so that I could focus my efforts on him. Alas, I still had two more dates to focus on.

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