If plantians are legit, he is too young for me


Men date down.  Women date equal or up.  You know what I mean by up and down—relative status levels determined by age and accomplishment.  Because men prefer lesser mates, high achieving men have a bountiful dating pool, while high achieving women face a dearth of options.  This is the belabored point of countless, emailed-around Atlantic articles, but I cannot deny that it is lived by my friends and myself.  Most of my successful male friends date exceptionally unexceptional females.  And they openly admit to it.

Take for example two of Gilbert’s recent girlfriends.*

*If you don’t know who Gilbert is, ohmygosh, read some of my previous blog posts.  In short, he is my cavalier (but oh so offended if you call him cavalier), obnoxiously charming Frenchman best friend.  No, we’re not dating.  Yes, we might spitefully wed out of convenience, but he would cheat on me a lot and I would be passive aggressive to him a lot.

Southend Girl– Gilbert described her as “pretty and docile.”  She graduated from UMass Boston last year with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and now files things at her dad’s office.  She’s good at sitting there quietly and sending predictable flirty texts.  We call her Southend Girl because she lives in the Southend of Boston and has no more distinguishing features.  Did I mention that she’s pretty and docile?

Kelli with an i– Her name is Kelli with an i.  She is a junior.  We hope that means junior in college, but fear to ask.

When my male friends date down, the girls are young and ambitionless.  Easily impressed and impressionable.  They do things like bake banana bread and don’t really like beer.  They often work in fashion, meaning the register at J. Crew.  Ultimately, my male friends would prefer a substantive woman, but in the mean time they are content to date pretty, docile filler girls.  Rather than begrudging them or polluting the world with yet another The-Death-of-Dating article, I recently tried to follow their example.

I met Josh at my comfort bar.  It’s where I go to huddle in a Pittsburgh hoodie over craft beers with dear friends.  It is not where I try to chat up potential husbands in my newest, prettiest party dress.  And yet, as I waited at the bar for a dear friend and a craft beer, Josh and I began chatting.  Our conversation seamlessly transitioned into an exchange of numbers and I was pleased.

He was my type.  Tall, scruffy hair, and a charming smirk.  He looked liked he could tan easily, but wasn’t tan because why would we be tan, we live in New England and have jobs and stuff.  It was clear that he was young-ish because he mentioned his alma mater too readily, as if it was still central to his identity.  He seemed like an excellent tide-me-over boyfriend.

A few days later he texted like a modern gentlemen and we arranged to meet for dinner.

The day of the date he texted to reconfirm.

Josh: Hey dude.  Still up for dinner tonight?

Me: Yes, see you at 7.

Josh: Nice.  Would u be down for 730 instead?

Me: Sure, no problem.

Josh: Sweet.  C u later.

I’m always confused about how being down for something and up for something means the same thing.  But I was up and down for dinner at 7:30.

I got to the restaurant early and planted myself at the bar.  I like sitting at the bar on first dates because bar seats allow for the full spectrum of body language.  If you’re into him you can lean in suggestively.  If you’re not, you can stare ahead stoically, only shedding occasional, peripheral eye contact.  If you’re ambivalent, you have 90 degrees of testing ground.  The negative of sitting at the bar is that the bartender can tell that it’s a first date and will send you subliminal eye rolls.

The bartender handed me the menu and said, “Wine is on the back.”

I was outraged by his sexist assumption that I would want wine.  I adamantly prefer beer and despised the bartender for presuming otherwise.

“I’ll have the red sangria.”

Well, I was in the mood for sangria—but still outraged at his sexist assumption!

Ordering a drink before a date arrives is risky because you may end up being half a drink out of sync with each other.  You need another, but he still has half to go.  He needs another, but you still have half to go.  And then you can never leave!

But the trumping argument for ordering a drink before a date arrives is that you have a drink before a date arrives.  And halfway into my sangria, Josh arrived.

“Hey dude.  Cool place.  What’s happening?”

He slid in beside me and fumbled to stuff his gym bag between the bar stool legs and the bar.  He ordered a PBR because he thinks that’s an appropriate dinner beer.

The rest of the conversation was like this:

Me: “So what do you do for work?”

Him: “Bla bla LIKE health care consulting LIKE pretty cool LIKE majored in psychology bla bla premed LIKE sciencey LIKE you know and my boss said bla bla bla LIKE bla LIKE bla bla LIKE.”

I got a new drink.  He had half left.

I squirted ketchup on my plate.

Him: “Yeah ketchup.  Ketchup is pretty sweet.”

He got a new drink.  I had half left.

Me: “So do you have roommates?”

Him: “Yeah bla bla LIKE pretty sweet LIKE friend from college bla bla LIKE guitar LIKE bla bla bla.”

I got a new drink.  He had half left.

My side of plantains arrived.

Him: “Plantains, nice.  Plantains are pretty legit.”

He got a new drink.  I had half left.

By the time we paid the check I was LIKE pretty drunk and we LIKE made out as we said goodbye.

He texted the next day.

Josh: Hey dude.  Fun time.  C u soon?

Never mind.  I can’t date down.  I’ll wait for that ultimate, substantive man.  Josh was right though.  Plantains are legit.  I wonder how Kelli with an i feels about plantains.

One response to “If plantians are legit, he is too young for me

  1. Pingback: Making friends while traveling: don’t | It's Always Something·

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