It was my second date with a guy who I had met on Tumblr. You read that correctly; we did not meet on Tinder, a pseudo-dating app designed to facilitate smash sessions between willing parties, but on Tumblr, a blogging site that I used almost exclusively to reblog pictures of Batman , rappers, and cute animals.
Was meeting someone I’d met off the internet, and not even a dating website, the sketchiest thing I’d done up until that point?
Not even close.
Besides, he was really cute (at least from his pictures), and when a cute guy starts following you on Tumblr, you shouldn’t question things. One of the many mottos I live by.
Our first date was heavily chaperoned by my friends, though he was not made aware at any point in time that my friends were looking on our date from a few tables away, taking bets on if we would order drinks (we did), an appetizer (we did not), split a whole pizza or just get slices (slices were cheaper), and whether or not his card would get declined (a bold move, but it actually did get declined).
I went on our second date without the security blanket of my friends, who I knew wouldn’t be sitting a few rows behind me. I had also been running so late that I forgot to eat dinner, and knew that if I didn’t eat anything during the movie at all I would end the date in the guy’s arms, but not in the romantic way. So the first thing I did when we got to the theater was order chicken nuggets and fries. They came in a cardboard box. They tried to charge me 50 cents for extra packets of honey mustard, and I turned them down. I’m sure I was the classiest broad he’d ever taken out.
I’m sitting in this movie called Fruitvale Station, which for all the guy told me is “a drama and my friends have told me the main actor looks like me,” eating chicken nuggets and French fries out of an unmarked cardboard box.
For your reference, this is the main actor in the movie:
And this is the guy I went with:
Just kidding, I’m not that heartless that I’d put some unsuspecting bro’s picture on the internet. Plus, I’m not even completely sure that’s legal.
He actually was right about one thing—the actor did look like him. A lot. I kept doing a double-take throughout the movie, just making sure I wasn’t secretly on a date with Michael B. Jordan. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t. That would have been awesome though. Michael, if you’re reading this, please give me a call. A Facebook request. Slide up in my DM’s. Something.
Aaaaanyway, what my date was wrong about was that this movie was not a simple “drama.” You want to know some movies that are categorized as dramas? Don Jon. White House Down. The Dark Knight. My everyday life. These are your average dramas.
Fruitvale Station, on the other hand, is a movie detailing the last day of the life in Oscar Grant III, a black man from Oakland, California who is killed in an altercation with police on a train platform (at Fruitvale Station—see what they did there?). Spoiler alert: the altercation is an overreaction on the part of the police and is probably, if I had to guess, I’d wager, oh, at least 99.9% racially-motivated, making Oscar’s death 100% unnecessary.
Take, like, the heartwarming father-child relationship from Pursuit of Happyness, throw in some drug-selling à la your favorite rap song or episode of The Wire, sprinkle on some observations of the systemic racism in our society today, and then add a racially-charged shooting, you know, for shits and giggles. Oh, and then add the fact that this movie came out mere weeks after the Zimmerman verdict, and you get a decent idea of the movie.
Did I mention it’s based on a true story?
As the movie went on, I became more and more self-conscious of the fact that I was the only white person in the theater. I could practically feel my privilege weighing down on me, and I was sure all eyes were on me. Like 2pac, but not in the good way.
I was in the theater like:
Fruitvale station was well done, well-acted, and overall, a good movie. One thing it was not, though, was a good date movie. Gentlemen, take note. Unless you’re a Social Justice Warrior, then by all means, take your lady to see Fruitvale Station. Otherwise, just go see Gone Girl like everybody else.
You know how sometimes, when you go to see a movie, you leave the theater yelling “THAT WAS AWESOME!!!” (or, if you went to see Gigli, “What the fuck was that? I want my $12 and 2 hours back”) and other times, you leave the movie on the verge of tears, trying to keep it cool, contemplating the state of race and your own privilege? No? Not that last one? Just me, then?
We left the theater, and I was already upset because I was thinking about some pretty serious shit—and you all know what happens when I think about shit. Hint: it’s never good. On top of that, the guy kept pestering me to go get a drink or do something.
“You sure you don’t want to go get a drink or do something?” he asked.
“Nah, I’m not really in a talkative mood right now,” I answered.
What I really wanted to say was, “Look dude, it’s midnight on a Sunday and too busy feeling deeply affected by something that doesn’t and will never personally affect me, so back off, ok?”
“Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I’m just…I don’t know…pensive,” I said. See how I whipped out that two-dollar word? “That movie was kind of upsetting.”
“Oh,” he said. “I didn’t realize you weren’t mature enough for this type of movie.”
Yes. Okay. Cool. Good to know that being saddened by perceived social injustices as well as being upset by a movie that is purposefully directed and shot and written to be upsetting makes you immature now.
To top it all off, this dude’s idea of a meaningful goodbye was to attempt to make out with me for the first time in the middle of a crowded parking lot, while trying to stick his hand down my pants at the same damn time. I’m not sure what the logic was, maybe like if my mouth was occupied with his mouth, I wouldn’t notice that he was trying to grope me in a public parking garage? Well I can tell you plenty of people who did notice: the people in said parking garage. The people who later gave me weird stares as I got into my car.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the worst date I’ve ever been on. For now.