I basically haven’t been able to write anything since the election, which was fine for a few weeks, but now it’s been several months and – it’s time to get my brain together and do some work. So I thought the perfect re-introduction would be the man I spent that fateful election night with.

A few weeks before, I met this man on OKCupid. He seemed perfectly nice and smart, so we met up for drinks. We met at a restaurant in my neighborhood (because, as my readers know, I don’t leave the area for first dates). It was the night of game 7 of the World Series, and we started talking about baseball. He mentioned that he wanted to find a place to watch game 7.

“I actually like baseball,” I said.

“Really?” he asked. “Who’s playing tonight?”

As in, you’re a girl, you can’t possibly like baseball or know what you’re talking about. Prove it.

I called him out, and he said, “Oh, I just wanted to make sure you really were fine going to watch the game.”

I let it go, because we had been having a good time. After all, everyone mansplains sometimes, right? Upon reflection, maybe I need to be more careful about this. I’ve had a lot of mansplaining interactions lately, and really one should probably be unacceptable. I’m nothing if not smart, and any man who talks down to me should get, as my Pop Pop would say, a punch in the nose.

But, smart or not, I let the mansplaining go. We went to get another drink and watch game 7, and then went our separate ways.

A few days later, we went to brunch and had a lovely time. A few days after that, on Election Day, I met up with him after therapy. He had a TV, and I wanted to watch the returns.

“I’m coming from Borough Hall,” I said. “I should be back at Franklin Avenue in 15 minutes.”

“That doesn’t take 15 minutes,” he said.

I was going from my therapist’s office to my home stop. I have made that trip a thousand times. I know exactly how long the trip takes. It’s three stops on the train. But he still felt the need to boss me around.

“I guarantee you it’ll take me 15 minutes. You’re mansplaining.”

“I’m just trainsplaining,” he said, which was kinda funny, if infuriating.

Anyway, I got to where we were supposed to meet exactly on time (in 15 minutes). He wanted to hold hands when I got off the train. We had been on two dates. It was weird and felt like he desperately wanted someone to hold hands with, rather than to hold hands with me. Then he told me boring insider MTA stories for a while, like, about the brakes at different stations.

“Sometime I’ll take you into the control room,” he said.

It was kinda painful. The date was not off to a good start, and it was only 4 pm.

He lived in a really Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. He hadn’t voted yet, so we walked to his polling station and I waited upstairs while he voted. I had a hilarious conversation with an old Jewish man about how the New York Times hated Israel.

“You’re not Jewish,” he said.

“I am,” I said. “But not Orthodox.”

The MTA guy and I met back up after he cast his vote. I insisted we buy wine, although he didn’t really drink. We stopped at the only wine store nearby. There were six shelves of wine from Israel, and a few from France and Spain and Italy. If you were wondering whether you can get a kosher Bordeaux, you can.

Ok, so we went back to his apartment. I drank wine, he had a beer. We talked for a while. The returns hadn’t even started yet. While we still thought Hillary would win, we ordered in Mexican food and, upon my insistence, two more bottles of wine.

“So, when was your last relationship?” I asked him.

“A few months ago,” he said.

I found out that he had a series of year long relationships, all a few months apart. He had gotten married at 22 (I haven’t mentioned that he also had a 5-year-old, but that’s mostly because I tried to forget about it) and had basically been in short-ish long-term relationships since then. Clearly, he was the relationship type – he desperately needed to be with someone. He had met his ex-wife, by the way, on Craigslist.

As we all know too well, the night soon became terrifying, as it seemed less and less likely that there would be a Hillary victory. I got really drunk. Also, I really like politics – I was getting into what was going on, and exclaiming excitedly when something good or bad happened.

He was being more and more standoffish. It was pretty obvious to me that something was wrong; that I was getting on his nerves.

“Listen,” I said. “Are you not having a good time?”

“No, everything’s fine,” he said.

“Seriously, if you’re not having a good time, I can go. Just say something.”

“It’s fine.”

Around midnight, I left so he could go to sleep. He had to work the next day, and I wanted to watch the rest of the votes come in. I went downstairs to wait for an Uber, knowing I’d never hear from him again. He didn’t even have the guts to say, “You know what, it’s true, I’m not really having a good time.” He couldn’t say, “You seem lovely, but I’m not sure this is gonna work out.” Instead, he promised everything was fine.

Which was just the last, annoying straw on top of explaining to me how the Subway worked and a boring day, capped off by a Trump victory. I texted him the next day to say, “So, it happened.” He sent back a sad face, and we never spoke again. As went the fate of America that night, so went the fate of my relationship with the MTA employee. I guess I’ll never get to go on a secret hike on the tracks.

 

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