If at first you don’t succeed…try try again. That’s what we’re taught as kids, right? Determination and perseverance are rewarded. Well kids, I’m here to tell you that is NOT always the case.
This story starts as so many of mine do, with meeting a guy online. This guy shared not only a name but a profession with one of my most recent exes, *Ryan. This, coincidentally did NOT work in his favor as Ryan and I did not part on good terms. However, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was well-spoken and confident…or at least appeared that way through our communications. We spoke on the phone a few times before he asked me out for a late night cup of coffee. I agreed and so began our adventure.
We arrived at the coffee shop around 9pm. I know “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover” and all. BUT, if the cover has long hair that he wears in a ponytail…aren’t I given just a little leeway? Ryan was about 5’6, long hair, not clean shaven. Outwardly, not my type.
The coffee shop was incredibly busy. After placing our order, we grabbed our drinks and set out to find a spot on the patio. The tables outside were occupied by a group of about 7-8 kids and, remarkably, NO PARENT! So we decided to grab a seat next door. We settled into the normal first date interview-like Q&A. He started in with “what are your deal-breakers?” This is an interesting question to begin with. I answered with a few of my non-negotiables and he answered with a few of his. One of which was open-mindedness. Ryan has studied psychology and enjoys philosophy as well. He was looking for someone with an open mind so that when he challenges their beliefs they’re open to other concepts and possibilities.
(Throughout our discussion, the children that WERE next door to us somehow migrated to our area to run circles around our table while playing. Which wasn’t at all annoying!)
So…with the noise of the BeBe’s kids running rampant without parental supervision providing an oh-so-romantic ambiance, Ryan continued his bitter diatribe about close-minded people. Now, I enjoy debating (not arguing, yes there is a difference) and am very open-minded. So, as Ryan was preaching from his soap box about how people should be more impulsive and open-minded as opposed to controlling and planning every moment of their day, I realized something. In his philosophical pursuit of proving how we should shuck all rules regarding dating and live in the moment (are your eyes rolling? mine were), something became crystal clear to me. Ryan wasn’t open-minded and philosophical. He was close-minded. See, either you subscribed to Ryan’s belief or you were wrong. The word, hypocrite came to mind.
Although I initially started to play devil’s advocate, I decided to take a different approach after I had my epiphany. I started nodding my head. See, I could continue to disagree or try and open his mind to other possibilities or I could let him think he had converted me to his belief and try and wrap this thing up.
Ryan trailed off a bit and I guess he realized my eyes had glazed over as I was working on making a mental grocery list during his much-too-well-rehearsed-oration and asked what I was thinking.
Now, I’d had just about all I could take with his hypocrisy-soaked speech and wasn’t about to hold back. So, I answered his question as politely as I could.
“I think you’re very long-winded. I think you preach about how more people should be open-minded when you, yourself, are close-minded. I think you need people to agree with you to validate your argument more than you need to prove a valid point. And I think it’s getting late…”
Maybe that makes me rude, but as I’ve stated in my previous posts. I’m done pulling punches and being nice for the sake of being nice. My time is much too precious to be wasted on people like Ryan. Ryan needs a woman with no mind of her own, someone who’ll allow him his rants and will agree with him and stroke his ego. I’m here to tell you, that is NOT me. And so, I leave you with this astute observation from a brilliant man…
*name has been changed to protect any chance this guy or my ex have of finding some poor woman to put up with their crap for an extended period of time.