I put it on all my dating profiles: I don’t date conservatives; if you’re a conservative, swipe left. It’s nothing personal; I mean, my entire family is filled with conservatives. More specifically Republicans.
The problem is when a conservative woman messaged me, I’d say the “there’s an exception to every rule.” In fact, I’ve yet to date outside the conservative woman sphere.
My twin brother always told me about how conservative women say they only give it up after marriage but he had no trouble getting some on the first date. Or like the girl in church who you know where out partying last night, singing about how good God’s grace is Sunday morning. I agree with the whole God is good thing, but why can’t I find a good woman. A good liberal woman with whom I agree politically would be a godsend.
Unfortunately, I get the conservative swiping right. I swipe right for the hell of it and it’s a match. I look down and away.
“Again?” I say, shaking my head. Do I have a sign on my forehead: conservatives, please swipe right? I raked my fingers through my thick black hair.
My phone vibrates with a flashing red LED light. I press a button and the screen brightens. There’s a message from a beautiful woman who says she’s a conservative. Should I open it? I thought. Maybe I should just delete this message. She’d never… before I could finish the sentence my arm jerked, and my finger pressed open. At first, I keep my eyes above the test, searching for a place to click delete. Maybe I’m supposed to read this, I convinced myself.
“Don’t mind my username,” she says. “My name is Lara. Anyway, this whole online dating thing is all new to me. I like your picture. You have kissable lips, and it appears we share most of the same interests. I think it said 88%, which isn’t too bad.”
I giggle, drinking a glass of wine. Did she not see the part where I don’t date conservatives? I thought before asking her. “I hate to be rude, but did you not see the part where I don’t date conservatives?” I hit send, thinking that’d be the end of it.
A few moments later, a red light flashes again in my hand. I hit a button and again the screen brightens. Another message from Lara. I drew a sharp breath and blew out my lips. I figured now comes the time where she says I’m not really a Christian because I don’t vote for Republicans or something along that line.
“I can’t find a conservative man to date,” she says.
“Well, try harder,” I reply and hit send.
“That closed-minded, huh?”
“I can’t be what you want.”
“I don’t hate people. I’m a veteran, but I believe in gun control.”
“I have a shotgun,” she says.
“Um…good for you, dude.”
“No, I meant, I don’t have an AR-15 or anything,” she says with a smiley face emoji.
“Look, I’m sure you’re a great person.”
“Can we talk on the phone?” she says.
We message like this for two hours.
What doesn’t she get? I thought. If I give her my phone number maybe she’ll get the hint.
I sat with a glass of wine at the kitchen table.
“This is, Lara.”
Lara’s voice is sweeter than I’d thought it’d be, but that didn’t change my position on dating a conservative woman.
“Listen, Lara, I’m sure you’re a lovely person…”
“But I’m not good enough?”
“No..no. It’s nothing like that.”
Lara gave a half shrug. “What is it then?”
“I don’t date conservative women.”
“I don’t date liberals, but I’m talking to you.”
“This is a dating site, not a place where you can knowingly meet people to break up with.”
“How do you know it wouldn’t last?”
“I don’t even know…”
“But you do know me,” she says. “I’m every girl you’ve ever wanted but couldn’t have,” she says.
What an arrogant woman, I thought before I said it. “You’re the most arrogant person I’ve ever talk to.”
“And you love it, right?”
I swallow a lump in my throat. She’s not wrong, I thought.
“If it makes you feel better I’ll pretend to be a Reagan Democrat, deal?”
“That’s son-of-a-bitch poisoned the black community with drugs.”
“Fair enough. What about the first Bush?”
“I’m really trying here,” she says.
“What do you believe?”
“—I voted for Bill Clinton.”
“I have about ten guns…maybe more,” she says, reluctantly.
“Do you hate gay people or minorities?”
“Wait, you think I’m one of those Bible-thumping God hates the gays, TEA Party nut?”
“Well, are you?”
“Far be it from me,” she says.
“Did you vote for Trump? Because if you…”
“I voted for Hillary.”
“Then why are you a conservative Republican?”
“Dude, I haven’t had time to change my voter registration.”
I stroke my beard. “Why don’t you come over for a drink?” I say.
“Text me the address.”
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
(© 2020 Andrew Cyr)