Sunday, September 17, 2006

Good taste

The date with Owen was great. We get along well. I laugh, he laughs, he gives me a hard time (ok, I could use a little less of that), and it's very comfortable and only slightly nerve wracking.

The only thing that makes me nervous is the lack of red flags. I guess I've gotten used to big, looming problems. You're not married? Republican? Alcoholic? Deeply emotionally scarred? Whatever will we talk about?

Not only is Owen not a Republican, he's as left-wing as I am. How delightful! I can't remember the last time I dated someone with similar politics. It's refreshing.

A couple of weeks ago, I was saying to TR (my good work friend), "I think I like the Republican thing. That way you have something to fight about that's not personal."

I was half expecting to only ever date Republicans again. I suppose that would be fine. But you know what's even better? Dating someone who will never say, "You're a socialist? That's the stupidest possible thing you could say. It's never worked." And not having to explain that socialism doesn't equal Soviet-style totalitarianism and that you actually do see the need for a market, but there really is no free market anywhere (hello, regulations) and what you want is universal, not means-tested, benefits and radical reform. Sigh.

The date started with dinner. We both ate very little. I was nervous. Not crazy, out of my mind nervous, but nervous enough to not eat a full meal.

After dinner, we tried to decide what to do. Movies had been mentioned, but there was no set plan. Also, the show times were inconvenient. We went to the nearby theater and there was one acceptable thing showing at 9pm. He said, "I will see it…it's just a question of whether we see it together."

"Ok. I've heard it's funny, but I'm not sure I want to see it."

We stood in the middle of the lobby, not deciding. I said, "Let's stand over here…" and we moved to the side. He said, "I'm not very good at this."

"Apparently, neither am I." Finally, I said, "Let's see it. It will be good."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure."

And it was good. The movie was funny. He loved it, I liked it.

Owen asked what kinds of movies I liked. "Old movies. I mean, I like anything good, but my favorites are old movies--like from the '40s."

He started to quiz me about old movies. He'd name a movie, for example, "The Awful Truth?" And I'd respond, "Irene Dunne, Cary Grant…Franchot Tone? I'm not sure." (Actually, it wasn't Franchot Tone, the second lead was Ralph Bellamy.)

Or, "The Maltese Falcon?"

"Are you kidding? Too easy! Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet…"

"Peter Lorre…"

"Mary Astor, and John Huston directing. Oh, and Elijah Cook."

He said, "This is fun."

I said, "Have you seen The Thin Man?'

"I LOVE The Thin Man. I watched a whole bunch of the series with my aunt."

I thought, you love The Thin Man? Who are you? Then I asked, "What about Born Yesterday? Have you seen that?"

"Yes! It's great. It's the one where she becomes a smarty at the end, right? Gregory Peck and…"

"No, no, no. Not Gregory Peck."


"William Holden."

"Oh. Did I lose major points for that?"

"Um, no. The fact that you've even seen it is...astonishing."

I've always said that tastes are not that significant. Owen and I had another conversation about music (similar tastes again, big surprise) and I said, "I don't think it means that much."

"Oh, it can tell you a lot about someone, what kind of music they like."

"What? What can it tell you? That they like music. Some people don't…"

"Those people have no souls."

I don't want to read too much into our similar tastes in movies and music. Similar humor. Similar politics. But it is nice. There's enough different to make it interesting, but enough alike to not worry about being offended.

Pele said, "Tastes in contemporary things are pretty meaningless. But, old movies--that's something that you've had in your life for a long time. It does mean something."

I'm inclined to agree. I'm also inclined not to read too much into it. I'll just enjoy the ride. And relax.

Grateful for: the ride.

Drop me a line.

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