I admire and hold in high esteem people that don’t eat animals, adhere to Buddhist principles and are able to withstand the urge to pollute themselves with alcohol. I can find nothing bad to say about those attributes in a human being. I did discover, though, through my next date, Brian, that they are absolutely not qualities I should look for in a man. In fact, quite possibly, I should be on the lookout for the polar opposite.

Brian sent me a very nice, friendly, opening email with excellent spelling and grammar. He seemed to love the overuse of smiley faces, but emoticons aside, he seemed like a decent guy. He worked in the IT field for a local company, lived in a cool neighborhood in Seattle and had an impressive taste in television. Brian and I were also both total book nerds so, when he suggested a first date at a local bookstore in their food court, I agreed to meet up after work. I was a little hesitant at the date options in a bookstore but they did have a funky café and restaurant that served wine if I got desperate. Life preservers were available.

Brian was waiting in the café when I arrived and was sitting by himself with a bottle of water. I decided to be crazy and get some tea and a cookie so I offered to pick up an equally tasty baked morsel for Brian while I was at the counter, to complement his water and all. “No, there isn’t anything here, actually, that I can have.” He laughed and said, “But go ahead, go ahead.” I suddenly felt dirty for wanting something besides tea but maybe he was just gluten intolerant or hated sugar. These weren’t fantastic options but I could work with that. I had seen worse.

When I got back to the table, I got the full explanation. Brian was pretty cute – he had slicked back curly hair, glasses, a nice build – not too bad. It turned out, however, that he couldn’t have any of the food at the bakery because he was vegan, die-hard vegan, as in didn’t-eat-honey vegan. I tried to block the memories of the bacon I had eaten for lunch while he talked. Ok, ok – vegan, we lived in Seattle – how limiting could that be? I tried to change the subject so we talked about books and vacations and working out. Brian was funny, easy to be with and I had almost forgotten about the meat issue until I asked him where his favorite place was to grab a cocktail.

“Well, I don’t drink,” was his reply. I was racking my brain to think how animals were harmed in the making of my cocktails when Brian explained that he ‘just didn’t do alcohol.’ He was ok with other people drinking, hey, he would even buy me a drink, but he was just absolutely opposed to chemically altering the human body. Since I altered my chemicals as often as possible, it was looking like we were maybe not lifestyle-compatible.

Brian, though, despite our differences, was a pretty charming guy. I just liked him – I felt totally comfortable in his presence. Was it that big a deal if he wasn’t going to grill me up a nice steak and enjoy some wine with me while we cooked it? Maybe it wasn’t so, when Brian asked me if I would meet him for dinner the next week, I agreed. I hadn’t met such a warm guy in quite some time so I felt I had to give it at least a bit of a chance.

Trouble once again arose, however, when, a couple of days later, we tried to figure out where we were going to meet for dinner. I thought eating out as a vegan in Seattle would be a relatively easy affair, similar to being a vegetarian, but I was sorely mistaken. He couldn’t eat hardly anywhere! I suggested pizza but there were only a couple of places in the city, at that time, that served vegan crusts and cheese was out of the question. Brian finally a suggested a vegan restaurant near his house so I met him at his apartment and we walked to our dinner.

Dinner was…fine. I eat soy and tempeh and veggie foods all of the time so I was game to try that for dinner. The restaurant, though, was a hole in the wall that was dirty and full of flies and the food was not good. But vegan, it was vegan! We had a decent conversation – Brian was nothing if not talkative, easy and down-to-earth – but the thing I remember most was his 10-minute description of the vegan cheesecake that he made with soy this and tofu that and, well, it was fantastic! Really, he could fool me into thinking it was real! Honestly, though, the idea of being fooled was becoming less and less appealing.

It was a rare nice night in Seattle so we decided to walk around a popular local lake. There was a slight lapse in conversation so I asked Brian what he thought of the Seahawks’ chances for that next season. “Oh, I don’t watch football. Not at all. I abhor violence. The NFL should be outlawed.” In my stunned silence, Brian explained that he had been in the military prior to his current employment and he had done things he literally could not discuss. It changed him, he was now a Buddhist and football just went against his moral code. What could I say to that? I was a girl that played fantasy football, for the love of mankind, but I couldn’t argue with his position. How could I knock peace, love and understanding?

We came to the end of our walk and I started to suggest a drink at a nearby bar. Oh, wait. Alcohol was not an option. I suggested going to Baskin Robbins and Brian said, “Well, no, there isn’t one thing I can eat there, not even the cone. They use eggs in everything!” The curtain officially closed, at that moment, on the dating adventure that was Brian. I am all about saving the planet, being a responsible citizen and even not eating animal flesh but Brian’s beliefs and practices absolutely defined him and they were way, way, WAY different than mine. Apparently my type of guy was more the meat-loving, football-watching, Manhattan-swilling ‘Mad Men’ type of man. Was a nicer, friendlier, more trustworthy and emotionally available Don Draper out there? Did such a man even exist? A girl could dream.

Published in: Uncategorized on May 24, 2011 at 3:34 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. From now on, I’m gonna try and sum up Kate’s date experience in 5 words or less so you won’t have to read through all that stuff, kind of a condensed Cliff notes. This one is easy:

    Brian – vegan. Next!

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