If you haven’t read Part One of this story — you can find it here.
As we left the gallery on our way to the tango class, The Libertarian suggested I leave my car in the parking lot and we climbed into his convertible – some of us more gracefully than others. Who the hell decided that a sports car has to hug the ground like that? I kept lowering myself, thinking that surely the seat would meet my ass at any moment – until finally my newly shod feet and knees refused to cooperate any longer and I fell the last several inches – landing with an audible “oooph!” into the leather clad bucket seat. Have I mentioned that I’m very, very sexy?
When we got to the venue, I noticed right away that we were both horribly over-dressed. Most of the class (and they were mostly women) were in jeans, sweats, or yoga pants. Most were in socks, although a few had strappy dancing shoes. The Libertarian suggested that we warm up and he took me in his arms for a few turns around the dance floor. He was a competent dancer and, even though I had no idea what I was doing, I was able to follow his lead fairly well. Then the teacher, a likable gal with a delightful accent, told us to form lines facing the mirrors and we practiced the various moves and holds of the Argentine Tango.
Despite the many layers of deodorant, I quickly began to perspire. My feet were hurting and my non-dancing shoes were having trouble with traction. There was much bending of the knees, extending of the legs, and slowly dragging feet back to the basic position. This is all supposed to look very sexy and sultry – with me, it looked more sweaty and stumbly. Apparently, posture is also very important – we had to hold a bar in front of us on two fingers and keep it steady as we turned our torsos this way and that. My back – perfectly content to slouch whenever it can – was not happy.
I finally took a break, staggered to the back of the room where I kicked off my shoes, put on my socks, and gathered my flowing locks into a top-knot, securing it – kind of – with a hair tie. The Libertarian gave me a surprised, perhaps even disapproving look when I re-joined the group – but even he divested himself of jacket and tie as the class went on. We were all asked to learn both the male and female moves – and then we broke into couples and practiced, changing partners every five minutes or so. I danced with The Libertarian only once more after our initial warm up session.
I did have fun – all of the people were friendly and good sports. The dance teacher was just lovely. I can’t remember a damn move now – but at the time, I was able to pretty much do as I was asked.
When it was time to go, I thought to myself that I might like to come back another time to learn and practice more. I put my heels back on, shook out my hair, and The Libertarian and I returned to his car to drive to the restaurant for lunch.
Once we were seated in the restaurant, things got a tad uncomfortable. The Libertarian was not much of a conversationalist. I would ask questions and he would give me short answers, then there would be long, awkward silences. I volunteered some information about myself – that I liked hiking, the kind of work I did, the different places I had lived and what I liked about them. Finally, I said, “Well, you know all about me, but I don’t know anything about you except that you are a Libertarian and you like film noir and the tango. Tell me what else you like to do.”
“I like to target practice with my guns.”
I’ve gone to the range a few times to target practice, so I asked about his guns and he enthusiastically went into great detail about the different guns he had (he had many) and how each one performed. Then the conversation faded again. “I don’t know a lot about Libertarians,” I said, “Except that they aren’t fond of the government and that Gary Johnson is one. Surely there must be more to it than that.”
The Libertarian ardently explained Libertarian viewpoints and philosophy. Basically, according to him, the US government had no business interfering in his personal or business life. Taxes were illegal and shouldn’t have to be paid. Government regulation of commerce was corrupt. No one would ever take his guns from him without a fight. And finally, “Now, I’m not racist or against the gays, but if I run a business the government has no right to tell me who I have to hire or who can be a customer. I can hire and serve who I want and NOT hire or serve people I don’t.”
I don’t know about you – but if anyone starts off a conversation with me telling me that they aren’t racist or homophobic, that is a huge red flag. And then if they go on to tell me how they ACT racist and homophobic, I’m going to assume they ARE racist and homophobic. It’s like Trump telling everyone how he’s all for family values and how nobody respects women more than he does – all the while, insulting women’s looks, race, intelligence, and explaining how he can force his attentions on any woman he wants and get away with it, because he’s rich, famous and powerful.
Right then, I decided The Libertarian and I were not meant to be. I quickly finished up my meal and we left the restaurant, returning to his convertible so that he could take me back to my car. On the way, The Libertarian suddenly proclaimed, “I make it a rule not to ask someone out for a second date while I’m still on the first date. I like to go home and let the estrogen air out before making any decisions.”
I responded wryly, “Well, we wouldn’t want any lingering estrogen to impact your decisions or cloud your judgement.”
He did not seem to get the fact that I was being sarcastic and laughed in agreement.
As I got into my car and drove away, I felt quite happy to know I wouldn’t be seeing The Libertarian again. I assumed that his “estrogen” excuse was just that – an excuse not to ask me out again – and that worked out very nicely for me.
Imagine my surprise when, three days later, I received the following message from The Libertarian:
“Jana, let’s go out again.”
It was hard to resist such a romantic
order invitation. I responded:
“Thanks, but once I got home and let the testosterone air out, it seemed pretty clear that we have nothing in common. I’m sure one day you’ll find a like-minded gal at one of your Meetups. Target practice might be a good first date.”