Ok. So. If you’re going to try to pick someone up…dear god please have a fucking clue of where places are. Especially with respect to what is a state or a city. And not the obscure ones. The common ones. I would never ask anyone to know where my hometown is. But I expect some basic level of knowledge as to major cities (I mean come on—sports teams alone should teach many the basics of where shit is).
Think I’m being overly judgy and mean?
Well. Probably. Usually.
Then there’s this.
A few weeks after moving to the west coast, I went to a local bar to mingle with the locals and start meeting people. I soon realized that it was a little awkward to just go up to people at the bar and insert myself into the conversations, so I ordered a few drinks and tried to look friendly (and this was before the days of smartphones, so I literally could just sit there and pretend to watch the baseball game on the tv above the bar). Eventually, a really cute guy approached with a smile and struck up a conversation. Hellllloooo McDreamy.
But. Wait. Dammit. He’s a wingman.
He set up his friend perfectly. He was an ace at his job. His friend? Ball dropper of all ball droppers. He quickly realized he was out of his comfort zone when he discovered I have a graduate degree in molecular science and was in the process of returning to grad school for another degree (he sold jet skis…which I hate). But he doggedly tried to stick the landing anyway. I attempted to be friendly, and told him a bit about my life, which involved graduate school in SE Virginia, some moving around, and a few years of a big-girl career in Boston. He scrambled to keep the conversation moving forward…and really wiped out when he asked,
“So what part of Boston is Virginia in?”
I shit you not. I was speechless. I asked him to repeat the question, desperately hoping he would think about what he was saying and trying to give him an out. And he repeated himself.
“What part of Boston is Virginia in?”
Ok buddy, I tried. His wingman heard the question get repeated and literally facepalmed. All I could do was stammer out, “well, the city of Boston is about six sates away from the commonwealth of Virginia.” (Yes, I was a douche about it and said commonwealth instead of state. Technically that’s correct. And I was feeling extra douchy and extra not like helping him out.)
His defense? “My geography isn’t so good—the east coast has so much more complexity than the west coast.”
Sorry dude, you just fail.
I paid my tab and left. I am still wary of that bar. And think of this situation every single time I hang out there or bike by it.
And I’m not alone in people fucking up geography that badly.
One friend was living in DC trying to take a peaceful ride home on the Metro when a dude, who repeatedly talked about how he was a Harvard grad, decided to prove juuuuust how smart he was. He asked her where she was from, and she replied “Minnesota.”
His response? “Oh cool—that’s east of Wisconsin.”
Her reply? “Um. No. I promise you, it’s west of it.” And he went on to insist that his Harvard-educated dumb ass knew that the state where she is from is in a different location than it actually is.
He was such a wad about it that she finally got off the Metro a few stops early, waited until the train left the station, and re-entered to finish her ride home. Because paying twice for the Metro was So Much Better than that individual knowing remotely where she lived, or her putting up with his idiocy for any longer.
The moral of these interactions?
Trust the person who is from the place you are trying to have some knowledge about. And know some fucking basics about your country before you open your mouth. Or else you, too, may end up in a blog post (and probably Facebook).
But…then again, as with all of the eyeroll worthy interactions, I am ok with their existence because, at the end of the day, they are pretty entertaining.