I went out with the Dutchman last week. (I’m way behind on the OkCupid updates, I know, I know.) He’s super cute, super tall, and had a Dutch accent. I have no idea how to describe this since I’d never heard one before and don’t even know what Dutch sounds like. (In fact, I mistakenly believed that The Netherlands – aka HOLLAND – was in Scandinavia. I never claimed to be good at geography.)
Anyway, we had a nice time. He was normal and incredibly smart and really tall. Like Boris the Smelly Loris, the Dutchman didn’t drink. Very much UNlike the Loris, the Dutchman bought me a beer and then explained he wished he could drink one with me but he was just finishing a round of antibiotics. How responsible. We all know that wouldn’t have stopped me from having a pint.
Right, so the date itself was totally real. It felt honest and upfront and we talked about everything from our jobs to dating impressions to world politics. It was fun and we laughed and it was average and relatively uneventful. Which brings me to its ending…
Being in England has its complications, you know? Like people here have no concept of personal space and eat different food and drive on the wrong side of the road. You never know when you might make a mistake – do I walk on the left side of the sidewalk, too? It’s still not clear to me. But you know what else is different in pretty much every country in the world? Greetings and goodbyes. I’ve been to a lot of places and all of the following has happened to me for a hello, goodbye, or both:
- General smile/awkward standing still
That’s a lot of options. When the Dutchman met me, he shook my hand. So, as we left the bar, I was enormously curious about how we might say goodbye. I knew I found him attractive, but he was incredibly hard to read so I had no idea what to expect.
Luckily, he told me (in true European-speak-your-mind-fashion) that he was wondering if he should ask me how I wanted to say goodbye (which is really just asking me how I want to say goodbye, but we won’t get into that). I said I’d take his lead and he said, “For me, it’s customary to kiss.”
Kiss where?! I thought. Lips? Cheek? How many cheeks? How many times? Ohmygod.
So I hugged him. But he leaned to kiss me. So I air-kissed his cheek. Then he called me out!
“Were you thinking of the other kiss?” He asked.
“No.” I lied. I had no idea what kiss to be thinking of, expecting, or anything. I was becoming stressed.
He leaned down to kiss my cheek again. Success! And then he went to kiss my other cheek. That damn double-cheek-kiss. Threw me right off track. Another awkward moment where he was trying to kiss my cheek and I was at this point doing some kind of chicken-head-dance bobbing my head front and back, side to side, having no idea what to do with my mouth.
The last try was a success for the double-cheek-kiss and at that point I pretty much ran home in a fit of embarrassment, confusion, and bewilderment. Who knew saying goodbye could be so incredibly complicated?!
Lucky for me, the Dutchman and I had the following text exchange while I walked home:
Dutchman: Are you sure you weren’t thinking of the other kind of kiss?
Me: Yes! I didn’t know if it was one cheek or two!
Dutchman: Oh. That’s too bad…
Me: Did you want me to be thinking of the other kind?
Dutchman: Yes :)
I hate emoticons but I love making out, so this turned out to be the perfect end to the Most Awkward Goodbye.