The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Friday, September 15, 2006

A guy takes a girl home from a bar...

I am sure you can imagine that a Southern-born American gal dating a French-Algerian in London will bring along some cultural differences. We discuss these things as they arise and are usually able to get by them fairly quickly. It is often as simple as "wait, what does that mean to you? Oh okay, this is what it means to me." Or "this is how we do it. how do you do it?" Or "so, you are only going to marry one woman, right?"

Sometimes, however, the differences take a little while to be put on the table. For instance, very soon after I met Ben, he mentioned not being in a relationship because he could not find a "special" girl. I decided I wanted to be special. Throughout the summer, on multiple occassions, I would coyly smile, look him in the eyes and ask "so, am I special yet?" He always responded with an odd look and a "no, not yet." Hmph. I became increasingly confused by this. Really, how hard is it to be special to this guy? He had already told me I had a place in his heart and he wanted a future with me. I finally just asked him what I have to do to be special. He told me that special is when you give her a ring because you want to marry her in front of all of your family and friends and spend your life with her. Oh shit. So, this means that in the one month I knew this guy, I had been continually nagging him for a ring? And he is still around? I explained to him my understanding of special, which is considerably less serious. We both had a good laugh as we discussed what the other had been thinking.

Yesterday's cultural difference took a bit longer to wade through, yet was truly hilarious in the end. I have a friend who is in London right now. I gave her Ben's phone number and told her she should meet up with him for a drink. When I spoke with him yesterday, we were discussing my friend. She had gotten in touch with him and I believe the plan is for them to meet up after he gets off work today around 4pm. I explained what she looked like so he will know her when he sees her. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

Him: Where is she staying?
Me: In a hotel somewhere I'm not sure.
Him: Is she nice?
Me: Of course she is nice, she is my friend.
Him: (getting all matter of fact) Okay then. She will meet me at the bar, we will have a few drinks then I will take her home with me.
Me: (eyes bulging out of head, jaw on floor) WHAT THE FCUK????
Him: Yes, I will bring her home. She can stay at my house.
Him: No, baby, not for anything bad. I will take her home, cook her dinner, and we can drink wine in the garden and just talk.
Me: No, you will not!
Him: Why not? She can have my bed. I will sleep on the sofa.
Me: No, Ben, you are not taking my friend home from a bar.
Him: Why not? She is your friend. I want to do something nice for her.
Me: Then buy her a beer at the bar.
Him: But I want to show her respect and make her comfortable here. She is your friend.
Me: I'm sure her hotel bed is comfortable enough! It would be different if she did not have a place to stay.
Him: She should not have to stay in a hotel. I do not understand why you do not want your friend to come home with me.
Me: (thinking of how to explain this...) Um, okay. Remember this summer when some of your friends would take some of my friends home from the bar. Remember what that was all about? Remember the only reason those girls went home with those guys? Yeah, that's kinda what it means when a guy and a girl meet each other in a bar and the guy takes the girl home.
Him: No way. It would not be like that because she is your friend. It is different.
Me: I know that and you know that. But it is still just weird.
Him: (not believing that it would be taken as I say it would) But, if she is your friend, that thought would not cross her mind, right? Would she find it weird if I invited her home with me?
Me: Yes. In fact, she would probably go into the bathroom to call me and tell me that my man was trying to take her home from a bar and that I should break up with you.
Him: No way! Then I will not take her home with me.
Me: Thank you.
Him: I am glad you told me all of this.
Me: Yeah me too.

Still imagining the look on Miss M's face when Ben says "hi, Law-Rah's friend, good to meet you. I will take you home with me tonight."