I went on a coupla dates with a fella from Turkey once. I’m looking at a map of Turkey right now, trying to remember which city he said he came from. It was by the sea, but none of the cities by the sea on the map are ringing a bell.
He was super-duper cute, and getting his PhD in sociology from Hopkins so he could go back to Turkey and work for social justice organizations, and he was clearly crazy about me. Or at least my first date self. On our few dates we took long walks and talked endlessly.
“You must see Istanbul,” he said a few times. “One day I will show you Istanbul. You will love it- the beauty of it, the ancientness.”
On our third date we were to watch a movie- a subtitled Turkish film. I didn’t have a teevee, so we went to watch it at his apartment. I met his roommates, who were all desperately studying, and read his book spines while he fiddled with downloading the proper program to watch Turkish movies on his laptop. “All right,” he said, opening his bedroom door, “all done! Let’s watch it.”
I was a little taken aback.
“I would actually prefer to watch it in the living room,” I said, in a rare fit of self assertion.
“Oh, no. Will be too loud. My roommates are studying.”
The apartment was laid out in such a way that I did not think the sound from a laptop playing a movie would be an issue but my fit of self-assertion had passed. So internally I was like, seriously, dude? At this stage of the game it’s pretty goddamned important to make a lady feel safe and cared for. But I followed him in and perched on the edge of his bed at a respectable distance.
The movie, whose title I can’t remember, was really, really good and I was unbelievably annoyed when he started making out with me in the third quarter of it when all the strings of plot were getting tangled and I was invested in the narrative.
And then we had a little grapple where he kept trying to pull down my undies and at one point he was pulling down one side while I was desperately hoisting up the other, all the while with one eye on the subtitles and still trying to be polite- I was a guest, after all- and that is the moment the possibility of romance between us died.
Cause, dude, wherever you are, you should want a lady to want to sleep with you. Foreplay starts before dinner.
I often wondered if it was a cultural thing or a just a clumsy doofus thing.
I guess I’ll find out when I get to Istanbul.