Conversation is a funny thing.
Really, all you’re trying to do is find the common kernel to work out where you fit with that other person.
An even funnier hybrid of conversation is flirtation.
Even after 8 years of being with The Mister, and now starting to find my single bearings again, it seems I can still do it.
I went to the baseball at the Washington Nationals Ball Park in DC a few nights ago.
Just outside, but still connected to, the park was this very cool bar area made up of concrete floors and sea containers. It was called the Bullpen and it was where I met Ben.
Ben was classic all-American. He was clean-shaven, wore a loose white shirt, chino shorts and a cap. Forget Compton, Ben was straight outta Sweet Valley High.
We got along stunningly, US guys seem to have this confidence you sometimes don’t always see in Australian blokes.
Where some Australian guys can be hard to read and guarded, I’m finding that Americans are open books – and in my experience so far, they genuinely want to get to know you. Especially if you’re Australian.
However, Ben’s red flags shot up pretty quickly for me.
I don’t know which happened first, but I know I almost spat out my free-pour margarita both times when he:
a) wasn’t taking the piss when talking about the virtues of Donald Trump’s politics
b) was proud of the fact he’d never left the US.
It got worse, he then told me he was the press secretary for a Republican.
However, the thing is, although our beliefs were almost polar-opposite, we still managed to flirt wildly, the banter was whip-smart and cheeky. He was an adorable jerk, and so was I.
Although his politics (and as I later found out, his enthusiasm for gambling on sports) weren’t my cup of tea, it still felt good.
I never really found that one kernel of common ground with Ben… yet I somehow knew where I fit.
And, after about a year of feeling nothing but a clumsy unattractiveness, bloody hell, it was just what I needed.