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Everyday Ethics

167771580_5377ccd426_m.jpgOne of the fundamentals of ethics is honesty, I’d say. Yet, I’m kind of a dishonest person. I consider myself to be basically morally sound, so why do I say this? Well, I tend to tell people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.
 
 A couple of years ago I gave into a friend’s blind date scheme. I exchanged a few emails with this “friend of a friend” and eventually set a date to meet for drinks. Read on; then tell me, is this not the best worst-date story or what?

Some backstory: A few days before our date, I decided to go chasing after a New York City bus on an icy night and had a very intimate face-to-asphalt encounter with 2nd Avenue.  Strangers behaved quite ethically and picked my unconscious self off the busy street, laid me down on the sidewalk and called an ambulance. One emergency room visit later, I was missing most of my front teeth, had had the shards of those teeth suctioned out of my lips – which, might I add, had ballooned into a grotesque version of Angelina’s–and had a nice pattern of stitches decorating my mouth.

Trust me, I didn’t look so hot by the time the date rolled around (I mean, who looks hot with a broken face?) so I tried to give the mystery man a pass; he didn’t take it.


I don’t like to judge, but I have to take a moment here to describe what he was wearing when we met: a purple suede blazer, a white tuxedo shirt, skin tight black jeans, a large rhinestone belt buckle, and pointy white cowboy boots. I actually think I earned ethical points for continuing the date.

We proceeded to a low-key bar for a drink – he paid. After he pontificated his thoughts on literature, philosophy and the meaning of life for a good hour, I knew this wasn’t my kind of guy. So as we walked out of the bar, I held out my hand, smiled, and told him thanks for the drink.

No no, I was told. That was just Part 1 of the date. He had a surprise for me. Err…a surprise? Isn’t that what serial killers call impending death? Being the wimp that I am, I reluctantly agreed to continue the date. He wouldn’t tell me where we were headed, but we eventually ended up at a very high-end bar, where he took it upon himself to order us both cocktails.

“Since I bought the last drink, why don’t you get this one,” he said. Um, really? Maybe because a) the last round of drinks was $10, this one is $24 and b) I didn’t want to be there in the first place! But, Paddy-the-great-big-wuss struck again. “Of course!” I said, a painfully fake smile plastered across my (broken) face.

I chugged that cocktail, and tried my best to get the hell out of Dodge. I was desperate, people…desperate! I would have sold my kidney to get out of that date. In that state of mind, I may have agreed to see him again. The next day. At his apartment. You see, he had suggested cooking a gourmet feast for me.

Ethical Fail #1: I lied through my (half-missing) teeth, agreed to another date the next day, all because I couldn’t bear to tell him I wasn’t interested.

Finally, I called it a night. He walked me downstairs, excitedly planning our next date. I frantically hailed a taxi, and as one pulled up, I held out my hand (again) and started to say good night.

He had other plans. He swung me into his arms and crushed his lips onto mine for a steamy goodnight kiss. The stuff of romance novels, except, let us not forget, my lips were being held together by rows of stitches! I pushed myself away, hand to mouth, and realized that half of my stitches had come loose and I was bleeding. Completely fed up at this point, I mumbled goodnight, turned to get into the cab, and…shrieked. Shrieked, you say? Why shriek? Because as I turned, he had slapped my ass! Hard.

The next day (after a little side trip to get my stitches re-done) I felt a little better, and hoped that he had just forgotten the whole gourmet dinner thing. Ethical Fail #2: I wasn’t planning on ever being honest with him. I was planning on pretending the date never happened.

But no, he emailed me, following up on our romantic plans. Backed into a corner, I felt it was time for at least some semblance of truth. I tried to let him down gently. “I had a great time (lie), but I’m just not sure we’re a match.”

This guy was like a cockroach, he just wouldn’t die. He wrote back. “But why? I thought we were great. If nothing else, I’d like to improve myself, so please be honest and let me know what went wrong.”

This is the point when I had handed to me an opportunity to come clean, tell this guy what he did wrong – tell him that it wasn’t okay to force himself upon a girl, make her bleed and then slap her ass. Did I? No.

Ethical Fail #3: Here was a guy shouting for some direction, an honest opinion. But in my apparent quest to be People-Pleaser of the Century, I just told him we were different people.

SO. Tell me, is that the best worst-date story? Or was it simply amateur compared to your own? Let me know…and while you’re at it, tell me how you handled your best worst-date (hopefully better than I did!)

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