Disagree to Disagree
My Very Worst Date happened back when I was a senior in high school. I was taking all of my credits that year at the local community college, and I met Matt in one of my classes. We had talked a few times in our class but I didn’t really feel any sparks. It wasn’t until the following semester, when I ran into him at a mutual friend’s party, that I decided he was pretty cute. Fortunately, he must have felt the same way, because he asked me to go get coffee with him the next day. We really seemed to hit it off and continued to see each other almost every day after that.
The bad date wasn’t until a few weeks into our relationship when Matt asked me to accompany him to a speaking engagement that his dad (a political science professor at a big-name university) had lined up for his department. Matt was vague about the details and would not tell me who the famous speaker was, but I just thought he was trying to be cute and surprise me so I let it go. After all, I was just excited to visit the big-name university and listen to whoever this celebrity speaker was.
On the day of the event, I dressed up in my nicest professional clothes (as per Matt’s request) and we made the two-hour trek to the college town. As we neared the university, Matt decided to finally tell me the name of the speaker and I quickly realized why he had withheld the information until then. It turned out we were going to listen to Christopher Hitchen’s discuss his latest book, God Is Not Great. That was great and all, except for the fact that Matt knew I was a fairly serious Christian. We had discussed our religious views before and had agreed to disagree about our extremely opposing beliefs (Matt being a firm Atheist), and ultimately decided not bring the subject up around each other. Although I’m pretty serious about my religion, I personally don’t see the point in trying to force it down other people’s throats.
Anyways, despite being a little taken aback that Matt would invite me to listen to a speech that he knew would probably offend me, I decided to make the most out of it and keep an open mind. After all, I could respect that Hitchens was an intelligent guy, even if I disagreed with his beliefs. So I sat through the speech, trying to disguise my discomfort the best I could as the author relentlessly belittled Christianity for an hour. If that wasn’t uncomfortable enough, Matt and I went to dinner with his parents afterwards and I spent the entire dinner listening to them rant about how stupid Christians and Republicans are (knowing very well that I identified myself as both of those things). Once again, I tried to be as polite as possible, as I did not feel it was appropriate to argue over something so personal.
After dinner, Matt decided to lighten the mood by taking me on a drive through the town to point out the houses that he had lived in as a child. As we were going down a hill, I noticed a little black heap lying in the middle of the road. I asked him to slow down as I was afraid it might be an animal. Sure enough, my fears were confirmed when I saw a little black and white cat squished on the road. However, the accident must have just recently happened because the cat was still alive (barely). My heart broke when it lifted its head up to look at our car, and the look of agony in its face was something I will never forget. I begged Matt to pull over so I could call Animal Control but he refused to stop or even let me use his phone to call (mine was dead at this point), citing that “it’s just a cat and it’s not worth the hassle.” That was the final straw. I could handle the religious and political put-downs, but refusing to try to help an innocent animal was too much. When he pulled into my drive-way I thanked him for the evening but proceeded to tell him I really didn’t see our relationship going anywhere and that we should just be friends.