Perhaps not the traditional post, but it does have to do with dating, and the blog needed an update.
At the food court of a fancy outdoor mall today, I was enjoying some Greek food in the sunlight when I noticed there was a guitar player instead of recorded music. I didn't think much of it until he began walking around the eating area, stopping for short periods at peoples' tables and playing. Quickly I became absorbed in shoveling food in my mouth in hopes he would pass me by instead of awkwardly drawing attention to me eating alone at 2pm on a Saturday.
I succeeded, but an unfortunate couple who looked as though they hadn't been dating long got bombarded with what this guitarist probably thought was a "romantic gesture." I watched in horror as the couple stopped eating, felt the need to stare at the guitarist, and sat in awkward silence for MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES as the guy kept playing. At one point, the girl thought he might be waiting for a tip, so she got out her wallet and was thumbing through some cash. I felt terrible for them, as such an incident is my ultimate dating fear.
My intense fear of "musical displays of affection" started very early, and not even in a dating context. I remember probably 20 years ago my grandparents had come to visit us in Texas and we had taken them to a Mexican restaurant on the Riverwalk. I think it was my grandfather's birthday (or someone's), and our large group tipped off the mariachi band that perhaps there was an event. All I remember is that once they found out there WAS a birthday, they proceeded to play about 50 songs at our table, drawing attention to us from every person in the restaurant. Not only that, but they were taking up valuable eating time.
Here's the question - what's the appropriate response when someone sings to you? This could be a professional musician, a mariachi band, your significant other thinking he's doing something romantic when in fact he's slowly killing you with humiliation even if you're in the comfort of your own home. Do you drop everything and stare at them? Do you continue eating or whatever you were doing as not to awkwardly stare at them? Is not looking at them continuously considered "rude" or "not paying attention"? Do you have to tip them for them to go away? How do you GET THEM to go away? Are you supposed to clap and shower them with praise when they're finished, thereby encouraging them to play more? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!!
The last thing I want to hear from someone I'm dating is "I play guitar." While my first boyfriend played and never played FOR me (thank god), but my second actually sang TO me some song he was making up as he went along. I almost died, threw up, and exploded with horror all in the same moment. When I met my third boyfriend, I was thrilled to find out he had no musical talent at all.
My worst fear is that someone I date will use their "musical talent" to write some sort of romantic love song for me and sing it at an inappropriate place and time (which to me is ANY time and ANY place). So in fact, if a potential date says to me "I play guitar" all I hear is "I have herpes."
It's like I draw these kind of people to me. Mariachis always sing at my table, the opera singers at Macaroni Grill would come over to us more than I cared for, and I even got song-bombed by a frumpy transvestite at a grocery store in Dallas. And she was singing a Christmas carol, in February, to JUST ME. WHYYYYYY??