There’s some leeway when it comes to dating outside your
religion, I mean region.
Like if you’re from up north and you’re living and dating in New Orleans, don’t act weirded out by someone drinking before noon.
And if you transplant to South Carolina, just get used to Croakies, they are like those old lady glasses chains, only for sunglasses.
Or if you date someone from Ohio or another state where there’s nothing to do, you’ll have to put up with football being more important than you and your feelings.
But there are some moves that while statistically are common of a particular region, are NEVER OK.
No matter what area of the world you live in.
This includes...oh, I don't know...cat-calling hookers, drinking while driving (actively drinking a beer while actually driving) and then littering the can on the road.
Someone please explain this to Kevin.
Kevin, not surprisingly, identifies as being a redneck, or “Regional Southeast.”
He recently asked my friend Shelby out on a date. They had mutual friends and Kevin had just moved to a bigger city after living in Podunk, South Carolina his entire life.
Shelby said that she’d love to go out with him, but she had a work party and did he want to join?
Sure, he said.
Shelby, a transplant from the Northeast with smart, liberal parents, raised an eyebrow when she got into Kevin’s truck (of course a truck) and saw BULLETS and gun-related paraphernalia all over along with gator teeth and duck feathers from all the animals he’s killed.
“That’s normal, I live in South Carolina now,” Shelby reassured herself as she moved over a large tooth to sit down.
The work party was 45 minutes away from the city, 45 minutes on the interstate mind you, and it was fine for the hour they were there.
Kevin was very polite to her boss and kept his redneck in check. That is until they got back into his truck.
That’s when Kevin pulls out a cold BEER from a cooler (where was a cooler???) and opens it as he pulls out of the parking lot.
To drive 45 minutes back on the interstate.
“What are you doing?” Shelby said.
“What? I’m totally fine!” Kevin said, mimicking those drink-and-drive commercials that end in a fiery mess.
Shelby tried to ignore it and his awful country music when Kevin pulled off an exit to get gas. Like most exits between two bigger cities, this one was sketchy and poorly-lit. Shelby waited in the car nervously as he left her alone and went into buy gas.
When he finally walks back out...OMG...WITH A TALL BOY BEER...another beer hahahahaa....he CAT-CALLS two women standing outside on the curb.
“OW OW!” He said as he walks over to his truck. Shelby sat there horrified.
“Why did you do that?” she asked as Kevin got back into the car.
“Because they’re obviously hookers and they need attention,” he said.
As he peeled out of the driveway, he honked at them, like Shelby wasn't in the car and he was looking for a date or something.
Then she said Kevin chugged the rest of his old beer....while driving on the interstate...and THREW THE EMPTY CAN OUTSIDE THE WINDOW.
Great. She was going out with a litterbug.
Seriously. Super smart Kevin tossed an empty beer can outside, like that wouldn’t draw attention to a cop or anything.
And P.S. if he got arrested for drinking...uh...while driving, she’d be stuck alone in the middle of nowhere.
She thought about her hometown, how they would probably burn someone at the stake for littering.
THEN KEVIN OPENED UP THE TALL BOY CAN.
“He was like, cutting people off in traffic,” she recalls.
Shelby was getting pissed and just wanted to get the F home. According to her GPS, they had 32 minutes left to go.
Then, as if Kevin could read her mind as to what the LAST thing she wanted to do in the whole world was, he took his phone and asks Siri “directions to the nearest bar.”
The nearest bar!!!
He didn't even ask her if she wanted to go to a bar.
“What!?!?” Shelby said. “Are you serious? Can’t we just wait until we get closer to home?”
“No, it will be fun. These bars out here are CRAZY,” he said.
After all, he was the local
Now, as a local, there’s a difference between a fun place with charm and culture and a place that will scare the shit out of a foreigner.
Guess which one Kevin brought Shelby to.
She says: “We go into this disgusting bar where everyone looks like they are on meth and the TV is on but it’s all grainy and is playing a show about unsolved murders."
And the worst part: “And the only wine they had was moscato and white zinfidel so I opt out.”
But Kevin didn’t pick up on her not drinking as a polite "I don't want to be here" gesture, and he orders ANOTHER beer, leaving Shelby to just sit there, scared for her life for the third time that evening.
Once they head back to civilization, Shelby realizes they’ve run out of things to talk about.
“Hey, can I play some music?” Shelby asked, tired of his country music.
“No, you’re songs are too girly, I can tell,” he said.
WELL...YOU’RE EVERYTHING IS TOO REDNECK, KEVIN.
So...rule of thumb: Don’t scare your date by drinking WHILE driving, cat-calling hookers, littering and bringing her to a meth-head bar.
Write that down, guys.
(I really thought we were trying to impress people, at least up until date five.)
As Shelby explains: “I mean, he was nice at the party, but then I started thinking about what my grandma would think."
“...Or my parents."
"...Or my friends.”
And that’s when Shelby decided to only date guys from above the Mason Dixion line.
Or the other side of the Mississippi.
Basically, whatever region he wasn’t.