The Language of Love Does Have Borders | Valentine's Day | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Valentine's Day

The Language of Love Does Have Borders

"Well, you don't know the language. How are you going to talk to people?"

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

[Romance is for suckers]

We asked readers to submit their least romantic stories for our Valentine's Day issue. To read the other tales of woe and regret, see the rest of our (almost) romance-free ode to Valentine's Day.

A couple years ago, I reentered the dating world after about a year of being attached. For the record, I'm not good at dating. I'm terribly shy. So as many people do, I turned to OkCupid. After a couple days, I had a date set up. The girl seemed nice based on the e-mails and text messages we exchanged.

The date began at a Mexican restaurant, where the conversation went pretty well. After we finished eating, we decided to head back to my place to watch a movie and hang out. (Yes, we were only there to watch a movie and hang out. I wasn't planning on anything else happening, you perverts.) As the movie played, we talked a bit more and eventually the topic turned to how I would like to move to London at some point.

And that's where things went bad.

After I told her I wanted to move to London, she asked, "Well, do you know any foreign languages?"

Now, I'm not sure why she'd ask that, but I thought maybe she was simply a subject jumper. You know the type­—the ones who randomly jump from topic to topic during conversation. So I didn't think too much of it when I responded, "Well, I took some Spanish in high school and college and could probably hold my own in a Spanish-speaking country. Why do you ask?"

She responded with this: "Well, then how are you going to get along in London?"

To which I said, "I won't have a problem."

Her response: "But how are you going to live there if you don't know the language?"

Crap.

"Wait … what?" I asked.

"Well, you don't know the language. How are you going to talk to people?" she responded.

Double crap.

I said, "They speak English over there. Wait, what language did you think they spoke?"

Her response: "I don't know. French or something?"

Crap! Crap! Crap!

At this point, obviously, the date had to end. But there was a problem. She had no car. And I had agreed to drive her home. I put my brain into overdrive and eventually settled on the tried-and-true "Well, it's getting late and I'm pretty tired," followed by a big yawn. It didn't work. So I waited ten minutes and tried again. Still nothing. Finally, after another ten minutes, it seemed to work. We headed to the car, I took her home. She tried to call me a couple days later, I ignored her. Ignored her again when she called the day after that.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment