The Offensive Side of Dating

Author: Single. Approachable. Girl.
September 10, 2011

Unfortunately for me, I’m not referring to a line of scrimmage.

The well-documented “other-race effect” finds that people are less likely to remember a face from a racial group different from their own. Northwestern University researchers set out to determine what causes this rift in perception and memory by using electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, which measure brain activity, while participants viewed photos of various faces.


The Northwestern team found that brain activity increases in the very first 200 to 250 milliseconds upon seeing both same-race and other-race faces. To their surprise, however, they found that the amplitude of that increased brain activity only predicts whether an other-race face (not a same-race face) is later remembered. (Clues to Why ‘They’ All Look Alike, Northwestern University News Center June 30, 2011)

Now, we can begin the story…

So I was at wedding #4 of 7 this weekend in Portland. It was the first wedding of the season with single guys in attendance and as one of the only single girls, I think the pressure may have gotten to me.

The bride thoughtfully put 3 single guys at my table and I thoughtlessly sat down between 2 couples. Total fumble. Two of the guys were very attractive, metro-sexual-looking Asian guys. While it was a tad awkward speaking across the table, we had some decent dinner banter, mostly revolving around how I bogarted all the family-style vegetables, leaving them with very little roughage.

Cut to the dance floor. I was a bit of a dancing fool and found myself heading across the floor to my two dinner partners. They were great dancers and since I was solo, it only made sense we dance together. As I danced with one of the guys, he said something about dinner and I replied with an apology about eating all of the broccoli.

He looked at me confused.

S.A.G.: You know. How I took all of the vegetables at dinner. Sorry about that.

Dancing partner: I wasn’t sitting at your dinner table. I was at the next table over.

Open mouth. Insert foot.

I sort of brushed it off by blaming it on the a-a-a-a-a-a-alcohol and attempted to avoid all metro-sexual Asian guys at the reception. All dancing, no talking from that point on.

Cut to the after party. One of the guys comes up to me and I offer to buy him a Stella. He accepts and as soon as I hand it to him he says: “So I hear you’re having a hard time differentiating the Asians.”

S.A.G. (blank stare/speechless)

Let’s recap:

1. I mixed up at least 2 Asian dudes at the wedding

2. They spoke about it

3. One of them called-me out on it

4. He waited until I had already bought him a beer to do so

S.A.G.: Well. I would defend myself but honestly, I’m not sure who you are. I’m sorry? Enjoy the Stella.

If only that were the end of my story. Cut to my date with Guy #1 that following Tuesday…

You may remember that I had stood him up the week before, so I was genuinely trying to be on my best behavior on this make up date. As we had a drink, I figured I would test out my Asian confusion story (I typically like to tell a story 2-3 times before blogging it out). He laughed a lot and then requested that I guess his race.

S.A.G.: No.

Guy #1: No, really. Guess my ethnicity.

S.A.G.: That is a horrible idea.

Guy #1: Seriously. I promise you can’t offend me. Go on.

S.A.G.: (Wishing he had asked the more common, lame guessing question, “how old do you think I am?”) Oh dear. Well…I suppose I would say Hispanic…or Polynesian.”

Guy #1 nodded as though it was what he expected to hear.

S.A.G.: ….or Eskimo.

His face dropped and he looked super confused.

Guy #1: Eskimo? OK. Wow. I guess you can offend me.

S.A.G.: Oh shit.

Guy #1: What would make you say Eskimo?

S.A.G.: Please don’t ask me that. It’s really random.

Guy #1: Oh come on. It’s too late now.

S.A.G.: It’s just that…I just got back from Portland. And, well, I flew Alaskan Airlines…

Guy #1: And you think I look like the guy on the tail of the plane?!?

S.A.G.: I just…

Guy #1: I’m Latino

Then he goes in for the kiss and asks me for a second date. Apparently my offensive comment (which he forced out of me, btw) was a turn on? I respectfully declined. Not because he’s not Eskimo. Because the kiss was inappropriately out of left field, and not in a good way.

**Before writing hate replies about how offensive I am, please refer back to the research at the opening of this post.


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5 Responses to “The Offensive Side of Dating”

  1. Jourdan Says:

    reminds me of….

  2. Single. Approachable. Girl. Says:

    Not sure how I feel about being compared to Michael Scott. Oh dear.

  3. Oy vey maria Says:

    I’m still crying about the Eskimo comment ( in combination w the picture). And sorry but this was totally like that episode if the office! So awesome. Eskimo, I mean, really??? :)

  4. Jen Says:

    OM to the G. This was quite possibly the most hilarious thing I’ve ever read. And I know that peeps throw around the term hilarious but I was laughing so hard that I was crying and my stomach is hurting.

    I’ve had your blog in my RSS for a long long time and have never commented. I’ve actually never commented on a blog ever in my life. I’m single and dangerously close to thirty. I cling to these posts and actively try to get the nerve to put myself out there more as you do. Keep it up.

    Love it!

  5. Caroline Says:

    I JUST found your blog now and I’m loving it! I’m single, young, and dating…yea, you know the story, which is why I love your blog. Anyways, as a Canadian born Chinese girl…you’re not the only one who has trouble differentiating between Asian guys! Without being too offensive I hope — some of them do start to blend into one another in terms of looks.