Sometimes, Despite Your Best Efforts….

and Peter Pan collar, things like this happen.

I went to a screenwriting panel this week, composition notebook in hand, poignant questions at the ready, joke for Graham Yost rehearsed (it totally landed, btw!). I was sitting in a row by myself when I was approached by this RBP.

I know he was an RBP not just because he was black, but because when he introduced himself to me, the next thing he said was “Yo, how you learn to be so articulate  like that. You talk so clear and proper. Where your from?”

The above quote is true. I wish to God I were kidding.

I wanted to say “well, I like to be heard and understood, so you know, it kind of comes with the territory.”

But instead I just smiled and laughed and tossed my head to the side the way you do when you want to politely move on from the subject at hand.

For some unholy reason, we exchanged business cards. He said he was a comedian working on a documentary and might need writers, so I gave in.

Then, the next day, I got this call: (translations are in parentheses)

Him: Hey,  yo, it’s R— from last night.

TOE: Hi.

Him: What’s up?

TOE: I’m finishing up work, about to head out.

Him: That’s cool. So what’s going on?

TOE: Nothing much. (Didn’t I just answer this?)

Him: Okay, cool….

(beat)

TOE: So, you called?

Him: Yeah, I’ve got a show tonight. Wondered if you wanted to go to it?”

(Here’s where I think “Did we not establish last night that maybe Oreo and “why you talk so proper guy” might not be hang out buddies?” But instead, I decide to just re-emphasize my Oreoness and let him do the math.)

TOE: I can’t tonight. I’m going to a friend’s show.

Him: What kind of show?

TOE: (he’ll get it now!) It’s a Victorian Synthpunk bank with some Steampunk belly dancing.

The guys dress like this at these shows. I somehow doubt "you talk proper" guy has goggles. (Thank you Angelus-Knight for the photo!)

Him: Ohhhh

(Whew! Dodged that–)

Him: What about tomorrow night?

TOE: I’ve got a gin tasting.

(okay, surely now he’ll–)

Him: Saturday?

TOE: Swing dancing.

(are you effing kidd–)

Him: Sunday?

TOE: Renaissance Faire.

Him: Hmm. Okay. Well, maybe I’ll just send you these sketches and see what you think.

TOE: Sounds good!

It’s nice to see that following the rules and sounding Oreo distress calls does work, even if it takes more time than it should.

What about you? How do you politely (or impolitely) decline invitations? Let us know in the comments!

Also, while I’m glad people are still having the “why do you talk so white” conversation–because it’s pretty much the basis for two years of blogging–But seriously? We’re still having the “why do you talk so white” conversation? I mean c’mon, help me up my game! Talking white is like Oreo skill #1. Give me a challenge, people!

*****************************

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!
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15 comments

  1. I have recieved job offers from all sorts, from the very proper to the most common of folk. But I never ever give my card to a person I wouldnt want to be around… I get that he may have been, and may still be a source of possible income. But if you find yourself going through all of that to avoid social interaction then you may want to abort.

    Most RBP as you call us, tend to try and form friendships with the people they work with. Probably why he approached you. He saw a black woman and figured she would cut him some slack and work with him, cuz he knows he is not the most refined and didnt want to work with folks who would take his money then laugh at him behind his back… or he just thought you were cute… I really don’t know… 🙂

    also why would anyone put victorian in the title of a show with steampunk… I mean if its steampunk its obviously victorian…

    and I have told you before – your activties don’t make you white, just dorky as heck and gin tasting? what are you 75 years old?

  2. Synthpunk band with steampunk belly danceing?! OMG who are they, do they have a website or videos?!

    I have yet to learn the art of politely declining socialization. Mostly I end up just dodging calls, emails, etc. Or if they catch me unawares, I’ll say I have to go and I’ll call them back. And then I don’t call them back. I’m kind of passive-aggressive.

    That initial exchange you had with him reminded me of 7th grade out in California. Where for some reason it was “not cool” to use polysyllabic words. It was okay to get straight As, in fact that was expected, but you shouldn’t sound like you could. I really didn’t understand those people.

  3. I think you handled it quite well. If Mr. RBF/OED calls you again, then you just stay all business; that should do the trick. I cannot imagine him calling again since he went 0 for 12 in asking you out on the first phone call, but he sounds admirably courageous so he just might do it.
    I will say, though, that accepting all dates, unless they are just complete weirdos that make you fear for your safety, is never a bad idea. Case in point: Ralph Donaldson. He was the dorky guy your freshman year who you had no attraction to and thought was a dungeon and dragons tool box but ended up falling head over heels in love with by junior year. Freshman year you hardly talked.Then, sophomore year you both got paired up on a chemistry lab, and over a few chemical tests and lab write-ups, he really started to make you laugh. You all ended up getting along famously and, low and behold, you started to gain a serious attraction to him. By junior year you all were going steady and the rest is history (a silly metaphor, but you get my drift).
    Dating, though, does not allow us to discover our Ralph Donaldsons. We usually make quick decisions, denying 85% of the single population on G.P. and then tapping out another 10% after the first date. That leaves us with a 5% population to find chemistry, compatibility, and attraction in a restricted complex of planned dating. Tough odds.
    Human beings can grow on us, as can our potential lovers. I always tell folks to accept all dates and even allow for a second and third, unless it was just horrible and/or dangerous. We do not have the consistency of school anymore to grow & find our Ralph Donaldson gems so we need to create a mini-version of that in the dating world. “Beware ‘lest you entertain dating angles unaware.”
    So who knows, maybe your RBP/OED could be your knight in shining armor or just a good pal who hooks you up on a comedy documentary or just be a complete tool box. But in order to find out, you got to be open to it. In the words of Miles from Risky Business, “Sometimes you gotta say “What The Fu%#.”

    1. I dontknow… sounds romantic and all. But I think Aydrea should cut this one loose and wait until she finds a person she actually wants to be around… Life is too shorrt to work with people you don’t like… and none of us are getting younger. Obviously by putting the guy on blast online like this she has little to no respect for him… I mean everyone would be better off seprately at this point… I mean why get to know who anyone is, when the surface is all that matters… that is what this site is about… right?

      1. I think that’s a little harsh…having little to no respect for someone is stating their name, using insults and maybe even posting a picture of them you found on facebook with an MS paint arrow pointing to their head saying “Look at this guy!” But here she’s merely recalling a personal experience. She wasn’t too descriptive, so the guy could be any average guy you meet on the street.
        About dating, I agree with Christian Anderson to an extent. If you meet someone who you are not attracted to whatsoever then there’s no point in going out with them (except maybe to placate a friend or family member who’s trying to set you up with them). But if there’s something a spark then yes, by all means find out if it goes somewhere. People do grow on your over time, but at the same time there’s no reason to take four years to see if it goes anywhere. Time’s a tickin!

        1. for all I know Aydrea and the guy are working together and its all in fun and games between the two… I know she is not a bad person for real… but she does play a horrible character on this site and thats the person I am usually commenting toward.

    2. I actually did get a date once from a guy who I wrote about on the blog. It didn’t work out in the end, but we’re still friends and hang out from time to time. 🙂

  4. After synthpunk band with steampunk bellydancing I burst into laughter and was scared to scroll down any further. lol. Well I was half laughing, half on the verge of tears because it hit so close to home. :-/ I actually think it was brave of you to say that (and to throw other typically white events at him when he persisted). I would have felt too out of place and maybe a bit ashamed for being that different and actually expressing it. I’m a peace-loving (rather confrontation-fearing) person and for two worlds to collide like that is the total opposite of any situation I’d want to find myself in.
    Lucky for me, I have a black bf who totally gets me and would accompany me to a Renaissance fair in a heartbeat, sassy Moorish wench that I am! 🙂

  5. Oh you poor thing!!! Maybe he thinks that he can “rehabilitate” you somehow. Otherwise, he seems like a potential stalker. Be careful….

  6. Aydrea used to ask me to go see shows she was in all the time… I am almost certain they were not romantic invites… right?… right?…. oh gosh, I never went to see her shows, I blew it with a oreo hottie… The writing was on the wall and I never even knew!… lol 🙂

  7. “No, thank you”, works – unless it doesn’t.
    In that case use, “You cannot afford me.”.

  8. Oh my! Thank you for these oreo distress calls. I have the worst luck with RBP…especially guys like “Why do you talk so articulate” guy. Now if only I could find a nice guy these days who is into ballet and opera. I live in Tacoma…ugh, too many RBP around lol.

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