Somehow dates are better when she’s five minutes late. I guess the extra effort she puts in to get ready, pays off. But this time, the effort to enhance beauty was a bit more than just the makeup.
‘Sorry I was a bit late’, she started. ‘I just got botox.’
With her alt-hippie, stylish appearance at 27, she didn’t seem to be the type to want that.
‘Yeah I’m a nursing student. A friend needed a test subject to practice on.’
Ah, I thought. That explains a lot. I still couldn’t get a feel for what she’s like, but at least she’s different and open-minded.
‘Guess you’re frowning upon that’ she continued, ‘well I can’t do that anymore anyway…’
Ok, she’s got a sense of humour. A dad-joke, but a good one.
‘You’re a comedian, right? I read it from your profile. You could totally use this date for your next routine. And then I’ll be like, I’m that girl whom he based that joke on!’
‘That’d be funny, but I can’t really do that’, I replied. ‘Then the audience will easily perceive that as degrading women or their beauty. It’s a fine line that’s easily crossed. Even if you don’t intent the joke to be degrading. People just judge automatically’.
‘Yeah you have a point’, she said, ‘even when it’s a true story?’
‘People can’t tell if it truly happened. The audience presumes you made it up regardless’
‘True.’ She nodded, sipping away her cocktail with a frozen forehead. ‘So what else have you got to make fun of? You’re obviously white, and straight, so you can’t go down that route, hmmmm what else? You’ve got an education, right?’
‘Yes, I also got that’
‘Well, then you can’t use the perspective of being marginalised either.’
‘Nah I can’t indeed. I only have being a foreigner as a drawing card to make fun of. That’s about it.’
‘How about your family? Are your parents still together?’ she was really trying hard to find something for me to make fun of. After all, a comedian can only punch upwards, maybe sideways, but never downwards. Audiences love a laugh, but are meticulously judgy.
‘They are separated. But I always maintained a warm connection with my dad and I have a good relationship with my stepdad as well.’
‘Hmmm that doesn’t give you something to make fun of either’ she said in a saddened voice. ‘I’m really sorry. It must be hard for you to topics for comedy if you’re straight, white, educated and from a good family. It’s tough for you trying to be a comedian.’
She took another sip from her cocktail, her head staying immaculate both in happy and sad modus.
‘Are there any dots on my forehead?’ she asked. ‘From the needles.’
‘Nope I can’t see any.’
‘I’m so sorry you can’t use this date for a comedy routine! It would have been hilarious. Girl walks in after botox and can’t even express the emotions in her face! What a funny start. Can’t you just twist it?’
Yeah maybe. But then it’ll be perceived as I’m making fun of metro-men doing botox.’
‘Nah that doesn’t work either. I’m so sorry for you. With your background you’re not really equipped to become a comedian… are you sure you want to pursue this?’
At least she had great humour. At one point she made me believe for a second that she worked as a stripper at Showgirls in Kings Cross. Just to see how I would react. ‘Very well handled’ she said. At least you’ve got a thing for being correct. Not that it makes you funny, but still good on you.’
She offered me a lift home. Was it out of romance, or perhaps just kindness, or outright pity?
On the way to her car she warned me it’s an ugly colour orange car, she only took it because her menopausal neighbor from back in the country side didn’t need it anymore.
‘Menopausal women tend to like block colors, it’s a thing,’ she tried to explain, ‘and students like me are happy with whatever we can get.’
‘Like ugly cars and free botox.’
‘Exactly. And free dating apps. Guess you can’t make fun of menopausal women either?’
‘That topic would be under the same scrunity indeed.’
‘Yeah I’m really sorry for you. So many topics you can’t write comedy for.’
It quickly got clear she drove me home out of pity or maybe kindness, definitely not for romance. But it was a fun date. And even though I could never use the topics she mentioned on stage, she made it to the blog.
This blog post is anonimised and published with permission of the date.