Epilogue: The Time I Dated Mel Gibson’s “Brother” (There’s More)

I forgot part of the story. It hit me today during a chat on Twitter revolving around the missed opportunity to go FULL THUNDERDOME while on a date with Mel Gibson’s (Older, Not As Good Looking) Brother. For those of you who were not alive in the 80s, or who just don’t know what going FULL THUNDERDOME is like, it goes something like this:

After I ditched “Mel Gibson’s Older (Not As Good Looking) Brother” at the café, which felt like this:

I came home, showered off the smell of disaster, and opened my email.

Oh, no.

OH, YES.

Now, I know what you’re thinking and, no, he did not send me a picture of Little Mel.

That happened on a different night, different guy.

He wrote to talk about what a wonderful time he had…

K…

And how I was at my most beautiful when my personality was …soft.

I don’t know what he meant by that, really. My best guess is that, as a misogynist with Hitler issues, he meant those moments when I wasn’t having an opinion. Or starting a war somewhere.

And my reply went a lot like this:

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The Time I Met The Man Who Hates Peanut Butter

The first thing you need to know about me (and especially for this story) is that I love peanut butter.

It’s creamy.

It’s delicious.

It’s American.

We can argue the virtues of crunchy vs. creamy some other time (that deserves a post of its own and probably a debate panel and maybe local news coverage). What we cannot dispute is that peanut butter is the all-American treat that has no equal.

I met a guy at a café (again).

I should probably stop meeting guys at coffee shops. You’d think I’d learn…

Nice enough guy. Cute enough. We were having a lovely conversation, actually. It was both misogyny and racism free, which is always great, always a plus.

I’m scared of ghosts. Particularly ghosts who wear disturbing pointy hats…

Your guard is lowering, I can feel it. So was mine! Finally, a date that wasn’t going to end with me trying to escape the table like Steve McQueen!

And then he said: “I hate peanut butter.”

Without provocation, mind you. You can’t just put that out there without having to explain it. It’s like saying “The moon landing never happened.”

And, being me, I couldn’t help myself. I looked at him, obviously concerned for his mental health and stability. “Are you allergic?”

“No.”

“Is it the texture? I don’t like crunchy either…”

“No. I just don’t like it. I can’t have it in the house.”

“So, if you were in a relationship with a person…”

You see where I’m going, don’t you…

“… and that person loved peanut butter…”

“It wouldn’t work out. It’s the peanut butter or me.”

Silence.

“Well, that’s a dealbreaker then.”

We tried to talk around it for the next five minutes. He also stated, for the record, that he never goes north of 12th Street.

That’s ok. Everyone in Austin knows that everything north of 12th Street is PEANUT BUTTER COUNTRY.

The Time I Dated Mel Gibson’s (Older, Not As Good Looking) Brother

Ok, so Mel Gibson’s Older And Not As Good Looking Brother was probably not actually Mel Gibson’s brother. There would have been name-dropping to go with the misogyny and antisemitism, for starters, and a much better accent.

It started like this. I was in line for a “B Scene” event at The Blanton Museum. Happens every first Friday of the month. I’m in a cute pink skirt with a black top and black ruffle pumps. This particular “B Scene” event was for a 1950s – 1960s art and design exhibit, like ‘Mad Men’ without the cigarettes. And regret. (I thought, at the time.)

This older gentlemen, older than I am anyway — I’ll be kind and say somewhere in the mid-50s started chatting me up about the exhibit, how someone of my youth could be familiar with Eames, et cetera. I should have known then. So this goes on while I’m in line and he’s in line. Eventually this somewhat professorial gentleman lets it be known that he’s a WRITER. And he’d like to meet me for coffee. Oh, and bring along a snippet of your favorite poem.

Is that like an artist saying to a girl: hey, baby, come and see my etchings?

So I’m a “nothing ventured, nothing gained” sort of girl. I’ll give it a go, you know? So I said sure. I accepted.

I’m an idiot.

I met him at this small cafe on West Lynne. I had my poem in my head. I had another one just in case this actually turned out to be an interesting evening.

Oh, it was interesting alright…

Inside of half an hour, he professed the following:

  1. Women belong in the kitchen, not in the workplace.
  2. Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.
  3. He’s only a “writer” if you count writing hate mail messages to a science fiction author.

Oh my God, I said to myself: I am on a date with Mel Gibson’s older, poorer, not half as good looking brother.

I was half on, half off my chair, trying to slide out of it and right on out the door. It took me another fifteen minutes or so to get free. And this was after my phone “alarm” went off.

…Thank my conniving little brain that I always set an alarm on my phone to go off within the first thirty minutes of a date (or first hour if I really dug you), to give me an escape hatch…

Which I, of course, took.

And the poem I chose? A translation of Catullus:
“I don’t care to have dinner with you, Caesar. I don’t care to learn the very first thing about you.”

I should have played the lottery that night.