That’s sweet, he’s letting me order first. Black coffee sounds good. Is black coffee a good date drink? Or is that more for business meetings?
Do I just want black coffee because it’s less caloric and I’m trying to stay healthy? But what is health other than just another societal construct ultimately based on conventional beauty standards — standards that differ based on gender, I might add. If I want to imbibe 1,000 calories of whipped cream and syrup, I’ll damn well do it! But what if all I want is just a black coffee?
But what if the desire for black coffee is just a feeble guise for what I truly crave: a venti s’mores frap with extra whip?
Wait. I’ve never had a frap in my life. Damn you, capitalism, bombarding my psyche with advertisements, telling me that true happiness comes from the products I buy as you shove them in my face (the way this asshole, for all I know, could be trying to shove his dick in my face some night in the not-too-distant future). What if I only want the frap because of the countless advertisements I’ve seen, tempting me, seducing me…
OR worse: I want the frap because of an erroneous stereotype of the liberated woman: She Who Devours What She Wants Without Shame. The woman who chugs milkshakes and stuffs her face with burgers because she defies typical, demure, calorie-counting femininity: the false counterpart to the stereotypical woman.
Wait. That’s not right. If I really do eat whatever I want, that means I can have the black coffee, and I’m allowed to not want the frap. I can’t believe I overlooked that. Am I a bad feminist?
Am I a bad feminist for being on a date with a (presumably) heterosexual, cis-gendered white man of the upper-middle class who most likely identifies with one of the Abrahamic religions (or atheism or agnosticism) and is from America and is Western European heritage and is close to me in age? AND drinks Starbucks.
Oh my God. I’m homophobic, transphobic, racist, classist, ageist, and I’m supporting big business! Who knows what else is wrong with me? How can I fix this? I must go on another date, yes. I’ll date a half-Black, half-Latinx trans-woman and we’ll go to a vegan café.
Oh no! That’s tokenism!! Fuck, I’ll be promoting structural discrimination by the sheer fact of my blatant nepotism toward minorities. It wouldn’t at all be an authentic gesture, which makes it all the worse.
I DON’T KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION!!!
Fuck. Fuck. Why did this fuckhead have to let me order first? If HE ordered first I’d have a point of reference. But he’d probably order a black coffee anyway. Was it sexist of me to presume that? What’s the word… misandrist. I really need to touch up the social justice vocab. God fucking dammit, I’m misandrist. But is it really my fault? Or the fault of the society that has instilled in me these harmful stereotypes of masculinity? So if I order the black coffee am I masculine? But I don’t want him to think of me as masculine. If I get the frap, will I seem feminine? Or like a bloated whale? Wait, there’s a double standard at work here! Why is the fucking black coffee sexy for him, but manly for me? Why does the frap make me a swine?
WHY IS MY NECK SO FUCKING ITCHY?
OK, simmer down. Here’s what you need to do. You need to clear you mind, and pick something, and order it. After I order and get this waterboarding session of a date over with, I will eradicate every social bias I have. (nice use of the word “eradicate.”) (Thanks, brain.)
Oh, gross. I think he’s checking out my tits while I’m trying to order. What a pig. That is no way to act on a date. But it does mean he likes my body… Am I encouraging objectification of women?
Wait a minute. Damn. The barista is super cute. And her eye makeup is on point. I’d like to get in those jeans.
Am I allowed to think that? Is that too objectifying? What have I judged her attractiveness on? Her eye makeup? Her body? Am I so superficial as to find a person’s beauty and attractiveness in the curve of her hips rather than her personality? Even as a bisexual woman—
I’ll figure that out later. I’ll just come to this Starbucks more often.
Let’s try being logical. Cut out emotion. You are a woman. You are naturally inclined to be more emotional. No, wait, I’m just gaslighting myself.
OK. You know what? Let’s make this simple and just get a frap.
Wait no, I want the coffee, I’m going to Gina’s tonight for dessert—
But I’m totally still allowed to get a frap, regardless.
COFFEE. YES. COFFEE. A TALL, BLACK COFFEE. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I WANT.
There we go. Phew. Glad that’s over with.
If he thinks I’m paying for my own coffee, I’ll rip him a new asshole.