The Art of Eavesdropping on an Awkward Date

I had every intention of doing a “postcards” style post of the favorite reading spots I’ve found in Boston, although that is probably interesting only to me because I read there and my mother because she gave birth to me and is forced to be interested in what I say. So instead, I am going to share with you a story about just how intrusive I can accidentally be.

Recently, on the eve of a rainy day, I made my way up to Harvard Square in order to acquire some rain boots from a nearby shop. As when I make any excursion to a new place, I hopped online beforehand to see if there were any good coffeeshops around there – during my unemployment period, I delighted in playing “America’s Next Top Coffeeshop” and trying out all the ones in my neighborhood, partly because I adore sitting in a cozy cafe reading and partly because it gave me a reason to leave the house. Lo and behold, I found a charming little place called Tealuxe around the corner.

I could go on and on about Tealuxe itself, a wonderful little teashop with a huge selection of teas, tea drawers stacked up to the ceiling, and the most wonderful aromas a tea-lover could ask for. But the real part of my experience was the possibly-a-couple on a possibly-a-date in the corner.

Let it be known that this is a tiny shop and they were speaking very loudly. One cannot help but overhear. To the best I could determine, they were either on a first date going really well or a second date — they clearly felt comfortable with each other and had good rapport, but were still trading pretty basic life information.


At first, their conversation was SO typically Harvard I actually rolled my eyes and thought, “HARVARD. Apparently not just clam bakes and trips to the Cape.” They were talking about, like, social darwinisms and the pros and cons of democratic republics and the current flaws in our governmental system or whatever. Either way, they knew how to sound lofty and important.

And then… it got a little weird. From social darwinism, they started talking about their own personalities (they are both introverts technically but consider themselves ambiverts) and different personality tests one can take to determine where you fall on the introvert-extravert scale. Still interesting but they kept going onnnn and onnnn.

And then, I don’t even know how, they fall into talking about various bodily ailments they have and, I kid you not, the woman said, “Yeah, I highly recommend custom orthopedic shoes, they really help me.”


I left before they did so unfortunately I cannot say how the date turned out, but if you feel comfortable enough throwing down the custom orthopedic line that early in a relationship, then more power to you, sister.

And in case anyone is wondering, I later went back and took that test to determine where fall on the introvert/extravert scale. I’m 45% an extravert/55% an introvert, which totally makes sense. Thank you, awkward daters, for introducing it to me.