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Night Spies 

We are at After Hours at the Art Institute.

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I've been here on several occasions. My second time here, it was getting toward the end of the evening and I met this woman on the staircase, and right away we seemed to have a rapport going and we're being a little flirtatious. I invite her to go to this bar. She says that would be great, and at the bar we have a great time. We go back to her place, and we're sitting there having good conversation. I don't want to be presumptuous--I don't want to be all over her. Maybe we want to take it slower. But things are looking good. Feminism comes up, and I say, "There were a lot of feminists at Vassar, where I went to undergrad school." She says, "You're talking about feminists with words like 'they' instead of 'us' and 'we.'" We start getting into a political argument--it's now about five o'clock in the morning. I'm getting a little aggravated when she abruptly says, "I think you should leave." I apologize, but she's insistent. Maybe she just wanted to be kissed, and if I'd just gone for it things would have turned out better. It was a great example of a night that had so much promise and went completely into the dump.

--Tom Balazs, English professor

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