Dating Etiquette

During my always too short lunch break I spent a few minutes surfing the blogosphere. As I had recently finished reading about the bear who wanted to be Mark Spitz I decided to wander over the domocile of the only bear I know that is circumsized.

Instead of the usual rants against Bush and company I found him discussing the story of a cheap date and decided to spend a few minutes reviewing the commentary there. The impetus for this story came from a story on Gawker which told the sordid tale of a man who has spent an enormous amount of money on dating.

When the BILL(S) came she sobered up fast. I caught a glimpse of hers, 5 drinks plus a little finger food $319.00 I think it was. She looked shocked and sick to her stomache when she saw 2 bills. Guess she thought I was buying. Think again…Her face was beat red and she was speechless. She left the bill on the table and excused herself for the restroom… Sure enough my date was heading out toward the front door. I slowly grabbed my coat as the waitress ran after her. Then security or a bellman grabbed her at the door and a small shouting match ensued. Can you imagine, she was trying to leave – without paying!

Now it has been a number of years since I was in the dating pool but I certainly remember the days in which I would find a young lady to take out on the town. In my younger and less graceful years my friends and I discussed the best places to go to impress our dates and engaged in typical male banter of how to best get her engines warmed up so that she would be receptive to a little affection.

Those of you who did nothing but go on shidduchim managed to avoid some of the comedy and calamity that this form of dating involved, but I digress.

We heard stories of gold diggers who our friends and older brothers warned us about dating. She would deign to dine with you provided you paid and if you paid then you might really pay in multiple ways.

It was generally understood that if you asked a woman out than you were responsible for taking care of the bills that evening, and thus began the dance. If you were like me and money was tight you strove to come up with ways to pay for a nice evening. You wanted to do something that was fun, that would allow you to show off your personality, make her laugh and hopefully impress her so that she would be interested in continuing to see you.

And if you had female friends you might even quiz them for their suggestions and ideas about what to do and what you could expect from such a date. And the reality was that there were always expectations and you hoped that her expectations matched your own.

I never went on a date such as described in the story above, but I did go on some in which I felt a little taken advantage of. They were moments in which I took out a girl who I was really into and very hopeful that the feelings were reciprocated. And though it may not be fair, I admit to expecting something to happen at the end of the evening and admit to being disappointed on a number of occasions.

During those moments I tried to remind myself that I had sisters and that my sisters were on the other side of the fence, but I couldn’t very well think about my sisters in the same terms as the women I was with and sometimes the hormonal overdrive won, at least as far as the thought process went.

That is, I was always good about not being pushy. I could keep that in the forefront and it was not a problem, but the thoughts and desires well……..

One of the reasons for making friends with women (among many) was that they knew other women and would set you up with their friends. They could also provide key advice on what to do with said friend on a date, but they also could really screw you up with advice as they often contradicted each other.

If nothing else I often found myself banging my head against the wall because I couldn’t make head or tail out of any of what they were saying.

So to end this ramble I finally found that the best and easiest way to date was to avoid the high pressure date night until after we had spent some time together doing more casual things. It took away the pressure and made it all more enjoyable.

Still I can look at this story and smile and thank all that is holy that I was never dumb enough to spend that kind of cash on a date. What a waste.

Besides, if she needs to drink a case of beer to spend time with me I am out with the wrong girl.

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