Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dating 101

In response to QS. Gemini's list of dating dos and don'ts, and the posts it spawned here and here, we present to you ladies and gentlemen, an alternate point of view. Note, we do not say right or wrong (although we might think some points are), we say, 'alternate'.

Why we're doing this is a bit of a mystery since our dating days are far behind us (and this is said with a ninety-ten mix of relief and regret), but we felt it was necessary to mention that QSG's list is QSG's list; different women, different lists.

In blue, we have snippets from QSG's post, the rest is our response to it.

1. He doesn't pick you up. Now, we all have cars, and its not about gas prices. There is something romantic about him picking you up and getting the door for you.

We don't expect him to. If he happens to be in the vicinity, then sure, drop by and pick us up but it's a bit unfair to ask him to drive half-way across town just to pick us up and then drive back all the way to the intended date-destination.

If the date ends at a late hour, or specifically at an hour we don't feel completely safe travelling alone, then we expect to be dropped home. Note, this is a situation specific to India. We don't think this would apply to the US/UK (again, this is an assumption based on what we've heard from women-friends who have lived in these two countries)

We've never consciously thought about whether or not doors are being held open for us; you reach the door, you open it. What's with the waiting? The few times we have had doors held open for us, we have been a little startled and quite amused (in an 'oh how quaint but sweet' kind of way).

We do NOT like having chairs pulled out for us. We're always a little wary of the timing; will he manage to position the chair before our butt descends on it? Will we end up sitting on half a chair? What if the chair doesn't make it on time? What if we end up on the floor?! *sigh* It's a situation that's just *so* much better avoided.

2. He picks a cheap restaurant.

A preferred situation would be if the destination is mutually decided upon. Economics is irrelevant. We'd be equally happy walking along bandstand munching channas, as we'd be at The Saltwater Grill. We think we'd like the channas at bandstand more, though.

If it is a place that the gentleman has chosen, the only requisites are that it should NOT be shady (as in, dark, dingy, with a predominantly drunken male clientele) and said gentleman should be familiar with it.

3. He expects you to pay, or decides to go dutch. Now, I am very independent and make okay money and take care of myself. But, am still old fashioned enough to want my man to take care of me. Is it so bad?

Errr...we think so. We really, really do not want to be taken care of...or, not this way at least. It's in situations like this that the rabid feminist* (as opposed to the normal everyday feminist) in us wakes up and goes berserk. We feel genuinely squirmy and uncomfortable if we're, well...paid for (We know, we know. NOT reasonable, but we *did* say rabid feminist didn't we?).

4. He dresses poorly. Like him to look sharp. Does not mean wearing and showing off every label he has (Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren - seriously, get over it!)

This is venue-dependent. It would be *most* horrifying if he showed up in designer togs (and we don't like soppy fops anyway) for a walk along Bandstand. It is more important that he be comfortable in whatever he's wearing. Seriously, we would have a lot more respect (and affection) for a man who can walk into a posh restaurant in jeans, a t-shirt and floaters, and feel completely at home.

Any donned clothes however, *must* be clean (no last night's pizza toppings and no, NO sweat stains!). Gentlemen wearing said clothes should (preferably) be showered, shaved (unless you can carry off ze sexy stubble) and at the very least, deodorised.

5. Tries to get too touchy feely. Now, seriously, back off! Women can be very irresistible, but some self control is good!

Agree completely. We know women are often accused of sending out mixed signals as far as the touchy-feely issue goes, but though they might be subtle, the signs (green or red) are there. It is important that said gentleman knows how to read them.

6. Is too cheap to order dessert. Now that is the best part of the meal. That's all I can say!

Maybe he just doesn't *like* dessert? We know we don't. And if you want dessert, then you can go right ahead and order can't you? It is highly unlikely that he will stop you.

7. Ogles at cleavage - yours or someone else's!

Get up and walk out. This is not just a dating no-no, this is NOT someone you want to be with.

8. Boring. Boring. Boring.

Tough one. While carrying on a conversation is your responsibility as well, if you've tried and failed, then maybe you're just not suited to each other. We know we're positively *dead* boring to some people, and too-bubbly-for-our-own-good, to others.

9. Questions include whether or not you have a green card, how much you make, can you cook, do you like to do dishes...etc...duh!

Get up and walk out. Unless of course, you're terribly proud of your green card, how much money you make and doing dishes is a hobby with you (in which case, congratulations! You've found your man!). We like to cook but it seriously pisses us off if we are asked whether or not we can*. Especially if the asker cannot, and insists on making inane statements like, "Oh I can eat!". You can! Ya don't say! You are SO cool!


* Again, a wake-up call for the rabidly feministic us. Again, not really reasonable. We mean, we wouldn't be annoyed if he asked us if we liked painting (or anything else). But this question (in our head) just reeks of gender stereotyping.

10. Eyes clearly suggest that he is desperately looking to get laid. Only.

Get up and walk out. Unless that's what you're looking to as well and, well it's all okay then, isn't it?

All that said, when we were dating, our filters were C&H and Terry Pratchett. And we're happy to say, they worked just fine. We have never regretted dating any of the filtered-through, although the memories of the rest of the dated send us running down the what-the-HELL-were-you-thinking-woman-road.

Ah well! You're only young and foolish once. Thankfully.


Beth said...

Genius. Let me add some comments from a US perspective.
1. This is absurd. Not only is it pointless to wait around for someone to pick you up, giving you extra things to worry about, it's safer to have your own way to and from any place. Carpooling is good, though, and like you say, if it's on the way, why not. I've never been able to organize the chair thing either. I worry I'll just fall on the floor or knock over the table or something. Too complicated.
2. Agreed. Decide together and be safe.
3. Yes, it is bad to expect to be paid for. Be a grownup and be responsible for yourself. I'm berserk too, and I think it's perfectly reasonable. Money and power are way too intimate to be paid for.
4. Clothes schmothes. As long as you thought about it and you're not filthy, it's fine. You may have stubble if you are Abhishek or similar. Personally I do not, not, not prefer beards, but everyone I meet lately has one, so I'm surrendering.
5. And when in doubt, ask. Read carefully. And like the restaurant, decide together.
6. Exactly. Get your own damn cake.
7. Agreed.
8. Agreed.
9. It does reek of gender stereotyping. And subservience. Bah!
10. Agreed. And eyes might be the least of your concerns.

Many of these smack of The Rules and are therefore uber-creepy and harmful to each gender's perceptions of the other. Why can't we all just treat each other as humans and let the rest of it go?

And if your dating days are behind you, what does that mean for our little tiff? Aha! Plus I found out he can cook, and I can't imagine he would ever ogle or grab. Although I also imagine there is something even more surprisingly delightful lurking beneath the calm, bright, charming surface....

Ph said...

Sounds so tiring. I say, pick the place, pick me up, pay for me, make yourself look delicious and look at me like I am delicious too. Heck, I've known him for 17 years, I deserve all of this!

Falstaff said...

You were using C&H and Terry Pratchett as a filter? And that actually eliminated people? Doesn't EVERYONE read C&H?

Hmmm. Come to think of it, this might explain why people who hear about my Derek Walcott screen tell me I'm too picky.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Beth: Well, seeing that we agree on *almost* everything, perhaps an arrangement concerning A Certain Young Man can be arrived at? ;D

I haven't read The Rules, but it seems I haven't missed much.

Ph: Seventeen years??! You deserve all that, and *more*. :)

Falstaff: You'd be suprised. I came across people who actually made statements like, "I don't like cartoons" and "Six year olds don't talk like that!". So yes, the filters a charm, I might add.

Also, they weren't the *only* ones; just the preliminaries. :D

And Derek Walcott?? I was told *I* was being too picky!

Jax said...

I score so poorly on points 1 to 4 that if all women were like Q.S Gemini... I would have been one frustrated man indeed...
Thank god for the others...!

Parijat said...

Any tips on how to *find* a date in the first place?

Virgo Guy said...

why is it that if the man has lust in his eyes women feel he is not dateable material ... or is it that lust in women is so conditioned that they chose to ignore that feeling ... why does the man always "get laid" why does not he "give laid" or something similar ...

dipanjan said...

its good to find people still givin serious thoughts to the dos and donts of datein....otherwise it had been cliched so very much....and i was thinkin the hollywood ways of odd datein is in vouge

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Salsette: Errr...*all* of point 4? Even the deodorising?! Worrying, that.

I can't speak for all women, but I think a man who smells nice is infinitely sexier than one who doesn't.

And ummm...thank you for dropping by. :)

Parijat: Is this difficult? I mean, in my day we just asked. You know, the do-you-want-to-go-for-a-movie/drink/walk kind of thing. :)

Not much help there, was I? Sorry!

Virgo Guy:
Perhaps it's because a date, by definition, is about getting to know the other person. It's about conversation and interaction; if it leads to sex (by mutual consent) then that's a different story. But it's difficult to have a conversation with someone who is obviously not interested in it.

> Getting laid
I think it's a simple matter of demand and supply. :)

And about your comment on my writing, you're absolutely spot on. I'll work on it.

Chronicus Skepticus said...


Welcome! :)

What are the 'Hollywood Ways of Odd Dating'? Also, is dating trend based nowadays?? This new generation I tell you...!

PP said...

Its too much trouble to date. Seriously. We are better off, meeting people at work, or in the gym or wherever and then hanging out for a beer or movie.

Any more formal and its stifling.

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

All very wise and sensible, but if I wanted dull advice I'd read the HT supplement and not your blog. Snap out of it, get interesting again. Who said anything about getting real?

IdeaSmith said...

Yuzz yuzz yuzz, I so totally agree! Thenk yew for documenting them helps to be reminded.

Chronicus Skepticus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chronicus Skepticus said...

PP: Yeah, that's so much more fun too!

Couch: 1. That's pressure, that is!
2. As much as I hate to admit it (and that's a whole lot), you have a point. And this had so much potential too...damn! I hate it when you're right!

Smithy:'s been a while. How are ya?