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It's A Date Then?

Purely for my amusement, I Googled the word 'Date' - It's been so long since I've had one, I just had to be sure I was on par with the rest of the world. I couldn't help but snigger when I saw this definition: "A Date : The one thing you can't get if you're on this website", but what captured my attention the most was this, and it was by far the most profound definition I have come across and also forms the basis of what I believe in, offered by user 'kyopo82' (27 August, 2006) on Urban Dictionary ,"A lost art, virtually nonexistent in the 21st Century. Replaced by casual meetings for lunch or coffee where the bill is dutch and parties wear jeans".

It's a sad world, isn't it?

For the last eleven plus years that I have been dating, with and without the parental unit’s knowledge, I have not been on one that sums up what I defined as a 'date' in my dreamy teens.

My years of dating have not served justice for the many hours I have spent pouring over Sweet Valley High, Mills & Boons, secretly tucked away in my school textbooks, for which my mother used to always say, "She tries hard, but never gets a decent grade". Ever the hopeless romantic, I just wanted to be spent away in a whirlpool or romance and never-ending gestures of chivalry. I have said this before, and I will say it again, I'm very old-school when it comes to this spectrum, and this is one trait I hope doesn't wear thin with time, regardless of how fast the world evolves.

On my perfect date, I envision myself in pastel-hued lace, heels and pearls, I will be smiling reminiscing how he popped the question. It won't be over a casual text where he says 'Wanna do coffee sometime?', 'Let's bang?' or 'Let's hang out today, if you're cool'; he will call me on my mobile (Remember the device that was originally invented to communicate via voice?) and he will ask me if I had plans for the ensuing day, and I will respond that I hadn't; being the gentleman he is, he will say, "I would like to spend time with you, just the two of us, and I will be thrilled if you agree to go on a date with me". It doesn't matter where, or the time of day, as long as he's being a gentleman about it. I want him to ring the bell and wait for me outside the door/gate; when I open the door, he will stand silently for moment taking it all in, and will offer me a genuine or polite compliment that doesn't contain, 'You're so f**kable'.

At this point, I will also note, that this wonderful gentleman will not be clad in an athletic-wear t-shirt and flip-flops whilst chewing gum. What is it about creased trousers that cause our 'crease' to quake?

He will have a single stemmed Lilly because he would already know that it's my favourite flower, he will open the car door, ask what type of music I would like to listen en route to the destination, hold the door open for me and offer me his arm, like a perfect gentleman. He will ask me what I would enjoy and make the order on my behalf, and would put his mobile phone on 'silent' mode and into his pocket. With the introduction of mobile phones, I've found it impossible to have a conversation that would last 2.35 minutes without having the other person glance at their phone or even scroll through their Facebook news feed.

I can't be the only one who has had this fantasy, but sadly all hopes have dwindled over time as with every man I encounter, my fantasy stretches further away and remains but an elusive reverie.

What happened to the three date policy before a man took a tour down your valley? Why does he ensure his car is stocked with condoms before he picks you up? Why does he decide that it's okay to 'bang' her on the first day, without so much as a blended coffee before the act? Why is it that your second date depends on how well you straddle him on Day One? Why are we 'insipid prudes' if we don't want to 'pet his anaconda'? I have so many questions, and I really hope I'm not the only one down this block.

I was stuck in traffic last Monday morning on my way to work, and I couldn't help but wonder why men are the way they are; there has to be a reason why they behave the way they do or cause us, the partners who try relentlessly to love them, to lose hope. It is indeed unfortunate that many women lose faith in relationships when their hearts are wrecked by men fail to commit, and ironically, it is because these men have been damaged by a girl they loved.

It took me a few days to reason why romance has died an unfortunate, mysterious death; here are my reasons.

Reason 01: Peer pressure
I've known guys to refer to their friends in committed relationships as being 'gay, panty-wearing pansies' if they refused the attentions of loose, scanty women grinding against them in clubs. You may reason saying that they should be able to withstand the banter and stay loyal, but weakness takes control, and they submit; sometimes in the long-run it may be habitual.
I question what is so atrocious about remaining loyal to your partner; I question the power of peer pressure to convert loyalty to a stream of unknown names, nameless faces and casual sexual encounters.

Reason 02: Babe Magnets
I'm often amused by the phrases I hear being used by teenagers these days; one that had me laughing for five consecutive minutes was 'Babe Magnet' and when it comes out of a nineteen-year-old male being, it's infinitely funnier. Getting back to the point, boys opine that they need to take maximum advantage of the influx of demand that comes their way; as a healthy, hot-blooded male, it is mandatory to reach the status of a 'Babe Magnet', and thus, would spend hours perfecting Bicep Curls and raising their tee shirts ever so often, to ensure their toned abdomen is on display at times. (Note to girls - Stealing looks while boys do this is almost as appalling as walking into a men's restroom and watching them pee!)
They peruse through as many ‘valleys’ as possible, feed their experiences to their every-growing list of ‘been there and done that’ (done being the operative verb here). I cannot remember how many quizzical looks I have received in response to, ‘Why did you sleep with her if you don't like her?’ Because they can – end of story.

Reason 03: There are better fish in the sea (always)
I was talking to a male friend who is an industry norm good looker; he didn't have chiseled abs, but he didn't have a dad-bod either; average hair with traces of a nearly receding hair line, and a well-paying job – husband material, right? He had been seeing someone for a few weeks. As I jovially mentioned that I can auction him as a ‘fine piece of meat' to raise funds for the homeless before he tied the knot, he looked at me as if I offered him Herpes on a silver platter! I'm known to tirelessly question what I don't understand, and when I asked him why, ‘I can't commit just yet, Minoli – there could be better looking girls, who are better qualified, who suit me better, I just have to keep looking'.

I applaud his optimism but don't men have a checklist, where if they cross off more than 90% of the said requirements, they stopped ‘hunting'? With women, they compromise; ‘You don't have abs, but you have an impressive educational background, I can live with that!' – With me, ‘You don't look like Nick Bateman, but you know the difference between ‘your' and you're' and that's a turn on right there!'

Reason 04: Batting for the other team
Men think that little chivalrous acts are'gay' and 'obsolete'; I was suggesting to a male friend that he should surprise his girlfriend of one week at work, with a bunch of wildflowers and a hand-written note asking her out on a date. His very words were, 'You're cute! But, no - I'm not going to do that! She might think I'm gay - and I actually feel sorry for anyone who dates you, you have way too much mush to live up to'. I tried to reason with him in vain; he retorted that if he did something like this once, it would be a lifetime of keeping up with 'that sh*t' - his words, not mine.

Which brings me to my next reason.

Reason 05: Why settle for less?
Women settle for so little, that even when optimistic ones such as myself demand so much, and the majority of women are content with 'Wanna bang?', it is only natural that men go down the easier road. They'd much rather settle for a pair of loafers, jeans and contraceptives and have the perfect 'date', than have to make the effort to get to know someone, understand their preferences and pretend to be interested in what she has to say.

Old school romance should be brought back! Maybe I'm a sucker for these things - but when grandchildren ask me to regale such dates, I can't just tell them that the date lasted 20 minutes in the back of his sedan! However, I'll be realistic with what I demand, I promise!

1. When he wants to spend time with you, it shouldn't be mentioned over WhatsApp; we need to hear it.
2. He shouldn't send you a text when he's 3 minutes away, asking you to stand out, to avoid any hassle with parking - he should be thankful that he didn't have to sail across the ocean, and not worry about parallel parking.
3. Flowers would be nice, on a first date. But, that doesn't mean it should stop there. We're not concerned about the value of the gifts, it's the random act that will get to us.
4. Don't take us to McDonald's on a first date. Or ever.
5. Naturally, she will insist on splitting the bill. Just don't.
6. Don't get too drunk, and whine about your previous girlfriend(s) - it will only make us feel uncomfortable.
7. Do not look at your mobile phone more than 5 times the whole night.
8. Open the goddamned door.
9. If you didn't enjoy the first date, don't promise her that there will be a second one.
10. Drop her at home or accompany her in a taxi, and send her a good night text a little later, reiterating that you had an enjoyable evening.

Isn't not too much, is it?

I draw to the end of Is it a date then?”, I know that I’m not the only one stranded on the island of ‘Forever Hopeful’ – there are lots of women who seek old-school romance, whilst others have bravely put this fantasy away. As for me, with the passage of time, I do hope and pray that as I lay camping out on this lonely island, ‘he’ will diminish my hopeless state by saying what I long to hear, ‘It is a date!’.


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