Voodoo Dating: Don’t Ask, Don’t Pay
Having recently relocated into a lovely little home with Boy Wonder and Wic E. Cat, curating courteousness has been prevalent during our unpacking. For myself, I find courteousness sincerely aiding in maintaining a relationship during a major move and I certainly appreciate ‘Do you mind if this Samurai Swordsman faces off with your Rainbow Brite collection?’ rather than buttoning up and holding a grudge over placement of household items. It’s true that an outsider might become overly nauseated by every single, ‘Do you mind if my teapot shacks up with your rice cooker?’ but a lot of my attraction to Boy Wonder is his sense of consideration-which, of course, matches my own…because I rock. (Hey, no one else is going to say it for me.)
I didn’t always have such excellent taste in Boys. In fact, one specific date pretty much birthed my own Rules of Dating Etiquette. In honour of Emily Post and my aforementioned ‘date’, I shall pontificate on my rules of dating.
Cleverly directing my early-twenties-tastes-in-tunes, I was eager to pick up the latest Phish compact disc and placed myself in an overpriced chain music store. One of the salespeople on duty impressed me by not only knowing what I was looking for, but also being the first Boy to have the ballz to pick me up in a music store. Numbers were exchanged, dates were set.
In Phish Boy’s defense, he DID drive about forty-five minutes to my Parent’s house, in the country, to retrieve me for our ‘date’, so things started off well. The plan was dinner and some form of entertainment afterwards. Dinner began at the Big Boy restaurant, with me summoning positive thoughts along the lines of, ‘Well, I haven’t been to a Big Boy since I was ten, so maybe they’ve changed…I mean, not changed, but…isn’t this the type of place one takes their children to shut them up…I mean…er…gah?!’
1. I believe if you’re going to ask someone out for a meal, you really might want to become original in the endeavor. Big Boy, The Olive Garden, and Arbys, while entertaining for you and your best chums, are not in the same league as an independent restaurant that might actually impress your date. If anything, an independent diner might offer you and your companion something to talk about in the ways of décor, service, and potentially ridiculous patrons.
After a meal of something green smothered in grease, I followed Phish Boy up to the counter and proceeded to have a mental conversation with a large Big Boy statue while I thought my ‘date’ was paying the bill. When PB was finished, he handed me MY portion of the bill to pay.
2. If you’re going to invite someone out to eat, a movie, etc. YOU are the one who should be forking over the cash. Unless some other arrangement is stated in the beginning, don’t ask unless you can pony up the dough.
Yes, I was a little stunned as I paid my portion of the bill, but even more so by the next line from Phish Boy. Peering over my shoulder, at the total for my green greasy smotheredness, Phish Boy, only growing with charm, said, ‘Wow! You have to pay full price! My friend gave me a coupon.’
3. Don’t be smug. Especially if you’re a smuck.
Why did I continue on this ‘date’? Because he drove.
Dinner’s follow-up entertainment was a trip to Meijer Thrifty Acres. Now, Meijer is kind of a big deal were I used to live. I mean, this place is like a huge warehouse/grocery store/play place and I can’t really give anyone grief about going there for entertainment because I STILL take people there when I’m visiting my parents in the Mid-West. In fact, I took Boy Wonder to Meijer during his first Michigan trip, because Meijer has ALMOST EVERYTHING within its Cask of Amontillado-ed walls. My Mother used to say, ‘You can get anything at Meijer, except your dry-cleaning done…and you used to be able to do that!’
So, Phish Boy took me to Meijer and we did the Meijer walk up and down the isles for about forty-five minutes, checking out the goldfish, toilet seat stocked shelves, power tools, and fresh produce. Before we exeunted the building, Phish Boy informed me that he needed to ‘return a wrench’. So, we stood in the Customer Service line for another forty-five minutes.
4. Unless it’s bad fish or undercooked meat, don’t return items during dates.
Finally, I lucked out and had a chance to hop the crazy train home. The drive home held promise, as I would steal away from Mr. Manners soon enough and also it was the first time I listened to the Wish You Were Here album by Pink Floyd. Thankfully, I didn’t have to speak much because the album was mesmerizing. It sounded like the band had taken all the methodical and graceful visuals from watching glass being blown and created an audio document. One really shouldn’t need to have much of a conversation while listening to Floyd, thank Gawd, but there were a few snippets in which Phish Boy asked for my opinion on the work. Falling in lust with the album, I certainly had images and thoughts to contribute, but they seemed to be pooh-poohed by PB’s own interpretations…all of which were better than mine as he had ‘actually been to a Floyd laser show, man’.
5. On a date, as in life, if you’re attempting to redeem yourself at all, don’t interrupt. I understand a large majority of us are enthusiastic about contributing to conversations, but repeatedly interrupting is not clever or attractive. (Especially when you’ve asked someone for his or her opinion.) If you’re that bored with the conversation, use the time your companion is speaking to form your own arguments in your head. Trust me, it works.
Eventually, I made it back to my parent’s house, a little wiser and a little less tolerant. And while I may have continued to date a few people who broke my Rules of Etiquette, I managed to hold out for Boy Wonder, the Captain of Courteousness, who also digs Pink Floyd and listens to me.