Home » Dating and Relationships, Learning To Drive Stick
7 September 2011, 2:00 pm 8 Comments

Learning To Drive Stick: Have Powerbar, Will Date

I almost didn’t go out with him. This guy, a government contracts lawyer, doesn’t really seem my type, but since the goal was not to replace Type Geek, but only to get out and have fun, he seemed as fair as any to spend an evening with. We had enough overlap in interests to make a meet up logical, but some of his behavioral quirks IRRITATE me.

  1. Asking me out for a same day dinner. Sure, once I know you, last minute is awesome, but for a first date? Don’t make me feel like I am a fill in for a plan that fell through.
  2. Tell me that it’s super casual jeans and t-shirts attire. I don’t date like that. I don’t do jeans and t-shirts in general. I do pencil skirts, I do slacks. This to me just translates to “I’m lazy and can’t force myself to dress nicely for you, so rather than feel badly about my attire, I’m going to tell you to dumb it down too.” Brown shoes with black slacks and black shirt, really?
  3. If you ask me where I want to eat and I offers three choices, don’t make counter suggestions because you don’t like mine. If you make it to a second date, then you can take me to one of those places, but the chances aren’t good if you make me feel that my choices and opinions aren’t good enough for you.
  4. Tell me not to rush, but when I am ten minutes later than expected due to the September 1st student U-Haul migration, do not text me every couple of minutes to tell me how hungry you are and that you are going to have to run to the conveinance store for a snack. A snack? Really? As if he was LITERALLY about to die of starvation.
  5. Tell me you can’t have a cocktail because it is a “school night” and you are a light weight. My ex fiancé was a raging shit show of an alcoholic, so I don’t want that type of drinker, but loosening up with a few cocktails and flirting is good stuff. Pencil skirts, stockings, and some Basil Hayden is a sexy way to spend a night.
  6. Spend the entire time telling me about your ex-fiance who called off the wedding after the refund date, and your subsequent rebound relationship with the emotional abuser whom you fell in love with. Oh yeah, and your therapist… he thinks you only like damaged women.
  7. Brown shoes with black slacks and black shirt? Really?

This is why dating sucks. This is why dating at MY age sucks. I shouldn’t have gone that night, I should not have said yes. The same hour Impatient Eater emailed me about dinner, Type Geek texted me about the offer his bosses just put in front of him. A Senior VP position. His own office… in San Francisco. Funny, no one ever talks about San Francisco, it never comes up in my life, until it does. The past 5 days have been unbearable as everywhere I turn, the voices say San Francisco. Customers, strangers blocking the sidewalks, new flat mates, fellow bloggers, even the internet. I can’t escape it, I can’t hide from it.

I canceled the rest of my dates for the next couple of weeks and planned a trip to NYC for the September 11th memorial. I was there ten years ago, in my office, watching the television in the boardroom with my colleagues as the second plane hit. Ten years. I want to wander the city alone this weekend and think about who I was and who I am and what it all means.

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  • KJN said:

    No jeans and t-shirts on a first date? Harsh. You’re not that special. In fact, no one is. If I can’t be casual with someone, he’s not datable, IMHO. No princesses. No drama. Ever.

  • Student Driver said:

    Not a princess, that’s just not how I dress. Some people aren’t jeans and t-shirt people, but on a dinner first date… put some effort in. If you can’t put effort in on the first date, what is the incentive to do so later? It isn’t about drama, it’s about declaring somethings worth respecting and making special.

    By the way… EVERYONE is that special that they deserve someone to treat dinner with them and a non sporty date…like a special occasion. If you don’t, what is the point? Romance doesn’t appear magically, it’s created when two people treat each other like they are the unique and special people that they are. I’m sad for you if you don’t see that everyone deserves that type of treatment.

  • KJN said:

    “Romance doesn’t appear magically,…” There’s your problem right there. Romance is bullshit. Coupling up is about finding a fit you can live with. “Romance” is a bunch of chemicals firing off in the brain trying to trick you into coupling with another person, regardless of whether that person is a good fit or not. Romance is a fog, an obscuration. Love is created, true, but best when it is clear-eyed. Again, no one is special, not you, not me, not anyone. We’re all unique, it’s true, but not special. Coupling is about finding the unique other person you can get along with.

    And it’s okay to dress up voluntarily, if that’s what you’re into. The point is being voluntary. My reading of your piece is that you demand others dress up to your standards on the first date, or it’s a no-go. If you imply that by not wanting to dress up the other person is beneath your dignity (i.e., the other person isn’t treating you as ‘special’) then you’re coming across as a princess, whether you mean to or not.

  • queer blogger said:

    First date? Bring your a-game. Dress like you used to when dragged to church in the 1980s: no jeans, no t-shirt, no shorts. Nowadays people are such schlubs, wearing just any old thing on dates or to mass. It’s funny: I don’t believe in god or romance, yet I still dress up for church or dates.

  • KJN said:

    I guess my real problem with dressing up for a first date is that it raises the bar too high. If you go all fancy on the first date, what are you going to do after that? Do you continue to dress up? Do you tell the person, “You know, actually, I’m really not that dress-up guy you went out with that first time. Sorry to misrepresent.” As we get to know each other, some let downs and crushed expectations are part of the process. But why do we have to build in extra let-downs to begin with?

    And really, if you don’t believe in God or romance, why put on a show as if you do? Why all this fakery? To please someone else?

  • Student Driver said:

    see, here is the thing, what may be fake for you, isn’t fake for some of us. When I say romance, I am not talking about candles and unicorns… we create romance by working at it. Love isn’t mystical, I have hardly implied that. However, as someone who doesn’t dress down, why should I for someone who doesn’t dress up, and likewise. But, again… EVERYONE is special, not no one. Everyone makes someone’s eyes light up …somewhere.

  • KJN said:

    OK, Student Driver, I concede your point. If you never dress down, then it would be fake of you to try to do so for someone else. I wish you luck in finding a partner.

    But let me respond to two other points you’ve made. First, if you say “everyone is special” you must realize you’ve emptied the word “special” of it’s original meaning. Everyone is unique. But if you say everyone is special, then no one is. We are all unique individuals, and that is our beauty. But if any of us are “special” it’s only a handful of truly superior human beings (whom I’ve never encountered). The “everyone is special” mindset has really fucked up our society, IMHO, making everyone feel entitled to above par treatment, etc. If everyone gets above par treatment, isn’t ‘above par’ the new ‘par’?

    Secondly, when you say “Everyone makes someone’s eyes light up …somewhere,” I take this to be a restatement of the old saying, “There’s someone for everyone.” This is a common belief, and I admit freely I’ve said it in the past myself. But there are a couple of things wrong with the idea “There’s someone for everyone.” First, it’s just not true. There are a lot of people who never find adequate partnership. It’s just a fact. And when you say “There’s someone for everyone” or “Everyone makes someone’s eyes light up”, you (I’m sure unintentionally) denigrate, diminish and erase the lives and truths of those for whom there is no one else with whom to partner. You make them invisible and less important than those who’ve managed to couple successfully. Whole swaths of humanity are erased in your paradigm. I’m sure you don’t mean it this way, but it’s nevertheless cruel.

    In the gay community’s current mania for marriage rights, the unintended castaways are those people who cannot and never will find partners. Are we saying their lives don’t matter?

  • Jodie said:

    You get a lot of rspecet from me for writing these helpful articles.