Oana's Blog on Human Nature
Rules of Dating
“I only want one woman, one woman to be my Queen.”
Finding love can be a very time-consuming, frustrating and fruitless activity. Luckily, for those of us who get lost in the art and intricacies of today’s fast-paced dating, the teams of experts are right on, ready to teach the inexperienced how to behave in those tricky elimination stages, and meet the partner of their dreams.
You may wonder why we have to behave nicely at the beginning of the relationship, but who doesn’t know that for the after part, we have available counseling and or/ medications for couples. Even a child knows that he has to be “cute” in order to get candy, only to get as many poor grades as he desires later. Guess what? These children grow up and become men and women like us!
I learn that the “old school” rules of dating are very strict and if you break them, you risk ending up single forever. There are tons of magazines for chicks that deliver almost daily priceless samples of dating wisdom. They teach you how to be “classy,” and trap the man.
Besides, those teachings deliver essence and save you time. You can attain enlightenment during your lunch break, while waiting at the dentist’s, or reading under the table during important meetings at work.
There are a few good books on awareness, on how to work on yourself and attract the right partner, but who wants to waste time working on themselves when we can take care of the problem by just changing our clothes and hairstyle?
I peruse one of those chick magazines while waiting for the oil change at the mechanic’s. After making countless notes – will I pass this exam? – I am ready to go out on a date. I do not have the strength to color my hair in the five-now-trending-highlights experts recommend, nor to attach slightly longer nails to my very-long-already natural ones – I might be Romanian, but I am no Countess Dracula, after all. A pair of jeans and a nice top would do it. Also, tooth whitening is not an option. Last time when I tried it, I got severe gum burns, and the dentist advised me to stop this enterprise immediately, since my teeth would never get whiter anyways.
I learn that a “classy” date implies no conversations about sex, politics or money on the first encounters. Weather is a good topic, food is allowed, as well as certain books on gardening. I write down the most suggestive ones – historic events, cutest souvenirs, and how to overcome allergies using homeopathic remedies.
However, the real purpose of dating is to find common interests at any cost. There is no better way of bonding with a man than doing something together, even if that something means counting little bugs climbing up the wall, or taking out the recycling. I will probably go for taking out the recycling when we are at my place and counting the bugs at his.
Last but not least, you have to smile a lot, with or without reason. A positive attitude is a must. If it’s not there, build it out of nothing.
Finally, the opportunity comes along, in the shape of 568 gentlemen who want to have dinner with me. But the screening process is hard. They are all handsome, successful financially secure emotionally balanced, and monogamous. An (impromptu!) Saturday night lottery is organized and we have a winner!
My first date goes relatively smoothly – I’m sure he reads the magazines for men – yet I am fighting an unexpected boredom, as we both try to stick to the rules. I smile a lot, and he does the same. He stares at my breasts. I, too, stare at his breasts. We avoid any conversations about real life, stressing the importance of starting and ending the day with big smiles on our faces. We talk about history, carefully skipping dangerous and most recent topics, and touching upon events that cannot lead to disagreement, such as ancient Egyptian dynasties or the Russo-Turkish War. We also spend at least three dates analyzing global warming, along with the recent rain in Denmark.
I think he is a good man even if society taught him to put on shows. I leave him a voice message. I will keep seeing him for a while.
Two months into the torture, I hear firecrackers. Half-asleep, I grab the flag and rush to the door. Is it 4th of July already? It is not. It is my date, who broke the rules and arranged for a sumptuous firework-balloons-neighborhood -stray dogs-show right in front of my residence, hoping to get laid before the Valentine’s Day. While I nurture a deep appreciation for originality, we have to stick to the rules. The experts know better what is good for us, and after all, we are not animals, life is not only about sex. The sacred dating scrolls say it clearly: “No sex on the first twelve dates.” Read a book, young man; take a walk, scratch some walls and everything will be fine. Actually, I could show my respect for his suffering by scratching the walls together. This way we will follow the experts' advice and share yet another activity.
However, I have no intention of following up on this “classy” dating style, to be honest. After we counted three geckos and two cockroaches on the wall of a restaurant, I realize that we do not have a future. The passion is not there; the impressions shared during the gecko count are insipid and lack vigor. I politely inform the gentleman in question that we are not a match. The feeling is mutual.
Sign me off. I am really tired of this adventure.
Let me try and break the rules, see how this one goes. This is the other school, the school of “honesty,” where people supposedly reveal their intentions right away.
Breaking the rules is a risky enterprise, but I am a risk taker. I took a risk when I left my country twenty years ago another one when I crossed the ocean, and I still risk my life daily when I go to bad neighborhoods for good deals.
This means that hopefully I will meet some real people and we will all save us some time. Bring it on!
This is my 236th date. After dinner we walk in the park and while we sit on a small wooden bench he decides to be honest and show me the very symbol of procreation. It is indeed a frightening scene, even for someone who survived a communist dictatorship. I decline politely. Once the monster is contained, my date expresses his disbelief. Was this a bad date? I assure him that it was one of the most surprising and original ever. Then maybe I am not into one on one sex? What about sixth-somes, they are very trendy nowadays. I agree, there is no better way for two lovers to connect than in the middle of other four people. After all, this helps with those moments of shyness and awkwardness that new couples might experience.
My date wants to know if I ever been with a man while holding a goose. Now this is what I call breaking the rules. I did not know that intimate encounters involving geese were lawful, and as a former wildlife rehabilitator I feel somewhat betrayed. Have I missed anything?
I move on to the next candidate. He is not like other men out there. Of course, he is not. He is married. Yes, but his wife knows. Honesty first! They are in an open relationship; he is free to enjoy his life. I see. I jest, can I bring a girlfriend? No. His wife allows him to enjoy only women older than her (she is forty) and only one on one. No goose, though.
The school of “honesty” appears to be more complicated and harder to navigate through than the other one.
Another guy feels an urge to emphasize how much he respects women. He smiles politely. I smile politely. He "pitches" me his deep respect and manners. I stretch my back (I’ve worked sales).He tells me stories about how he will never hurt my feelings (I am a published humor writer). I let him finish then look at him amused. Then he tells me how much he wants me and he wants to “be with me,” not just casual entertainment. (Fairy tales) He even wants to have children with me and asap! (YA fantasy)
Hmmm, I think I got the hang of this dating protocol. Yet deep in my heart, I want to believe it is true. I want affection. I want a great love. Don’t we all?
A day later the same man wouldn’t even pick up his phone. (Horror)
Luckily, I can reach him on the dating site where we met. He is busy looking for more women to “love, respect and be faithful to.”
But… we never even got to baby making!
As I leave my 465th date I pass a gentleman petting a goose. Is it me or that is date 122nd, the gentleman who followed the dating rules and who swore on the memory of his beloved mother that he only wants one woman to be his Queen?
© by Oana 2012