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Dating: A Male Perspective

Inspired somewhat by our wonderful routine contributor, Ms. Kate Lang, I decided it might be worth mentioning that the slew of bad dating experiences does not stack exclusively on the shoulders of the fairer sex. I, too, have some amusing (to others, at any rate) stories to share in the field of courtship. Feel free to have a hearty laugh at my misery. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. The guilty can just get over it.

One morning, some years ago, a friend called me. For context, she had recently been in a car accident and while she suffered no harm from it, her car was not so fortunate and was thus in the shop. For further context, it takes me a solid hour to wake up in the morning, so when I was asked if I would take her to her college to pick up some paperwork, I opted to go along with it for no other reason than I was tired and all I was saying was "okay". I suppose I just invited a slew of 3 AM calls now but what can you do?

Anyhow, en route my friend, who I shall call Amy, began telling me how we were to meet with her friend, who I shall call Betty, and have lunch together. All the while, Amy was going on and on about how nice and pretty and sweet Betty was and how I'd just love her to pieces when I met her. "Okay" was all I managed. Some days it takes me longer to wake up than others. When we arrived and Amy did her paperwork deal, the three of us went out and ate. The entire time Betty was pretty openly flirting with me - a welcome change from women's usual strategy which I call "treating me like I have two heads and/or ignoring me entirely" - and I was pretty open to the cutesy atmosphere. After a surprisingly fun and refreshingly not-insane play date, Amy and I had to get back home, but not before I scored Betty's phone number. On the way home, Amy decides to drop some more details about Betty, like her raging alcoholism, her antisocial behavior patterns, and the time she got an attempted murder felony for having gone after someone with a knife - AKA: details I need to know prior to meeting someone the first time. Needless to say, "have you ever been convicted of a felony?" is now valid on both job applications and first dates! Also, I didn't ever use the aforementioned phone number.

Now not all my troubles find their roots in mental psychoses (just most of them do), some come from another terrifying source - flakiness. Flakiness, like many other qualities typically found to enhance the appeal of waffles, is a terrible trait to find in people. For example, while at a particular restaurant, I noticed the waitress was flirting with me. This is kind of an event unto itself, as I am thick as a brick, frequently unable to notice subtle nonverbal cues that indicate flirting, like smiling a lot more than usual, unusual attentiveness, and lap dances. Mustering up courage uncharacteristic for my meek and introverted self, I asked her out to a casual lunch date. Don't misunderstand, the first date went off without a hitch and I was surprised by just how... unstabby-like she was. The problem came immediately after with us mutually agreeing on a second date being a must.

Said second date never happened. At the appointed time and place I found myself standing outside the restaurant in the unrelenting summer heat for an hour (the time of the year is irrelevant, I live in Texas where it is summer all year round, excepting a two-week span in February where it dips to high 60's and the locals put on turtlenecks). She never called or texted me, nor did she ever explain herself the next time we met face to face. I was annoyed, but not embittered enough to raise a stink about it seeing as she agreed to another attempt. Swing and a miss - stood up a second time, no call, no show. Now any sane man would've given up at this point and never bothered with this woman again. I am past that point, however. I worked in a toy store during Black Friday-Holiday season and an office supplies store during Back to School. "Sanity" is not a handicap I suffer from. So I tried again! And thus the third strike came and she was out. Man, how's it get worse than being stood up three times in a row?

By getting stood up SIX times in a row! Not too long after these three attempts, I found unusual bravery in asking another lady out. She didn't even give me the benefit of a first date; I was flat stood up to start. When I issued complaint, she actually answered she had a plumbing problem at the last second - well, that's fine, I guess, but tell me this stuff when it happens so I'm not left dumbfounded in front of the eatery for an extra hour. The next sequential times also got no explanation before this particular lady disappeared into the ether, as I never heard back again except the texts necessary to arrange the dates she never showed up for. And, unfortunately, the flakiness doesn't really end there.

Since arriving here in the American south, I've had more instances of women showing for a single date, claiming they had a wonderful time, and then returning to whatever alien planet from whence they came immediately afterwards than I ever have in my entire life. I've been here just over a year, for reference. It's fortunate that "The Heat" was a good movie because due to the randomly disappearing women act I seem to have going on I've seen that movie more than once theatrically. Seriously, ladies, if you decide it isn't working out, pay us the courtesy of saying so to our faces. I, for one, am not made of glass. It's not going to break me, but the alternative sure is annoying.

It's a shame that "Jeff Hates Dates" isn't anywhere near as catchy, huh?

Written by: Jeff M.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
~Mark Twain
"A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep."
~W.H. Auden

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