Man Notes™ IV

The following Man Notes™ are brought to you via a couple of separate experiences. The first being a visit to have a chat with someone I dated fairly briefly. The other being what I thought was hanging out to go see a show, and what he, apparently, thought was a date. Based on those instances, I will, no doubt be reminded of other similar circumstances, and I will throw in clues from them as well.

As a guy, there are certain things we women expect when we visit your bachelor home for the first time. I expect things to be a bit out of place, though hopefully, you've made some kind of effort because you knew I was coming over. Know this: women by nature (and when I say "women", I mean me) are nosy. If you leave us alone in a room while you..i don't know..take a shower for 30 minutes, for example...we will snoop. Not go through drawers or rummage in cabinets, but most definitely, we will scan over the place closely because we can. Some things you might not want lying around in your abode:

  • Books: No, I don't mean I prefer my men to be illiterate. Books in general are totally good. I'm talking selection, here. If you must have books with the following types of titles, do yourself a favor, and get a bookshelf with doors and put them somewhere I can't see them. Because I'm not gonna lie..I'm judging you on your reading material.

    "How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You"
    "Complete Idiot's Guide to Dating"
    "MACK tactics: the science of seduction meets the art of hostage negotiation"
    "How to not be Completely Pathetic"
    "Why are you Incapable of Normal Human Interaction without This Book?"
    "Are you Really Just Gay?"

    Ok, I may have made a couple of those up, but they are the natural progression of what I imagine should be follow-up reading for the first few, which are totally real. I don't know if this needs any more explanation. It's just bad. It screams from this one.

  • Sexual Accessories: I'm far from a prude. I'm talking about the first time I am at a guy's place, so let's assume there has not yet been anything sexual. If the first thing I see when I come over are 4 different kinds of sex oils in varying flavors and ummm I don't know, a cock ring? Guess what? I'm not sticking around to find out if you went out to get that stuff special, just for me, or not. Creepy.

  • Pictures of your ex girlfriends: Ok, this one is an amalgam of a couple of different scenarios.

    If there is a veritable shrine to one or several girls you've dated, it's creepy. I don't want to be on the wall of broken hearts.

    If there are lots of pictures of very pretty girls around, sans you...first of all, I don't believe they are girls you've dated. This reeks of a guy trying to impress a girl by showing her how all these other hot girls have dated you. I picture you going around town with your digital camera, telling random women on the street that you're scouting for a modeling agency so they put on the cute, sexy pout for you to get a snapshot. I also think it might be possible that these are all girls you've stalked, or you have tied up in your basement.

When is it a date and when isn't it? This can be tricky. In fact, my ex and I had a classic argument based on this, because what he claims was our first date happened a good 2 years before we actually started dating. If one were to just list the activities, you would immediately assume it was a date. A pretty amazing one, at that. But it's not until you get the full details of how we ended up at these places on that night that you realize I could have not seen it as a date.

I was friends with him for a long, long time before we were a couple. His office was in my neighborhood, so I would often walk by on my way home and notice his lights on..we're talking 2 and 3am. Sometimes I'd stop by and say hi, because I knew he worked at crazy hours and probably had been there for a day or three straight and could use a break. One evening, I was coming back from a movie with some girlfriends, saw the lights on and rang his buzzer. When I came upstairs, I realized he had been there for a long, long time. I told him to get his shit, I was taking him to get some real food. He protested for a bit, citing all this work he had to do, but I insisted and he finally relented. We walked up the street to what I knew was his favorite restaurant, because we'd had lunch there a couple of times when I was able to pull him out of the office. We were having dinner and talking about our favorite stuff to do around town, and he asked if I'd ever been in a helicopter ride. I didn't even know this was an option. So, after dinner, we hopped in a cab and went to the west side heliport, where we did, indeed, take a helicopter ride over Manhattan. Very. Fucking. Cool. I highly recommend it. After the helicopter ride, he insisted he needed to get back to the office to make some overseas calls, and the cab dropped me off on his way back to work. That was that. Admittedly, very date-type activities, but because of the situation, and because there was absolutely no date-like behavior, I wrote it off as a fun and cool spontaneous night with my eccentric friend. Years later, he would insist to countless people that this was our first date, and I blew him off for 2 years afterward until he was persistent enough to finally get me to go out with him again.

It's perception. So, to help ease the confusion, here are some scenarios in which you are going to have to make an effort to be clear about your intentions that this is, indeed, a date:

  • If you are already friends or acquaintances, especially if you've gone out all together as a group with mutual friends.
  • If your personal relationship situation is confusing and the girl knows about this, and assumes you wouldn't be dating currently. This means: if you are dating someone she knows (or knows about), have just broken up with someone, or are married, even if separated or in the process of divorce, we assume you are not currently dating. You're going to have to make that clear.
  • If you know that she is dating someone else, or has told you explicitly that she is not looking to date anyone at the moment.

    So, how do you make the dating intention clear? I realize that as men, you have all of the pressure and possibility of rejection, and that sucks. I don't think I could do it. In most cases, asking a woman in a casual way if she'd like to go somewhere, or join you in doing something you already have plans to do, is totally acceptable and could be seen as asking her out on an actual date. If, however, any of the above circumstances are present, she will assume it is a friendly outing. It's only fair to you both to skip the casual nature of it, and let her decide, given those circumstances, if she wants to go out on a date with you. Perhaps something like, "I know you realize that I'm still married, and that the situation is pretty screwed up, but I've decided that it's time I moved on, and I like you." This is clearly a lead in to a date invitation. This is not: "Hey, some friends of mine are playing on Saturday night, and I think you'd really like them. If you're not doing anything, you should come." This is a friendly invitation to go listen to cool music.

    Too afraid of rejection to put it all out on the table when you're asking? Fine, I'll give you another out. When she is out with you on the pseudo date, you're going to have to act date-like. If you're drinking with her like she's one of your buddies and you're just partying like rockstars, there really isn't any sort of romantic clue going on. You're going to have to breach the subject at some point.

    Let her know you see her as potentially more than a friend, because believe me, she has no clue. Women are often very blind to the affections of guys who are our friends. Telling your mutual friends, afterward, that the two of you went out on a date without actually doing any of these things will cause her to be completely confused. Even if you're a nice guy with good intentions, it's going to seem sketchy.


Huge Junk said...

I know I said it before, but I totally need to make some Women Notes.

I probably won't though cause I'm so damn lazy.

elizabeth said...

i really wish you would...i'm sure it would be greatly entertaining, if not educational

Joe Speaker said...

So I ran home to see what books I had out. I still don't have a bookcase so most are still in boxes. However, in plain view were:

Pressure Poker
Mom's House, Dad's House
A Year in the Merde
Holy Bible

Poker, parenting, a book about France with 'shit' in the title and piety. Paints a pretty clear picture, I think.

I think I like these Man Notes when they don't really apply to me, 'cause it can only mean I'm awesome.

Jeff said...

Now I'm all confused. When I was washing those windows and saw you in the buff on the bed, doing what I can only imagine was a nightmare that looked like you were twisting a baby, was that a date?

elizabeth said...

joe: glad to see that your reading material is non-creepy or sad. and of course it means you're awesome.

jeff: you are a sick, sick man

Kel said...

damn you crack me up -

I feel compelled to start writing a sequel - what to do to keep your shit out of trouble once you are housebroken and expected to grow the fuck up - or you too can score points by getting your underwear in the hamper

but I digress . . .