Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dinner Dates

I was reading an essay by Maureen Dowd the other day, What's a Modern Girl to Do?, that described how modern women have taken a disheartening slide toward the 50's-ish version of what a woman is supposed to be (e.g., docile, dumb, dead inside). Though the thesis was compelling, a certain section of it brought back memories. She said that today's dating woman -- no matter what her salary -- will reject a man who doesn't pay for dinner.

For me, paying for dinner, like opening a car door, is such a small issue. Consider this shit:

Your date drones on about the poor quality of the wine list, picks the cheapest one, and pretends to savor it, because he knows something everyone else doesn't. At this point, you think about what it would be like to stick your fork in his eye. He snaps his fingers to call the wait person over, complains about his food, and sends it back three times. Now, you're sure, the kitchen staff has defiled his steak -- and maybe your own for no other reason than that you're associated with him -- in unspeakable, excretory ways. He chews his defiled steak with his mouth open, while talking, and pieces of it end up on your shirt and left cheek. At the end of this delightful meal, he complains about the bill and service, and stiffs the wait person.

This guy is toast. He could be a millionaire, and you'd still dump him. Of course, you could marry him and then kill him and take his money, but you'd have to endure many many dinners like this before you get there, and so it may not be worth it. You'd probably kill yourself in the interim.

Or, perhaps you're at a posh Japanese restaurant, when your date suddenly decides that chopsticks are an Entrance to the Land of Make-Believe. He inserts the chopsticks between his cheeks and gums, and then pretends they are...yes...teeth. He growls at you. He says he is "God-zirra" in a patronizing semblance of a Japanese accent. You slump down in your seat and hope no one is looking. He proceeds to drink a lot of sake. While telling a story -- at loud volume -- about how he mooned someone once, he decides to act out the story. Oh joy. He stands up, turns around and pulls his pants down to just "about there." You shush him and tell him to sit down. He laughs at you and your silly, prissy ways. Then, he excuses run outside and puke sushi all over the entrance of the restaurant, because he couldn't make it to the curb. You not only pay the bill, you peel him off the sidewalk and drive him home.

Do you sleep with him later?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

That chopstick guy sounds really familiar. I think I went out with him too.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

I found Dowd's argument to be kind of hollow. I think she's having a hard time coming to grips that there is something about her in particular that alienates men rather than some sort of larger sociological issue. Sometimes the policial is not personal.

7:48 PM  

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