You Can Go by Bridge, You Can Go by Tunnel…

Sometimes you do something totally stupid on a date that loses you a second date that you actually wanted, and you spend all weekend kicking yourself because if only you’d kept your mouth shut or not done that…

Skip it. It just wasn’t meant to be. It had to “not happen” for one reason or another, and it just happened to not happen for this reason.

My father’s friend was an alter bochur for a while, and for a brief streak he wasn’t getting any second dates either. One of the mini-episodes went something like this: He took a girl to Manhattan via the bridge. She told the shadchan she wouldn’t go out with him again; he was too cheap. The next date, he took a girl to Manhattan via the tunnel. She complained to the shadchan that he was a spendthrift. He threw up his arms and contemplated drinks on the hood in a parking lot. But the point is, neither of these girls were for him. The dating had to end for some reason, and it might as well be “he’s too cheap to take the tunnel” as “that leg-shaking thing he does drives me nuts” or “he’s got enough character flaws to be in an Anton Chekhov play.”

From the other end, we see the idiocy of judging anyone too much by the superficial behaviors they exhibit on a date.

43 thoughts on “You Can Go by Bridge, You Can Go by Tunnel…

  1. This is in perfect consanance with my general rule – don’t go to NY unless absolutely necessary…

  2. You know I have heard that in yeshiva circles it is considered a big no no to do on street parking- because driving around for a spot in the City is assur and takes too long. I would never spend $30 to park though- its seems nuts.

  3. “we see the idiocy of judging anyone too much by the superficial behaviors they exhibit on a date.”

    Exactly. Sure, ppl be more thrifty or may be comfortable with splurging on a special occasion (and would want someone with similar habits), but the problem here is judging an entire character based on one small decision. This decision, of course, may have lots of other factors behind it (ie timing of the two routes, proximity to destination, wanting the view etc.) Such traits can and should only be evaluated after multiple interactions, preferably with a discussion or three. And there may be value in connecting with someone who has a differing view on things. (A spendthrift may benefit financially from marrying a saver, and the miser may learn to have some fun!)

    Of course, the reasons bad4 discussed may have merely been excuses to break it off – the girls in question either beng too unready to really date or having found some “intangible” reason that they didn’t feel comfortable telling the shadchan.

  4. Oh – and as far as street parking – go for the lot and never mind any “issur.” (What can you get involved with in the car anyway in stop-and-start Manhattan traffic?) I think this is different from the tunnel/bridge choice – the date can get very slogged down if you spend an hour looking for parking. If you must date by car in Manhattan, I think it’s best to swallow the $20-30 and park in a lot. The girl may volunteer “no you can look for another few minutes” but don’t take advantage of that for too long…

  5. “You know I have heard that in yeshiva circles it is considered a big no no to do on street parking- because driving around for a spot in the City is assur and takes too long. I would never spend $30 to park though- its seems nuts.”

    I’m part of the yeshiva circles and although I agree with you that spending $30 on parking is nuts, sometimes you have to use common sense and spend the extra $.
    I recently went out with a yeshiva guy who on the first date drove around for a few minutes in the city to find a legal spot on the street. Although bells went off in my mind to pick up clues that would show he’s too cheap,I actually gave him a second chance. But on the second date, after he circled for over 25 minutes looking for a spot, and then when he parked 4 blocks away from our destination, and we got out of the car, he asked me if I mind walking *in the rain* !?, then I dropped him like a hotcake. that’s not the way you’re supposed to treat a girl. Sometimes you have to spend the extra money whether you like it or not.

  6. basically we have these few hour together to judge if we’re gonna marry the guy and spend the rest of our lives with him…!!!! so, that’s what we gotta do, find the little things and blow them up… no other choice. and yes, if the guy cannot be generous in the few hours together, when he’s on his best behaviour, you are definitely in trouble for the rest of ur life!!

  7. You know I have heard that in yeshiva circles it is considered a big no no to do on street parking- because driving around for a spot in the City is assur and takes too long. I would never spend $30 to park though- its seems nuts.

    Nothing wrong with spending 10 minutes or so looking for a spot, but at some point you gotta bite the bullet and pull into a lot. If you don’t like that, don’t go on a date in Manhattan.

  8. I’m sorry. I’m not getting why this is complicated. If it’s at night, the bridge looks clear, take it. If there’s traffic, take the tunnel.

    If you circle around for a FEW MINUTES and there’s no parking, use the lot.
    Meaning, I don’t believe in not trying and just spending tons of money right away. But if for convenience sake, you have to, you have to.

    As far as the restaurant, that’s tough. When I’m with a guy who complains about the price on a small (not crazy-overpriced) item, I’m turned off because that means he’s cheaper than I am. If a guy orders the most expensive fish dish, I worry he could be a spendthrift. That’s why it’s good when they stick to a mid-priced pasta; or a cheaper fish dish. You, as the girl, want to feel comfortable. Not that the guy will cringe when you order a sandwich instead of just a side dish or something.

  9. Coming from a smaller Jewish community in a smaller yet still large city, I am shocked at the price of parking! I would never pay more than 10 dollars for parking. And even then I would feel like I am getting ripped off.

    As for all the comments on what these all mean, that’s fairly shallow and pathetic. If someone uses a bridge over a tunnel, they’re a certain way? If someone doesn’t want to spend 30 dollars in addition to how much dinner will cost only to get rejected for being too much this too little that or he held the knife wrong or he ordered a certain dish which means he’s whatever way or something is just sad.

  10. I agree with “hate2date… where’sMyMate”…each side has approximately three hours to see if the person you are out with could potentially be the guy you marry, or at the very least give a second date to. So if your date can’t be on his best behavior for a few hours, your prospects don’t look very good! However, as a girl who just has to get dressed and go along for the ride, i do try to cut my dates some slack; dating can be very expensive for those who are not swiping Daddy’s credit card! I look more to see if the guy treats me well, how he speaks to the waiters, etc…
    And Gennaro? I would say NOT ok…but maybe I’m just a spoiled Flatbush girl.

  11. Leftover-
    What’s wrong with taking the train? Not only is it more affordable for the guy, but it makes it easier for the guy to schmooze with the girl on the way there and back.

  12. Because what girl wants to get all dressed up to stand on a train? Some lines are pretty crowded at 7 pm, you know. No guarantee of a seat. It’s not gentlemanly. Though granted, the gentleman is a dying breed.

    But this post wasn’t title “You Can Go By Zike-Bike if You Like”* because you cannot go by Zike-Bike unless she agrees to it ungrudgingly.

    *Reference to Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now, for the Seuss illiterate.

  13. A dvar torah was once quoted to me- why do we bless a chassan and kallah that they should be like Adam and Chava (Gan Eden M’Kedem)- within the first 24 hours of married life, they brought death into the world and got evicted from Gan Eden!
    It’s because Adam knew that Chava was created just for him and vice versa- they were the perfect mates for each other, and so, they were able to deal with any problems that came up, and overlook them.
    So, when he takes the tunnel, or when she uses a good vocabulary on a date- if they are meant for each other, they’ll overlook the perceived problems! Otherwise, it’s not a match.

    On another point- what’s wrong with being a gentleman? Isn’t that what mothers are supposed to train their sons to do? Good manners are a plus to any dating situation.

  14. Interesting comments.

    I must be one of the few here, who when asked what I am looking for never even though to list “not cheap” or “not spendthrift”.

    Those things aren’t even on my radar.

    I guess people have other priorities.

  15. Oh I forgot, how much the guy spends is a barometer for how much he respects the girl,or for if his knows how to treat a girl properly, or whether he is a mench or not.

    Right. Let’s be honest folks. If a girl wants a guy who will spend money on her, and spend 30 dollars per date on parking, can we at least be emesdig enough to say plainly: she would like to live a comfortable life with a guy who is (or is from a family which) well off.
    Let’s just call a spade a spade.
    Or is it my mistake and these girls are just very very superconcerned with middos, lack of paying 30 dollar per parking is a sign of ____ [fill in bad middah here]?

  16. Nobody puts “cheap” on their “list” of required traits. But if a guy exhibits extraordinary cheapness on a first date when he’s supposed to be on his best behavior, it makes one wonder.

    If he doesn’t want to spend on parking, there are other ways to do it – like by not going to Manhattan. Or take a zipcar or something. Spending 45 minutes circling and making a girl walk in the rain to save $30 isn’t a display of manners.

  17. I realize it is different “outside the Derech”, but on my first date with my wife, I gave her a teddy bear with a candy cane that said “can’e’ you go out with me? We were both in college, so we walked to an Ice skating rink and then got some sodas. Why can’t the date be something fun and inexpensive like miniature golf, walking in a park, or whatever, rather than talking in a restaurant. I realize that I dated my wife for years before we married, rather than weeks, but is a series of three or four conversations the only way to date?

  18. come to think of it, a girl who is cheap, stingy, or thrifty is the girl I’m looking for. No thanks to the girl EXPECTING to be showered with money. Oy!

  19. So say a guy from out of town spends 200 dollars to fly to NYC and is spending his own money for dating purposes. So aside for being strapped for cash in the first place because he’s a college student not making much money, he’s supposed to borrow/steal/rent a car for a date and pay for parking as well as the date?! Come on folks, gimme a break. For those of us who do not live in NYC and are not using their parents’ credit cards, dating is expensive. I think the train is more than reasonable, especially if the guy is spending his own money.

    Just my two cents.

  20. …. does anyone feel bad that a girl has to spend much more than $30 on clothes for dates? i mean, c’mon, this is what dating costs these days… now, don’t even get me started on the whole hotel business, like who thought of hotel lobbies??? personally, i try to get out of goin there, especially on first dates (so there you go! – go out with a girl who can’t stand sitting in a hotel for 5 hours that she’s not even staying at… definitely saves you money!!

  21. I’m a guy and have been dating for a while so here’s a little advice for parking. Don’t bother looking on the West Side cause you’ll never find anything. You can park on Madison or Lexington anywhere from the 20’s to the 70’s after 7pm with no problem. Then walk to wherever you want to go. It might be a 15 minute walk but at least it’s just part of the date.

  22. #23 hate2date…

    Girls don’t HAVE to buy clothes for dates, they can wear whatever they want. I would not at all mind if a date only wore a sweater or shirts or whatever. I also wouldn’t mind a girl wearing a headband or ponytail or anything else that would net B4S points.

    That’s a good question that B4S should address – How did hotel lobbies become vogue? I’ve never gone to a hotel lobby and don’t really plan on it, just sitting around seems so awkward.

  23. I’d be just as happy going for a walk. Dates don’t have to cost much, but if you’re going to go to a lounge or restaurant, why be uncouth about it?

  24. I agree with #25. But then again, I’m more casual in general so the dressing up kind of disturbs me.

    But in general I think there are some very unrealistic expectations on both sides that are way too long to detail here

  25. Years–make that several decades–ago, I once ditched a blind date because his idea of a first date was to walk around for over an hour. Look, I wasn’t asking for a five-course gourmet meal, but I didn’t think it was unreasonable to expect to, ya know, *sit down* somewhere? When I stopped into a store and bought myself a bag of nuts and it didn’t occur to the guy to offer to pay for them, I dropped him like a hot potato. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as too cheap.

    That said, I never had any problem taking the subway to an interesting place for an evening. But then, I’ve never been much of a dresser. I guess everyone draws their own lines concerning acceptable dates (and/or modes of transportation to and from). Some folks don’t mind a walk in the rain, some do.

  26. That makes it kind of difficult for the guy. I suppose the best bet would be to discuss the destination ahead of time. Kind of like, “I was thinking xyz, what do you think?”

    Obviously a walk isn’t so fun if you’re in 3-inch heels, so I’d appreciate a heads up in that situation anyway. I think this calls for a post on the subject, actually.

  27. New York really has some strange dating habits. Not even telling your date what you have planned (roughly at least!) is just plain odd.

    What if an out of towner wanted to do something like go see the statue of liberty? Or go see some other monument? How would that be for a date?

  28. I ain’t saying bad4 is a gold-digga,
    but she ain’t messin’ with no broke ni**a!

    Comment by Gennaro


  29. If the out-of-towner you’re talking about is the same one who is worried about his wallet, he doesn’t want to see the Statue of Liberty. But if he really does, I’d be delighted to show him around. But I can’t answer for anyone else. It’s a bit of a risk, if you don’t tell where you plan to go.

  30. See, if you’ve been there already, it might ruin it for the date- unless you both have fun while you show him around.

    Not telling seems to be more and more common- why do guys think it will be more fun if it’s a surprise? If I had shown up in 3 inch heels and then I’m expected to take a walk- I wouldn’t be so happy.

    And, there are plenty of more imaginative things to do in NYC that aren’t expensive! Why does cheapness have to come into it? Try a walk around Manhattan and see the sights from afar, head to the pier, look at the bridge from the overpass by the BQE…I’m not even from NY, and I know all this.

    I think it is mentchlik to pay for a drink, maybe a snack if you’re out for a long while, but girls will understand if you don’t go all out in emptying that wallet.

  31. #33 Well there’s nothing wrong with going to a restaurant and eating and doing something like walking around or whatever, or doing something and then eating, even with the guy paying. It’s just that people should understand that they are very young and that it is a crazy notion wrack up 60-100+ dollars on a date that could easily go nowhere.

    I hate to be overly critical, but isn’t wearing heels that prove uncomfortable after a short amount of time a tiny bit impractical if there is any chance of doing anything aside from walking to and from the curb of whatever building you’ll be going into? It might make your dating experience way more enjoyable if you have the flexibility of being able to walk around instead of being tethered to a pair of shoes that your date more than likely won’t look at or see the difference between your 3 inches and 1 inch or a half of an inch or whatever.

    As a side note as long as we’re talking about New York; I’m going to New York for the very first time (I know, how pathetic!) and I would like to know of any good restaurants to eat at or sites to see. I’ll be there next week from Tuesday to Friday early afternoon!

  32. Being thrifty is not necessarily the same as being cheap.

    Spending several minutes looking hopefully for a “no meter” sign on a Sunday while you are clutching a handful of change is cheap, not thrifty. Not that I said no based on that but it did stick out as a bit strange. I mean, come on, just spend the seventy five cents!

    There are husbands who hold extremely tight purse strings over their wife, and unless the woman is a totally frivolous/irresponsible spender, I think that’s controlling behaviour, and frankly, I wouldn’t want to be in such a relationship. It might not be so great to get into the habit of overanalyzing everything, but things like these can set off warning bells!

  33. Anon: Places to go in NY with a date, or by yourself?

    When friends come to NYC for the first time, I usually take them on a tour that includes Battery Park (look at the Statue, check out the development progress), Chinatown (food, faces, cheap souvenirs/wallets/sunglasses – do bargain with them), Wall Street/Federal Hall (security, suits, history), South Street Seaport (shopping [there’s a mall in the pier], street entertainment, ships, ferry ride optional) in the downtown area, then up 5th Avenue to the southeast corner of Central Park to sniff horses, check out price tags at Bergdorf Goodman, hug life-sized stuffed animals in FAO Schwartz, admire the decor in the Apple Store, and introduce them to the concept of The Strand.

    If there’s time, it’s a beautiful season for a walk through Central Park, or even better yet, hop up to Fort Tryon park for a snack overlooking the Hudson (gorgeous park, gorgeous view, nuff said). Along the way I like to stop at the subway station for the Museum of Natural History because I, personally, think the mosaics are super-cool (make sure to go up and down both sets of stairs) but not too many people are as impressed as I am. If you have time, go into the museum, especially the Hall of Ocean Life. Even people who don’t like museums like the dioramas.

    Places NOT to go: Ground Zero is boring, there’s nothing to see. The Empire State Building is a complete ripoff in every possible way. Rockefeller Center has nothing to do except drink coffee, shop, and look at NYC from a tall place (for a price). Grand Central – the same, except minus the view. (Though Grand Central’s main hall is pretty impressive, plus you can get your shoes shined at one of those little shoe-shine booths.) Bryant Park is strictly for New Yorkers. The library lions are around the corner, but nobody is standing on them trying to become visible (literary reference). Museum Mile is for people who are really dedicated museum hoppers – the rest of us get bored fast. (Though the Cooper Hewitt has good exhibits every now and then.) There’s free kayaking on the Hudson River between piers, but I think you can get a better kayaking experience out of NYC.

    Places to eat I can’t help you with as much. For kosher deli, you need to visit Essex, wherever it is these days. Others swear by Dougies. They say the fish is excellent at Cafe K. But if you drive around the avenues between J, Kings Highway, Ocean Avenue, and Coney Island, you will stumble across more places to eat then you ever thought necessary. And there are more in the rest of Brooklyn, not to mention Manhattan. I think if you google Kosher Restaurants, NYC there’s an official list somewhere, with all the hechsherim listed. Alternatively, the Jewish Press Dining Guide has a decent list.

  34. Queens & Five Towns have a lot of good places to eat; Top of the Rock is good, but more likely on a later date.

    Didn’t date much, but places we did go: 7/11 (yeah), Central Park, a comedy club (err, not recommended unless it’s Chicago City Limits), wax museum, Sony, Rock Center (Christmastime – cool ice sculptures 🙂 ).

  35. Just wondering why you girls don’t ask your date in advance where you’re going. I always ask (politely, of course), for the abovementioned reasons – so I know how to dress (jacket for a walk in the rain/snow, no three-inch heels for a walk in Central Park, etc.) (Although the three-inch heels might be a question for a different reason – let’s just say that not all well-meaning shadchanim *really* know how tall the guy is.) An added benefit to asking in advance is that when the guy asks you where you want to go (a la a previous post), you’re prepared to answer and you’re dressed appropriately!

  36. question: the heels… like i’d rather not wear them. does it make a difference if we wear flats?

  37. You can wear what you please – honest. I happen to prefer heels, so advanced warning would let me know to wear the comfortable ones.

  38. Pingback: Repost: You Just Can’t Win | Bad for Shidduchim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s