Dating Boys, Part 1 of 2: How to be a Boy

There are two types of women who might be considered “aggressive.” Well, maybe more than two, but this isn’t about the taxonomy of the female genus. So let’s stick with a two-species model.

The first is a genuinely bossy woman. She is convinced that she knows the best way to do everything, and she is not shy about telling – or even enforcing – her opinion on others.

Then there’s an ambitious woman. She has a strong drive to achieve, and enjoys the feeling of accomplishment it gives her. But, something I’ve noticed: many of these women are nowhere near as aggressive in their personal lives, and can be quite passive when away from their job, hobby, or academic environs.

I was thinking about this because a specimen 2 type (S2T) called me up the other day rather distraught. She’d had a phone call with a guy, which was unusual in her Brooklyn-Bais Yaakov circles, but no matter.

After the introductory platitudes, the conversation went something like this:

Him: So, where are we going?

Her: I don’t know, what are the choices?

Him: I don’t know, I’m not from around here.

Her: Well what did you have in mind?

Him: Oh, I don’t know. Whatever you want.

Her: So, like… a lounge in Manhattan would be fine?

Him: Will you meet me there or do we go by train?

Her: Wait, aren’t you going to pick me up?

Him: Yes. Sure I could.

Her: So we’ll drive.

Him: I don’t have a car.

Her: What about borrowing?

Him: I don’t drive.

Her: You don’t drive?

Him: I don’t have a driver’s license.

Her: Really? Are you getting one?

Him: No. Why?

Her: Because, well. Um.

This conversation struck her as wrong on several levels. For those who don’t instinctively understand why, I’ll go into now in detail.

But first, a quick statement about the pre-date phone call. As a bais Yaakov maidel, the phone call is not mandatory in my circles. I was always very glad of that, because carrying on a telephone conversation with someone I’ve never met strikes me as rather awkward. I have trouble enough with people I know. However, I could respect a guy who wanted to call. I thought it showed confidence and an old-fashioned gentlemanliness – very much something out of the more courteous days of our parents.

Now I realize that all too often, it is directly from the days of our parents. Because sometimes what it means is that a guy is taking orders from his mother. With S2T’s guy, it was pretty obvious that this applied.

Here are his main errors:

1 – Plan the date. Plan. The. Date. You are the guy. You must come with at least one idea for the date. You want to give a girl options? Fine. You want to have backup or hear her feedback? Fine. But plan something. We are not comfortable spending your money without any idea of what your price range is. I regularly threaten that the next guy who pulls this on me is going to wind up paying for my sirloin at Prime Grill. But I never have done that. It would be like taking money from a little boy. A little boy who thinks he’s old enough to date.

So I always suggest a walk in the park. It’s cheap, it’s local, and it’s usually pleasant.

2 – Know the local customs. The average Brooklyn girl needs picking up. Car preferred. Yeah, it’s a large demand to make, but it stems from the same old-fashioned concern. Her parents want to know that she’s in good hands, and they want to see you first so they can give a description to the cops if it turns out she isn’t. If you don’t have a car, borrow. You can rent. You can hail a taxi or hire a driver.

The S2T was flummoxed because in her high-achieving world, one doesn’t tackle a task blind. One learns how to perform in the best manner possible before starting. If she were a guy, she’d get a license just for the sake of dating. Why didn’t he show her that courtesy?

S2T’s question wasn’t “Is this guy a total loser?” To her, that seemed self-evident. She wanted to know if it’s okay to call it off after the phone call. I said I always give a guy a second shot, so my advice would be to work something out with him: walk to a local restaurant or take the train somewhere. He might just be young, naïve. He might improve on acquaintance.

That’s what I tell her, but I know he won’t. Because I’ve gone out with these guys before. They are not men. They are boys. Mama’s boys. They think marriage is swapping one mother for another. They will wind up marrying a Type 1 Specimen who will wipe their noses for them in public, and they will not understand why.

If you want a woman who will respect you, respect her. Date with courtesy.

Continued in Dating Boys, Part 2 of 2: Warning Signs.

Rumor or Not… PSA

There was some shocked whispering among Good4 and her friends this past holiday afternoon. Apparently a former classmate hit a man while texting and driving and the poor fellow is in critical condition. That wasn’t really what horrified them, though. What horrified them was that she had to be bailed out of jail for yom tov. Crime? Reckless endangerment, possibly manslaughter. Sentence? They were murmuring about years.

Or something like that. I’m not sure how reliable Good4 and her friends are as news sources. But that’s not the point.

There’s a vague, perhaps smug assumption that since we’re all good moral people who don’t mug people on street corners, drink and drive, or sell drugs, we’ll never land in jail or otherwise rub shoulders with the sort of people who do. Sure, we may rip CDs we don’t own or download textbooks or speed, run stop signs, and not declare every bit of cash income on our tax returns, but that’s small stuff and doesn’t hurt anyone – at least not anyone we know – and not very much.

I don’t remember the context, but some enthusiastic teacher in my past hammered into my head the phrase “Adam mu’ad li’olam.” A person is always responsible for his/her actions. So, for example, if you’re in control of a couple of tons of metal and glass machinery capable of reaching high speeds and acquiring large amounts of momentum – which means it’s not so easily stopped or redirected – you are responsible to take care that it doesn’t harm anyone. If you’re in a congested area where the situation can change in a moment, you are expected to take extra special care in directing your heavy machinery.

And no, it is not freakin’ cool to text, post, write, type, dial, read, or otherwise distract yourself from your windows and mirrors with a phone, BlackBerry, iPod, iPad, iTouch or any other gadget web-enabled or not. You (yes, innocent lil ol’ you) could wind up being guilty of causing someone’s death.

Homicide.

Yep, killing. Comes with a jail sentence too. Cool, no?

One thing I wonder: what was her text about? Was it worth it?

PS: This one out of Australia courtesy of SiBaW (warning: it’s graphic, but hey, that’s life. Or could be.)