Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Date the Cow

After reading articles like this one about the current state of dating etiquette (or lack thereof), I am awfully happy how the frum community limits dating strictly in terms of marriage

In the secular world, men are generally considered to be commitment phobic, and women are urged by their grandmothers to remember that "Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?" (as the "notorious" Beacon piece depicted so well).

Now men won't even commit to a date, never mind a lifetime of monogamy.  
Traditional courtship — picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date — required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings). Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of “asynchronous communication,” as techies call it. In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm; it’s more like dropping a line in the water and hoping for a nibble.
“I’ve seen men put more effort into finding a movie to watch on Netflix Instant than composing a coherent message to ask a woman out,” said Anna Goldfarb, 34, an author and blogger in Moorestown, N.J. A typical, annoying query is the last-minute: “Is anything fun going on tonight?” More annoying still are the men who simply ping, “Hey” or “ ’sup.”
“What does he think I’m doing?” she said. “I’m going to my friend’s house to drink cheap white wine and watch episodes of ‘Dance Moms’ on demand.” 
Here, "traditional courtship" means two people meeting, exchanging phone numbers, and the guy now has to call a girl and open himself to possible rejection. Well, I wouldn't be crazy about having to do that myself.
I know I am totally overusing Boromir, but please indulge me.
The texting culture is blamed in that it gave men the out they were looking for. It must be excruciating to have to call a relative stranger and profess interest, and if she isn't remotely intrigued, feeling like roadkill on top of being shot down. 

But on the other end, the fact that men had to sit up straight once made them value the experience more (back to "buying the cow"). I have noticed that my restaurant dates arrive better dressed and make more of an effort than the coffee dates. Heck, he's paying for a main as opposed to a $2 tea. A higher price tag seems to wrestle out more male industriousness
Dodgy economic prospects facing millennials also help torpedo the old, formal dating rituals. Faced with a lingering recession, a stagnant job market, and mountains of student debt, many young people — particularly victims of the “mancession” — simply cannot afford to invest a fancy dinner or show in someone they may or may not click with.      
I'm not expecting a three-course meal at Abigael's. But if money is dearer, he will certainly bring his A-game
Many young men these days have no experience in formal dating  
Well, ours certainly don't! But, when they reach the age of 20, they have to learn. Send your sloppy gentile bachelors our way; we'll teach 'em how it's done
Cheryl Yeoh, a tech entrepreneur in San Francisco, said that she has been on many formal dates of late — plays, fancy restaurants. One suitor even presented her with red roses. For her, the old traditions are alive simply because she refuses to put up with anything less. She generally refuses to go on any date that is not set up a week in advance, involving a degree of forethought.
“If he really wants you,” Ms. Yeoh, 29, said, “he has to put in some effort.” 
True that. Anything in life worth having is not going to fall into one's lap, for men or women. This cow spent her day really watching her food intake and carefully applied paint and painfully did her hair and can't breathe in her skirt all in the name of effort. Ergo, wooing the cow seems fair.

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