Monday, May 2, 2016

First Impressions

Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns):

Do guys have any real idea of how much time girls spend getting ready for a promising date? For my second date with Evan, I spent the afternoon getting my eyebrows waxed and my nails done, and spent a fortune at Fred Segal on a new skirt and even more time making salespeople all weigh in on it. I honestly don't understand how people go on dates on weeknights; don't they want all that fun time before getting ready? I had kept all my best friends updated about my upcoming date in a long and exhaustively e-mail chain with the subject heading, "HOLY ****, YOU GUYS, MAY NOT TURN INTO A CRAZY JANE EYRE ATTIC LADY AFTER ALL." I really enjoy all these rituals; it's the part of the fun of having a good date to look forward to. But it takes a lot of time and effort. 

At six-thirty that night, I was standing in my bathroom with my hair in curlers—it's true: pink curlers, like in a Doris Day movie—when Evan texted (texted!) to cancel dinner because he wasn't "feeling well."
I am not without sympathy for the dudes. The repetition must be tiresome. Making a phone call, analyzing venues, navigating unknown roads with an irritatingly languid-voiced GPS, shaking yet another fatherly hand, then summoning small talk while still navigating unknown roads and trying not to suffocate in the cloud of hairspray that now occupies the passenger seat. 

But as the cloud of hairspray, date prep can be nerve-wracking and all consuming. Here is an actual conversation that took place before a promising date: 

Me, rifling through closet: What do I wear?

Ma: What do you have?

Me: Not much for in-between weather. Maybe the red top?

Ma: Which red top?

Me: You know, the red top.

Ma: Oh that red top. Are you sure?

Me: It is kinda aufalent. What about the black wrap-around?

Ma: No, no, too summery. Can you dress down the red top?

Me: Um, maybe, if I wear it with the gray herringbone skirt and your black smoking slippers . . .

Ma: Hm. That could work.

Me: Great, the red top it is. Wait! Wait! (having spotted a forgotten garment) What about the lavender sweater?

Ma: The lavender sweater? It doesn't fit you right.

Me: Really? This one? (waving it reverently)

Ma: Oh, that sweater! Of course! Perfect.

Me: Really?

Ma: Yes, really, perfect.

Me: So which shoes now that I'm not dressing down the aufalent?

I kid you not.

Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike the process of getting all dolled up. It's like training for the marathon: exhausting yet rewarding. At least, that's what I hear from people who train for marathons. I personally have no clue what that's like.

I would just like the guys to recognize my—femalekind's—efforts. Peace out.  


Daniel Saunders said...

I don't know, I haven't been on many dates. I've only dated three women, admittedly one of whom I had a relationship with for a few months, but she never wore make-up on principle. But I dislike battle of the sexes stuff. I have my own dating gripes, although not all due to my maleness.

Don't your dates tell you that you look nice? Or is that not tzniut? I guess I should know, in case I ever do end up dating again. I did hear of one maidel who dumped her date after he complimented her appearance, on the grounds that this proved that he was as shallow as the rest of man-kind, but I suspect that's an urban myth.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Yeah, sounds familiar. Like a few years ago when I went on a 4 day conference trip with a single carry on bag and met up with a female colleague and her jumbo suitcase.
"But we're only here for 4 days!"
"Yeah, but I'm a girl."

Princess Lea said...

DS: It's about when the compliment is voiced. When one first goes out with someone, the dude is still, in essence, a stranger. Strangers complimenting a woman can be creepy (like on the subway). When there is an official relationship, then compliments are cool. I know now he's not shallow.

GI: Yup, she's a girl.

Daniel Saunders said...

Makes sense. I'm trying to remember how I behaved during my brief dating experiences. The first one was different anyway, as she wasn't a stranger (she was a friend of my sister's who I had known on and off since primary school; I had later been at university with her). I don't remember about the other two dates!