you're not busy, maybe you and I . . . oh, nevermind
man, chicks! What the hell?" my friend likes to say.
And I think
that sums it up best most times when it comes to men and women trying
to figure each other out.
Now, I don't
intend to even suggest that men and women should even attempt to figure
each other out in the first place. Instead, I want to tell you of a crusade
that I'm on. I don't know if you can call it holy or noble, but I think
it's one worth fighting. I am on a mission to bring back dating in the
My mom tells
me fairy tales about the days before cable and Nintendo when young men
and women went on dates. Not only that, they went on dates with just each
other and not large groups of people. Somewhere along the way, guys stopped
asking girls out. Instead, that awkward phone call conversation that used
to end with a clear invitation now ends something like this: "So . . .uh
. . . me and the guys and like a group of us were going to like hang out
and stuff this Saturday night if you wanna come or something."
"group date thing" has allowed men to steadily become more ambiguous and
cowardly while confusing the prospective girlfriend even further. "I think
he likes me 'cause when we went out with his friends, he sat next to me
during their seed-spitting competition."
of dating can also be found in the language itself, as revealed above.
It seems the "prospective girlfriend" mentioned may be part of the problem:
No one "just dates," they have to have a girlfriend. (When I say "no one,"
I don't mean that literally but more as a hyperbole.) Granted, I come
from a relatively small town in Oklahoma where we mate for life. But then
again, there's not that many new people to date. The same people you went
to kindergarten with are the same at graduation, (though I never did date
my kindergarten crush). The point is, the concept of dating is so foreign
it has nearly been removed from the vocabulary.
from experience, after just two dates with a wonderful girl people began
to ask if she was my girlfriend. The weird part was I didn't even know
these people! They had tapped into the elaborate surveillance system powered
by gossip that was installed at TCU shortly after the practice of dating
was put to a definitive end. "No, we're just dating," I would say, only
to be met with puzzled expressions and more questions. "Dating? What do
player. The greatest foe of my noble quest. Couples used to go out and
have fun, so my mom tells me. If the night ended with a kiss, so be it,
and that was that. Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss, and it used to be
understood as such. The player, however, has mortally wounded this practice
of dating. Instead of being up-front and completely honest about his intentions
(an inherently necessary component of successful dating), he (or she)
fills the prey's head full of lies with only one purpose in mind: getting
a free piece of bubble gum. Due to this unworthy enemy, people have become
less trusting of each other, for fear of being the next piece of Juicy
these problems were less prevalent in the past. An alumna from the early
'30s told me about sneaking behind the bandstand to "dance with the boys"
because the TCU administrators wouldn't have approved. Some mothers remember
having to wear trench coats to class because they couldn't wear something
as revealing as shorts.
But I contend
that in some ways, dating is more conservative now than it was back then.
can you do to help? Approach the guy or girl of your choice and ask them
out on a date, point blank. Being tactful helps, but isn't necessary.
Girls are usually so flattered you had the courage to approach them in
the first place, they don't even notice that you have no clue what you're
doing. Next, go out and have fun. Enjoy yourself. I hate mind games so
I don't play them. I can hear my parents now, "Justin, you make us proud,
son." Yes, I knew I was doing something right when I had a girl say to
me, "I respect that you're so open and honest with me . . . Brad."
though, I didn't get to tell you about love at first sight or my "what-if"
theory or about true romantic love. I didn't tell you not to listen to
anyone's advice . . . that you should follow your heart . . . and that
all the beauty, humor, and intelligence that someone may possess means
nothing if they don't have a good heart. I won't tell you that there's
not a checklist of qualities to be crossed off when looking for the perfect
mate. There's an intangible element that speaks to something you didn't
know was inside you . . . or perhaps has been asleep for a long time.
a revolution coming to TCU. And for me, a personal quest. Now, when people
ask my mom at church what I'm doing these days, she holds her head up
with pride and says, "He's bringing back dating in the '90s . . . and
it's about time."
Hensley is a radio-TV-film and English senior from Bartlesville, Okla.You
can get in touch with him "please" at firstname.lastname@example.org.