Where one woman sets the bar for a man who comes courting


I was talking to a friend the other day and somehow our conversation turned to the subject of how most men usually make a very poor impression on first dates, and our chat went a little something like this:

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

“Ever since I got divorced, my match-making big sister has been trying to get me to go out on dates,” explained my friend. “For years now, I’ve been able to get out of it, but she just never stops trying. I know she means well and wants to be helpful, but I have told her over and over again that my dogs and I are perfectly happy to have our home all to ourselves now and that I have no urge to have a man underfoot 24/7 again. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I couldn’t stand her pleading any longer and I very reluctantly agreed to let her set up a date for me with one of the guys she thinks will make me happy as a clam. So she gives him my phone number and he calls up and asks if I would like to go to dinner with him. Now no way do I want to go on a dinner date, since that would be at night and who knows what is expected of women nowadays after the sun goes down. So I tell him I can only meet him for lunch since I don’t have anyone who can watch my dogs at night. I know that was a pretty lame excuse, but he seemed to buy it and I told him I would leave all the lunch date details up to him. So guess what he goes and does?”
“He picks out the fanciest place in town to have lunch, which means I have to dig through my entire closet to come up with something appropriate to wear, which turned out to include my new boots, and that turned into a whole other can of worms that I will explain later. So, feeling like I wanted to throw up, I show up at the fancy restaurant determined to have a nice lunch and there he is, smiling from ear-to-ear and actually not looking as bad as I thought he would. I mean, my sister’s taste in men is what you might generously call eclectic, and for some reason, most of them are bald. But this guy at least had some hair and it was even properly combed.”
“So, it sounds like your lunch date was off to a good start,” I said.
“It was, but things started to go downhill in a real big hurry!”
“How come?”
“Well, to begin with, he was short, about 5’7” tops, and there I was in high-heeled boots, making me as tall as him. As shallow as it sounds, I just don’t like short men. Never have, never will. Plus that Napoleon complex thing really is true by the way! So my goal was to get seated as quickly as possible so I could stop thinking about how short he was. And I did like that he pulled out my chair for me. But it was only a matter of seconds before the real problem started.”
“What was the real problem?” I asked with interest.
“He started talking!”
“Did he have a weird voice or something?”
“No, his voice was pretty normal, although nothing to write home about. But all he wanted to talk about was himself! And once he got started, boy, he simply couldn’t stop!”
“Maybe he was just nervous?”
“No, he didn’t seem nervous at all. He was just full of himself, and I’m talking right up to the brim, too! He’s a lawyer, and he’s apparently under the illusion that it’s the greatest profession in the world. And there I was, having always ranked lawyers right up there with car salesmen and carnival barkers. And the more he talked, the more I wanted to scream, `Okay, please, enough already’! Plus since he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise, I had way too much time to start noticing all the other things I didn’t like about him.”
“Like what?”
“Well, to begin with, he was wearing a pinky ring.”
“A pinky ring?”
“I have always tried to avoid guys who wear pinky rings, and this one was huge. I mean, I love amethyst stones, but not when they’re big enough to play catch with and on a guy’s pinky finger. Plus he had obviously just had a manicure.”
“I’m sorry, but a man whose fingernails look better than mine has always been a huge red flag for me, not to mention that god-awful pinky ring!”
“Wow,” I said, “I didn’t realize women are so observant on first dates.”
“Are you kidding? We notice everything! And to tell you the truth, it’s really not all that hard to impress us. There are just a few basic things that we don’t want to see.”
“Like what?”
“Well, for instance, a belly that needs the word `beer’ in front of it, or eyebrows that look like mustaches, or any visible signs of fungi. We also don’t want to see hair in strange places! I mean, we women have all learned that we have to accept how hairy most men are, and some of us even come to like it, but we want guys to be hairy in all the places that we have more or less learned to live with – no surprises. In other words, we don’t want to see hair coming out of a guy’s nose, or his ears, or especially a mole on his face.”
“So did your lunch date have hair in any of the wrong places?”
“No, but he did do something I have a very big problem with – he made noise when he chewed his food. I mean, he tried to chew with his mouth shut, which is always a good thing, but he still made lots of gross shushing sounds. Plus since he couldn’t stop talking about himself, the food he was chewing kept coming into view. Now who wants to watch – and hear – your date chewing his food?”
“So, how did the date end?” I asked with interest.
“Oh, in the worst possible way!”
“What do you mean?”
“It ended up with him going on and on about how he had a really fantastic time, which I’m sure he did since he got to talk non-stop about himself for over an hour. But now he wants to take me out again and I’m running out of excuses. I really want to strangle my sister and she knows it. Plus now he wants us to have a night-time date, and you know what that means, don’t you?”
“No, what?”
“It means that he wants to get those perfectly manicured and creepy little hands of his on me, and believe me, the only paws I want on me nowadays belong to my dogs!”

Note: After showing the draft of this column to a few more friends, it dawned on me that West Sacramento is full of people who have been on some very funny dates, and that it would make a great subject for a follow-up column. So if you are one of them, I can be reached at daryl@news-ledger.com and I promise to keep your name – although not your funny date story – a secret!

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

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