I Am Not Your Mother…

…nor do I care to be.  Many women gripe and whine about wanting to date “men, not boys.”  Admittedly, I am one of those women.  Studies say that men tend to seek out mates who are most like their mothers–something about imprinting, and mother-son bonding.  In my jaded experience, men seek women like their mothers not because they are akin to goslings, but because they haven’t yet figured out how to grow up, and feel as though they still need Mommy around to guide them through life.  I realize this is probably a painful statement for the gents reading this, and please realize that I’m not trying to blanket statement all men.  I have seen some wonderful, respectful, communicative and honest men in my time…they’re just already married.  Nor am I saying that having a relationship with your mother is bad–of course it isn’t.  So how can I make such an assuming, rash argument?  While none of my research has been controlled or analyzed by a statistician, these are the personal observances I have to support my claim.

-Why don’t you ever wear a coat, seriously?  Even with my socks off, I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone on a winter date and the guy walks in wearing no layers other than a long-sleeved button-down.  My inner monologue says, “What the hell, you weirdo?!  It’s 38F outside, now I’m going to have to make sure we don’t stand outside for too long, because you think you’re The Human Torch.  I am not your mother, it’s not my job to make sure you don’t get the sniffles.”   On the outside, the only socially acceptable reaction for me to have is, “Oh my goodness, aren’t you chilly?”  Guys, you know all those jewelry commercials you see around Christmas time, with the adorable couples frolicking through a winter wonderland, or playfully writing messages in the frost on the windows outside?  We can’t do that.  Why?  Because you’ll get frostbite.  Or because you’ll try to be a manly-macho-man and pretend like your body temperature isn’t plummeting to abnormal levels, and I will refuse to act like your mother and advise you to get a coat on, and then you will get a cold, and then GUESS WHO GETS TO TAKE CARE OF YOU?  Grown-ups wear coats when it’s cold outside.

-Why do you show up to a coffee/drink date without having eaten dinner?  I don’t care how “busy” you were that day (lolling on your couch watching Cops), please take care of your basic human needs before showing up.  You are not a snake, and require food every few hours.  If your mother isn’t present to prepare it for you, you will have to learn how to push buttons on a microwave.  Nothing ruins a date for a woman quite like having to say, “Are you sure you’re ok?  Why don’t we go to a restaurant, I don’t think coffee/alcohol is a good idea for you right now.”  In fact, it’s embarrassing.  You’re uprooting the date so that you don’t pass out or get hangry, and will likely end up eating an entire meal in front of the girl who has a soda, because she ate before she left the house.  This scenario is beyond the realm of “social faux pas.”  It’s just irresponsible and inconsiderate.

– Ok, this is a big one for me, kids:  grown up food.  I don’t care if you don’t like particular food items, or don’t care for a certain spice.  I hate lima beans, fennel and pumpkin.  But if you expect your date to be accepting of the fact that you survive off of chicken fingers and pizza, you will be sorely disappointed.  I have dated men that have angrily refused all vegetables, of any kind (even cried about it).  I dated a guy who yelled at me in a drive through for suggesting that he needed protein instead of just plain nacho chips and salt.  I dated a guy who would order ONLY off of the children’s menu.  I have dated men who will only eat something if it is exceptionally salty or exceptionally sweet.  I dated a guy whose mother allowed him to continue eating Gerber baby food until he was 13 years old (not exclusively, but still…).  Your mother is not here to make you your favorite comfort food, and it is not my responsibility to make sure you don’t hit a sugar high or a carbohydrate crash.  Vegetables are not recommended because the doctor is a meanie, it’s because those foods contain substances that are mandatory for your bodily chemical processes.  Be an adult, suck it up and eat a balanced diet.

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First Dates, Decoded

First dates are not complicated.  For the clinically depressed or painfully shy, I could see them being difficult, but hardly complicated.  When I tell someone that I have a first date coming up, a popular reaction is, “oh, are you nervous?”  Why the hell would I be nervous?  Contrary to popular belief, first dates are not (and never should be) about impressing someone.  They are about sharing some basic and interesting things about yourself, and determining if a mutual perception of compatibility exists.  There are no diamonds, altars, priests or doves involved, so shut down the Pinterest boards, Ladies.  While I don’t believe first dates are overly intricate things, that’s not to say that I enjoy them.  As a horrible analogy, I often feel as though I’m hunting quail in the woods, waiting for the one quail smart enough to fly away from the flock before I can shoot it.  Then I can take the smart quail home, and…I don’t know, keep it as a pet or something.  Like I said, really awful example, I know (perhaps this is why I’m still single).    Anyway, here are a few tips about first-dating from a seasoned veteran.

(Side Note: These are not specifically directed at men.  I’m sure there are plenty of women this ridiculous as well.)

1) Don’t go on a date, if you’re not ready to date.  Just break up with someone yesterday?  Last week?  Last month?  Hell, even last year?  Did your fish die recently?  Did the Doctor just ditch you on Earth?  It doesn’t matter–if you’re not ready, then don’t go.  I can’t tell you what a frustrating waste of time it is to spend precious weekends with someone who is just lonely and broken, and hasn’t bothered to consciously go through the process of healing after a breakup.  I have been lied to and rebounded on, and have consoled crying men who suddenly burst into tears on the 3rd date (true story).  Be respectful of the other person, and don’t throw your woes and fragile emotional state onto them.  It is not your date’s job to heal you, or sympathize with you, or keep you company.  Fix your shit first.  Seriously.

2) You’re not allowed to say, “I’m not very interesting.”  I could give you some stupid anecdote about a snowflake or something, but  honestly, if you’re reading this blog you’re smart enough to know that you’re an individual unlike any other.  Even if it seems boring to you, someone else may find it fascinating.  All of your skills, quirks, opinions, tastes and experiences combine to make an enthralling story, but only if the story-teller believes it.  Random fact about me: I hate velour fabric.  It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me; I can’t touch it without reacting as though I was attacked by a tarantula.  This is a remarkably stupid piece of information, but people find it funny, and weird and interesting.  My point is that whether you think you’re interesting or not, you are.  That person is there to get to know  you more, whether you talk about your favorite TV shows or that time you stayed in an underwater hotel.  Give them the courtesy of conversation instead of a cop out.

3) Remember that you have the right and ability to freaking leave, at any point in time.  Guy won’t stop talking about his ex?  Peace out–he’s probably not abiding by Tip #1.  Girl won’t stop complaining about her hair/makeup/body/outfit?  Peace out–negativity is not worth anyone’s time.  Guy is an ignorant political activist who doesn’t actually understand what he’s so angry and passionate about?  Peace out–then laugh in the car.  Girl is a leg-bouncer?  A hair-twirler?  One of those people that raises the pitch of her voice at the end of every sentence like she’s constantly confused?  Peace out–you get to choose which habits you will and won’t tolerate.  I can vividly recall 4 first dates in which I have decisively walked out, without a goodbye or reason due to inappropriate behavior.  I can recall a truckload more first dates in which I have utilized a myriad of excuses, not excluding these gems:

-“I have to be up really early.”

-“I have to bathe my cat…because he, uh…has a dermatological issue, and has to be bathed every 4 hours.”

-“I seem to have double-booked myself.”

-“I have a headache.”

-“OMG, I forgot my, uh…you see there’s a…thing that I really really really need to attend to.  Right now.  That I can’t tell you about.”

-“I forgot my wallet.”

Or, you can always just be honest, and tell him that he’s a lovely human being, but you’re just not interested.  This works surprisingly well, as long as the person isn’t Political Activist Man.  You get to choose who you like and who you don’t, and you always have the option to leave if you’re really not having a good time.  Keep in mind, however, that this is a RECIPROCAL concept.  The other person is allowed to not like you.  You need to be at peace with this.  If someone is honest and says they’re not interested, that does not make him an immature prick, or her a saucy bitch.  Everybody gets to choose, even Political Activist Man.