This week’s post by staff writer Frank Friedlander discusses gender equality in dating. Should dating be a little more old school or should women do dating woo as well?
So last week, I touched on the unwritten rulebook pertaining to the early stages romance and courtship. Essentially, it refers to a set of age-old customs, dating back well before the days when a guy wanted to make his poodle skirt clad girl his steady, he’d “pin” her. This was after he’d taken the time to woo her by taking her to the malt shop, swing dancing, and staying out well past 8:30 PM listening to Rock N’ Roll.Needless to say, those days are well behind us. The gender roles in society as a whole are no longer as clearly defined as they were in those days, yet when it comes to the process of courtship, some people continue to cling to the same old customs. In 21st Century America, we’re very close to gender equality in the home, the work force, and even the military is getting there. That’s right ladies, you have every right to stand strong on the front line and throw your body on top of that live grenade, thus sacrificing yourself for your buddies. So when will men achieve equal right in the dating world?The specific custom that I would like to touch on at this time is flowers and chocolates. There is little more clichéd Americana than the image of the boy bringing the girl a bouquet of roses and a heart-shaped box of chocolates upon picking her up. While I have no problem with this custom living on, why can it not ever be reversed? I like chocolates. I would have loved for a date to pick me up with a box of chocolates. What’s more, it would not have to be all fancy and red and heart-shaped. As far as I’m concerned, it could be a 3 Musketeers or a box of Junior Mints. After all, it’s the thought that counts, right? Of course it is.I can’t leave out the flowers. Don’t even get me started on the flowers, which it would appear as though I just did on my own. To women even want flowers? Do people really like flowers, or is it more of an entitlement than anything. Something that you don’t really want so much as you feel you have coming, so you better get it. Kind of like the $10 mail in rebate, in the form of a pre-paid Visa debit card when you spend $250 on items you don’t particularly need at a store you don’t particularly like.
Now let’s think about the message that flowers send. I love you? Well that’s what those selling flowers want you to think. In reality, they’re really a burden. A responsibility you don’t really need. Additionally, they are in fact a very ominous way to start a relationship. While fragrant and beautiful, they really don’t stay that way for long. Not before long, they begin to wilt and sag and dry out. Sure, you could devote excessive time to them in order to make them last longer than they’re intended, but is the commitment really worth the extra work and responsibility? Flowers are very needy and time-consuming. Is this really the message that you want from a new suitor?
While flowers are a very in practical way to start things off, allow me to propose a replacement. As opposed to the short life expectancy, frailty, and extra responsibility that flowers offer, a viable substitute should be strong, rugged, and not demand your constant attention to sustain its existence. Allow me to introduce the 21st century’s answer to flowers, the cactus. That’s right ladies and gentleman, a cactus may not be the prettiest thing in the world, or give off a heavenly aroma but it’s strong, it’s sturdy, and it’s durable. What better way to give off the message that while I may not say I love you every chance I get, or cry at Rachel McAdam’s movies, but whenever you need me, I’ll be there for you. However, I’m not needy, I don’t require you every moment, and if you want to go out with the girls and watch Magic Mike, I’ll be here on the windowsill. And don’t worry; I won’t leave little dried bits of leaves for you to clean up.
In the end, if you’re a girl trying to woo a boy, rather than waiting for him to come to the door with flowers and a heart-shaped box of Godiva’s, if you really want to impress him, you should be the one going to pick him up with a cactus in one hand and a box of Junior Mints in the other.
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