I’ve never really truly identified myself as a feminist. I am a modern 20-something woman who at very most could be considered a third wave feminist who cherry picks her battles. I have no problem having a guy open a door for me or paying for dinner on a date. However, recently I found myself explaining to my girlfriends and coworkers how my recent date with an old high school classmate was an utter disaster.
I hadn’t spoken to Shane* in almost four years when I added him on Facebook, then a few months later he asked me to dinner. To be honest I assumed it was just a get together between two old high school friends to catch up on each other’s lives. It wasn’t until his first of three text messages to confirm our plans, that he made it known that he had intended it as a romantic get together. In the three days leading up to the date, he repeatedly referred to me as “Hun” and impatiently waited for me to text him back to reassure him that I was in fact actually going to show up to dinner.
I was already annoyed at having to confirm a date three times in such a short period of time prior to the date. When I showed up at the restaurant that he picked, on the date he choose at the time he determined, he immediately grabbed me, forcing me into an awkward hug before I could even shut the door of the taxi. He let go and raced ahead to open the door to the restaurant. Once inside he placed his hand on the small of my back and guided me to the table he picked. He was annoyed when I sat down at the clean table next to the dirty table he had originally picked out for us stuttering his words before finally sitting down across from me.
OLD FASHION LIKE THAT
After the waitress left with our drink orders (I ordered my usual pop) he glared at me and said, “You know I got this right? I wouldn’t ask you out and then expect you to pay.”
Umm, okay, thanks! I thought to myself.
“I’m old-fashioned like that.” He added smugly. I stared at him and nodded politely. For the longest time he jabbered on about himself, only to make a quick reference to my world travels before he went back to discussing his collection of cell phones, his internet friendships and his overall life plans.
The waitress returned to our table for yet the third time wanting to take our order. After arguing with him that the only thing on the menu I could and wanted to eat was in fact the garden salad. While explaining my vegetarian diet to him and my reasons for wanting the salad, before I could even order for myself he interrupted me ordered my salad and dismissed the waitress. He did not order for himself at that time, he decided to wait until my salad arrived at the table to place his order.
“Please eat. You don’t have to wait for my food to come.” he looked at me across the table and insisted. I declined and waited for his food to arrive so I wouldn’t be sitting there staring at him while he ate. After the awkward dinner, he offered several times to take me home in a taxi, pay for it, then take one home himself. I declined his offers and left in my own taxi, relieved that the night had come to an end.
* * * *
WHAT A MODERN WOMEN WANTS.
“So, what was the problem?” my much younger co-worker asked when I finished telling her about the night.
Perhaps I should not seek validation for a date gone wrong from a younger generation of women, who judges a man’s dating net worth by how “Edward” like he is. I tried to explain to her that a modern woman is capable of escorting herself to the table and ordering her own food A modern woman enjoys a two-way conversation with common interests and can take herself home in a taxi.
“A modern woman,” she said. “Is hard to impress.”
Is the modern woman really that hard to impress? If the1950’s dating style doesn’t impress a woman, then what would?
*Named changed for privacy.