Friday, February 22, 2008

On dating, with Flenker and H

Yesterday I picked up a pair of knitting needles and some yarn. My plan is twofold. First off, I think it'd be awesome to make something to wear. My first project, I've decided, is a scarf. Really straight-forward and simple. Next, a pair of socks. After that, maybe some underwear. I don't know how comfortable those would be, but they'd be a hell of a conversation starter (yes, I frequently talk about my underwear with people. You'd be surprised by how many people have actually seen me in them. But that's another story).

The second reason behind my acquisition of the needles is the real ingenious part of the plan: for the girls.

I have it all figured out, you see. A girl will see me knitting (once I'm comfortable to do it in public. people will be talking), and ask me about it. I'll reply with, "yeah, I figured I may as well guarantee that I'll never touch a girl again and took this up." She'll either feel sorry for me (in which case I'm in), or she'll laugh and realize that I have a ridiculously awesome sense of humor. And they'll be intrigued. They'll see it as a challenge, and maybe think I'm "sensitive." And what girl wouldn't want a hand-knit somethingorother for Valentine's Day? Even if it's just a pot holder the first time around, she knows that I'll improve, and be making her that bikini top that she wants for next year.

Don't just take my word on it, though. I've run this by my crack team of analysts, and it checks out. Don't believe me? Here's H with her thoughts.

I think Flenker may be onto something with this knitting thing. Dating today has gotten so complicated; with the advent of cellular phones and text messaging, dating Web sites such as eHarmony, and those pesky STD tests, many folks long for the simple dating ways of yesteryear.

First of all, there’s so much confusion surrounding relationship statuses. When you first meet someone and are certainly “into them” but have only been on a handful of dates, what are you? Are you seeing each other? Are you dating? Bringing it up would only create a domino effect and presumably send the guy (or commitment-phobic girl, I don’t mean to create stereotypes here) running for the hills; no one wants to have that “So, what are we, exactly?” talk too early on. But once it’s been established that two people are together, it doesn’t get any easier. You’re in a relationship…until you “go on a break” or “take some time apart.” One person can call the other their boyfriend or girlfriend, while the other may introduce their partner as their “special friend” or “significant other.” And you may still have one person who just can’t commit to committing, who, in a committed relationship they may be, refuse to call their partner anything at all. In cases such as these, the other partner may be delighted to hear the response “I assumed I would be doing whatever you’re doing” to the question “What did you have planned for Easter?”1

But back in the day, there was no such confusion. First the man would ask the woman on the date; if all went well, the man would ask the woman to go steady; and finally, the man would ask the woman to marry him. First you had a date, then you went steady, then you got married. It was as simple as that. If things weren’t going to work out, one party would politely break up with the other, in person; perhaps the very wealthy and sophisticated would toss a martini in someone’s face if things ended on a sour note. There was no leaving people hanging by not returning phone calls (especially in the days before Alexander Graham Bell opened that can of worms), no “We were on a break” a la Ross and Rachel, and no dumping people via e-mail or, worse, text message2.

Yes, those were simpler, happier times. We need to bring back the dating ideals of the days of yore, and I think Flenker’s idea to start knitting is a savvy one. In this age of technology, people can seem cold and impersonal. All the virtual interaction that has replaced regular human contact has trained people to talk to machines and not other humans. Men should do something that humanizes them, that brings out their softer side, and knitting seems like the perfect way to go about this. One might be inclined to use poetry, but poetry is a slippery slope; unless you claim “Poet” as your occupation when filing your tax return, poetry should be used sparingly as to avoid creating the impression that you are trying too hard. Knitting makes it look like you are not trying at all. In fact, it makes it look like you are trying to repel women. This will create an aura of mystery and intrigue, like a tractor beam sucking the ladies right in. You will be deemed “intense, but sensitive.” Isn’t that what every man wants?

1 This actually just happened to someone I know.

2 After a friend recently dumped his girlfriend over the phone, we were discussing the worst possible ways to break up with someone. Over the phone was rated the fourth worst way to dump someone, preceded by text message, instant message, and e-mail.

I was actually "dumped" by someone via email. But, it was one of those "dating" relationships, where neither of us were sure if we were "boyfriend/girlfriend." Well, I guess she was sure when she sent the email. Added on top of that was the fact that it was a long-distance "relationship." When you're not sure what the status of the relationship is, and there are more than 10 miles between the two parties, chances are there's not much of a relationship there. It would've been nice for someone to tell me that 10 years ago. Hell, it would've been nice to remember that 2 months ago. Live and learn and forget and relearn I guess.

Now that I'm out of school and not working, I have no idea how to meet people. This isn't necessarily going for just meeting girls, either, but making "buddies," too. For today's purposes, though, we'll stick with finding dates.

I've never been big on the bar scene, contrary to how it may come off here. I like going and hanging out with friends and having a good time, but the only times I've ever met anyone at a bar have been when I'm pretty smashed and start randomly talking to people. Most of the time I get the "get this drunk ass away from me" look. If the other party is drunk enough, then a barely coherent conversation will take place, and that's usually the extent of it. I'm not one to ask for phone numbers, or to make "after hours" plans, especially now in my "older" age. Besides, do I really think a lasting relationship will be founded at a bar? (note: this only pertains to myself. I'm sure plenty of people have met the love of their life at a bar. I just don't see it happening for me) So where can the Flenker find love? Here's what I've come up with:

  1. Bookstore - meet someone that likes to read, and if things go well, can impress someone with my book collection and vast knowledge. Plus, there's a chance she might wear glasses.
  2. Coffee shop - as long as it's not Starbucks or something like that, it's probably a cooler person, someone who likes to hang out but in a relaxed manner. Baristas, though, you have to watch out for. You never know what they're thinking
  3. Music store - again, at an independent place. And could be touchy, you might not like the same bands, which could doom a relationship from the start. Or, it could be a ticket in, educating each other about different music. In my relationships, it's usually me educating the girl, I kind of dominate that role.
  4. Grocery store - I've heard it's a good place to meet people, especially "organic" places. I guess I could see that.

The problem now becomes actually talking to people at these places. It's one thing if you see someone over and over again, but a totally different ballgame to go in upon first meeting or even glance.

Flenker, I think you’re thinking a bit too modernly. We need you to take a step back in time. You could meet girls at the:

  1. Bookstore. I’ll leave that one on there, as people have been reading as long as there’s been papyrus to write on. I think you might be onto something there. As always, avoid women you may see in the self-help aisle. Look for them in the cookbook aisle instead.
  2. Coffee shop. Okay, I’ll leave that on there as well, since a coffee shop is an ideal place to sit quietly, reflect and…knit. That’s right, I suggest you break out the needles at your neighborhood Brews Brothers or similar. Just be extra careful not to spill – that cardigan you’re knitting may be given to your newfound beloved, and even she doesn’t want a coffee stain reminder of the first time you met.
  3. Music store – the kind of music store where you go to buy strings for your banjo. She will be there playing her harp. Just trust me on this.
  4. Instead of the grocery store, think farmer’s market. Once the weather gets warmer, that is. Some girl may impress you with her candied yams.

Ahh, much thanks H. Your valuable insight should prove successful. A farmer's market, of course!! Also, my banjo is in need of some new strings, and I can't find my finger picks, so there's another opportunity right there!

I guess this shows that clothing isn't the only thing that should be retro. Everyone says how much simpler things were in "the good old days," so what better way to employ that thinking than in the dating venue? Simplify. I guess it's that easy. Well, as easy as things get in the dating world.


Minty said...


Knitting... I don't know how I'd feel happening upon a male-knitter...

My brother is determined to meet his future bride at a Home Depot.

Book stores sound long as she's checking out cool shit. Independent music shops are very ego-threatening to me. Bars don't scream long-term relationship to me... I met tons of people waiting tables, though. If you are ever inclined to wait tables or bartend or the like, it could be promising...except that meeting a chick at a bar...just not the classiest, "This is how I met your mom" story, you know? Although, it IS a step above saying you met her online in a chat room or something!

Good luck with your mojo!


Minty said...

"Male knitter" should NOT have been hyphenated.

My grammar sucks!

Marin said...

Bars work for me just fine especially if also a live music venue... I just don't find out until the next day or week or so. Also porches. Find a nice porch with some people on it and strike up a conversation.

christina said...

great post! i used to think i'd meet someone in a bookstore. but i was always on the look at the grocery store, too.

i think it is also good to go places alone -- especially a music venue or a movie or dinner or whatever. something that says: i know how to have fun without a huge group of people.

whatever. i met my boyfriend on the internet.

pj said...

I wouldn't take on socks as my second knitting project. They are way hard and require using 4 double pointed needles. Just settle for being the best darn scarf knitter you can be (for a while anyway).

Try look for chicks in the frou frou yarn store where you will be shopping for organic cotton yarn ($18 a skein -- 10 skeins required) for the underwear you intend to knit.

Hannita said...

Hmmm... I've not yet come to terms with how I feel about the knitting male. On one side I feel like it indicates a highly evolved man. On the other hand I wonder if he can work on cars.
(as a side note in between reading and commenting i wandered into our cafe and there was a guy in there knitting)
I like the music shop idea. H is right, a man with musical skills is very alluring.

Idea #527 said...

I am super impressed with guys who are musically inclined. I was actually serenaded twice in college by guys with guitars.

The first one after the serenation, I didn't realize was actually wanting to be more than friends. (And yes, NOW I realize when I am sitting at a bar with friends and the guy says, "Hey want to leave for an hour or something and I can play you some songs on my guitar?" is an actual pick up line. But we were already friends, so I just didn't pick up on it. We could have easily gone before or after we went to the bars. I'm SLOW.)

The other one ended up being the former love of my life.

So I'd definitely go with the music. And if I saw some guy knitting I would probably ask him what's he knitting.


Perhaps you could come visit me and we be eachother's wingman! haha!!