"The problem is all inside your head, she said to me The answer is easy if you take it logically I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free There must be fifty ways to leave your lover She said it's really not my habit to intrude Furthermore, I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued But I'll repeat myself, at the risk of being crude There must be fifty ways to leave your lover Fifty ways to leave your lover" ~~Paul Simon~~
I know that's not exactly a Valentine's (If I hear one of my cousins say Valen-times one more time I will scream) Day song for you romantically inclined, but it's the best one I could think of under the circumstances.
See it's like this: While eating out with the lovely Mrs. Field, earlier,--- in a restaurant where I had to pay half the cost of the Stimulus Package for the damn entree---I had a very interesting and chilly discussion prompted by me making the serious mistake of ordering first. Mrs. Field said that if we were still dating that would have probably been a second date killer. "Field, never ever ever order before your date, it's selfish and impolite. I thought you knew that." Actually I did know that, but being married too long can make you lazy.
Anywhooo, Mrs. Field went into a long litany of things that can be a second date killer for black women. It might not have been fifty ( I will give you twenty), and it's not ways to lose your lover, it's ways that your lover will lose you. My melanin challenged friends, please hang with me on this one, these do's and don'ts primarily apply to the brothers and sisters among us, although I suspect that some of them might be universal. So here are some of the rules outlined by Mrs. Field (she swears that they are sister universal) for you brothers who want to make a love connection.
1. Do not expect your date to pay a dime on your first five dates. After five, the conventional wisdom is that you will know each other well enough for her to offer to pick up a tip, pay the cab fare, or the cost of two movie tickets. And make sure you know what type of food she likes before you make those reservations. Might not be cool to take her to a sea food restaurant if she is allergic to sea food.
2. Do make sure you tell her the type of date it is so that she won't be over or under dressed. If she asks you what you are wearing, be honest. Don't say just some jeans and a nice shirt and show up in a three button suit.
3. Do not flirt with the waitress. I don't care if she is a dead ringer for Nia Long with a Toni Braxton body. Look away my brothers, look away.
4. Do leave a nice tip. (On the East Coast that's 20 to 25%) women hate small tippers.
5. Do not order before her. ( This is the one that started this discussion)
6. Listen listen listen. Talk about yourself only if she asks.
7. Turn your cell phone off before you pull up to her door. And if it's on and it happens to ring, YOU MUST ANSWER IT. Once you answer it, make sure to keep the conversation very short.
8. Do not go to a restaurant where you are well known, or where you have been with other dates. The hostess mistaking your date for the last one is not cool.
9. Do not go to a fast food restaurant on your first date. Now I know this one seems a bit obvious but some of you brothers are a trip. Believe me, it needs to be said.
10. If the *usher (host,hostess, Maitre De. *"Lyrical Soul" caught me slipping with the church reference) seats you close to the kitchen ask for another seat, even if you have to wait a little longer. Trust me on this one.
11. On your first date, remember, only a hug goodnight. No more. Brothers, I know it can be hard sometimes, but believe me, if your date went well, there will be lots more to come later. A sister knows the moment she lays eyes on you if she is going to give you some. It might take awhile, or not so long, but if she is going to give you some only you can ruin it for yourself.
12. No flowers on the first date. In fact, no flowers on the second or third date, unless, of course, she tells you that she really loves flowers. Or unless your date happens to fall on Valentines Day or her birthday.
13. I shouldn't have to tell you this, but I will. Make sure she is inside her house before you drive off.
14. Call her the next day to make sure she is alright and is not suffering from major food poisoning from the sword fish she ate at the fancy sea food restaurant you took her to.
15. Oh, and speaking of fancy restaurants, please at least have a clue about what is fancy and what is not. Do not tell her that you are taking her to this really fancy place in town and pull up at "Red Lobster". Your ears will be ringing for a long time from girlfriend talking about you to her friends.
16. Make sure your grooming is tight. Your nails should be clean, just enough cologne, (not too much like some of my Af... never mind, just don't over do it with the cologne.) and an outfit that you really feel comfortable in.
17. Now this next one is tricky: The car door dilemma. Do you or do you not open her car door? I could do an entire post on this one. As a rule, you should probably hop around and get her door on your first couple of dates. Quite a few women will just get it themselves, and not be offended. Some , on the other hand, will expect you to get the door, and will be offended if you don't. This is one of those deals where you will just have to get a feel for your subject. Now in inclement weather you ALWAYS get the door. And if you are approaching the car from her side you ALWAYS get the door as well.
18. Don't take your date to a play unless you know that she likes plays. Don't take her to an art gallery unless she tells you that she loves to go to art galleries. And don't take her to an NBA game unless she tells you that she just loves basketball. And even then, you should probably wait until you are deeper into your relationship before you take her to see AI at the Wachovia Center.
19. Do not improvise on the first couple of dates, if you tell her it's dinner and a movie, make sure it's dinner and a movie. Not dinner, a movie, and stop by my boy Pookie's house for a card game. That's not cool.
20. Finally, and I know that this is hard for you colored folks. But be on time! If you tell her you are picking her up at 7:00PM, pick her up at 7:00PM. If you have to wait on her that's fine, just make sure that your ass is on time. Did I mention listen listen listen?
Now follow these simple rules my brothers and next Valentine's Day you will be sending the field a thank you card. Or, better yet, a wedding invitation. :)
*That pic is courtesy of blackpeoplemeet.net