Saturday, February 14, 2009


"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


Anonymous said...

Wow! You just about summed it up. I'm hard pressed to think of more rules. You could publish this in a major magazine, put it in a poster, better yet, make a song out it. You need to get this valuable information out there! These rules would save brothers, heck any man in general, from being talked about, cussed out and being dateless. I'm going to send them to my brother. Thanks!

That said, my husband broke most of these rules and still does, but he's pretty good about everything else. Great post!

Anonymous said...


I thought that I loved you before, but now I am SURE. ESPECIALLY, since you obviously picked an astute, fly and straight up sista to be Mrs. Field. You put a ring on it, but you betta keep dating her for the rest of your life! I love her! I love you!

This post is a public service announcement and after all the busted, chessy, ashy, dusty dates that I have had, I can only thank you!

Kim said...

Great advice. #16 really spoke to me. I once had a date with a guy and he wore a t-shirt and jeans which is fine because we just went to an evening movie, but I couldn't help but notice upon closer inspection that he had lines of dust on his T-Shirt like maybe he had the t-shirt folded on top of his closet and the dust gathered at the lines where the t-shirt was folded and then I noticed a clorox spot on his jeans.. thank goodness the movie was great. No more blind dates for me.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Field, Field, Field... these are the best rules ever!

But an FYI...

#10 - Ushers seat you at church. Hostesses (or hosts) seat you at restaurants.

But thanks for the visual of Sister Harris escorting folks to their seats with one arm behind her back and the menus in the other.

And yep... Valentimes! Heard it four times tonight.

icebergslim said...

I just sent this link to MANY who need these tips!


tuscanb said...

wow, Mrs. Field doesn't play, huh? BIG AMEN to much of it, esp. #'s 4,14, and 19 ... for real #4, bad tips are the trigger for the phrase "take me home, please".

I do need some clarification on a few, though ... Does it REALLY matter who orders first? I know it's courtesy to honor "ladies first", but women usually need more time to decide, and going first adds a lot of pressure ...

Also, #6 makes for a really awkward, one-sided, boring conversation with just the woman yapping away, and the man nodding, smiling, and pretending to listen, lol! Too much pressure to ask the right questions, why not have a conversation that flows naturally so that both parties get to express themselves and react?

#7 - If the phone accidentally rings (even though it should be off or on silent), why answer it unless it's immediate family or emergency? Brief or not, answering the phone or texting on a date is not ok, unless it's an emergency. That's what the "ignore" or "silence" button is for ...

tuscanb said...

and a big LMAO @ Lyrical Soul!!

Anonymous said...

WHY do my people say Valentimes? Why? I don't understand the linguistic phenomenon!

Anonymous said...

"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."

-The one time this happened to me, I'd never seen the waitress (nor eaten at that restaurant) before. Fortunately I had a very good alibi - I was with the same person during the time that the waitress claimed I was last in her restaurant with another date. Otherwise, my waitress might have gotten me in lots of trouble.

field negro said...

LOL @ Lyrical Soul; yes this is what happens when you don't go to church, you substitute the things you would get in church for other things. Anyway, I included host (hostess) on that one.

Geneva Girl, one question: how did that lucky devil become your husband?

"This post is a public service announcement and after all the busted, chessy, ashy, dusty dates that I have had, I can only thank you!"

Ouch! Michelle, let's hope at least one of them read it. :)

Zimbel, I have had that experience as well. There ought to be a law aginst these types of waiters.

tucanb, I am not sure about the ordering first thing myself.It seems a litle nit picky, but Mrs. Field is old school. Maybe one of the ladies can answer that one better than I can. But what can I tell you? I am trained.:(

As for #6, trust me, with brothers (at least the ones I know) if you say just listen, the conversation will flow just right.

#7, I need some other sisters to chime in on that one as well. I guess this one depends on the individual.

Anonymous said...

I'm a MCM, melanin challenged male, 56 years old. The list looks very universal, although may be slanted toward US practices of the middle class range. Poorer people might be going on cheaper dates and maybe not driving. I haven't lived in the States in 30 years, so I forgot about the Valentimes irritation. But I had a lot of friends {your cousins} that invariably would ax me things. "Ax me if I care?","Who Axed him?","I axed for fries!". I work in the building trades field and maybe this was just the lower education atmosphere, I'm not sure, it did seem that way. I'm just axin' to please stop, cousins, please stop, or I will get down with that ax already. I speak Spanish now where I live, I never hear the ax anymore. But we have other Spanish
failures here, Mon. After all, it is the Caribbean. Happiness to you and the terrific Mrs., Field. I think you need to be sending some pieces in to Cosmo, Field. Widen your range.

Anonymous said...

Hi Field:

Some of those are good rules, but it's best to follow the rules of etiquette. You can order first providing that you are to the left, if the waiter or waiteress began ordering to the right then he or she is wrong. What would be impolite if your food came first and began eating before the person you are dining with had his or her food, and that is considered rude.

However, I always thought having dinner or going to a movie or play is not a good first date because it makes everyone nervous. Dates should be fun and interesting. It's also a good idea not to talk marriage on the first date because it makes him or her appear desperate and could cause the other to run to the hills. Have a first date where is an activity that causes both to interact with other and invoke conversation. If find out if both like wine, then go to a wine tasting because it breaks ice about having a discussion about the wine they tasted. Then having dinner doesn't seem so awkward. I think going salsa dancing may fun to do as a first date even if you do know how. Have some fun.

I do not a problem with a guy giving flowers on the first date, it's a wonderful gesture of good will and means he is putting the effort into having a good date particularly he went out his way to find out what her favorite flower is. It only takes a liitle effort to find what the person likes to do and a plan around that. That is actually the great impression is that you listened to the person, remembered what he or she liked, and incorporated into the date. Little things do mean a lot.

Grégoire said...

Excellent advice Field. A couple of minor things though...

Re: Rule 12: When I was younger (and as I dated the occasional Black chickie, I can tell all you fellas that the rules seemed to be pretty much universal) I *always* brought a single flower on the first date. Not a rose, but something less intimidating like a carnation or a daffodil or something like that. Some of you guys can pick one of these out of your front lawn; and if not they're generally available at any supermarket, so there's no excuse.

When you're out in public, make sure to take a second to tell your date that you're having a good time with her.

Make sure your *shoes* and *fingernails* are clean and polished. My grandfather taught me this one.

This isn't meant to disagree with any of this excellent advice, only to supplement it. I know Field's tips are meant for Black dudes, but I hope some of these scroungy looking White people I see taking their women to the local Taco Time will stumble in here and read this essay. Remember, you don't have to be Romeo or Cassanova, just a human being, and it only lasts a couple of hours until you go back home and act like a slob again.

field negro said...

"Make sure your *shoes* and *fingernails* are clean and polished. My grandfather taught me this one."

Oh yes fellows, the shoes....please, please,please make sure the shows are tight. I don't care if they are Payless or Ferragamos, they they have got to be tight. :)

hennasplace, thanks for the additions and the etiquette lessons. I need more of that.

"Field. I think you need to be sending some pieces in to Cosmo, Field. Widen your range."

Yeah, but somehow I can't see Cosmo Mag havingthe words "field Negro" on their advice page. Oil & water if you get my drift. It might offend some of their readers. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh please thank Mrs. Fields for me!

daedalus2u said...

This reminds me of an article I read some years ago, written by a woman who talked about a book the title of which rhymed with "the fools". How many of these things reflect what a relationship will be like 5, 10, 20, 30 years later? How many of these things will help the two of you get through hard times? Loss of income, injury, children, loss of children, loss of parents?

If you want to "date" someone, these rules are fine. If you want a life-long relationship, they are kind of superficial.

Anonymous said...

Great, except for " The car door dilemma."

Always get the door. And not just car doors, every door. Forever. Right throughout the relationship.

Simple rule. And it works.

Anonymous said...

...and people wonder why the divorce rate is sky high. I thought only dogs had to jump through hoops. There are over 3.5 billion women on this planet, why in the world would you bend over backwards (according to some obscure rulebook) for one.

This is probably one of the main factors in black males lower than average life expectancy.

"You're not killin' me!?!"

brotherkomrade said...

I don't know if I agree that this post should be just targeted toward people of color as I'm sure white women can make same complaint about white males on dates. The issue is that we have gotten lazy when it comes to courting if you're into that sort of thing, and we have lost some sense of common sense. I was forced into watching this nonsense of a show where this ugly-as-sin creature matches up women with millionaires and the millionares had about as much social graces as farm animals.

I understand the point that you are making and agree with everything that you wrote. Lately as a married man I have been noticing a lot of weird behavior amongst both single men and single women when dealing with each other over courtship and but I have felt out of place to blog about it because who would even listen to a married man? But now that you've created this post, I feel encouraged to do so. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Great list! I have been out of the dating game for 13 years now but had to chuckle about # 11. The hubby after the first date walked me to the door and gave me a hug. I was stunned since most dudes I used to deal with would have tried to come in and take it to the next level. Lets just say then, I knew he might be the one.

As far as letting the woman order first, 9 out of 10 times I want to go last so that wouldn't bug me at all.

Anonymous said...

Don't walk away from that table without leaving a tip...

And don't start picking your teeth...

This was a great post Field. You've got to write a book...LOL

Anonymous said...

Apparently all your male readers are heterosexual or bisexual men who at this time are only dating women?

Anonymous said...

Moreover, the louts you are trying to reach are uneducable. If they are straight, they are benefitting from the male:female ratio and see no benefit in self-improvement when it comes to women. This is exponentially accurate when it comes to Black men, particularly employed and even remotely handsome. And let's not talk about the men who date -- but dislike -- women. Again: exponentially true when it comes to BM. These of your cousins -- because only you are sweetly misguided enough to claim 'em -- are so screwed up because there are no true men around ever (and the mothers are often utter messes, to boot). And if they appear on the surface to be men (and by "men," I mean of legal age)? They cannot be told anything other than their crap doesn't stink.

Your suggestions are cute, but laughable, save for the pre-teen/"tween." That adult males have to be instructed at this level? Pitiful.

Anonymous said...

To: 3:44,
Our peeps say "Valentimes," instead of "Valentines," because, I surmise, "times" is an actual word, and "tines" is not, and they just run these syllables together. That's really the only thing I can think of regarding this linguistic infraction. Also, if the perpetrator of the infraction has been mispronouncing "Valentine's" for most of their lives, then the likelihood of them continuing to do it is still great -- whether they've been corrected on its pronounciation or not. Linguistical habits are very difficult to break.

You have got everything down to a danggone science. You've learned a lot, obviously, in the house with Mrs. Field. (And thanks, thanks, much thanks for always, always, always keeping it real.)

Anonymous said...

If I'd tipped 25% on our first date I think that would've been a deal-breaker for my now-wife. She thinks I'm a spendthrift as it is.

Anonymous said...

You know what's sad, Field?

I haven't been on a date in so long that I didn't even know some of these rules existed


T. Nichol said...

I agree with 2,3,4,9,13,14 (just to see how the date went overall), 15,16,18, 19 (if its a Spades game, I'm in.) and 20.

#1 - I think the first date depends on who asked who out also. If he asked me out, I say he should pay for the first, but after that I don't mind going dutch (especially in these hard times).

#5 - I didn't even know there was a way servers are suppose to ask and I worked in a restaurant. Still as long as my order gets in I don't care who goes first.

#6 - I believe in mutual onversation

#7 - To me you can answer your phone. If we're talking the first few dates, it's not a committed thing to me. I'm just getting to know you so I can't get jealous about anything. Just be respectful with the phone calls. If it does happen to be some women on the phone just let her know you're busy and will call her back.

#8 - That's hard to do depending on the city you live in and the servers shouldn't be up in your business like that anyways.

#9 - As long as the table is not right behind the kitchen door or a draft. I don't care.

#11 - I think a quick peck on the cheek is okay. Especially if you both feel the date went well.

#12 is cool for the first, but I think as long as you know I'm not allergic they can be bought on other dates.

#17 - This is tricky. I think I expect it on the first date serveral dates, but it can be habit to just open it on your own.

#19 - If its a Spade game, I don't mind stopping at Pookie's as long as you tell me Pookie and his peeps are on the up and up.

When did tipping get up to 25% on the east coast. I know I still do 20%

Anonymous said...

Dude, tell me you didn't take Mrs. Field out to dinner on Valentine's Day!!?? That's fucking amateur night. The restaurants overbook, sell their highest margin shit food as an overpriced prix fix, and have to bring in shitty unqualified temp staff to work the volume.

And what the fuck is up with the couple in the picture at the top of your post!? They look like they both just sucked down a couple liters of nitrous oxide!

daedalus2u said...

The premises of this post have been bothering me all day. Don't get me wrong, women can use any criteria to choose who they date that they want to. But come-on, these "rules" are going to help a woman pick out a "good" partner?

I guess it is a sign that women (and I don't think it is just a black thing, white women have these same issues too) don't know how to figure out what a "good" man is like, so they choose based on all this BS. They select people out based on trivial BS nonsense rather than select people in because of real good and solid stuff.

Field, if you and Mrs. Field were stranded in the desert with only enough food for a couple of days, I know you well enough that you wouldn't eat any of it, you would give it all to Mrs. Field. She knows that too. To me, something like that is more important than any of this 20 question BS.

Because a guy wears a tee shirt with fold marks and has a bleach spot on his jeans, that is enough to dump him? I haven't folded any piece of clothing in over 10 years. I haven't used bleach in that time either. That makes me a bad man? An unsuitable life partner?

I have also never hit anyone I have ever dated in my entire life. How many women here have been hit and didn't immediately dump him? How many guys have hit their woman? That is a question I would like to know. My guess is that not being hit isn't as important as these other things on the list. Why that is isn't something that I understand.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:53

There is nothing with treating people with respect. It is rude to be late while someone is waiting for you. It's sign of arrogance and you have no respect for other people's time. It is a matter how you want present yourself to the world. No one is going to be with if do not possess common courtesy towards other people. It only takes a little effort to put your best foot forward. I do not understand why you wouldn't that you are a decent person.

Anonymous said...

Hey FN why five dates before, my lord, females today are laying with the guys before the first date is over. lol. and you want them to wait for the fifth date and no flowers. haha. trust me the brother may not make it to the next date. and with the age of cell phones we have to wait until the next day. I want a text msg or a phone call before i lay my head down on the pillow. you know to give his voice a nice spot in my dreams. Courting is nice. Maybe its time to get back to the basic. Thanks Mrs. FN for me. Cheers.

Lola Gets said...

But, Field,
"It Valentime!"

Honestly Field, the only man that has done any of those things youve listed above is my Poofty. For some reason, I cant find a straight man that cares - or even knows - to do any of the above.
I hate Valentime


TrueBlue said...
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TrueBlue said...
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TrueBlue said...

Lots of typos today ... third try.

Apparently all your male readers are heterosexual or bisexual men who at this time are only dating women?

As the token white homo in this thread, I'm going to tell you that several of those rules would be instant death for a first meeting between a couple-a gay guys. #1, (maybe ... depending) #11, #17.

In general, even though the guys are gay, there's enough commonality that a "date," which generally will be phrased more in terms of, "Hey, want to meet up for dinner?" isn't a dance where one leads and the other follows. It's a shared enterprise.

And I'm not even going to talk about kink, "hookups" or kinky hookups. Which, believe it or not, do happen. I understand heterosexuals even do those things from time to time. In those cases, elaborate preliminaries and studied politeness might be exactly the wrong tactics.

6. Listen listen listen. Talk about yourself only if she asks.

She's probably going to want the guy to say enough to demonstrate that he's not a psycho, right? But here's an idea, from a class I once took. It's called "active listening," meaning that you ask questions, interject short comments, and when appropriate paraphrase what your companion just said. That way, the other person knows you're not just sitting there, but that you're really hearing what's said.

Finally, Field, you should have had a 21st rule. Comes straight out of Dale Carngie. The sweetest sound to the human ear is someone's own name. Doesn't matter what your orientation is, call your companion by his or her name. Don't be an ostentatious fool about it, but make sure to do it. And leave the nicknames at home, i.e., "baby" or (ahem) "stud."

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter how many of these "rules" you follow, women are neurotic by nature. You'll never completely please one. In fact, if you followed every single rule to the letter, she'll think you're "too good to be true" and use that as an excuse to end it.

There's a reason that low-life brothas with 2 or 3 baby-mamas beat women off with a stick and together brothas who are intelligent, have a job and no drama seem to struggle. (genralizing of course).

And actually finding a sista that APPRECIATES being treated like a lady isn't that easy either. Too many women (of all races) conflate being a gentleman with being a wuss and being an arrogant ass with "strength".

I could go on an on..

Anonymous said...


You're going off into a tangent. My point is my life isn't centered on making other people happy. I'm an egoist and "progressive" misanthrope. I'm nice, cordial and all of that (Martin Payne/Lawrence voice) when the environment requires it. However, I'm not going out of my way to please others. It's not my job nor is that my purpose in life*.

It doesn't matter anyway. @34yrs old, I have no plans to ever marry.

* = "I believe in the brotherhood of all men, but I don't believe in wasting brotherhood on anyone who doesn't want to practice it with me - Malcolm X

Anonymous said...

wow ain't some people on the comment threads bitter about something...chill out guys its just a fun list, nothing to take so seriously and get worked up about. If it's not your style just don't follow it!

Anonymous said...

Happy Valentime's! I love your blog man. Been reading for a while. Thank you for Brad Childress....

field negro said...

Anon 2:32 PM, why so angry? I bet there is a good brotha out there just waiting for you.

Grinder, thanks for the Gay perspective on this. I tend to write from my own life experiences and unfortunately leave out my Gay brothers and sisters sometines. I am glad you were reading and commented.

"You know what's sad, Field?
I haven't been on a date in so long that I didn't even know some of these rules existed"

Culinarychick, what's stopping you? Don't tell me that we are going to have to make a love connection for you here in the fields. :)

"And what the fuck is up with the couple in the picture at the top of your post!? They look like they both just sucked down a couple liters of nitrous oxide!"

LOL at Comrade PhysioProf, he is so Philly.:)He is the kind of friend that Mrs. Field doesn't want me spending too much time with. I might pick up some of his bad habits.

"Hey FN why five dates before, my lord, females today are laying with the guys before the first date is over."

DD, I hear ya, but I am trying to help the brothas find a life partner here. I am not sure that they would want to say I do with the lady they knock boots with on the first date. Although, if the date went really really well, hey, who am I to judge?

La♥audiobooks said...

Good post (I have to come back and read it a little better). Today is my birthday (Feb 15), don't ask me how old I am. I think I'm either 31 or 32, I actually had to think about it today when someone asked me. Interesting when some of us women hit our 30's we seem to lose track of our age. It really does happen, you know.

So I went for brunch today, sadly I wasn't paying too much attention to those rules for "men", I was busy trying to concentrate so I don't f-up on the "rules for women"...jeezus. Don't give me that look, when you live on an island where there's 15 women to 1 man, it's more pressure on us girls.

Anonymous said...

Re: #9...


Anonymous said...


If you are an egoist and misanthrope, then a soical activity such as dating would not be thing for you. If you do not like mankind, then I understand your feelings. Hey, who needs people.

field negro said...

"Thank you for Brad Childress...."

RH, don't thank me just yet.:)

HAPPY B-DAY La~Incognita,and age ain't nothing but a number.

"Re: #9...

Pete, please tell me that at least you didn't take her to a drive thru.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

This is great advice for all those guys lacking proper male figures to teach them. It's also good for the women so they can learn to employ a set of standards as well and have a yardstick to judge what's common behavior. And no a woman should NOT be going dutch with some guy she's just casually dating. Men need to be men and figure out how to be mature and responsible. I'm not talking dropping $100, but if you can't even get it together for a $30 date and you're over the age of 18 then you are really a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Black folks say "Valentimes Day" instead of "Valentine's Day" for the same reason they still say "skrimp" instead of "shrimp" and "Is you going?" instead of "Are you going?" and "Yes you is." instead of "Yes you are." Not to mention the perpetual way that black folks have of leaving the "s" off of the ends of words and the "ed" off of past tense words. It is a generational southern ghetto, and uneducated way of speaking and a throw back from slavery days. People grew up hearing this way of speaking in the homes and communities. When they go to school many of the teachers never correct this horrible way of speaking. If more teachers who knew how to speak cared enough to see to it that blacks start speaking better, by demanding correct speaking in the classrooms and school, then grown black folks wouldn't still be speaking like they did when they were uneducated slaves. Not to mention the fact that many blacks (especially mothers and fathers of black boys) are not teaching their children any table manners. I have seen so many black men going into adulthood not even knowing how to hold a fork correctly. They are still holding a fork like a 1yr old that just learned how to feed him self. It's disgusting. Black people settle for less because they don't know any better. And for those who do know better... when you know're supposed to do better.

Bob said...

I was raised with manners. But the last woman I fell for sat on a dock with me & ate take out crabs from a crab shack the first time we were out together - her suggestion - & I knew just the place because that's the kind of place I know, & we had great time, & unfortunately she lives 200 miles away.

Anonymous said...

rules I've recently broken, with a happy endings: 1,4,5,7,8,& 9.

65% ain't tooo bad right?

How many of these apply to the non-melanin-challenged, non brothers and sisters among us? :)

Anonymous said...

scratch that, 70% ain't bad right? :D

Anonymous said...

I hear you on that cologne thing, What's up with African men and the whole bottle of cologne thing? I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

This is a straight up PSA.

It's sad that what used to be considered good manners might be seen by some as "jumping through hoops."

isonprize said...

Bob @2:11

I'm that kind of chick. But I also know how to eat at Le Bec Fin. I think that's the key for me.

My best 1st date was with a guy who took me to Max's (A serious 'hood bar that makes hella cheesesteaks in Phila.) But the thing is I didn't know it was the "best" at the time. I knew it when he made me laugh and we went to a very nice restaurant on the second date.

I think he just wanted to make sure that I wasn't 'stuck up.' (snooty, bougie, whatever you want to call rigid about rules...)

So, yes, I guess I can agree with some of these rules, but the most important thing to me is to 'get along with the person, have manners/home training and be kind.

Though I do have a pet peeve about a brother who hold a fork as as if he's riding a bicycle. ealbreaker for me. I know, silly right? But to me, it's also just as "bad" to eat a cheesesteak with a knife and fork.

So, whatever, just have fun...)

Anonymous said...

Great rules for all men, even married ones!

Anonymous said...

I shouldn't have any problems following these rules. I don't have a GF right now because all I can afford is #9.

Sorry about the #11. They always want to kiss me at the end of the night. It's just how it is.

Good rules, though.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm jumping in a little late, but I had to say that your rules are color-blind, except maybe for a specific reference to a specific celebrity. My boyfriend is habitually late, but we've known each other over 5 years--I expect it and plan around it. But he'd done that in the beginning...

TrueBlue said...

Grinder, thanks for the Gay perspective on this. I tend to write from my own life experiences and unfortunately leave out my Gay brothers and sisters sometines.

You can only know what you know. The interesting thing is that gay people pick up all the heterosexual stuff because that's the sea we swim in. I find the differences interesting. There aren't all that many of them, but they do exist.

Also, in many respects you have to subdivide my tribe into gay men and lesbians, who customarily bring a U-Haul to the second date.

What's up with African men and the whole bottle of cologne thing?

I wonder if there might be a physical difference in the sense of smell involved. Stuff like that does exist. Almost all East Asians are lactose intolerant, for example. That's why you rarely see a Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, etc. with a glass of milk.

You know the phenomenon of perfume drenched old women on the airplane? That's because one-quarter of post menopausal women have either a missing or greatly diminished sense of smell.

So, I wonder if there's a genetic-based sensory difference, maybe connected to baggy pants and the love of basketball? And la icognita, I really am joking about the pants and basketball, okay?

TrueBlue said...

p.s.: I think there is absolutely a genetic component in homosexuality. And like all genetics, it varies. Homosexuaity in males is associated with the following: left-handedness, foreign language ability, coding (codemaking, codebreaking, software coding), design skill.

Me, I couldn't learn a language to save my life. Software baffles me. I have no interior design skill at all. And I am right handed. I hated disco, and couldn't care less about the Oscars. I'm a little like the black man who doesn't play basketball, has no rhythm, doesn't like jazz OR hiphop, and doesn't have ... uh ... uh ... well, you know.

Anonymous said...

Heard some research on the homosexuality stuff:
It's not exactly genetic, more about neuronal nets -- but gay guys apparently are the ones whose brains are 100% female (and there are two different types of gay brains -- tops and bottoms, though of course that doesn't mean you can't switch up). The difference is 'hardwiring' (which is mostly early experiences, with some genetics).

Interestingly enough, lesbians and heterosexuals tend to have many more 'valid' neural nets (so different types of personalities).

What happens with broken neural nets? You get autism. People who just don't function.

What the hell is your problem with Black Standard English? Most folk are conversant in multiple dialects-- that's a life skill. But don't denigrate someone's culture just because you think it's "uneducated"

Anonymous said...

If you're in a restaurant where prices differ, talk about what you're going to order with your girl. That way, she doesn't order the filet mignon when you had wanted $13 apiece. She'll feel embarrassed.

I'm starting to feel like I'd really like a guy who didn't go super upscale on the first date. Nice place, no atmosphere, sort of deal. I"m more about good taste in food, anyhow.

My call on opening car doors? Do it if she seems encumbered. That's high heels or tight clothes, or anything that looks awkward.

One more tip: don't go to places and get food everywhere. so taco joint remains a bad idea.

TrueBlue said...

Interestingly enough, lesbians and heterosexuals tend to have many more 'valid' neural nets (so different types of personalities).

Ha ha! That's funny. Now I know why, when I was much younger and spent part of a summer in San Francisco, I used to wonder why, if there was 50,000 or more gay guys in that town, it seemed like there were only five to choose from.

The conformity was just ridiculous. I'd search for places where I'd find people who didn't fit the usual molds. Found 'em, too, but it took some doing.

gay guys apparently are the ones whose brains are 100% female (and there are two different types of gay brains -- tops and bottoms, though of course that doesn't mean you can't switch up).

I'm somewhat more skeptical of that one. No group is all one thing. When looking within the gay population but not being gay, it's a bit like looking at black people if you're not black. You can tend to see an undifferentiated mass. With black folks, being regarded as all the same is amusing and/or infuriating, depending.

I'm not necessarily offended if gays are all lumped together, so much as I am bemused by it. If there's one trait that characterizes gay people, my long-ago San Francisco experience notwithstanding, it's internal diversity. I have often thought that if the Republicans would just back off of the theocracy, they'd have half of the gay vote within 10 years because gays are so individualistic.

As for tops and bottoms, that's a very complex topic, but here is one way I sometimes see it: There is the psychology of the penetrator, and the psychology of the penetrated. I really think that it accounts for a lot of the differences we attribute to "male" and "female." I could go on, but I'll leave it at that, at least for now.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Bob: the clam shack date sounds good. the best early dates I've ever been on were in the daytime, walking, on a beach, at the zoo, through the park. Outdoor theatre or music - jazz in the park or something. The atmosphere's lighter; yu have choices: you can end the date before dinnertime, i.e. nighttime, or carry on through dinner. But outside, during the day, means you have time to talk, and somehow talking while walking works so well, cause you're not in constant eye contact - you can make eye contact when you want to accentuate a funny point, or a serious one. And for all the fact that I admire lots of Field's dating rules, if you're shy, like me, the walk/talk technique feels less full-on and less threatening.

TrueBlue said...

I don't know how this works for straight people, but I do a lot of lunch dates. Doesn't seem to be as much at stake that way.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why I don't have patience with some black women, you need to take what you can get. I don't believe in devoting all my energies into somebody I just met.

vdubjb said...

haha, power doorlocks = get your own door. Most progressive women at least feign paying part of the check. Winging a date can be fun if you are a quick thinker. I would like to also suggest never, ever going to a movie on a 1st date. 2+ hours of complete silence in the middle of your evening is an instant fail.

Anonymous said...

bear in mind this is actual research (don't know where or if it's getting published. for all I know the military is doing it!). Heh. but we're talking personalities, and individualism versus conformity is definitely a personality thing.

Girls who are 100% male in the brain don't map at all to being lesbian. They're generally more aggressive heteros.

Then you got the people like Ben Franklin (33%male, 66% female). they're your natural gigolos, with an interest towards maintaining human networks and societies that they generally can't be bothered to participate in.

so it's possible that whatever sample the researchers got wasn't terribly representative. I just find the whole thing interesting!

TrueBlue said...

I find it interesting, too. If I didn't, I wouldn't be commenting on it. If you have a link to the research, I'd love to read it. I wonder what a "100% male" or "100% female" brain is. I'd also wonder whether this research indicates that all gay men have "100% female" brains.

Maybe it does, but I have my doubts. For starters, there isn't a single thing in nature that's 100%. Secondly, the definition of "gay male" (or "lesbian") is looser than you might imagine. I think Kinsey's scale really nailed it, when he put people on a continuum from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual).

So, what about a male who is predominantly but not exclusively homosexual? What about a straight guy who's never done it another man but every now and then thinks he might want to give it a try? What do their brains look like?

Like I say, I'd love to read the research, so if you have a link please post it. Please don't take what I've just written as any kind of rebuke to you. I'm really interested, and I often display my interest in the form of skepticism. That might seem strange, but when someone is skeptical it means that he's taking the idea seriously and wants to know more.

Anne said...

(((Daedalus2u))) I saw your tip about the Field Negro blog over on Left Brain/Right Brain. You're right ... this is an excellent blog. And you are the last person I expected to be enjoying a blog written by *gasp* a lawyer!

I don't think Mrs. Field's rules are like The Rules(tm). The Rules(tm) are misleading and manipulative, whereas Mrs. Field's rules are just some ritualized ways to help a woman feel comfortable and indicate that her date is interested in her and respects her. I have been with my man for 15 years, and it still makes me feel special when he does some of these things (okay, my list is much shorter), even though I know they are superficial in some ways. It's icing on the cake.

But I'm no expert in human behavior or anything. Maybe you could put on your scientist's hat and figure out why some of us old girls still like a little romance on Valentine's Day.

Anonymous said...

I think these are important rules regardless of color. As a 27 year old single woman I date quite a bit. Men, regardless of race, break many of those rules. I wonder what happen to romance and wooing.

Professor Zero said...

Great post. Yes, these rules are universal. I'm white. Guys who don't do these things don't keep women and don't understand why ... then don't understand why men slightly less good looking less brilliant etc. etc. than they are DO get and keep girlfriends. Ay ay ay.

tjwash said...


It's been a while since I've been on the dating scene.

Oh...and Mrs. TJWash nailed me on rule number 5 as well, all those years ago when we were still dating.

Anonymous said...

I'll ask my friend (sorry no linkie to the research *frowns*) about bisexuals, but I think the qualitative idea is that it is really "off-model" for guys to prefer the experience of "recieving" (and guys in general) as opposed to hetsex. That's just sayin' you're weird, nothin' bad about bein' weird. Interestingly enough, Mama Nature don't seem to care so much about lesbianism (probably has something to do with that NOT being detrimental to the survival of the species *wink*).

And just you watch, I'm going to ask about bisexuals, and he's going to say "research says they don't exist" ;-)

ahh, he was saying that most women have at least some lesbian tendencies.

This is interesting, because many lesbians will maintain that it is a lifestyle choice, while gays seem to think it is hardwired -- stuff like this lends a pinch of credence to the research.

In all probability, guys aren't born gay, but they get that way pretty quickly -- maybe within a year of being born (so in a sense, it is hardwired). But I totally understand why people want to call it 'genetic' or something. Takes guilt away from parents, if they don't have to think that SOMETHING they did, or didn't do, caused the orientation. [not that I find there's anything wrong with being gay, but some people have issues!]

Anonymous said...

I admit some of these "rules" may sound a little old school for some of you "modern men". But I'll tell you what...I'm giving a copy of this list to my daughter for when she starts dating. It's time for change.

Grégoire said...

Today is my birthday (Feb 15)

Mine too La Incognita! Happy Birthday to you as well.

Enjoy your life, this is the best part. :)

primegirl said...

great post, field. i enjoy your blog!

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fantastic post friend!!! great viewing your site... you summed it all up!!some rules seems to be very old for modern men to practice and some may give unexpected results depending upon the prson you are dating.. keep up the good job sport!!!!

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