Thursday, November 21, 2013

He Says/She Says: The Geek's Guide to Dating (Part 3)

Read 11/4/13 -11/12/13
5 Stars - Highly Recommended / The Next Best Book
Pages: 208
Publisher: Quirk Books
Released: Now

Reviewed by both TNBBC and Drew Broussard

When Lori and Drew both ended up with copies of The Geek’s Guide to Dating, a brilliantly insane idea struck.  While they both love books and are self-professed geeks, their lives are otherwise almost diametrically opposed:  Boy vs girl – check. Young twenty-something vs late thirty-something – check. Recently single vs long time couple – check. No kids vs kids – check.  

And so a read-along was proposed, with a running email conversation, as they delved into one man’s guide to love in the time of geek.
In this installment, Chapter 3 – how to ask out your dream geek, amazing dates both taken and desired, and what’s the deal with wingmen anyway….

TNBBC: So, C3 dissects different modes of “asking a girl out” and I’ve got to raise the red flag over the whole social media as a medium thing. Eric calls it best and urges dudes to use good ole face-to-face or even the phone instead. For me, face-to-face is the best way to propose a date. Throwing out a date proposal on Twitter or Facebook is simultaneously stalkerish and impersonal and the scaredy-cat’s way out. I’d much rather watch a dude work up a sweat and drip snot out of his nose while he screws up the effort to pull the trigger on a date question (and oh my god yes this has happened to me I literally watched snot drip out of a guys nose and trickle down towards his lips while he summoned up the courage to ask for my email or phone number when he informed me he was quitting work and wanted to keep in touch) than open a Facebook message and read a well thought out and sweet come-on. For real. (and I totally didn't give him either, and he totally knew I was married and SOOOO not interested).

 RB: I like that Eric is urging, in sort of a sheep-dog, herding-you-in-the-right-direction way, guys to man up and do it in a non-social media fashion.  Because - actually, a) because that story is HILARIOUS.  and I'll wager that the dude probably, somewhere deep down inside, feels like he's a better person for having asked in person.  but also b) because it is better to do it non-social-media-y.  And I say this being wholly guilty of using text messages to set things up.  I've never asked a girl out on Twitter or Facebook (although they can be excellent flirtation tools in the utility belt, next to my shark repellent bat-spray) but I've done it over the phone, I've brought up the "hey, wanna get a drink?" thing via text... embarrassingly enough, that's even how I first asked out my last g/f.  

TNBBC: What did you think about some of Eric’s dating ideas? I kind of like the whole used bookstore/book sale, museum, outdoor event thing. It’s so much better than a stale ole date to the movies or just dinner. Even bowling or a friendly game of pool is cool. Or a wine tasting event? There’s this winery around here that once or twice a year invites couples to do a group grape squashing thing, where you get in a big tub and walk on the grapes like in that Keanu Reeves movie A Walk in the Clouds, and THEN attend a wine tasting event.

 Two “dates” I wished I had been taken on, (1) Corn Maze, Apple/Pumpkin picking in the fall and (2) a couples cooking class. I always thought those would be cool things to do as you’re getting to know a new boyfriend/girlfriend. My hubby and I actually had our very first couples massage this year – but it wasn't really what I expected NOR something I would recommend for newbies in the dating game. There’s literally no talking and you’re lying on a table under a blanket totally naked with only 5 feet between you and them. That might be a bit much on a first date, you think?

 RB: That winery date sounds AMAZING. As does a couples massage, although, yeah, probably gonna wanna wait a little while for that one.  At least until you're comfortable naked together - like, really comfortable, considering you're just kinda hanging out while other people massage you.
I've done the apple picking date, which is a surprisingly good litmus test for whether a girl can handle the outdoors (you know, before you ask her to go camping or something).  I love the cooking class idea - I've never taken a cooking class, solo or otherwise, although I love to cook... that's going in the back of my mind, for sure.  I like Eric's list, too - movies ARE such a stale thing, unless you can work something interesting into it (example: ex g/f and I's first-date movie was at MoMA, an old Hitchcock screened in 35mm).  The outdoor event / used bookstore thing is good, especially because it can just be a nice way to get to know someone: you walk around, you look at things, there's no pressure to do, you just get to be.  

Although it's also much more nerve-wracking - and, I'd argue, harder to do in certain situations (i.e. living in the city).  I'm lucky when I can get a girl to join me for a play or grab a drink - not because they aren't interested, necessarily, but because everyone's schedules are "so crazy".... which is why I often have dated friends or friends-of-friends. 

Which brings me to Eric's sidebar about the friendzone.  Much as I hate that term, I really like the advice he has there - it was the first time that the book actually spoke directly to me as opposed to somewhat obliquely / objectively.  I have a ton of really close female friends - including my best friend, who is also an ex.And so it can be tough to separate emotions at times and I've never heard it expressed so eloquently, the idea that it's okay to get your emotions mixed up but also here's how to a) be a good friend while also maybe b) advancing yourself when you can.  College me is ESPECIALLY interested in that segment.  

TNBBC: Ah yes. The dreaded friend zone. I hate to admit it but I have certainly stuck quite a few great guys in that zone during my much younger years (and I’ve also been placed there myself). Usually it would be dudes I had been interested in but realized that there were one or two weird personality things or annoying habits that I knew I couldn’t totally get down with at the time. It sucks when you really like someone and they put up the friend barrier like it’s no big thing.

Just for the record, we never actually did the winery date. It did sound amazing but was booked up at the time. Another one to add to my “date wishlist”. Le sigh. But if we did do it, I bet it WOULD have been amazing!

 Did I mention my husband and I had our very first unofficial/official date in the middle of the woods, camping with my friends? His girlfriend at the time had just dumped him and my guy pals and I had planned a night out with just our sleeping bags and the stars over our heads in the middle of the woods- so I invited him to come along. We consider that our first date now…

RB: That's a pretty spectacular first date.  And I'd agree with you guys, it totally counts as such.  Stories like that are my favorite kind - and also, my non-scientific research has shown, the ones that seem to engender the best and longest lasting relationships.  Maybe it’s just the creative in me but couples who have stories are the ones that find the most in each other, because they keep wanting to write the next chapters.  Sappy as that sounds.  

I suppose, to be fair, I've friend-zoned plenty of girls too - so I don't have much room to speak.  I've actually, now that I start thinking about it, probably done more than my share.  So I will stop thinking about it.

TNBBC: What did you think about the whole wingman thing?  A wingman for a first date? As in a third-wheel? I gotta tell you, if the dude I agreed to date brings along a bud, I’m out. That screams insecurity to me, and also smells like an easy-way-out-should-he-need-one. On top of that, if the wingman was a WINGLADY? Oh hellz to the no, sir. The date would be over before it even began. Jealousy lives in the breast and brain of every women, whether she admits it or not, and no way in HELL is the guy I’m about to date bringing another chick out with us. Wrong wrong wrong.

 RB: The wingman thing... I think you have to deploy the wingman only in the getting-of the first date.  It's the bar or party scenario, only.  I can't fathom bringing one on a first date - that just... I can't.  (I will say, in the bar/party scenario?  I owe as many wingwomen as wingmen thanks - and I've also successfully deployed the How I Met Your Mother "haaaaaave you met this person?", which is a personal achievement I'm far too proud of)

TNBBC: Oh well, when you explain it thaaaaaat way! (quickly changes subject so I don’t look COMPLETELY clueless) Can I just say that I adored the whole controls and combos thing for how Eric recommends different ways to ask a chick out?! Those were made of awesome.

RB:  I loved his combos too - one of the songs we play in my band, it's all about being nervous to call up a girl and one of the lyrics is about coming up with all sorts of different scenarios... and seeing them laid out in a book for me was just perfection.

Check back tomorrow, on Drew's blog - Raging Bibiloholism, for Part 4: Chapters 4 & 5 – Converse, FIRST DATE!, mixtapes and god-we’re-old…

Drew Broussard reads, a lot. When not doing that, he's writing stories or playing music or acting or producing or coming up with other ways to make trouble.  He also has a day job at The Public Theater in New York City.

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