Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I’ll Trade You Two Mondays for One Friday and I’ll See Your Coffee Two Drinks

Everyone in New York understands the value of time – people are always rushing from one place to the next, darting through crowded sidewalks cursing the out-of-towners for walking too slowly, sitting on the edge of their seats in the back of the taxi trying to figure out why their cab driver took the most congested street possible… you get the point. In dating, it’s easy to see how the pressure to use time most effectively (and the desire to avoid wasting valuable time) can translate into a hierarchy of dating options with the chosen option sending a clear message of letting people know precisely where they stand.

For example, if someone proposes a first date on a Monday or Tuesday, that’s clearly less desirable than a more valuable Wednesday or Thursday. Obviously, Friday and Saturday are coveted nights not to be given out lightly. In the world of on-line dating, you only have to be burned once to know that you NEVER schedule a first date with a prospective interest on a Friday or Saturday night unless you make it clear that you are meeting JUST for a drink and then you have a commitment you have to make. Funny how those commitments often fall to the wayside when the person who shows up actually looks like their picture and has a great personality to boot. But at least it’s there, your trusty escape in the instances when you see that the person who looked like a Brendan Frazier double in his picture looks more like the Mummy in real life. I personally would place Sunday in its own special dating category (at the top of the totem pole), but then again maybe I’m biased on that one.

Now, don’t get me wrong, sometime people have no choice but to schedule the first date on a Monday or Tuesday. Maybe, just maybe, they have not made any judgments relegating you to a lesser prospective dating status … maybe they are going out of town for the latter part of the week or maybe they have a friend or family member visiting for a few days and in their excitement about you they don’t want to postpone seeing you for a full week. Certainly, the day of the week selected also has to be valued in conjunction with the specific beverages or foods to be consumed. Are you meeting for coffee or drinks? Snacks or dinner? No food on the itinerary? Not a good sign, my friend.

Meeting for coffee or drinks, as one of my good friends aptly put it, is like hedging one’s bets. When I actually looked up the origins of that expression, I had to laugh at the definition: to avoid committing oneself; to leave a means of retreat open. (By the way, for those who are curious, the phrase has been around since the 16th Century and was apparently used in Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor. It started being used in regard to financial transactions in the early 17th Century). I’m not saying that simply because someone proposes meeting up with someone for coffee or drinks on a Monday there isn’t a genuine interest or the chance for love to bloom. But when people start off anticipating leaving a means of retreat open, well let’s just say that’s a message that might get the messenger in trouble.

Now, if you’re being asked to have plans for Valentine’s Day (a Saturday this year), you know you can keep your hand.

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