Dating Advice

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

I realize a peculiar interest of mine would not be considered manly by most members of the male persuasion, but them’s the breaks as Bill Shakespeare used to say. Most weekends I read Dating Diaries in the Toronto Star. I believe the feature is designed for on-line daters because they are the people who are writing in and their experiences, good or bad, are paraded before the Star’s readership.

Usually couples choose to meet in restaurants or coffee shops so they can assess the possibility of this person being the man or woman of their dreams and once in a while they actually appear to be, however not very often. Their dates are assessed by the writer on a 0 -10 basis. Zero being a complete right-off and 10 meaning the meeting ended up with the two of them lying stark naked in the salad bar of a Swiss Chalet.

At the beginning of the dating diaries the writers describe themselves; and I gather that is how they originally represented themselves on line. I realize I have been out of the dating game for quite some time. (I should hope so says my wife looking up the phone number of her lawyer, and also that of Vito, a hitman from Chicago) But, if you were going to take a crack at on-line dating, how would you describe yourself? I think you would want to make yourself as interesting as possible to a stranger without going overboard. Brad Pitt look-a-like would apply to only a few of us.

The gentleman this week, Michael, says he is in his mid-40s and semi-retired. I assume by that he is pushing 60 and out of work in his chosen profession of well-witching.

He is also a minimalist. I thought that was a stupid thing to put in a dating ad until I realized he was not complaining about what he looks like naked. I think minimalism in this case means getting rid of the clutter that’s all around us and enjoying the simpler things in life, like your cousin Ralph does, for instance.

Michael also writes about his interests. He is fond of exercising, travelling and the usual BS about art, culture, politics and volunteering. He obviously forgot to mention walking on a moonlit beach which apparently is an even better pant-remover than gin.

But back to you, sir or madam, how would you describe yourself to make yourself attractive to the opposite sex – or the same sex, after all it is 2022? What is it about you that will make you fascinating to another person?

For me it would be quite easy since I am the epitome of male beauty with the body of a Greek god and have all my hair – not like several friends of mine who I could name but won’t out of kindness. I am modest, as I have often said. I’m sure I have a few flaws although none that I can think of and if I did have one or two it would be something lesser persons would brag about.

For instance, would you mention that you have a flatulence problem? I wouldn’t if I were you. Besides, your new companion will know about it soon enough which suggests your first date should be outdoors with you sitting downwind.

Let’s say, you two have set up a meet. You know that first impressions are so very important and you should dress well. On the other hand you shouldn’t wear a tuxedo or a designer gown for a first meet if it’s at French’s Stand in Couchiching Park, but jeans with the crotch around your knees, or pants and a bra is not recommended either – for the gentleman especially. Madam, if you are wearing a court-mandated ankle bracelet, you might look for something floor-length.

I would advise casual, but stylish attire, for you dear lady, not that ratty old housecoat your mother found in a cardboard box outside Goodwill, and for your sir, please don’t wear that T-shirt with the F-word written vertically so it looks like the Japanese character for a Sushi restaurant in downtown Tokyo.

Your choice of clothing I will leave up to you since I know you will instinctively make the right choice, discard it a minute or two later and dress like you rolled a wino.

What do you order to impress your hopefully new-found friend/lover/ one-night stand? If the chosen trysting place has a menu and your new acquaintance mentioned in the correspondence they will be paying, consider the most expensive entrée and watch your new friend’s eyes. If they glaze over, quickly change your mind and go for the fried egg sandwich. You don’t want to suffer the embarrassment of watching the waiter holding your date upside down trying to shake out enough money for two dinners plus a generous tip. If, however, the two of you have chosen a more relaxed atmosphere where the cook scribbles the special of the day on a chalkboard nailed to the kitchen door, just roll your eyes and say Whatever!

Table manners are very important on a first date. Do not slurp your soup or saucer your tea. I admit it could be funny under different circumstances but try to refrain from forming the letters in your alphabet soup into dirty words and giggling.

If your date has a small piece of spinach dangling from their front teeth, by no means should you mention it. Simply reach across with your fork and carefully flick it away. I say carefully in case he or she has false teeth and retrieving them from a nearby table could be most embarrassing – even dangerous if they have bitten someone.

Belching is a no-no unless you are from a culture where such behaviour is considered complimentary to the host. An Ozark cousin to cousin wedding where overalls with nothing underneath is considered formal attire comes to mind.

I think we best leave it here for now and continue on next week. Remember your future happiness could be at stake. You don’t want to make an ass of yourself like you have done so many times before.

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