Monday, November 21, 2016

First Dates

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.” 
Indeed the redoubtable Miss Emma Woodhouse would balk at the unseemly vagaries of modern dating where young men seem to think that feminism has somehow excused them from chivalrous behaviour.

Even back then there were few workshops on how to be a gentleman. No brilliantly erudite Professor Higgins to guide us along the way. Certain acceptable habits and manners you tend to pick up as you stumble along through keen observation of the current societal mores and the occasional pointers from the elders. Not to mention the rare wallop across the back of the head when you undoubtedly slip up.

During the rare lapses between rigorous studies in school, we were fortunate enough to receive the infrequent words of advice from our teachers. Since I came from an all boys' school, the ratio of male teachers tended to be a little higher than usual which explains the intermittent class on Mr Manners. Frequently several decades older than us, these venerable preceptors hailed from an era far more genteel than ours and were equally eager to share on manly topics from crickets to condoms. There were no tedious hour-long lectures on proper dining etiquette or stylish collar arrangements but we certainly learned when irretrievable social faux pas were being committed. 

Just amazing certain things remain doubtful till now. For instance, who pays on the first date?

Well I might make an exception for Chris Evans.
Honestly it has never occurred to me not to foot the bill on the very first date especially if I'm doing the asking. Never knew there was even such a controversy till recently when the Dogmatic Duennas made their debut in the marriage market. So far the dating pool seems to be full of the cheap, crude and the crass with few true gentlemen to be seen. 

Mabel : He offered to split the bill at the end. 
Paul : What? On a first date? 
Mabel : Yes. 
Paul : If a gentleman were to ask a lady out and then insist on splitting the bill, she should head home immediately. And never receive his invitation again. 
Mabel : But it's common these days. 
Paul : You mean the men are common these days. I certainly never lowered myself to such standards. 

Even with raging female empowerment these days, the offer to wine and dine a lady should still be made. Whether to concede would be up to the lady in question. However immediately insisting on going Dutch is just so crass. Exactly what have they been teaching in schools to boys these days?

Make no mistake, I meant the first date. After that, the lack of gesture to contribute to the subsequent dates would be questionable indeed. Ladies, take note.

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