Thursday, March 6, 2008

Worth the Woo

If I am not worth the wooing, I am surely not worth the winning.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Patrick* and I have been bumping into each other around town for five or six years now. After the latest run-in, we planned to meet up at a bar, but I was tired and took a rain check. He called some weeks later; I playfully reminded him that he owed me a drink.

“Oh yeah, I guess I do,” he said. We spent the next couple minutes tossing some spots up in the air as to where to go. It was a weeknight, so I wasn’t trying to do it big.

Enter the inevitable.

“Why don’t I just get a bottle and you come over here?”

Sigh. “I don’t want to come over there.”

“Why not?”

“Because there's nothing romantic or intimate about sitting up in your house with a bottle, drinking with you.”

“I think it’s more romantic and intimate than being out somewhere!”

In the midst of my explaining to Patrick (who is in his late-thirties) about the differences between men and women and that maybe if we had some history doing something else, chilling at his house would be an option, but considering that we’d never been anywhere in the five years that I’d known him---I stopped.

“You know what? Never mind. I’m not going to sit here and debate with you over buying me an $8 drink,” I said. The dial tone drowned his apologies. You’d think I asked the man to cosign on a car.

It’s not breaking news, nor will the rise of this crushing epidemic interrupt primetime programming. Yet in cities and suburbs across the land, quality women of all ages and races have been chronically subjected to the deceptive clutches of the “come-through.”

Don’t get me wrong, kickin’ it, watching a movie, sipping on a little something…all that’s fine. The problem is when the come-through becomes the predominant substitute for a date. When wooing is replaced by chronic effortlessness.

Being an expert on the laments of my girlfriends, I needed to find out if the epidemic surpasses women in their mid-20s. “There is no more woo,” said Katia, a 43-year-old, caramel sister with dimples and a gleaming smile. “All I see is men who want to come over my house and watch a DVD.”

Shocked and appalled, I had to consult with my Aunt Bess. At 61, Aunt Bess is a curvy, chocolate, vivacious fox. If there is any hope to be found in the dating game, she had to hold the key to its whereabouts.

Consequently, the same thing had been on her mind. Aunt Bess penned an essay in February called "Romance and Wooing." In it, she recalls a recent date with a man her age, “We sat, talked, and ate lunch, got to know each other a little bit. This must have taken all of forty-five minutes. Then Mr. Blank asked me if I wanted to go back to his place. No thanks!!! I must say that’s record wooing, even in this day and age.”

Aunt Bess went on to tell me that while she’s had some great times with a few good men, it’s not the norm. There’s more “Mr. Blanks” in the batch than any other.

What happened to a time when even if a man was just trying to hit, he’d still sprinkle a dash of effort into it? And while there are still men who don’t mind doing for a woman, the come-through has claimed the game of many a fella.

Some folks attribute this lackadaisical attitude to the surge of feminism and the Sexual Revolution of the 60s and 70s that continues to permeate society today with women proclaiming independence from the hills. “Chivalry is dead…and women killed it!” exclaims Dave Chappelle in Killing Them Softly.

In other words, women have fought to prove that we don’t have to cry, and we’re not sensitive, and we can be tough like men, hard like men, respected like men, do the job like a man or better, and I’ll be damned, we got what we wanted. We’re treated like men.

Then we're left to navigate the aftermath of a revolution, negotiating with tactless, spoiled fellas that call you a gold digger for expecting more than a ham sandwich and BET on a first "date."

But because we perceive what we want, we justify men's actions, or lack thereof--maybe he’s just not like that; some guys are not the wine-and-dine type. Or maybe he’s broke.

The Mt. Everest of all excuses that women provide for men? Maybe he doesn’t know any better. As in, maybe he was raised by a tribe of monkeys and somehow missed the 100,000 romantic comedies in rotation at the movie theater or on TV, maybe he hasn't read any Shakespeare or Eric Jerome Dickey or perused a magazine and since he was raised by animals, he doesn't have any sisters or a mother or some aunts or a grandma or some girl cousins to tell him that women just want the kind of romance and affection that requires a little more energy than soaking up each other's air conditioning.

If a man is that out of tune than I don't want him anyway.

It boomerangs back to positioning. If a man is genuinely interested in putting his bid in for Top Boo, he'll take you out. Period.

Granted, a man taking you out doesn't guarantee genuineness. However, every fruit is not an apple, but every apple is a fruit. In other words, every guy that spends ends doesn't want to be the man, but every guy that wants to be the man spends ends.

It's a minimum. If he doesn't ask you on a date, and never does…surprise! You're not "dating."

In retrospect of my experience, the guys that eventually led to boyfriends thought it not robbery to take me out to dinner, or a movie, or a show from time to time. The majority of the rest started out with DVDs and come-throughs.

So, despite the complaints of what men don’t do, the primary accountability resides with us, the women. We'll crave affection and attention so much so that we accept (and get) next to nothing just to have something to hold on to, not realizing that that same dude is taking the next female out on the town. We let our emotions cloud the reality of the position.

The result of this epiphany is that I spend more time alone now than I ever have in my life. There’s no shortage of approaches, phone numbers, or interest, I just choose not to entertain every wink and smile. Higher standards equal fewer options. And that’s fine. Quality, not quantity.

Truth is, a year ago I would’ve put on a pair of jeans and a cute top, slid on some lip gloss, and drove over to Patrick’s house, all under the impression that sipping Hennessy in the wee hours of the morning and sharing our company was special.

Fortunately, I've learned that how you start out is how you stay.


Delect said...

I'll be talking to the fellas for next week's column!!!!

Morgank98 said...

So many valid points Ms. Delect, keep up the great work. Your words always brighten my Thursdays. Looking forward to see whta the "other's" point of view will be next week.

kassieme said...

amen girl me and my friend Terry where JUST TALKING ABOUT THIS THE OTHER DAY. Why dont men want take us women out on dates anymore. Girl ur column couldnt have come at a better time omg...

i the "o lets just chill" line...yea right nigga why do I want some man presence in my house after hours...oh no no...

feirce girl!!!

Anonymous said...

You said a lot. I don't know, yo. If you just chillin and talkin. What's the difference if you're doing that at home or at a bar? It's a Wed night, and neither of you can come up with anything interesting to do, what's wrong with staying home? Is the conversation any better at the bar? Just b/c a guy takes a girl out for a drink/to eat, and brings you back to his place, doesn't mean that he likes her anymore than if they just talk and chill at his place. Just b/c he spends money on you, doesn't mean he likes you anymore/less.

Although, I can see how a woman would want a man to take her out and all. However, in the 5 yrs. that you've been "bumping into Patrick" how many times have you suggested that he just get a bottle and you come over there and chill?

Is it possible, on that specific evening you had different agendas, but you're usually on the same page?

I see your point, but I think it could also be looked at from a different perspective. When I woo a woman, I'd much rather light some candles, cook her a nice dinner, have good conversation, give her a massage, etc. IMO that's much better than a night at Bennigan's.

Kassieme, what do you consider as a "date"? I consider a nice evening at home a date. I consider a picnic a date. I don't consider going to Friday's a date. Something that I'd do with my boys is not a date. I wouldn't go for a walk in the park and just talk with one of my boys. I wouldn't cook one of my boys a nice meal and share a bottle of wine. I don't consider going to the movies and sitting in silece for 2 hrs. a date.

~Dee Man

Delect said...


(I've never suggested getting a bottle to go over Patrick's house and chill. We're never on the same page.)

Lighting candles and cooking a nice dinner is not what I'm talking about here. That's something that requires effort. And even then, we don't want to do that all the time. You say that you don't consider a night at Bennigan's or Friday's a date---well, I have two things to say to that. First of all, there are other places to eat that are not Friday's and Bennigan's. Secondly YOU don't consider them dates…why? Because YOU are a dude and you think with dude logic, which, in general (not you in particular), tends to be lacking when it comes to women. There's not a woman on Earth who doesn't like to be taken out to do something. A walk in the park is cool. A picnic is fine. Again, these actions require more effort than the straight up laziness of the come-through.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so you've been doing your thang with Patrick for a number of yrs and not once have you two EVER been on the same page about what you were going to do for that evening? So, everytime you got together you wanted to go out, and he just wanted you to "come through"?

If that's the case, then I see this from 2 perspectives.

1-Why were you setteling for something for less than what you really wanted for five years? Also, if you have been accepting it for 5 yrs, why would you expect him to change now?

2-Why would he think there's anything wrong with the way your relationship is aka "the come through", when that's the way it's always been?

Even if you have suggested that you guys do something different, it never happened. I feel that if you truly didn't approve of the come through, then it would've never have happened, just as it didn't happen the last time he called.

I don't consider them dates b/c it's nothing special to me. Maybe, it's just the places suggested. Bennigan's/Friday's IMO is similar to having a few drinks at the bar. If that's a date to you, so be it. However, to me a date is a little more romantic, and private.

~Dee Man

Delect said...

No, no, no, Dee. You're misunderstanding me. Patrick and I have never been anywhere. He's never been to my house and I've never been to his. I "bump" into him at different social outings around town...we don't even plan to meet there. We exchanged numbers about five years ago and when we occassionaly speak or run into each other, he just wants to "come-through."

That's why I used him as an example because he doesn't see anything wrong (just like a lot of guys...) with that approach.

So basically, there's never been a come-through with him, but that's all he suggests...and unfortunately, there are way too many dudes out there with the same mindset.

Anonymous said...

Oooooooh, okay. When you said "bumping into each other", I didn't think you meant "bumping into each other" literally. I thought you meant bumping into each other, ya know, kindda like 12-play.

Well, that clears up some things. I think part of why he approaches you in that manner is where/how you met. I also think that he/many of us guys approach women the way we do is because times have changed.

I've heard many females say, "If you wanna hit it, just tell me that's what you want." So, most guys just tell you what they want.

However, it also depends where you meet 'em. Have you talked to any of the guys at your church, do they approach you in the same manner? Or the guys on the job, do they aproach you in the same manner?

~Dee Man

Anonymous said...

I love talking to myself on blogs. Anywho, getting back to Patrick, he's just being honest about what he wants. He saw you and thought, "Damn, the things I would do ta that!" I think this is a feeling that both men and women have felt. Like Biggie said:

"You must be used to me spendin', and all that sweet winin' & dinin', but I'm f_ckin' you tonight."

It's not that we as men don't feel women are worth the wooing, it's that women have asked for honesty, and have been given just that.

I've been in several relationships, not once have I started one off with the thought, "Wow, that's a really good woman, I'd really like to get to know her and see if a relationship could possibly grow." I may have said that, but that's not what I thought. My thought's were just like Patrick's. If I saw you at a bar, then my approach would be more like Patrick's.

I think it's fair to say that generally speaking, many more one night stands/fuck friends have started their relationships by meeting at a bar, as opposed to serious loving relationships.
I think it goes back to what I said earlier about the setting where you meet, helps determine the approach.

On another note, there isn't exactly a shortage of sorry men in the world. As the matter of fact, there is a surplus. I think there are several factors, but one is where are men learing their game? My definition of "game" is how you approach a woman. Some guys use money, some guys use lines, some guys are romantic. I think I have no game. I just say what's on my mind. Sometimes, the conversation is great, and sometimes I'm just asking basic questions and the situation is uncomfortable. Regardless, where are they learning their approach? Is it from a rap song, is it from his dad, is it from his older brother, is it from Ray-Ray on the corner, is it from a church elder, is it from the Fresh Prince?

Another factor is what approach is successful. If I'm a male say age 16 - 65, and I see a female, and I think "DIZZAMN!!" I approach that female tell her my name, have a conversation for a few min, we exchange #'s, and after a few min. of conversation we agree to meet up and bone, then I have just been taught that's a good way to approach a woman. The next time I approach a woman, I will approach her in the same way. As long as you females are excepting this approach, and then having sex with these guys and giving them chances b/c they look so good, and you're thinking they don't know any better, and thinking well, "he'll change", then we as males won't change, and we'll continue to approach you like that.

Pussy makes the world go round. You wanna see a change and be wooed by us men, then stop fuckin' us within two phone calls and 20 min. of conversation. Or two online chats and three phone conversations.

~Dee Man

kassieme said...

Mr Dee Man

Nah, the come through is nothing like what you think it is. If we are already friends and we are progressing towards something more, there is nothing wrong with a "come through" or the "lets chill" as long as the intentions are good.

This has no been the case in my situation. Usually the the "lets chill" has other intentions ie sex. If I just meet you or you are a "patrick" i keep bumping into, then a come through is inappropiate.

Thats my stance on this topic.