Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pre-Date Jitters: A View From The Other Side

I've often watched a woman in the midst of pre-date jitters. It has never been a pretty sight, be the woman a sister or friend. Some are anxious to a dizzying degree. They go to each mirror in the house, to see how their makeup will look in different lighting. They try on every pair of shoes they own, trying to determine which is best. (this can take a really long time, depending on her level of Perfection.) They iron out invisible crimps in their hair, while simultaneously fretting about non-existent creases in their black suit.
There are those that get all spiritual from their nervousness. They sit and say tehillim, ignoring their surroundings, praying that the next three to five hours pass as quickly as possible. They sit and pray with such fervor, you have to hope that they won't miss the guy at their door.

Some girls go irritable pre-date. They are the ones that make you want to scream something like "Nobody said you have to go out! It's your decision! And even if it's not, it wasn't my fault so go fight with somebody else!" Then there are the ones who go super-sweet pre-date. If they are normally really un-sweet, they can be really disconcerting. They make you want to say "who are you and what have you done with my sister?" Sometimes I wonder if they think that the zechus of their sweetness will make their date go more smoothly.

One thing I never though about though, was the guy. I mean, he has a pre-date time too. And as many ties as a guy has to chose from, there can't be much fussing about his looks. Instead, does he fuss over the gemorah the father might be asking him about?

Then there is another factor the boy has to consider, and that's the timing. He can't get there early, as that would appear seriously OCD. (Not to mention really nasty. One boy missed my mother because he came ten minutes early. This was after pushing the date off by a week because she was in Israel when they were going to go on the first date.) He can't come too late either. That seems careless. (One of my sisters dated a boy who came over and hour late for each date. I commented that if she ever gets engaged to him, we will have to call the chupah for 2 in the afternoon if we want to have it before midnight.) But timing can be tough, especially if the girl lives quite a distance from the boy's starting point.

So what made me think of all this, suddenly? Well the other day I got my answer to the boy's timing. I was parked in front of a convenience store/takeout store, which also serves as a quasi hangout for yeshivah guys. I was waiting for someone there, so I had an opportunity to observe the scene from the relative comfort and security of my car.

I watched as a young man, dressed in a neat suit and classy tie walked into the store. It was clear from his manner that he was more than a little nervous. He walked around the store, looked around, and as far as I could see, bought nothing. As the guy walked out of the store, and into his clean, nice-looking car, I looked at my clock and realized the simple reason for this odd behavior: it was 6:56 pm. Surely, in some house not too far away, there was a young lady, consumed by intense pre-date jitters, scurrying around the house, trying to get ready for her seven o'clock date.

I don't think I'll ever look at pre-date jitters the same way.

14 comments:

harry-er than them all said...

Me and many other guys i know, can't eat before an earlier date. also quite a few guys do park around the corner or a few blocks away and daven or say tehillim. and the timing is a killer

Yehuda said...

I actually don't get terribly nervous. What's wrong with me?

I try hard to come on time. If I'm early I'll wait in the car for the last five minutes or so. If I'm late, well, at least it gives me a conversation opener.

Last thing: I don't see why a girl should get so nervous. Guys don't notice every single last detail. As long as she looks nice and put together, that's fine.

I once went out with a girl who always had her hair ironed and down when she went out with me. She told me on one of my later dates that she's more casual when she goes to school; she said she wakes up, put her hair in a pony and heads off. I was thinking: Gosh, why doesn't she do that for me. I actually think ponies look very nice and neat and here she is probably spending a half an hour just to get hair straight so that she could wear it down. (Don't worry, I didn't say any of this to her.)

Anyways, my point is: Of course look nice and put together but don't drive yourself nuts. Just be your cheerful self. I hate dates where the girl is quiet and never smiles or laughs. I think in general guys like girls who are cheerful and smile and laugh. Don't become this nervous stone-faced person.

itsagift said...

Guys also have to figure out where to go lol...
but I think the girls have more that they have to do to prepare for the date! The hair, makeup, what to wear, shoes etc...and I heard that you should say perek 139 in tehillim before - it talks about how Hashem knows your innermost thoughts...it has def helped me!

The Kosher Bride said...

I think both parties are definitely nervous. I remember some guys would park outside the house like ten minutes early and just wait tog et out of the car. One even made reservations at multiple places in case I was lactose intolerant or fleishig at time of date or something.

Guys have to handle the timing, the planning, getting there etc. While guys worry more about their clothes, how to keep the conversation going, etc.

Best advice for both parties is to be yourself, albeit a more spiffily dressed version than usual. And guys: tell the girl where you're going. If you take her to dinner she will wear something very different than if you are going ice skating.

CJ Srullowitz said...

That's a cute story. I've done that a time or two, but more likely I was the guy that was late, being that a lot of girls live in New York City - Queens or Brooklyn - and I did not. NYC traffic is not to be, lulei demistafina, trifled with.

Jim Purdy said...

TheKosher Bride said:
"Best advice for both parties is to be yourself"

I agree, but I'm just an old widower. I'm comfortable with who I am, and if somebody else doesn't like me, that's fine. I'd rather find that out on the first date so that we don't both waste time.

halfshared said...

The guys I've dated all came right on time. Only one guy would come about a little late each time. He probably was trying to be fashionably late because he was always promptly ten minutes late.

By the way, the convenience store story sounds vaguely familiar lol. Do you get to see these things so often or is it that shared experience that I think it is?

Staying Afloat said...

My friends and I used to say a shidduch was really serious when you went to meet him without blow-drying your hair straight.

I remember spending the last nerve-wracking minutes looking over something interesting I'd read or heard in class so that I could bring it up as a discussion topic without getting something wrong.

humph said...

well besides for the ties, and polishing the shoes guys have to worry about their shaving as well. my brother used to ask us sisters if his sideburns were even or not. as you see guys have worries too! :)

Something Different said...

HTTA- Parking around the corner only works for a few minutes. This guy seemed to have much longer than that to kill...

Yehuda- Good for you! Waiting in the car in front of the house won't work, because all the little siblings are peeking out from the upstairs window, waiting to see you...
I actually have a post written about dressing up for dates, but I haven't had a chance to publish it yet, so check back...

Itsagift- Yeah, but they always have the lounge for the first couple of dates...
And that's interesting about the tehillim. Hopefully I'll get a chance to try it out really soon. ;-)

TKB- The planning is a job I guess, but it's not something that has to be done right before the date. IOmagine doing your hair a week pre-date...!

CJS- No, it is certainly not. NYC traffic makes me want to move to the desert.

JP- True, it's such a waste of time to fake it...

HS- No, these kind of things happen to me daily. :-p Didn't I tell you I was going to write about it?

SA- Lol about the hair thing. And I like that idea for pre-date reading, except I am the type to get caught up and have my mother come and pull me by the hair to come meet the guy...or I would read it five times and realize I have no idea what I read....

Humph- It's funny, until you said that I had no recollection of watching brother's pre-date jitters, now I remember one of my brothers shaving carefully for a date... ;-) I think they mostly got ready in Yeshivah, rather than have their sister's torture them about what to say/do/think. :-P

harry-er than them all said...

you'd be surprised how long one can make it last. (coming in to New York during rush hour is hit or miss, i missed and had an hour to kill)

[cool word verification: persiver]

itsagift said...

What's if the guy wants to be original and go somewhere different? The lounge is so boooring and everyone goes there!!
Listen to this: there's a website called mikomos.com with almost all the places you can think of for going on a date - you choose the city you are in and you can narrow down your search to very specific criteria. I thought it was pretty funny when I heard about the website for the first time! But it can be very helful for a guy...

Something Different said...

HTTA- Yeah, true, I never tried it. :-P

IAG- Yeah, I've seen that site, its cool. In general, I am glad I am not a guy, cuz I really wouldn't wanna have to decide on these things...

chanie said...

Funny how I don't recall having pre-date jitters....