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Help Amy With Her Homework
I need some old wives' tales of love and dating, like that "Beware of a man who's 40 and has never been married." And/or silly rules "Don't accept a date for Saturday night after Wednesday." Got any?

Posted by aalkon at January 5, 2007 9:34 AM

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Is the "don't accept Saturday dates after Wednesday" rule really that silly in context? You write (and I agree) that looking desperate is dumb and unattractive; the rule is just to keep you from looking like you don't have anything and so will take whatever shows up.

Posted by: Jadagul at January 5, 2007 10:10 AM

What's best is having self-esteem. That rule is for girls who don't have any, so they have to affect it with their behavior. If you're not desperate you live by judgment instead of rules.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 5, 2007 10:15 AM

I don't know if this counts, but I always liked my mom's reply to my dad's asking her (on their first date) if he could kiss her.

"I don't kiss men who ask first."

Go mom!

Posted by: Randee at January 5, 2007 10:51 AM

That one's smart. I try not to date men who'd be the kind to ask first (for a kiss). Not to get too personal, but Gregg walked me to my car and grabbed me -- a couple hours after we met at the Apple Computer store (and preceded to have Orange Crush at the Farmer's Market). That's part of the reason he's my boyfriend. I also like his Third Reich humor.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 5, 2007 10:59 AM

"No fat chicks."

It may not be in the spririt of what you're looking for, but it was a popular sentiment in the Big Ten thirty years ago.

> Gregg walked me to my car and grabbed

That part's cool. But the Apple thing's just gross. You guys are savages.

Posted by: Crid at January 5, 2007 11:41 AM

Don't knit a sweater for a man you're not married to, because he'll dump you.

Posted by: Jennifer at January 5, 2007 11:55 AM

This isn't exactly what you're asking for, but I feel a related story coming on. My grandmother (1898-2002) retold one of her mother's childhood stories. For centuries, there was a practice of chanting and sowing hemp to divine who one would marry. The routine varies in different records, but the one she told of was something like this: At midnight under a full moon, you are to go out and circle your house 9 times chanting "Hemp-seed I sow, hemp-seed I sow, And he that is my true love, Come after me and mow." While throwing hemp seeds over your left shoulder, of course. At the end of the last circuit around the house, you are to look up at the attic window to see the face of your destined true love. However, the specific incident my great-grandmother told of was ruined for her magical-thinking friend when the friend's brother mooned her from the attic window. This story was handed down to us as an example of how those who believe in superstitions get the ends they deserve.

Posted by: cjumper at January 5, 2007 1:45 PM

Told to my mother when she was young, passed on to me: "Keep your chin up and your skirt down."

I don't wear skirts anymore.

When I was a kid, we used to twist the stem of an apple while reciting the alphabet. Whatever letter we were on when the stem came off was the initial of our true love.

Posted by: Monica at January 5, 2007 4:12 PM

How about "Don't have sex until you are married".

Posted by: Gary Steiger at January 5, 2007 4:46 PM

My favorite silly rule--the absolute worst one in my opinion: "Don't be funny, men don't like funny women." "Always be the first to end the conversation" and "Stay away from women who have cats," which is infuriating.

Thanks for that assignment, Amy, that was kind of fun.

Posted by: LynnSilv at January 5, 2007 5:04 PM

Monica?

Posted by: Crid at January 5, 2007 5:11 PM

Monica? Be more like Monica: Busty, lusty, and fun.

My personal rule, occasionally broken: "Never have sex before the first date."

Oh, and thank you all...very helpful. Mine (above) weren't quite on target, but if I had the right answers, I wouldn't be asking you.

If anyone has more, please post them!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 5, 2007 5:28 PM

From friends:

-Don't talk about past relationships (or dates) on a first date. (Probably sensible)


From mom:
-Order the second to the least expensive item on the menu whether it's what you want or not.
-Eat a little something before you go out. Order something small; you don't want to look like a pig. (which gave me complexes about eating in front of men for years.)


Posted by: deja pseu at January 5, 2007 8:21 PM

Be more like Monica: Busty, lusty, and fun.

Always worked for me.

Posted by: deja pseu at January 5, 2007 8:22 PM

I'm in the Deep South. Here, advice is limited to making sure the redneck isn't related too closely. Oh. Don't get tobacco juice on your date's shirt, or he won't call you. And a "safe" date can be had at Williams-Brice Stadium, because nobody from South Carolina scores there.

More seriously, I have heard both short advice ("Check out her mama, 'cuz that's what you'll be lookin' at in 20 years") and long ("Make some distance happen if you find out her family history has a lot of health problems").

Posted by: Radwaste at January 5, 2007 8:36 PM

"Don't let your meat loaf," comes to mind.

Posted by: emkeane at January 5, 2007 10:39 PM

It's as easy to fall in love with a Rich one than a poor one.

Check out how he treats his mother, that's how he will treat you.
My mother told me that you don't have to want to marry them to date them. I disagree with her, I feel like just in case, you'd better not date people whom you'd never concent to marry. Don't date out of class. (No losers, No wingnuts, No active addicts, no homeless people) I hope that doesn't sound harsh...

Posted by: Myra at January 6, 2007 2:25 AM

Here's my favorite, courtesy of my grandmother and her sister as a warning to me when dating my future husband:

"He won't buy the cow if he can get the milk for free."

PS: Yes, he did.

Posted by: Tess at January 6, 2007 4:20 AM

The goddess writes: Monica? Be more like Monica: Busty, lusty, and fun.

And stupid, and slutty, completely unconcerned about the spouses/significant others of the men you're fellating, and blaming your own bad decisions on other people ("Bill Clinton ruined my life!")?

I find it amazing that such a staunch advocate of personal responsibility like yourself, Amy, could have anything but condemnation for that dimbulb, whining whore.

Posted by: Patrick at January 6, 2007 6:21 AM

Men don't make passes at women with glasses.

Marry in black and you'll with yourself back.

Re-marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at January 6, 2007 7:05 AM

One that I recently saw: "A woman should never open a door for a man, because it will cause him to lose face."

I never scorn anyone opening a door for me--man, woman, child, or rhesus monkey. I fail to see how showing consideration would cause one's date to lose face.

Also, I think that expecting men to open doors for women with no reciprocity just conditions women to be self-centered.

Posted by: Karen at January 6, 2007 8:02 AM

I once heard the term "Geographically Undesirable.'

I guess men are only interested in women within their 20 mile blast radius.

That's when I commented that if they weren't willing to put in the effort behind the wheel, then they obviosly worth wasting MY time on.

So there.


Posted by: Obi's Sister at January 11, 2007 8:48 AM

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