I loved the fantastic war movie The Dirty Dozen. If you haven’t seen it before, try getting it for your next Blockbuster night. Exciting action, drama, espionage, comedy, lots of stuff blowing up, blood, guts, sex, people dying right and left, hope and redemption – it’s all there!
The film was released several decades ago (1967). and starred a host of guys that later became household names (if they weren’t already). Lee Marvin, football star Jim Brown, Kojak star Telly Savalas, Charles Bronson (Death Wish and Valachi Papers), Ernest Borgnine, John Cassavetes, Trini Lopez, George Kennedy, and several other wonderful actors. The movie revolved around a World War II Army major (Lee Marvin) who gathers together twelve condemned soldiers being held in prison for a dangerous mission inside enemy territory. If they made it out alive, they’d win their freedom. Check out this trailer!
But just like in dating, the story SOUNDS like an exciting adventure, so you sign on for the mission. It’s only after you get started on the journey that you find out that it is gonna be hard to make it out alive without losing a limb, or getting ventilated with bullet holes. Ya know?
What follows is my top 12 pet peeves, which I have affectionately dubbed The Dirty Dozen Dating Pet Peeves. Dating is very much like going into battle when you think about it! You must have a plan for attack, know the enemy’s position, establish a network of intelligence and counter-intelligence, and have an escape route set up! Anyway feel free to comment or add your own pet peeves to this list.
- Sexual Innuendo. Why do so many men feel it is cute, gentlemanly, intelligent or necessary to start with the sexual conversation right off the bat? Usually before you even know his middle name he is making inquiries about what positions you like or what kind of panties you wear. Some want to brag about how they satisfy women, about their lack of need for Viagra, or their equipment size. Do I really need to know that? Do I care? No and No. Are you hella stupid? Are you crass and crude? Yes and Yes. My stance on this is there is no need to talk about us having sexual contact. If I want to do it with you, we’d be doing it and you wouldn’t need to be talking about it. If I don’t want to do it with you, you ain’t getting none. Ever! Which means you still don’t need to be talking about it!
- Male Chauvanist or Mysognist. Anytime a man makes a statement that begins with “you women always…” or “you women are all…” followed by something negative I’m out. If a guy says or alludes to “that’s man stuff and you stay out of it mere female,” we have a serious conflict and I’m out. The one thing I insist on is being with a man that truly loves women. He understands that we are different, but finds those differences fascinating, not a source of material to taunt me, to make himself feel superior, or to assign me to a group of people that he perceives as less than worthy.
- A Cheap Bastid. I met a guy online that suggested we get together for lunch. He was weird and I knew I needed alcoholic reinforcement, so I ordered myself a glass of wine. He looked aghast, so I told him not to worry I would be paying for it. He then started talking about how he only had $12 and could we split a burger. Wow. He was not Black and obviously didn’t know that Black folks do not split plates of food. We each get our own, that’s how it’s done. I also went out once with a guy that took me to an inexpensive pasta place for dinner… our bill was no more than $18. No problem, I liked the food though it was noisy with all those toddlers running around and babies screaming. But he left our very excellent waiter only a 50 cents tip! I threw down a $5 bill. Being money conscious, especially on first dates and in this economy is fine! But do not EVER be cheap.
- Taking Physical Liberties. I don’t know you like that, so keep your hands to yourself. Don’t “accidentally” touch my breasts, butt, or try to sneak in a kiss. Don’t ask for a kiss, and don’t grab me and try to give me a hug if I’ve given you no such signals. Be respectful of the fact that though you might be attracted to me, there is no guarantee the feeling is mutual. Even if it is, allow me the space to grow comfortable with you as a person before you start touching on my body. It’s mine.
- Suffocating Clinginess. Some people (both men and women) attach themselves too quickly. Meaning, after just one date and maybe a phone call or two, they become unbelievably possessive and jealous; they consider you to be “theirs.” Should you go out with someone else, to them you are cheating and become a whole litany of unattractive adjectives such as player, dog or bitch. I don’t know about you, but I decide who gets with me, and no one else. Someone who moves towards commitment and exclusivity faster than I am comfortable with is someone I usually run away from. They are focused on their own desires with little room to think about my wants or needs.
- Cell Phone Texting or Talking. You are not a doctor and your ass is not on call at the hospital! There is nothing that is going on in your life that should be more important than the business at hand – getting to know me! Some guys try to act like they are so alla that and must answer every single phone call (talking loudly so everyone can hear!), and respond to every single text message. Such behavior is very rude and doesn’t make a date feel very special or important. You’ll get one chance to do that mess to me.
- Tacky, Ill Mannered, or Rude. This is important, because I see a man that can be gracious and respectful to those he feels are “beneath” him as a great human being. Men that think they are better than others due to their profession, car, education, etc. and lord it over waiters and parking attendants is someone I dump quickly. Bad table manners, chewing with the mouth open, not using a napkin to wipe the face, talking with food in the mouth. Belching, eating fast. Gross! Rude includes eye rolling at comments I make, or giving dismissive answers to basic “getting to know you” type questions. My opinion of such a man: ONE DATE JERKOFF!
- Overly Romantic. This is definitely a personal thing because some women just LOVE a guy to write them or recite romantic poetry, love songs, and love letters. I’m not really into poetry. I might not mind if the fella and I were a solid couple with some history between us, because then his words of love would be fact-based. By contrast, getting such things on the first or second date seems inappropriate. Though a guy might really be stirred to such romantic levels, I wouldn’t believe it for a minute and would put him in the “I’m gaming with this romantic drivel to get some booty!” category.
- Poor Grooming. Under this umbrella is funky smells, unibrows, teeth that haven’t seen a toothbrush or dental floss in days, wrinkled or holey or mismatched clothes, uncut hair on head or face, dirty nails, unpolished or dirty shoes. You know… that scruffy wrinkled, just got out of bed Columbo look. Ain’t doing it for me! Dang, if he can’t make a little extra effort in the early phases of dating to look and smell good for me, he isn’t worth putting my time and energy into.
- Argumentative and Overly Opinionated. We can agree to disagree on social issues that neither one of us has the power to solve. Talking over me, yelling, or arguing your position repeatedly when I heard you the first time is unnecessary. The goal is not to compete and for you to WIN against me in a discussion dude (I’ll never give in anyway!) Just give it a rest. Our goal is to enjoy our time together and get to know each other better.
- Talking About Prior Relationships and/or Most Recent Ex. Bottom line, nobody cares about your ex or your relationship with the cow. Write it in your diary or tell yo’ momma, because really, no woman cares. I’ve actually had this happen to me. Set up on a blind date. Dude took me out to dinner and talked about his EX the ENTIRE date. I ate all my food, then asked “are you gonna eat that?” and when he said no, I scarfed his down too. Hey, it was shrimp scampi and we were at Il Pescatore in Jack London Square in Oakland (my favorite restaurant). I was not letting that food go to waste! Anyway I told him he should call her as soon as he got home and get back together cause it sounded to me like he really loved her. I burped loudly for emphasis so he wouldn’t think we were going out again.
- Flakiness – Not Calling When You Say You Will, Showing up Late or Not Showing Up at All. It’s important to me that a man do what he says he is going to do, and when he does I build confidence and faith in him. Slowly but surely, step by step the right man can draw a girl in with his steadfastness and dependability. A guy that calls and changes the date time, then calls again because he is running late, then shows up even later than that when I am about to leave is not going to win Brownie points. And if you stand me up, you don’t have to worry about a second chance – at anything! If I can’t trust a guy to be a man of his word about little things like a date or a phone call, how can I be expected to trust you with my heart?
I’m at a point in my life where the demons of the past are behind me and my heart is healed. I’m ready to have someone special in my life, to be involved in a 1-on-1 committed relationship, maybe even remarry. I’m very clear on both what I need and what I want in a man, and am singularly focused on finding THAT MAN. And if he has the cockiness of Donald Sutherland, the calm of Clint Walker, the confidence of Lee Marvin, the bravery of Charles Bronson, and the muscled hard body of Jim Brown it shole won’t hurt!
Originally published 6.30.2009
Category: Date Smarter, Not Harder