Young men are confused nowadays because even this kind of talk is politically incorrect. I am talking about talks on how to please women and influence their decision to do this or that. I am an experienced man from another era when men knew what they were doing and the women appreciated it. So, here is some guidance based on a recent dating experience I had.
First thing first: Women don’t primarily want love or riches or wondrous sex (though neither one or the others hurt).
They want to be entertained, endlessly.
Women want to be amazed by unfamiliar objects but within a context where they feel safe. so, I took my date to a print shop. She had never been to one. I checked the progress of a new poster for my book (“I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography.”) She thought that was very, very nice. A long time ago, I even took a woman on a date to the municipal dump. I followed with a greasy fried eggs and bacon breakfast in a greasy spoon. She was delighted. “I had never been to a dump,” she commented.
Women want to be shown beautiful things. They don’t have to be original. Sunsets are always winners, sunsets on the ocean even better, best of all are sunsets on a lake. So, I drove with her along Monterey Bay for a couple of miles. It was the afternoon. There was no sunset. She has been there a hundred times. She liked it anyway.
Women like the prospect of spending money. They like it even if there is no actual spending. They like it whosoever’s money it is. Plus, they like presents, all presents. I took my date to a tile place. I bought two small samples of tiles that I gave her, one black, one white. She was impressed because the ensemble was impossibly classy.
Then, we went to the forest together and we spent some time looking at the trees in silence. That was to revive, to agitate residual, atavistic feelings. It helped her get in touch with the more primitive side of her nature . (That’s the side women spend a lot of energy concealing from themselves.)
Soon it was dinner time. Dinner is when a lot of young men fail. Here is the key: A woman wants to be somewhere where she is the most elegant person in the place. Yet the gap between her and other women there must not be too great. It has to be of such dimension that other women wish they were her but without much resentment. If the other women act crushed, it’s a failure. The other women have to think about the elegance gap loudly enough that she almost hears it. The food has to be interesting rather than very good. Few women are gourmets. They like to be fed because it reminds them of the times, 20,000 years ago that it was the way hunters won their favors. I took my date to a barbecue place. (It was not as easy as it sounds in largely vegetarian and vegan, sustainable agriculture-ridden, half-Buddhist Santa Cruz.)
The barbecue place was a stroke of genius on my part (if I say so myself). There were long strange-looking, large black machines outside where the meat was slowly cooking. Inside, the tables were covered with gay old-school waxed clothes. (I don’t mean that the table cloths were somehow sexually inverted but that they gave the place a merry look.) And then, there is always a happy buzz in establishments of all ranks that serve large amounts of meat and beer. (A salad bar, on the other hand, makes one feel virtuous but it’s a sad place.) The restaurant was almost filled with ordinary working stiffs of all sexes in their work clothes. In her impeccable white blouse, my date stood out like a beacon of sober elegance. The side-glances of the women of all ages in the place would have told me so if I had been the kind of slob who does not perceive such nuances. Her presence there would have simply been a triumph if triumphs could be discreet and subdued. She glowed with satisfaction while playing with her over-spiced hot tri-point. I observed her proudly from behind my slightly dry barbecued brisket.
While we ate, a baseball game was going on a large flat TV in a corner. Half-way through our meal, a small scruffy-looking reggae band began playing softly. They played rather well. ( This is Santa Cruz, California where good music is common.) The baseball game went right on on the TV. That’s what I love about America. Normally, here, you are not forced to chose. Europeans and Japanese think that “you can’t have everything.” In America, we believe fervently that you can and should. You can have the one thing and the other thing all at once. Life here is like an unending combo-plate at the barbecue joint: There is beef, and chicken, and also short ribs, all crowded on the same plate.
Right after dinner, I took my date to my house. Her hand was on my bare knee while I drove with baroque music playing on the radio.
She was a in a glow about me because I appreciated and catered to her profound superficiality. (No, for once, this is not clumsy writing. I am fully aware of what I am doing using the words “superficial” and “profound ” next to each other.)
You want to know exactly how well the date ended? Don’t be vulgar! It’s the mother of my children you are referring to here. We have been married for 38 years. And no, that’s no cheating. Yes, knowing the lady well is an advantage, on the one hand. On the other hand, she has every right to be bored with me and my shenanigans. The longevity of this marriage is evidence that my formula works. It’s possible there will soon be a new black and white tile floor in our kitchen.
Another day, I will divulge other secrets to young men left high and helpless on the beach of ignorance by the feminist wave.