My sister and I don’t have the most typical or classic relationship, but one thing that she’ll always talk to me about is my dating life. She can be critical and over-realistic (I’m not the most realistic person and often say stuff like, “Reality has no place in my life!”) but her words are always appreciated at most, and at least, they make me laugh.
“What did you wear?” is always her first question, post-date. My sister is convinced that my wardrobe is holding me back from finding a fulfilling partner. Last night I went on a date and told her what I wore – a grey tank top, a cheetah print maxi skirt, and sandals. “That sounds relatively normal. Nothing high waisted,” she texts back. Actually, the maxi skirt was high waisted, I tell her. She’s immediately skeptical. My sister is sure that the fact that some of my clothes are high waisted – among all the other weird oddities that exist in my closet – is the reason that I’m still single & only attract people who are bad for me.
“Did he pay?” is always her follow up question. This one is so important to her. We have to pay to get our nails done and buy a new outfit for a date, she reasons. We also have to do our hair and makeup. I have never bought a new outfit specifically for a date (especially not a first one!) and I’ve never gotten my nails done, for anything. This is why you’re still single, she tells me. I’ve pretty much quit doing my hair and makeup specifically for dates, too, but I don’t bother telling her that. It’ll just put her over the edge.
I’m that girl who sometimes splits the bill on the first date – and other dates, too. I’m not really a believer in letting guys pay for everything. But sometimes I let them. Mostly out of laziness, or because they seem like they make more money than I do. (That non-profit career really doesn’t rake in the dough.) But, I’m used to being in relationships where I make more money, so I’m used to paying for dates myself. It’s never bugged me. My last boyfriend would pay maybe 10% of the time, but it was always special when he did. It’s never bothered me to pay for myself, or for both. But, according to my sister, this is just another reason why I’m still single.
Our conversations usually go on from there, based on where I met the guy or what we did. Often times she’ll ask questions like, “You got in a car with someone you met online?” If we’ve been dating for a while, she’ll wonder why we’re not committed to each other yet, or why I’m fine dating a couple of different guys at once (“You’re just kind of riding the wave, huh?”). Now and then she’ll ask questions about my sex life and express sheer horror or pity at my answers. I can just see her sitting there shaking her head in disgust at every answer I give her to any of her questions. According to her, I’m still single because I don’t put enough effort into the shallow parts of dating. Really though, I’m just not interested in dating someone who isn’t okay with the clothes I wear, or who loses confidence if the woman pays for herself. If a guy gets annoyed that my nails are unpainted, or I’m not wearing enough makeup, or my hair is a little frizzy or limp, then clearly he’s not the one for me. As much as my sister’s questions amuse me, they spotlight the dynamics of our own personal, very contrary values.
Here’s hoping the next guy doesn’t mind if my shorts goes up to my waist, or if I want to pay for my own cocktail!