Wednesday, 2 October 2013

When Pushy Older Ladies Make Their Sons Call You

Oh la la. I have had yet another email from a Would-Be Seraphic Single who has been telephoned, sight-unseen, by the son of a lady who thinks she is da bomb. (Older ladies she meets often think this.) The problem is, from a blogging point of view, is that the details of this email are so particular, I fear the writer's recognition and capture by her friends. ("Hey! I read your letter on Auntie Seraphic's blog!)

That reminds me, if you go to Notre Dame, Steubie or Christendom, you basically have to tell me so I can work extra-hard to disguise you. I mean it.

So instead of publishing this letter, I will just tell you the reader's concerns:

1. Blind dates are scary and embarrassing, and Reader has agreed to go on one with Nice But Pushy Lady's Son.

2. Nice But Pushy Lady's Son is merely culturally Catholic, and Reader doesn't want to teach any more catechism in her spare time.

3. Who should pay? If, while they stand at the counter, she pays, will he think she is a feminist?

4. Reader is looking forward to an appointment with a much more attractive prospect later this month.

And here's what I said:

Dear [Reader I'm Shortly Going to Blog About],

I feel for you. It's an embarrassing situation! The bright spot for me is that NBPL thinks you are a wonderful girl she would be happy to see her son with. For a woman to want to give you her baby lamb--that's a big compliment. Ditto for all those other ladies. Say... I have this spiritual son, aged 25.... (Just kidding!)

Let me look at these fears and see what we can do to make life more bearable.

1. Blind dates are indeed frightening and embarrassing. My last one was set up by a Korean girl I was helping with her English with a young university professor named George. She called him "Professor George." If you were reading at the time, you might remember that I got all my readers to vote on whether I should go on this blind date. (Then-Reader B.A. said no.)

Anyway, I survived. As you see. Professor George was Greek Orthodox, so we fought about religion over pierogi at the local Ukrainian bakery--a public place I know very, very well. Dear me. And now I laugh merrily. At the time I was thinking, "Oh well. At least my next blog post is writing itself!"

You could make the blind date less blind by seeing if Sonny-Boy is on Facebook. Google-stalk!

2. It's amazing how culturally Catholic men snap into shape if they form a real attachment to a religious Catholic girl. All that underlying stuff from baptism, etc., seems to start working like yeast. The religious girl doesn't have to (and shouldn't) get all catechetical on him. All she has to do is look pretty and be unbendingly firm about all moral issues and go to Church on Sunday and answer his [religion] questions, [if he asks], without making a big deal of it.

3. Who pays? This whole thing is NBPL's idea, so she should darn well pay. But I recommend going dutch on this one. The guy didn't ask you out of his own free will, and he may be feeling rather put upon and bossed about by women, so if you go dutch you don't (A) look like you are profiting from it (cranky men do think that way*) or (B) act like his mom by paying for him.

I once went on a date with a guy who really, honestly, forgot to bring his wallet, but was too frightened to tell me. So in the end I paid for everything. Dating is awful. [What is good is discovering you are in love with a friend, and that he loves you too. That is the best. So concentrate on making friends--the more friends, the better.]

4. Hooray for Mr Fabulous! Listen, this blind date thing will be just coffee. Or a walk in the park. Or something more creative, like going to a free concert, or a museum, or a science centre, or whatever you guys agree on. You could discuss it on the phone. "Let's see. What do we have in common?" You aren't going to be made to marry Scooter at gun point. He might make a good friend. He might make a good business contact.

I hope you are feeling better. There's nothing like a good night's sleep to kill angst. Joy cometh in the morning.

Grace and peace,

*UPDATE: This may sound weird, but even some trad guys are heavily resentful of don't like the idea that they should pay on dates. If they are absolutely crazy about a girl, they aren't. But if it is dating-on-spec, they sometimes are. I once got a speech about this why dating is out of date that seared my feminine soul. Eeek! One day I may repeat it word-for-word from memory, and your feminine souls can be seared too.


Kate said...

I don't know if this is just my experience, but not only do trad guys resent having to pay, they will also ream women out for being feminist if they do. I've noticed that a lot of them try to jump into dating while they are un/underemployed and are upset to find that nice trad girls have well-paying jobs... Also, apparently a sign of being a feminist.

Seraphic said...

The next time a Catholic guy tells me I am a feminist, I will say, "No, I am a sultry temptress. Buy me something."

That'll larn 'im!

Francesca said...

Hi! Longish-time reader, new commenter!

What really struck me was # 2. As a Catholic singleton, I've neglected the culturally Catholic guys in favor for my "ideal" Catholic guy, one who: attends daily Mass, prays the Rosary, knows his Catechism, etc... And I've read a lot about having him love God more than you (which is what I want!). Needless to say, I haven't been on a date in a while (my Catholic community is very small here). Now I wonder if I'm being too picky and should be more open to dating culturally Catholic men.

Great post, as usual, Seraphic!

Woodbine said...

Whoa, for a moment I thought you wrote "slutty temptress"! Now THAT would completely baffle him. Please try!!

Jackie said...

Wait a sec-- trad guys resentful that *they* (the guys) have to pay?!?! Is this upside-down day? Because I seriously re-read this line 3 times since I believed that I had a comprehension error. :/

Can someone explain the logic on this-- I mean, isn't a trad man presuming to demonstrate the role of provider, in pursuing courtship?

I apologize for my poor understanding: Are these guys asking girls out and then asking the girls to pick up the tab? Or to go dutch? O.O

Seraphic, please please tell us about The Speech!!

Seraphic said...

Better not call it The Speech. There is THE Speech, which fortunately I personally shall probably never have to give again, and then there are all other speeches.

Most trad guys without jobs (e.g. in university or in internships) are nowhere near demonstrating that they are providers. Oh dear, I see I will have to write a post on this depressing topic.

Kate said...

I hope it's in the near future! I'd love to share that on my Facebook wall.

Elisabeth said...

Dear, Dear Auntie Seraphic,

I have shared your most fabulous comeback line for accusations of feminism with my beautiful and distressingly grown-up daughters (18, 17 and 14) and they all agreed that anyone who does not laugh out loud at that rejoinder is not worth the time of day. My 10 year old daughter did not laugh, and said, "What?" which just proves the fabulous sophistication of the remark. Thank you for being the wit we only aspire to be!

Shiraz said...

... of course, I AM a feminist. (The idea that the word only refers to angry 1970s second wave types irritates me no end.) No, I'm the type Rebecca West defined as follows: "I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute." So I would probably smile sweetly and say "thank you!" if accused of same. Good thing I'm a Married Lurker and my husband quite likes my sparky, independent streak.

Joyful in DC said...

"Most trad guys without jobs (e.g. in university or in internships) are nowhere near demonstrating that they are providers. Oh dear, I see I will have to write a post on this depressing topic."

Please these are the dear men I am surrounded and befriended by at the moment!