Hello there. You. Yes, you! I have something I would like to talk to you about.
It’s come up a couple of times recently and it’s gotten so irritating that I finally have to say something about it. I’m pretty sure you’re not even aware of what you’re doing or why it bothers me. So here it goes.
I would like you to ask me out on a freaking date.
Don’t ask me to hang out with you. Don’t ask me if I’m free “sometime” on Friday night and say you’ll get in touch that night to “see what’s up.” Don’t ask me if I’m “interested in getting a drink sometime.”
I have been talking to you, haven’t I? I have been emailing, text messaging, IMing, and even talking on the phone. Of course I’m “interested” in “hanging out” “sometime.” That is why I am talking to you. I am not doing it for my health, because I have nothing better to do with my time, or because you’re so goddamned interesting that I can’t resist your witty banter over gchat. If I wasn’t already “interested,” you wouldn’t be communicating with me at all.
I want you to ask me on a date.
I want the date to have a day of the week — Friday or Saturday, for instance.
I want the date to have a time — 8 o’clock would be an example.
I want the date to have a place, or at least, a notion of a place. “A drink.” “Coffee.” “Dinner.” “Walking around a bookstore together.” I sincerely do not care where we go or what we do; I just want to prepare for it (eat dinner beforehand, don’t eat dinner beforehand) and know how I should dress (heels? sneakers?). You don’t even have to spend money. I’ll pay for myself if you don’t offer! Really, this should not be intimidating.
I said this before but it bears repeating: I don’t want to “hang out” with you. What does hang out even mean to you, exactly? I hang out on my friends’ couches and thumb through magazines while we gossip with each other. Is that what you want us to do? And while we’re on the subject of not “hanging out,” don’t ask me to come meet your friends at a bar, either. I have enough friends and family in my life to “hang out” with and we have our own bars. Why, if I have never met you before, would I want to “hang out” at your favorite bar with more people I don’t know?
Now. I know what you’re thinking and feeling. You’re feeling criticized and attacked by what I’m saying. You may even think I sound like a bitch. No wonder no one asks me out on dates, right?
Well, you would be wrong. I do get asked on dates by men, actually, and it works amazingly well. When I am asked out on dates with days of the week and times and places, I know the man is interested in getting to know me enough to actually put some thought into planning what we are going to do, that I’m not just casually “hanging out” with him and his friends. I know whether to eat beforehand. I know what to wear. I know whether to have cash on hand to get home or to ask someone to pick me up or to ask to stay at a friend’s place. I know whether to get a manicure or do a face mask beforehand. I know whether or not I actually have plans— a novel idea!
But more importantly, when a man asks me out on a date with a day of the week and a time and a place, I know he has the confidence to actually ask me out on a goddamned date.
See, I’m not a bitch: I know you are scared to ask me on a date. I know you’re afraid I might say “no.” You’re afraid I might think you’re ugly, unfunny, boring, that you don’t make enough money, or any number of things. I get it. You’re afraid of rejection. I’m afraid of rejection, too. We all are. That’s human. But that’s life. People get rejected. However, observe the context of the situation. Do I seem like a raging nutjob that’s going to turn you down in a way that humiliates you in front of your friends, your boss, your extended family and national television? No, that’s not going to happen. I don’t bite. I am actually really, really nice. You have to realize if we’ve been talking on the phone, emailing, and flirting, it means I am interested in you and your chances of being rejected are much, much lower. Like, .003 percent, should Clive Owen show up on my front stoop with a package of Magnums. Are you really so afraid to ask me out for a $4 cup of coffee at Starbucks and risk a .003 percent chance of rejection that you just won’t do it?
Really? Really? REALLY?
I’m sorry, but then you’re not for me.
Because I do have the confidence to ask you out on a date. I’m as afraid of rejection as the next human being but I’m willing to risk it if it means a great date with a wonderful man. I should not be the one who has to ask men on dates — or limply not-ask, as is more often the case — all the time because they’re too afraid of getting rejected. My gender has nothing to do with my frustration here: it’s 2011 and I am not Suzy Homemaker from 1952 who follows rigid gender roles to a T (although I do confess to enjoying more traditional men). Generally speaking, I think men are intimidated by women who do the pursuing/asking out, though, so I do it on a case-by-case basis. And if I can do it — and I have done it — you can, too.
It’s not hard.
It’s just words.
There’s a 99.097 percent chance I am going to say “yes.”
Please, just ask me out on a freaking date.
Original by Jessica Wakeman