In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would weigh in on the current climate of dating around here (and everywhere, I assume). Seems that those who aren’t already hooked up with someone special just don’t want to be caught at all. Like timid little muskrats we tip toe around the city hoping we can dodge random, potential offers of companionship by anyone other than our unrealistic and non-existent Mr./Ms. Right.
It’s true. Well, maybe not for guys. We see anyone of attractiveness as a potential bedside copilot. Women, on the other hand, see our feeble and seemingly loosely serious advances towards achieving this goal as a personal threat they want to shake faster than a spider on their sleeve. And therein lies the problem.
We guys have had to hone our strategies for pursuing women-folk to a completely watered-down version of our former confident power play to the point that what once couldn’t be mistaken for a date request might now be misinterpreted as “please pass the salt.”
One of our new “#winning” methods of procuring the company of a young lady of interest is the simple proposition, “let’s hang out.” Sometimes adapted to a more conservative future prospective, “let’s hang out sometime,” or the confident, more direct “we should hang out,” this phrase doesn’t seem to send up any wild, sudden movements that would send timid prospects scurrying back up a tree.
Women have figured us out though, so we’ve found the request for a casual encounter of doing whatever it is people do when “hanging out” doesn’t always generate the exact outcome we intended. So, for the sake of the ladies, I am going to break down this phrase so that we’ll all better understand what a guy means when he makes that specific proposition.
Let’s take the first word, which happens to be “let’s.” The more casual version of “let us,” “let’s” means two things: “let” which enables the interaction, and “us,” which means the requester and whomever the requested is directed. This means “us” is limited to whomever eye contact is afforded at the time. It doesn’t mean, “can my friend come along?” or “there’s a bunch of people going to this place,” it means “us”—you and me.
Second word: “hang.” Now despite its literal meaning, this word has been transformed within the English language to now more accurately be defined as “to spend time with.” And, as casual as the word’s intent, “hang” in a guy’s mind covers any and all ground—from sitting on a curb with a canned beer up to and including a five-course meal. And yes, sex at any point in time, with any willing woman, is always in mind no matter how casual or formal the request for a meeting.
Third word: “out.” Most people just assume this word is part of the common sub phrase “hang out,” but “out” has a meaning all its own. “Out” means out in public, as in “on a date.” This is the word that clinches the deal. Because ladies, there’s no difference in “hanging out” and “going out.” Get over it. Of course, if “hanging out” ends up just “making out” on your sofa then that’s OK too.
This brings me to my next point. A “date” isn’t really a date unless the girl says it is. I know I’ve said this before, but in light of the subject matter at hand it bares repeating. You’ll never get anywhere with any woman unless she has the same feelings for you. And, since we’ve established that guys “like” just about anyone who’s attractive to them, there are literally hundreds of possible combinations out there. A guy just needs to find the chick who responds favorably to his watered down advances.
Sometimes I don’t know why people even bother anymore. I can count on one hand the number of truly happy relationships among my friends. The others are either outwardly projecting happiness to save face or are just plain miserable. Maybe everyone is just scared of the alternative—being alone. But I can tell you one thing—complete control over the television remote and the freedom to fart at will are two things of beauty in a single dude’s life. But I digress.
So ladies, if you happen to be the only one at the office who doesn’t receive flowers on Feb. 14, or just wonder why you’re home alone next Friday night, think about all of those guys you blew off who just wanted to “hang out.” Chances are they’re still willing. Maybe you should give one of them a call—for love’s sake.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Chuck Crowder is a local writer and general man about town. His opinions are just that. Everything expressed is loosely based on fact and crap he hears people talking about. Take what you read with a grain of salt, but let it pepper your thoughts.