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Catch and Release

Spill wine all over my coat and handbag and don't offer to pay for cleaning, complain about the price of the duck a half-dozen times, make several references to sex and your dick size, talk only about yourself and never inquire about my life, don’t offer to pay for my parking or even walk me to the valet and then text me at 4a.m. after I told you I hate it when people text me between the hours of 11p.m. and 8a.m. Do just one of these things and you’re not likely to get a second date, but all of them in one evening? I hit the jackpot – all this from a man near fifty: from a generation where most mothers stayed at home and raised their children. He has no excuse for being an asshole.  Why are people so completely lacking in social graces these days? Do I have to move to the Midwest, or perhaps Europe, to find a courteous man? 

I always say: if you can’t afford the tip, you can’t afford the meal. And, if you can’t afford the meal, you probably can’t afford the girl. When I posted this saying on Twitter the other week, some man replied, “Why does the guy even have to pay?” I’m assuming by his comment and his general discontent with what I had to say that he was young and naïve. He could have just been an idiot. Let me clarify why the man pays: because chivalry is not dead, because women live longer and earn on average 25% less than men, because a woman’s expenses (from clothing to haircuts) are higher and because women’s lib failed miserably leaving women in a terrible predicament where men expect them to be Wonder Woman.

I once dated a very eligible young man who thought that his wife should earn a six figure salary and be a sex kitten, dog walker, event coordinator, mother, wife and a whole litany of other titles. I thought to myself pick one, maybe two – because no woman except Wonder Woman can be all those things – and threw him back in the pond.  About a year later, another gal snapped him up and within two years, they were married and expecting their first child. The Guppy’s wife was an esthetician. The average esthetician salary is about $40,000 a year, which went out the window shortly after she became pregnant, and now with their second child recently born…well, there goes that dual income scenario for oh, I dunno, the next 18 years.

I recently had lunch with The Guppy who has since turned into a nice steelhead salmon. He agreed with my Wonder Woman theory and confessed that he now realized that a man can either have a woman who runs a fortune five hundred company, or a woman who is sexy and would make a good mother. Trying to find all three qualities in the same woman is as challenging as finding a cure for cancer. I admit that had I held The Guppy’s fin for a while, I could have landed a decent catch, but I learned my lesson long before with what I call Project Guys or Fixer Uppers.  I am looking for a completed project.  My experience with The Fixer Upper is you no sooner get him where you want him to be and you end up sick of him, or worse, he gets snatched up by some other woman.  Please, thank you, you’re welcome, biatch!  Step aside Queer Eye.  Maybe I should hire myself out as an extreme makeover expert.

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Reader Comments (16)

Interesting thoughts. In regards to men's un-gentleman behavior, could not agree more and in my opinion has to do with feeling threaten by women. I am Latin so I guess we have a way of lookingat it, but aside formthe "macho" stereotype, for sure in general terms Latin men are old school when it comes to attending to the women (of course their is exceptions).

INterestingly, attending to the women is aligned to your other subject about men paying and not the women. I think for sure the men should protect, attend to and serve the women but this act should come from a profound feeling of "serving" and "attending" with happines in a way that he does not even notice it. If it is "expected" or if the women demands it then their is something wrong but all things aside, the men should not even think about it, it should be a reflect...he should feel proud that his effort, his wit, his smarts allow both of them to be in a posiiton to just enjoy themselves without having to worry about that stuff and certainly the women should be proud of that. No pretending on either side a must.

All this may sound cheese nowadays but it is like opening the door to the women, having her sit first and arrange the chair for her, all these an other gentleman's manner should come extremely natural to the men and should be a pleasure for both to enter into those acts.

My main concern with your blog is that I could not hear the "love" part as a reason to be together, first and foremost, in my opnion the "ticky, ticky" should be their, not "falling in love" but "loving" the person in the verb sense as well as in the adjective sense...the "love" should come from many attributes of each person that together fuel the "verb" but an unexplainable feeling that only looking at each other could be defined should definately be the platform for everything else to exist and flourish...if not, then you may start seeing those nasty behaviors...I guess you could ask how would you know in your first dates...well lets just say that is where "butterflies" do some of the work and your "gut" does another part and definately your intellect ("reason") should lead the way upon learning from its own mistakes (and hopefully other people mistakes)...

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge L Rodriguez

I couldn't agree more that the love needs to be there. And with the one who I released, there was very much a pitter-patter and racing of the heart or I never would have spent two months with him. But I saw he wasn't ready and I didn't want to get hurt more by staying with him for longer.

Thanks for your comment!

January 22, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Great piece yet again...Definitely something I can relate to but from a different point of view. I used to be the guppy with wonder woman expectations when I was not even close to wonder anything myself. I only wish I could have read something like this or had someone who cared tell me that my expectations were soo off... or that I wasnt living up to the billing either. So after years gone by and valuable lessons learned, I hope Im close to a Steel head now. If I think about it, maybe a Sword/Sail fish is more me ;-)
Again, great work! I look forward to your next piece.

January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRonWied

I think some of us have to be wondering, if we're taking this all seriously and on the Up-and-Up, how come your pre-screening techniques are so, well, miserable? It's almost as "If the guy can phone me by pressing all ten digits on his phone and has too much money, he's guaranteed a date" screening level...? Which is fine, if you're doing research for the next book...and this should be at least alluded to in your text, yes?

Otherwise, well, why are you completely unwilling to do better pre-screening (for lack of a better term)?

Ron, thanks for following my blog. I am glad you enjoy it. I appreciate your personal insight and humility. Thank you for reminding women everywhere that men do change/mature like good wine with time. Gentlemen do exist and it appears that you are one of them. As for fish, dare I say I've been eating a lot of steelhead while visiting Australia. Quite delicious. Though the idea of a nice lengthy swordfish is also appealing ;)

January 22, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Dear King

The article was not in reference to any online date. No screening took place as it was a blind date set up by friends who clearly don't know me very well. There is no reference to being interested in wealthy men in this story. I only offer that men should be courteous and well-mannered and not have outrageous expectations, which the other men who have commented seem to be in agreement with. My guppy was not thrown back into the water due to measures of net worth, but due to the fact that he was emotionally immature at the time.

While I may give the illusion of a date-oholic, I rarely date because I do screen well. And anyone who knows me well, particularly the men who have successfully dated me, would say you could not be farther from the truth in assuming I am all about the money.

My blog is here to entertain and provoke thought. As for my book, it has nothing to do with dating. It is contemporary women's fiction. My suggestion to you would be to realize there is much more than surface to my writing.

January 22, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Krak Attack, what's your problem? You bash everything Lennie writes. If you don't like the material, don't read it. Be a gent - which is all the lady is seeking out of men - and bugger off.

Lennie for what it's worth, I think you are truly magnificent, humorous and full of insight. Whether you date once a month or three times a day is only your perogative, no one else's, and doesn't discredit you in any way. Looking forward to reading your novel.


January 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNot Rich

Thanks NR. You are a gent... And a Brit, I assume.

January 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Lennie, sounds like your dates need an instruction manual on the basics of human interaction. Dating etiquette, like customer service, has gone to hell in recent years.

It seems that if you don’t have A.D.D., you aren’t “cool enough” to be a player on the Westside. So, you end up with over-achieving self-absorbed assholes thinking the date is an episode of Entourage — without the witty banter and straight to an X-rated ending.

By now, you have no doubt perfected the art of escaping through the smallest of restaurant bathroom windows, leaving your clueless dates scrolling through text spam in search of a life.

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentererkcyclisme

Erkcyclisme, you make me laugh. Indeed, I have become like Houdini, an expert at getting myself out of tight spots (though I wish I got into less of them in the first place). And occasionally I resemble David Copperfield - where I just disappear with a "poof".

January 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Your comment as to why men should pay is so spot on and in fact I feel it is as if I have just learned a lesson from a sister. Thanks for that.

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjacquie

Hey Jaq - since we're sisters I can call you that, right? Thank you. It's sad but comforting to know my views are shared by other women. A friend the other day said her boyfriend called her entitled. I told her to say thank you and remind him that she is entitled to be treated like a lady!

January 26, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Amazed, truly because that is what most (including my sister) call me. The point is well timed for me, as I've simply spent too much of my life being superwoman... and the one who buys dinner.

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjacquie

I did that for years, then I discovered this wonderful thing called self-esteem. Sounds like you stumbled upon it as well.

January 26, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Hello, Ms. Lennie. I am new here, but you are TOTALLY on point when you bravely make mention about how the "women’s liberation" has failed. Equal pay? Yeah right! We as Americans now live in a culture where women are penalized for behaving female. If we desire to naturally be ourselves and true to our gender naturally, we are often viewed as a joke or a threat. Then treated as such and suffer. I have a friend in New York. She is 28, highly educated, and sharp as a whip- now working at one of those "big name" investment banks here. Her problem is that she is stunning. Yes, this is a problem. Wives are usually apart of the families investment equation and do not want their husbands drooling over her. So her boss will toss over the wealthy, older, and divorced type. Who behave in an appalling way! Making very unprofessional advances to her. One even said,"If you don't go away with me next weekend, I'm pulling my funds out of your firm." This would equal a massive loss on her balance sheet to her superior! What to do? Things like this happen over and over. Thank you, women's lib!
I agree with you, L.R.W. Chivalry is NOT dead... However, I believe that chivalry is bleeding... and totally diluted in the United States. So much so, that we now see the other type of man. He is perfectly alright with the blurry lines that we created and beaten him over the head with! (should he open the door for us? should he pay for dinner after asking us on a date?) Do you know where he is, if not across the table dinner table from you? He's seated next to me in a pedicure chair! Ugh... I believe that this is a result of women's lib. First there was the earthquake... Now we feel the aftershocks! Why do women feel it is necessary to turn men into women? I do not want a lover nor a husband who has been feminized to the point where it he feels "normal" walking into a salon for a high gloss manicure, highlights, or a waxing. If a man has night cream as expensive as mine, it's a total turn off. This is NOT normal! Men and women are different!
The French seem to understand this best- there is an appreciation of the individuality of both sexes. Chivalry is NOT dead there, L.R.W.! But you may have to travel far to find it. It seems to be alive and doing quite well- in fine working order! (anyone who wishes to contest this little fact best get on a plane take a trip to Paris, and learn something.) If one cannot understand the language, then simply observe how the sexes interact. When in Paris, I am appreciated when walking down the streets in my Louboutin's! When done here, I must be a slut- or "asking for it." Yes, France had a "sexual revolution." But theirs was a "soft" one. It did not put women up against men in the brutal way that ours did. Women still admire men, and the reverse. Their differences are celebrated. Not blended together causing a distortion nor made blurry in the least!
I totally agree with you in regard to the check and your "guppies" infantile behavior. Very American. Totally lame. If you have the misfortune of crossing paths with another one... Just send him to the spa for a hydrotherapy treatment. Let's just hope he tips the technician. Au revoir monsieur!

Great Blog- I'll come back to read more. Very funny1

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterALYDAR

Alydar, thank you for your response. It is always interesting to hear other women's views to see if they are in line with mine. Sadly, they often seem to be. Your comments made me laugh and also pulled at my heart. Here's to us both finding one of the keepers!

April 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

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