Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Selfish?

I hated dating. I really did. I tried it all - blind dates, set-ups from friends, saying yes to every guy who asked and even online dating. I could write a book comprised of nothing but my disastrous dates and all the strange things guys did and said to me. On several occasions I felt like the men I dated were sizing me up based on rigid standards they'd devised, like they were trying to fill a role with the characteristics of a fantasy woman they'd created who likely didn't exist. They'd give me the weirdest reasons for dumping me or even not wanting a second date. One said I didn't have the body type he desired and another told me I didn't look Jewish enough. He liked a more Semitic looking woman and I'm just too French looking. Others even eliminated me based on musical preferences. I couldn't believe how shallow some of these guys were. Thank God I'm not dating now.

My cousin Bella, however, is dating now. She came to visit me last weekend and met Baby Lawns who cemented her desire to officially never, ever, ever have children ever period. While here Bella told me her own dating horror and it was so strange to me that I had to share and Bella would like to hear some of your opinions.

Bella has been dating a guy, we'll call him Cal, for a couple months. She says she's taking it slowly because she's not sure of some things, while other things are perfect. Cal has some reservations about Bella as well and recently he brought them up to her in a serious heart to heart.

Cal was concerned that Bella is selfish. When she asked why, he told her the following story.

Cal's favorite movie of all time is A Bronx Tale. I like this movie too. I even saw it as a one man play two years ago. Now in the film, one character gives the main character dating advice. He says that you have to test a woman when you date her. When you go to get in the car and the man opens the door for the woman and she gets in, the man has to go around and get in the driver's side. During this period, the woman, if she isn't selfish and therefore a worthy woman, will reach over and unlock the man's door for him proving that she thinks of him and not just her own comfort. Cal took this advice to heart because he loves this film that much.

Bella didn't pass the test and to Cal, this was a really, really big deal and he was extremely upset about it and made Bella feel terrible, but also mad.

You see, Cal has power locks. He unlocks the door of his car from his key chain before they even get to the car. Bella's car has the same thing and this is pretty much standard these days. Bella couldn't even remember the last time she was in a car that didn't unlock this way and neither can I. She tried to explain to him the logic of this, but he wouldn't relent. It was the thought that counted, he said.

"But why?? The car is already unlocked! You want me to reach over in an empty gesture for no reason other than to prove something to you based on a movie?"she asked.

Cal said yes.

A Bronx Tale takes place in the early 60s when cars and people were different. The rules aren't the same and neither are the cars. Sometimes Bella drives on their dates. That would have been unheard of fifty years ago. Did Cal reach over to fake unlock her door? I wonder.

Determining whether a date is worthy of you shouldn't be based on tests or a set of criteria. It should never be based on a movie, no matter how great the movie is. It's important to be with someone who isn't selfish, but a fictional test from the 1960s that no longer applies because of advances in technology and gender equality isn't the way to figure out if your date is considerate enough for you.


Bella wonders what to do. I gave her some advice of my own. What advice would you give her?
 

37 comments:

Gabrielle said...

He sounds like a real winner. I'd say dump him in hopes of finding someone who can think for himself. And props for not blowing up in his face, I guess? I would have either punched him or laughed myself sick.

marnilla said...

(It's the first time I've been the first comment - oh the pressure!)

Um. Well, it would help to know what the good things are about this guy, because the reason he thinks she's selfish? is so dated as to be laughable. (As she seems to have pointed out) If he intended it to be a metaphor, FAIL!

I'm pretty sure I'd lose this one without too much regret. I realized I don't have the whole story, but still.

Anonymous said...

He needs to get over himself. Seriously. As you said, cars in the 60's were different. I would not even try to figure out (quickly enough before the dude got to his door) how to unlock his car. Unless it was my car's same and model, it would be a seek and find. Plus, it's usually somewhat hidden so it cannot be vandalized easily! If he's so caught up in such a petty thing, that's a big sign for trouble down the road. And it's not even from real life, it's from a MOVIE! Just when I think I've heard it all...

Arwen said...

My own husband told me that I passed this same test back when we were dating... however, that was 10+ years ago and neither of our cars had power locks. This guy is a nut job...

Life in the mom lane said...

I say move on Bella- Cal sounds like a jerk.... if he is going to be like this about power locks... what will be next? Guys like this are just waiting for a woman to screw up over something she has no idea about...

lalalorlor said...

It's time to move on. If he's stuck in a 60s movie over car door locks, what other crazy outdated notions does he have swirling around in his head? Is he going to tell her she needs to dress like June Cleaver next or it's over?!?!?

Tell her I am so sorry she has to go through this hazing :(

ZaBeth said...

I'm not sure. If this is his only criteria in thinking she is selfish, then he's got no leg to stand on and even his buddies would say he's being an idiot. Life isn't a movie and you can't play by the movie's rules to guide your life.

One of my friend's favorite movies is 'The Brothers.' In it, it's said that if a man lets you finish whatever food you're sharing, that means he really loves you. Now, not every single time I'm sharing something with my boyfriend will he let me finish it. That doesn't mean he doesn't love me.

I'd say that if Cal can drop this issue (and perhaps Bella can lean over to open the door for him a little bit-which might be a silly compromise), and they can focus on real things going on between them, not some silly movie 'rules of love,' then they can look back on this in a year and laugh about it.

Shannon said...

If it is that serious of an issue for him, I would wonder what other value differences they have that would be even more problematic later. Good luck!

islandwonder said...

I agree with Marnilla. We need to hear his positive traits because that is a red flag that he is out of touch with reality.

Jocelyn said...

Bella needs to tell Cal to kick rocks. You can't base your ideal woman of 2011 on a 1960s movie!

catherine said...

Dump him, he's a tool!
Don't waste any more time on idiots like this. If something doesn't feel right or a little off in the beginning, then get out. It's not worth the trouble.

catherine said...

I just asked my hubby, and he thinks this guy is a duh, and dump his ass! This isn't the fifties, everything is automatic now.

Tell Bella that the only guys you find on dating sites are losers no one else wants.

Mary said...

Run...

FreeDragon said...

I would have to ask him if he could think of any other ways I had been selfish, or if there were times he thought I had shown kindness and thoughfulness. If the car door lock was all he had, then I'd dump him for a smarter guy. Life isn't a movie and he may not have a good concept of reality. Personally I would be offended if some guy was fumbling around my car. I have a key and I can unlock my own door, thanks. And unless it was raining or thugs were approaching I wouldn't try to unlock his door. I don't want to invade anyone's space.

ohsoang said...

Advice: don't date his stupid ass. And I thought women were bad about having absurd expectations of romance based on the movies we've been brainwashed with! This guy is just as bad. I'm with Gabrielle, I would have laughed myself sick if someone was so serious about such a thing. If Bella really wants to mess with him, next time he unlocks the whole car and lets her in first, she should lean over and LOCK his door. :D

sadi said...

I have a feeling that Cal has more issues than a door lock. Dump the chump.

One Crazy Chick! said...

I passed the test over 10 years ago when I was dating my husband and his car didn't have power locks. I say, if this guy can't see that this test is meaningless when cars unlock themselves, dump him and tell him to get over himself. This guy is a douche if he can't see this test is meaningless in 2011.

taotechuck said...

Wow. There seems to be a lot of anger towards Cal based on one small facet of his personality.

Whether or not we admit it, we all have little tests that help us to assess our compatibility. Maybe our test is to see how someone speaks to (and tips) their waiter, or whether they give money to homeless people, or whether they smile at babies. It can even be as shallow as how a person dresses, if they drink, or how they vote.

Cal's flaw isn't that he has a test, but that he is blindly loyal to the test. As such, I have a question for Bella: once Cal had some time to consider her argument that his test isn't relevant anymore, did he change his mind? If so, then I see Cal as an open-minded listener who is resistant to change but ultimately accepts constructive criticism and growth. If not, then I see Cal as someone who is stubborn, egotistical, and ultimately unable to consider another person's opinion.

Kirby said...

I would seriously laugh right in his face if he argued that I should "mock" unlock the door for him... too outrageous

Green said...

Cal is a fucktard. He should be judging Bella on how nice she was to waitstaff in restaurants, everybody knows that. However, Bella shouldn't care what Cal thinks about how she treats waitstaff since Cal is a fucktard and his opinion is worth very little.

If she is your cousin, Bella can do better.

Kerry said...

I'm with taotechuck- did Cal figure out that the test is now meaningless? Having a test is one thing, but it should be something useful and a person should not follow it so blindly.

And I think it's stupid to "fake-unlock" a door that's already unlocked. Maybe opening the door from the inside, but even that's a little strange and it's really weird to do it only so that the guy can click off the note in his head that she thinks about him. There are a lot of ways a person can show they care about the person they're dating, and I think that should outweigh an arbitrary test.

Gina said...

I would run! If this is his reaction to something completely nonsensical and unimportant, how is he going to react when she forgets to take his clothes to the cleaners or doesn't cook his meatloaf exactly right? not that I think either of those are his job, but I am trying to make the point that is THIS is a problem, then all the other normal every day issues that couples have are going to be even bigger problems. RED FLAG!

Anonymous said...

Big Red Flag for Bella! I agree with everyone that said to run. Life is too short for nonsense like this.

Wide Lawns said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I wanted Bella to read them. She's one of those girls who always second guesses herself and is afraid of being considered mean or judgmental. I told her the same thing you all did.

For those who asked about Cal's good traits - good job, owns house, established, she thinks he's good looking, strong family, very generous with her.

To those who asked if he realized he was being stupid - no he did not. He was very rigid about sticking to his "test." He said it was the most important thing to him, which made me think he was nuts. He appears to be very legalistic, extremely Catholic and totally stuck in the 50s in many other ways too so I don't think they will be compatible.

Anonymous said...

My advice would be 'run, Bella, run!'

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing so hard right now! I, too, love a Bronx Tale. And because of that movie, I make sure that I *always* reach across to unlock the door!

janet from chicago said...

Kick him to the curb!!! She is dodging a bullet here!!! The key fact is that the car is already unlocked - what kind of idiot gets his panties in a knot because his date doesn't lean over to open an unlocked door???

Anonymous said...

Dump him, and fast!

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

oh my. he sounds NUTS! RUN AWAY!!!!

by the way, my word verification for making this comment said "uncope." weird, huh?

Things I Left Behind said...

That's merely the excuse he used to ease out of the relationship!

Mel

Reedonkulous said...

Tell Bella to take him to a supermarket, then tell him he didn't pass her test: opening the automatic door for her. On second thought, he probably would make a show of stepping on the mat for her...

Gina said...

OK - those good traits aren't really "traits". I mean - it's nice that he has a good job, owns a home, is established and good looking and had a strong family. But none of those things really say anything about his character. I know a lot of total asshats who have all those things.

And while it's nice that he is generous with her, it's not enough on it's own. There are generous asshats, too.

To me, good traits are things like being kind, compassionate, empathetic, ethical, forgiving, honest, etc

Teacup said...

It sounds like his mind is a narrow little hallway filled with trapdoors. Tell her to get away quickly.

Seriously, he's crazy.

Jennifer said...

Dear Cal:
Does she do ANYTHING ELSE thoughtful for you? Open a house door for you, split or pay a bill, give you a present?
Just wondering.

TK said...

Dump him and don't look back. This is the kind of guy who will be able to justify physical and psychological abuse once he gets all the way in the door, as in living together.

He sounds like a pathological control freak as well as being narrow minded and running a few quarts low.

My word verification is bigneilp, sounds a little like "BIG NOPE".

TK said...

and the word verification for the next comment was wermfu.

Wormfood! LMAO. That seals it.

jennifer said...

that guy is an idiot. I have a funny bad date story. A guy drove about half an hour to meet me. I never got out of the car. One of the first things he said to me is that it wont work b/c he wants to get married and he can instantly tell (w/o conversation) that i am not the woman for him. But he had his shiny black corvette as one of his profile pics (didnt notice that earlier) AND a diamond pinkie ring, so the feeling was pretty mutual

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