Friday, 11 December 2009

The Manipulated Man

Did you know there’s an article on ‘first date’ in Wikipedia? Wikipedia is a great resource of information, but that’s not what this post is about.

My friend called an hour before the time to wish me luck. “I’ll call you as soon as I get home”, - I promised her. I wasn’t nervous. Not a bit. I didn’t spend hours in front of the mirror. In fact I was ready in twenty minutes. My hair didn’t look anything near to what I would like it to look like, but that didn’t bother me. Nothing was awkward from the moment he rang the doorbell till the moment I stepped out of the car in front of my house some hours later.

He embraced me and gave me a kiss on my cheek: “I hope you are hungry.” Yes, I am. ‘What food do you like?” I wondered what he planned. “Do you like Japanese?” Oooh, determined to impress! Yes, I love Japanese! I am very predictable, I know. “Let’s go to my favourite place, it’s very cosy and the food is very good.” I thought I’d seen all Japanese restaurants in The Hague but this place was new to me. It’s small and cosy and the food is good.

According to researchers of the universities of Missouri and Pittsburgh a first date, or any date that follows, the man is typically and traditionally portrayed as initiating the date, planning the date activities, picking the girl up, driving, paying for the date, performing courteous acts for the date- such as opening doors for her and possibly making any affectionate moves and then returning the date home. On the other hand, the woman’s role tends to be more of a passive one. That’s exactly what happened. I’m not very emancipated in this respect.

Esther Vilar writes in The Manipulated Man (1971) that women try and condition men to conform to a set of rules that caters exclusively to their needs, and reward men with praise (i.e. "you're such a gentleman", "it's so nice to meet a man who knows how to treat a woman", "you're so well-mannered") when men comply with these set of rules, while scolding and vilifying them if they don't. Well, I have to tell you, the women before me did their job really well! I didn’t have to do any scolding.

We’ve had a “date” before. I took the initiative, it was late, most places were closed. We ended up at a café with a disco, loud music, talking was difficult and the conversation wasn’t very exciting. When he dropped me off at my place I told him I’d appreciate him taking more initiative (yes, I am very direct, deal with it!). I haven’t heard from him for nearly two weeks. I wasn’t all too worried about it. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. And I was very surprised to see his name when my phone rang this afternoon. My heart didn’t jump in joy, but the frustrations from yesterday and this morning went away and I ended up feeling nice and peaceful for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow night... weekend... dancing... movie... modern dance... jazz... theatre... music... I said I’d like to try Argentine tango. “Don’t do this, baby. You already have such a busy schedule.” Baby! Baby...

Another kiss on my cheek and I am at my doorstep. “What?! Are you home ALREADY?!” – I had to convince her I really enjoyed the evening.

I feel like good music: Radio Citizen - The Hop (Feat. Bajka)


  1. Hallo Sasja !
    May I ask you the address of this japanese restaurant ?

  2. Sotiris,

    It's Kiraku (


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