For Afua’s version, click here!
September is a month, chock full of commemorations : Alopecia Awareness Month (USA), National Guide Dog Month (USA), National Honey Month, and National Life Insurance Awareness Month (USA) to name just a few (no really, google it, you’ll be surprised!). As important as these causes are, Afua and I chose to commemorate September with the lesser known
internationally- acclaimed and UN approved: Take a Man on a Date Month.
Let me just say, I have never (purposely) asked a man out on a date.
It is one of those burdens of gender inequality that I am an active proponent of just very content with.
So September was ‘Take-a-man-on-a-date’ month (stop asking questions about whether this is an official, internationally recognized designation and focus! Yes— I stole this from instagram. Leave me!)…and I was forced to try. I was forced to consider what it would take to get a total stranger to agree to spend money on me (cuz yeah I’ll ask but I aint payin bruh… *all the side eyes*). At first, this seemed like a great idea. In my mind, September would unfold like this:
A whirlwind of chance events—weddings, get- together’s, day parties— would create the
perfect opportunities to lock eyes with the only
tall, dark, Ashanti, Christian, masters level educated man with impressive hip hop knowledge
that I had not already met in the
very teenie tiny Accra social circles that I was used to
This was clearly going to be this great story to tell on the Wedding day
About how I never expected it at all
But then somehow
I waltzed into love, one random Saturday afternoon in September
That, my friend, is not how it went at all.
Not. Even. A. Little. Bit.
First of all, the rules were that:
- We could not ask someone with whom we already had a situationshippy thing happening
- We had to be explicit about asking them on a date, and not try to make a chance meeting seem like something we planned
- We had to do it by 30th of September
Secondly, I failed.
Not only did I not find anyone that I wanted to ask out on a date, but I also frightened myself in the process. I started getting really nervous about how exactly I would be able to ask in a way that didn’t make me seem like the greatest thirst bucket of life. And between not meeting anyone (initially) and being scared of the idea of meeting someone, I gained a completely new respect for men.
I am leaving this with a completely new appreciation for men having to do a lot of the asking. First off, you need to think about how you make the encounter seem smooth and non- creepsicle. If you see a girl somewhere in the room, how do you make your way over to her and speak to her without it clearly just being about the fact that you find her attractive. Does that even matter? Maybe the fact of the matter is, you just should walk over to her and let her know you find her attractive, and while you know nothing about her, you hope that this initial observation will open the door to reveal further details about her that is attractive. And then there are a number of very real, very petrifying logistical issues that must be hashed out as well:
But what if she is standing with friends?
What if she is in a mixed crowd?
What if she is the center of attention in this crowd and taking that initial step will draw attention to the fact that you are trying to get in her pants hit and quit have a meaningful relationship that could lead to marriage?
And the last bit of the final question is also, ultimately, what made it difficult for me to ask someone. I definitely placed a lot of emphasis on making a meaningful connection, and I just didn’t feel like I met someone with whom that could be possible. This seems absurd (in retrospect), because really what were the metrics I was using to make this decision? Looks. Not just attractiveness but also perceived personality traits, ie ‘OMG he uses Siri. Who uses Siri on purpose?! He is clearly a serial killer that logs his kills in some audio recorded format and then turns them into subliminal messages that get laced into popular rap songs. Ew.’ You can clearly see how the weight of the ask and the factors that go into deciding on the ask are clearly misaligned. This also contributed to my big, fat zero asks.
To be fair… I did not meet anyone for most of September but in the last week, I attended an event that required a lot of dressing up and showing out. I met a number of people and there was someone that I considered asking out. Then I chickened out… because the person was TOO embedded in my social networks for me to be all adventurous. Basically, I was not trying to put pride aside to look dumb in front of all my friends.
So to sum it up: I didn’t meet anyone until the final days of the challenge and I was too image conscious to ask someone I may have been interested in because—
sisters over misters social networks pride.
Even though I failed, there is still hope for others. I recently went on an outing with a number of women, a few of whom were single. Over the course of the conversation this challenge came up, and I explained my experience. After the usual barrage of ‘is this a real holiday’, ‘where’s the federal license for this holiday’, ‘you celebrate instagram holidays?!’ (YES!)… the women seemed to take interest in joining in and have since accepted the challenge. Hopefully we will hear some juicy stories from them. *crosses fingers*. Maybe they will be bosses at asking guys out, and I will look on with utter jealousy as they walk into their happily ever after. Maybe not. Time will tell.
All I know is, September was a fail… but November— who can tell?
So tell me, have you ever asked a guy out? What was the experience? Would you do it again?
Afua had quite an interesting experience— I would say more of a failure on the part of married men not wearing wedding rings. But you can read more here.
***This blog post will also be featured on the website Obaasema.com, a life-style e-zine for the fashion forward, go-getter woman of African and her diaspora. Check out the website and get connected. Stay up-to-date on everything African- inspired!