In all, there were 35 Rules, beginning with Rule #1 - "Be a Creature Unlike Any Other." While this one sounded rather Sphinx-like, the others seemed like a throw-back to the 1950s, like Rule #2 - "Don't talk to a man first (and don't ask him to dance)," or this one, Rule #3 - "Don't stare at men or talk too much." The more I read, the more incredulous I was, but, I was also feeling another, unexpected emotion - wonder. Wondering if I did talk too much. Wondering if my flirty glances at men were indeed too much. In short, The Rules made me a self-doubting basket case. And just when I thought I'd had enough, then came Rule #33 - "Do The Rules and you'll live happily ever after." Awesome, just when I thought I was out, The Rules dragged me back again!#%*&!!!
Looking back at my dog-eared, and much thumbed-through copy of The Rules, I'm shocked that I was led down this path by two uncredentialed hacks, but a lot of us were so I figure I was in good company. There's a whole new generation of young ladies, though, dating footloose and fancy-free, flagrantly violating The Rules!! Technology is to blame for a lot of it. In this age of texting, Tweeting, and Facebooking, Rule #5 ("Don't call him and rarely return his calls") is unthinkable. And Rules #19 ("Don't open up too fast") and #20 ("Be honest but mysterious") are counter intuitive in our over-share culture where your Flickr gallery allows you to instantly upload a highlight reel of every hour of your day!
So let's write our own rules, The I'm Just Saying Relationship and Dating Rules 2011. Here goes:
- Don't post naked/scantily clad photos of yourself on your Facebook page because the boys who see your page might think you're a tramp.
- The "I'm so buzzed" pics that you snap on your camera phone make you look like a sweaty mess. If you're going out for a raucous evening with your posse, either leave the phone at home or keep it tucked safely in the pocket of your jeans.
- If you go to your friends' weddings, don't take too many trips to the bar. The man of your dreams might be a cute cousin of the groom, so you just might be singing your stunning, staggering version of Ke$ha's "Don't Stop" in front of people who could be your future in-laws!!
- Catching up on your reading doesn't mean paying a visit to Wikipedia. Being stupid is never attractive, not even if you're an over-paid television actor who wears hokey shirts and has a last name that rhymes with "clean."
- Maybe it's not a good idea to tell the guy on your first date about your gluten-free, vegan, organic diet. Instead, skip dinner and go listen to a band.
- If you spend your first date together sharing your iPhone apps, it does not mean that you should start shopping for engagement rings!
- Ugg boots are NOT suitable for every dating occasion and outfit, so leave the Chewbacca footwear to the ski slopes and bust out a nice ballet flat for date night.
- If he picks you up for your date in a Zip Car then he should go home ALONE in the Zip Car!!
- Pausing the date several times in order to upload your review on Yelp is obnoxious - your thoughts on the ragout of candied cherry tomatoes is just not that important, so get over yourself.
- If you're non-exclusively dating, then resist the urge to hit the "Like" button every time your part-time beau updates their status.