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The Dating

By Erma P. Sanders · June 8th, 2000 · Diva
This is some ground I've covered before. But I witnessed something so heartbreaking and pathetic the other day that it bears repeating. A woman had plans to meet a gentleman at a particular time and place. I just happened to be there. She needed to use the restroom and told me to be on the look-out for the man, in case his arrival coincided with her nature call. When she came back he still hadn't arrived.

After about an hour, she asked to use the telephone. I wasn't privy to her call, but she came back afterward and inquired again about the gentleman. No, I told her, I haven't seen him yet.

Four hours later, we had to practically remove this woman with bodily force. I had a reason to still be there: I was at work. But what's her damage? What woman in her right mind would wait for four hours for anybody? I'm assuming it was a date, but even if it was business or other nonsocial reason, there was no reason to spend an entire evening waiting for someone who was obviously never going to show. Hell, I wouldn't wait four hours for Ed McMahon to deliver my multimillion dollar check from Publishers Clearing House.

As I kindly escorted the distraught woman from the building, it took all of my will power not to ask her if she was familiar with the term "stood up." Let me put this out there as clearly as I possibly can: The maximum amount of time to wait for anybody who has scheduled a particular time to meet with you is one half-hour! This allows for slow watches and heavy traffic. 30 minutes! No more.

There is no date so wonderful that I'm going to hang out longer than that. If I'm waiting at home for a date to arrive, as soon as those thirty minutes are up, I start washing off the makeup, put on my pajamas, get some Cheetos and a soda and, if I'm feeling particularly energetic, I might dig out the voodoo doll for some serious retaliation.

The only exceptions to the 30-minute rule are if your date calls and says he will be later than the previously scheduled time of arrival. At that time a new time frame is set up and the 30-minute rule goes back into effect. And ladies and gentleman, never get caught with some general time frame like "I'll be there to pick up sometime after 8." What is that? Then you're being played like your time isn't valuable.

Allow it to happen once, you'll be spending the rest of the relationship waiting for maybes and what ifs. That is not acceptable. My philosophy is that I don't make anybody wait for me, so I don't expect to wait for anybody else.

If you or your date has a lifestyle so busy or so haphazard that time frames cannot be committed to, it's time to step back and reevaluate whether dating fits into your life at all. Sometimes a person just needs a wake-up call. I've had a few dates arrive to pick me up past the scheduled time, only to find me not at home or lounging in the aforementioned pajamas. A "sorry you're too late" and a slammed door in the face is usually an effective behavior modifier.

That pathetic four-hour lady? I hope she doesn't ever subject herself to such humiliation again.

Neither should you.



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