Everybody has an “Exit Survey” now. You get your car’s oil changed, and they email you a “How Did We Do?” survey. You spend two hours and 12 minutes on the phone with your cable company only to be told that they can’t restore your service, and they send you a “Customer Satisfaction” survey. [I made that up from the anecdotal reports of my family and friends. I can’t get no internet satisfaction in my neighborhood.] Even two centuries ago, the entertainment industry was asking. “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the show?”
I’m thinking of creating an “Exit Survey” for my online dates. You know, how could I have been a better date, so I provide better service to others in the future?
For instance, am I a boring dresser? I’ve been told that I still have my “dancer’s legs,” so I try to wear a dress or skirt on a date, except once in the winter when it was really cold, and I wore leggings with a fitted, knit tunic, and booties. Another time, I wore a small fuzzy pink turtleneck with a faux black leather skirt, black tights, and the same black booties, which I thought was really hot, but, then, the date was so boring that I was dejected that I had wasted a hot outfit on a not-so-cool guy. Ditto a short skirt with gray suede high-heeled boots, which got a rave from the hostess at the restaurant but nary a word from my date.
Of course, I thought those outfits were hot, but, I’m a woman, so I only know what other women think is hot. The joy of having a long-term spouse is that they A). don’t notice and B). think everything you do is hot. The Veterinarian didn’t care much one way or the other. He once said that I dressed better than his mother, the implications of which are pretty unsettling, even 40 years later.
How much is too much make-up? I don’t wear a lot on a typical day, usually just lipstick to keep my lips from sticking to my teeth. My eyes are deep-set, and I’ve always had a problem with mascara. My eyelashes smack around my eye sockets every time I blink, so the mascara ends up making those raccoon circles around my eyes. I trained The Veterinarian and The Daughter to alert me when I needed to tidy them up, but, alas, now I am on my own, so I quit wearing mascara. As the years roll by, I’ve noticed that my eyes are disappearing, so, when I don’t want to look like one of the pale portraits of Elizabeth I, I haul out the eyeliner and mascara and blame the smudges on the “smokey-eye” look. Hmmm…it could also make me look like I just rolled out of bed, couldn’t it?
I always make sure I wear 3-4” heels, because the only thing I lie about in my dating profile is my height. 5’ ½” just sounds unbelievably short, even to me, like a perky rodent or something. My profile says I’m 5’ 2”, which I’ve always used when I go on auditions, for the same height reason. Last week, I went on a lunch date in 4” wedges, all the while envisioning myself face-planted on the floor of the restaurant, like I had been almost three years to the day earlier on my 60th birthday. The EMTs told me that I was the third fashion victim to take a ride in their ambulance that day. I fell off my 4” platform wedges and fractured my patella (knee-cap) in two places and spent the summer in a brace. Happy Birthday, Old Lady!
Do you drink alcohol on a date or not? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get sloppy drunk on one glass of wine, but I’m picky about the wine that I drink and don’t want to stick the date with a $12 glass of pinot noir. I’d rather drink iced tea, since I don’t drink beer. And hard liquor? I think that sends the wrong message at lunch time, don’t you? PLUS, I spent years warning The Daughter about the risks of leaving a glass unattended on a bar, a magnet for all kinds of “date drugs.” I don’t want to explain to her how I fell victim to that old ploy. Do senior citizens drug their Old Lady dates? For what? To watch them fall off their shoes?
Is my vocabulary too obscure? I was IM-ing a prospective date the other day and used the word “ephemeral.” He texted back, “I have a graduate degree and don’t know what that word means. Here’s my number. Call me tomorrow, if you want to talk. I have to go let my dog out.” Yikes! Don’t need an exit survey for that one.
I laugh at my date’s jokes, even when they’re not funny. I try to keep my own info light and funny. I don’t talk about my late husband unless I’m specifically asked, and even then, I don’t cry or appear maudlin, because, well, I’m not maudlin. I don’t comment on politics or religion or sex, which no date has ever mentioned to me. Must be the racoon eyes. Well, at least they know what I look like in the morning.
Speaking of s-e-x, how much physical contact do you have on a first date with a stranger? Every one of the men has given me a hug, which seemed innocent enough, especially when I was wearing a coat. No one groped me or anything like that. And, how do you end the date? That never gets easier. What do you say? A handshake? Another hug? A kiss? If I say, “Let’s keep in touch” because I mean it, it sounds so vacuous. Everyone says, “Let’s keep in touch,” even when we know that we don’t ever want to see one another again. I always send a “thank you” email, which seems polite. If they respond to that, it might be a favorable sign…or not. Maybe it’s just best not to be polite and cut things off quick and, relatively, painless.
And I haven’t figured out, yet, if there is an appropriate point on a first date to say, “What, exactly, am I doing wrong that you keep looking at your cellphone every five minutes?” Maybe they’re coordinating their next dates. It’s a known fact that women over the age of 50 outnumber men that age 2 to 1, which is why we can’t find anyone to date us. We’re overdating them, wearing them out, and killing them!
Well, every woman for herself! I need to fine-tune my game-plan to remain competitive, and the “Attraction Satisfaction Survey” may just give me the ammunition I need. If not, maybe I can come up with a “Frequent Dater” loyalty program. Naw, I can’t think of any benefits I’d be willing to award.
Thank you for taking the time to help me perfect my dating technique, as I aim to be the best darn drinking/dining/hiking/traveling companion for
allyour reasonable dating needs! Your honest critique will provide a valuable service to women everywhere!
On a scale of 1 to 5, your overall satisfaction with our date was _______.
You found that my written online profile was…
- the funniest profile you ever read.
- the snarkiest profile you ever read.
- completely misleading.
- None of the above.
When we met, your first impression was, “She looks…
- …nothing like her photo.”
- …like she sleeps in her car.”
- …like she just rolled out of bed.”
- …shorter than a 5th grader.”
- …like my ex-wife’s poodle.”
While we chatted, you kept wishing that I had…
- shown more cleavage.
- laughed harder at your jokes.
- been dumber than a 5th grader.
- stood you up.
- All of the above
- am too far away.
- am too close for comfort.
- am undesirable.
- am an alien.
- couldn’t be found on a map by a 5th grader.
I (at age 63) most closely resemble which of these gorgeous, mature ladies…
- Goldie Hawn (69)
- Susan Sarandon (68)
- Jessica Lange (64)
- Christie Brinkley (61)
- None of the above
On a first date, I should wear…
- more make-up.
- less make-up.
- higher heels.
- a 5th grade Girl Scout uniform.
- a bag over my head.
When ordering while on a date, I should…
- skip the appetizer and go for the main course.
- offer to share a single entrée.
- choose the cheapest thing on the menu.
- drink more alcohol.
- not ask the server to “card” me.
If I have my own money, I should…
- pay my share.
- fight for the check.
- let my date pay.
- skip out while you’re “sharpening your skates.”
- put a twenty in your pants.
From a male perspective, I most likely…
- can’t attract a man smarter than a 5th grader.
- am the scariest woman you’ve ever met.
- will be sued eventually for defamation.
- will never hear from you again.
- All of the above
Finally, would you recommend me to a friend or family member? ______
Actually, I don’t need an exit survey to tell me that my customer attraction factor is really low. But my dog adores me, so, who am I to complain? Life is good (mostly). Soli Deo Gloria!