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PBS And Service Dating

January 22nd, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Anyone used to watch the show Blind Date? Roger Lodge was the MAN, wasn’t he? I bring this up not because I’m watching television at 2 a.m. and nothing else is on, but because I’m thinking about first dates. Good ones. And nobody had better, more creative dates, than Roger Lodge and his team.

Blind Date proved dating is an art form. Inspired by my memory of this classic show, I present the downsides and upsides of two different dating genres I plan to incorporate into my own dating life.

PBS DATING: Named after the PBS channel; taking a woman out to learn something.
Examples include: Going to museums, jazz and classical music concerts, anything involving Shakespeare
or aquariums.

Upside: The great thing about PBS Dating is it shows a woman’s appreciation of culture and propensity for knowledge. If she has an open mind, she will soak everything up, no matter how foreign or boring the experience and that kind of attitude scores high marks. PBS Dates also, if done right, spark interesting discussion about things other than, you know, our previous relationships, unless the woman usually dates curators. Then we’re in trouble.

Of course, the main draw of  a PBS Date? They’re usually free.

Downside: Sometimes, these dates are BORING! I’ve been a jazz buff since the days it was cooler to like Kriss Kross, so we’re covered there. But the rest? Eh, only interested sometimes.

PBS Dating experiences require a passion about the activity. Don’t just take a woman out to Hamlet in the Park because it’s Hamlet in the Park. We both read Hamlet in 10th grade and we both probably hated it. Besides, a lot of PBS Dating is a put on. Act like we’re into learning something, hope she finds our pseudo-curiosity about the world a turn-on, get surprised when the special exhibit of artists who came of age during the post-industrial revolution didn’t make her panties wet.

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SERVICE DATING: Taking a woman out to do public service or good deeds; MLK Dating in shorthand.
Examples: Feeding the homeless, park clean ups, marching for a cause, benefit concerts

Upside: The real benefit of a Service Date is it’s dating with a purpose. Right now, the relief efforts in Haiti are inspiring people to give back in all sorts of ways, and most of us are looking for any opportunity to be of some help. In New York City, tons of restaurants are donating some of these profits to Red Cross and other organizations benefiting victims of the tragedy, so if I must to take a woman out to eat on our first date, I’d do my best to make her to one of these restaurants.

When it comes to service activities, like feeding the homeless, these are great first date buffers. If a woman is down to get her sneakers on, put a net in her hair, tie on an apron, and fill some plastic bowls with poorly seasoned chicken soup, all for a good cause, she’s a keeper. I don’t know in what world she isn’t.

And unlike PBS Dating, which is sometimes free, Service Dating is free 99 percent of the time, with the occasional suggested donation or cost of a benefit concert, which is almost a sub category of Service Dating. I say that because here, a different rule applies.

The other day on my Twitter I asked women if a man is still required to pay for the date, if the cost of an activity was going towards a good cause? Most All women said a man should still pay but they would also donate whatever the cost was.

That’s a hustle.

She’s going to willingly let me donate twice as much as her all for the sake of tradition? Nonsense! Any woman worth her salt is going to take it upon herself to donate to a good cause as much as I am, otherwise, I am using the extra pass to the luxury spa I won in the raffle on someone else.

And I am completely kidding about that last part.

Downside: I’m pretty sure when a woman is thinking date, she isn’t thinking two hours at an adult literacy center helping people learn how to read. It’s a pressure date if there ever was one. Service Dating is almost a challenge to a woman. It is asking, in so many words, Girl how big is YOUR heart?

Be careful with the Service Date. We may think a good deed with some fine woman is going to help us do some bad deeds with her later, but we could end up doing the good and the bad deeds by ourselves. I know it worked for our President, who took his future First Lady to a community board meeting for one of their early dates, which she has said was a major turning point for her. But let’s keep it real, when most of us use the good old Service Date as a bait and switch, we’re trying to be more like Barry, less like Barack.

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  • P. Hugo

    Great post for the day.

  • http://lefthandscribble.blogspot.com Brittany

    I think PBS dates are the best. Whenever they have events downtown in my hometown I’m more then willing to go b/c they’re always interesting.

  • frehug

    I beg to differ with you. When posed the questions about “if a man is still required to pay for the date, if the cost of an activity was going towards a good cause? Most All women said a man should still pay but they would also donate whatever the cost was.

    I said any woman worth her salt would pay her own way. WOW, I see how seriously you take your comments. Ima give you the benefit of the doubt though…

    LetBeHonest, I really am not fond of the Public Service Date…I am very fond of public service, just not in the initial stages of getting to know someone. Actually I think they are a way more intimate type setting, because it leads you to talk about politics, social and econimic issues, etc. I’m really not down for those kinds of conversations initially. Maybe because I don’t usually agree with the stauts quo on these issues.

    To me, when I was dating, “date” meant fun activity, good food and light-hearted conversation.

  • Teach It

    So another creative way to be a cheapskate, yet still appear to be a save the whales with a bleeding heart kind of guy.

    The activities in your post are fine, but only long after you have really spent time with the person and know that’s his or her interest.

    I thought your soup slurping dates were stingy, but you have found yet another way to suffocate a penny.

  • Leah J

    “suffocate a penny”? You? Kill me. *lmao*

  • Leah J

    This cracked me up WAY more than it should’ve: “…anything involving Shakespeare or aquariums.” *lol*

    I am a huge nerd-geek so both these dates appeal to me on a fundamental level. I understand not wanting to do the “Service Date” because of the “pressure,” but I want to be with someone who wants to do both of these. If you don’t care about helping people and don’t want to go to a museum or something else equally PBS-y, you probably aren’t the one for me. I *am* that woman with whom doing a good deed will get you into a bad one. I’m wired weirdly.

    Interestingly, I have considered asking a dude I like to come volunteer with me (I volunteer for God’s Love We Deliver weekly) as it’s a great way to talk whilst helping others in need. Plus, whether or not he’s down for it will be telling.

  • http://www.paigeworthy.com Paige Worthy

    Service dates? Do people actually do that?
    I mean, I don’t really volunteer anyway. Because I’m a terrible person. But serving soup at a kitchen or digging up old stumps in some park is not my idea of fun with a new man.
    Bring on the PBS dates. Especially if I get to look smart.

  • *inquiring mind*

    Well, I’m into volunteering- dats cool… but on a date? HEYLLL NAW!

    Seriously Jozen?- “Of course, the main draw of a PBS Date? They’re usually free.”- have you NO shame?- smh

  • http://Reads4Pleasure.blogspot.com Reads4Pleasure

    Some of my best dates have been PBS. There’s nothing like cozying up to someone in a nice quiet corner in the art museum.

  • Xiomara

    If a guy asked me on a service date for the first date, I’ll make sure to never speak to him again.

    Make no mistake that I have no problem with helping less fortunate people, but as a first date? That’s not even comprehensible me.

    What some of you men fail to grasp is that women don’t choose mates on the same criteria you ppl do. Take notice that we value looks a lot less for many reasons. There are several guys that are just as awesome, cute, and cool as you, but they happen to have game, balls, charisma, money, a career, follow-through, intuition, etc

    Why go out with a guy who’s asking me on a first date to a homeless shelter when I can go out with a guy taking me on an excursion around the whole city?  There’s definitely a disparity in efforts and I feel most self respecting and desirable women will choose the latter.
    Understand that I commend the firmer on his selflessness, but it should not be used as a means to get to know a woman you’re interested in. That’s a good idea once there is some established rapport.
    It’s amazing to be selfless, but firing the courtship process, it’s all about the woman.

    What men should concentrate on doing during the first few dates is impressing the beautiful woman they are lucky enough to accompany. Not testing her or ‘pressuring’ her. That’s a great way to never land a woman with a shred of dignity or self-respect 

    FYI: PBS dates are a lot more sensible as a first date, but I do think they can be coupled with another more intimate activity.

  • aniya

    If a guy asked me on a service date for the first date, I’ll make sure to never speak to him again.

    Make no mistake that I have no problem with helping less fortunate people, but as a first date? That’s not even comprehensible me.

    What some of you men fail to grasp is that women don’t choose mates on the same criteria you ppl do. Take notice that we value looks a lot less for many reasons. There are several guys that are just as awesome, cute, and cool as you, but they happen to have game, balls, charisma, money, a career, follow-through, intuition, etc

    Why go out with a guy who’s asking me on a first date to a homeless shelter when I can go out with a guy taking me on an excursion around the whole city? There’s definitely a disparity in efforts and I feel most self respecting and desirable women will choose the latter.
    Understand that I commend the firmer on his selflessness, but it should not be used as a means to get to know a woman you’re interested in. That’s a good idea once there is some established rapport.
    It’s amazing to be selfless, but firing the courtship process, it’s all about the woman.

    What men should concentrate on doing during the first few dates is impressing the beautiful woman they are lucky enough to accompany. Not testing her or ‘pressuring’ her. That’s a great way to never land a woman with a shred of dignity or self-respect

    FYI: PBS dates are a lot more sensible as a first date, but I do think they can be coupled with another more intimate activity

  • Chi

    In a perfect world, women would actually be interested in going on a PBS date. I wouldn’t mind it at all. Interpretation of art gives you great insight on personality.

  • me-me

    in order for these types of dates to work.. both people have to be open minded.. i’ve seen some dates crash and burn when folks expressed a difference of opinion.

  • Trisha

    I love PBS dates! There is nothing like being mentally stimulated and gaining an appreciation of different genres/cultures/viewpoints. Dinner and movies are overrated. (But a must, a girl needs to eat:-) Its good to try something new so why not do it with someone new.

  • http://blueidgirl.wordpress.com blueidgirl

    I realise that I am coming in on this topic really late but I just found this blog and am reading backwards. I agree completely. I would rather be taken to a museum or learn something new than to a resturant, movie, or for a drink. And I would rather start with conversations about ideas, opinions, and in most cases the ability to admit you don’t know something (a big plus) than the tried and true, “so what music do you like?” It provides a better foundation and I would love to meet a guy who was brave enough to try it on me.

    As for the service date, in theory it is a wonderful idea. I think you would have to be very careful with the execution. Community service is something I try to do as often as possible, and I have been on several dates with guys where we served the homeless etc. However it also has the tendency to make me incredibly depressed and leave me feeling like I can never do enough to help. These things are best shared with those who have been around long enough that they know how to provide comfort and you don’t have to pretend to still be light hearted at the end of the day. So by all means, I encourage service dates but I would be careful as to who you take on them.

  • Duchess of Dulce

    I see nothing wrong with a community service project as a first date. It is a good way to get to know a person and his/her qualities. I am a firm believer in a guy paying for the date (especially the first one), but there is nothing wrong with free; after all, money is not an indicator of character.