“You’re different from other girls”
“That’s what you think”
“You’re smarter, you’re almost like a man”
“Oh no I’m very much the woman”
One of the latest sources of amusement among my friends here at Cambridge is the ‘date’ I went on last week. Not because I made a fool of myself or anything disastrous occurring. No, my ‘date’ is funny due to the fact that I don't think it was a ‘date’ (it was just tea and cake at Copper Kettle – yum!). They insist that this one-to-one encounter between a member of the opposite sex and I is a ‘date’. I on the other hand maintain I was meeting an old friend from college and this was therefore not a ‘date’ This did however lead me to think about what does and doesn't constitute as a ‘date’?
Is 'going for coffee' a date? Is it a date, if you are in a group? Does a swap count as a date?!?
How could I find out? Well if I bypass my usual knowledge sources (Google, my dad, my mum or whoever's nearest) what's left? Dates are a bit too tame for Cosmo now. Not that I read Cosmo as it's not exactly feminist/costs money but I don't think the Vagenda is going to cover this either. So now I've eliminated popular culture and popular feminism, I guess I'll do what I normally do when I've run out of ideas. Watch YouTube.
Whilst trawling through the backwaters of the internet… ok when I was desperately avoiding work back in first year, I got a new YouTube addiction. After watching endless animal videos and the entire Enrique Iglesias Youtube Mix, I eventually stumbled across the wonders of 1950s public service announcements – the TV equivalent of advice columns. My fascination with these videos is compounded by my love of the terms ‘gee whiz’ and ‘aah swell’ but also the social construction of these creepy conforming Stepford-Wife ideals that were being promoted as the 'proper' way of being - some of which are pretty much common sense, others of which are appalling. These videos range from warnings about the dangers of potential Soviet invasion, socialized medicine and homosexuality(!) to how to organize a family dinner, to test your moral fibre and (thank God) dating etiquette.
Here is a sample of some of my favourites to help you learn about the world of dating.
And if you didn't find any of that compelling and you don't now feel like Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile, check out this ad of a woman using radioactive face cream. Oh the Fifties.