Friday, October 23, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rules of Distraction

Rules can be useful tools. For example, the Rules of Dating can be very useful in meeting the wrong person. On a first date, if the other person follows the same dating rules that you employ, then you can learn a lot about them. First, that they follow dating rules. Second, they read similar magazine lists and articles as you do. And last, they are just as afraid to reveal anything meaningful about themselves as you are. Dating Rules are as useful as Dating Attire. The Dating Attire shows you how the person usually wouldn't dress. Dating Rules show you who they are not.

There are as many articles, books, and lists of Dating Rules as there are lonely people, multiplied by a factor of eight, divided by one, and added to zero, or (x)8/1+0= alot. This is known as Cupid's Constant. I made that up, but it sounds scientific, and the point remains the same. Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider wrote one such book, The Rules: Time Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right. This is a great title, for reason and experience show that love is something to be captured. A fun, romantic way to capture a lover is the time honored tradition of deception. If there's just one positive use of Dating Rules, it's this: Total deception.

Fein and Schneider's handy Rule 2, "Don't Talk to a Man First, "offers women a particularly useful tool of romantic deceit—play dumb. The authors put it more eloquently though, "Men aren't interested in women who are witty…If someone asks you if you're having a good time, simply say yes and smile." This may not work with some men, but is an incredibly powerful tool in attracting that most desirable type of man, the arrogant, self-obsessed wind-bag. In fact, a woman may never have to be herself again. It stays cooler in the shade.

There are Dating Rules for men as well, such is the progressive state of modern dating. Samantha Daniel has come up with 20 of these rules. Her 20 Simple Tips for the Perfect Date will keep a man so preoccupied he'll have no time to listen or pay attention to his date, which is no problem, assuming his date has read Fein and Schneider's Rule 2 and isn't saying anything, anyway. Daniels' rules will effectively stifle any chance of unseemly spontaneity in a relationship. She has everything decided for the dater, from what day of the week a date should be on, to what exactly should happen before, during and after a date.

Combined, these two sets of rules should do an effective job of making sure neither party ever knows anything about the person they are dating. If, by some disastrous circumstance the dating duo do get to know each other, they can promptly break up, confident that they have the necessary tools to enter the dating scene all over again.

It is quite possible that without these rules, society as we know it would collapse. There are those radicals among us that might offer different advice for dating. These people might say, "Respect yourself and the other person," or, "Be yourself, and the rest will come naturally." Theses lunatics might even suggest that true love isn't just about getting the best score in the Dating Game. Instead, it is about getting to know and be with someone whom you appreciate and put their happiness at an equal level to your own, unconditionally. There is a word for these people. Anarchists.