Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day Special

I promised to post my own take, with comments, on Theresa's awesome Romance Quiz for guys. Go there to take the quiz first, if you really want the full effect of the grading. Otherwise, here's the scoop from my perspective:


A. Which of these phrases expresses the greatest romantic sentiment?

  1. Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. (Albert Einstein).
  2. For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. (Judy Garland)
  3. There’s a lot to be said for self-delusionment when it comes to matters of the heart. (Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, 1993)
  4. You don’t love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her. (Anon)

Theresa’s Answers:
1. 1 point
2. 3 points
3. 2 points
4. 4 points

This is a tricky one. It is biased from the perspective of the Hot Chik Code. Number 6 of the code says, "Hot Chiks are gorgeous regardless of the current trends or narrowly defined standards of beauty." This in no way discredits the fact that answer #2 is beautiful. In fact, I am fond of whispers and kisses. However, the message of unconditional love and adoration gets the extra point.

My Answers:
There are two ways to look at these: which is the most objectively romantic statement, or which of these would make your heart melt if whispered into your ear or put on a homemade gift? I took the latter approach, and it does make a slight difference.

  1. 2 points. What are you saying with this? The only way I can figure out how to make this quote romantic is to work it into a conversation about science, and make it an oblique compliment. Very oblique. Do you want me to concentrate on you, or puzzling out just what you meant by that?
  2. 4 points. It is an extremely beautiful quote, and I’d take it anytime.
  3. 1 point. My reaction: are you saying you need to delude yourself in order to love me? Are you really sure we should be in this relationship?
  4. 3 points. I love the quote, and it does express unconditional love. I agree it’s the most objectively romantic out of the four - #2 is nice, but doesn’t indicate the love will never change despite the passage of time, etc. However, if a partner were to whisper this one into my ear, it could also leave me wondering whether he were trying to tell me something. It’s a close one, but I’ll take #2 by a hair.

B. Which of these is the MOST romantic date?

  1. A quiet dinner and a show
  2. Cocktails and a dance club
  3. A drive in the country and a picnic
  4. Watching an old movie at home while eating microwave popcorn and a bag of peanut M&Ms.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 2 points
  2. 1 points
  3. 4 points
  4. * 4 points or 1 point (see explanation)

    This question is all about furthering intimacy. The more private time the better. For those who chose #4, they only get full points if it is planned, there are no distractions, the movie is special, and you are cuddling (making-out before the end of the movie is even better).

My Answers:

  1. 3 points. The quiet dinner allows for conversation and intimate time together. The show is not romantic per se, but is fun nevertheless. I’d suggest a walk through a park or by the river afterward, to make the evening complete.
  2. 1 point. I love dancing. I really, really do. But drinks and a club is a hookup, not a romantic date.
  3. 4 points. Maximum intimacy, and many, many bonus points if you made the picnic dinner yourself. The only qualifier: if you’re going to be eaten alive by mosquitos and such, don’t try it.
  4. 2 points, as written. You may have taken the time to choose a special movie, but you just threw microwave popcorn and peanut M&M’s in the cart. Zero effort, dude. If that’s her absolute favorite stuff, bump it to three points. Otherwise, it may be a wonderful, relaxing evening (except for me, who prefers air- or stove-popped corn and can’t stand peanut M&M’s), but romantic?? If you want to do a romantic evening in with a movie, the best choice is to make her dinner with candelight first and then a romantic flick to cuddle by. If dinner’s not possible, at least spring for a bottle of wine and some good munchies – some of that expensive cheese she likes, a rustic bread with a balsamic vinegar dipping sauce, and such. Or for a bonus point to make it a four: her absolute favorite food in the world, whatever it may be. Shows you know what it is, and will take the time to get it.
  5. To expand even more, romantic gestures spring from an intimate knowledge of your woman, combined with an effort to show her how much you care. The “effort” prong can mean money, as you’ve taken the time to save up and deny yourself other stuff to impress me. But it doesn’t have to be expensive. A homemade gift that took time is effort. Looking all over town for my favorite something-or-other is effort. Setting up a surprise is effort. The most romantic gestures generally involve maximum effort and knowledge: a surprise trip to somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, something you built/wrote/created just for me, spending the time to spoil me with my favorite treats because you know I had a horrible day.

C. You’re out for dinner and your date spills wine on her blouse. You …?

  1. Ask the serving staff for club soda and extra napkins to clean the stain.
  2. Offer to take her home to change.
  3. Tell her she looks beautiful when she’s blushing with embarrassment.
  4. Cut dinner short and hope this means you can get the blouse off faster.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 4 points
  2. 2 points
  3. 4 points
  4. 1 point

Number one is the chivalrous answer. If she seems to be concerned about her $150 silk blouse, she might be distracted, even if she’s not concerned about the look. Number 2 is generous, but unnecessary. Number 3 is the best response for the gal who seems embarrassed about looking clumsy in front of you. Number 4 seems sexually motivated rather than romantically motivated.

My Answers:

  1. 4 points. I’m embarrassed and you’ve solved the problem. All is cool.
  2. 3 points. Maybe it’s subjective, but if #1 doesn’t cut it, I’m still going to be worrying about the stain. Presuming it’s not far to my place, and the evening’s far from over, let me change my top after dinner.
  3. 2 points. Compliments are cool, but they don’t solve the problem.
  4. 0 points. Please.

D. Women continue to struggle for equal rights. After decades of such strife, the impact on dating etiquette has become a cliché. So, do you offer to pay for dinner

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. I’m not investing that much time and energy. I just pick women up in bars.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 4 points
  2. 1 point
  3. -10 points
  4. This question is a bit tricky. Some of you may have felt that I set you up. I liked the answers given by those who said they would offer to pay for any guest they had invited out to dinner. My real reason for this question is to recognize that IN GENERAL, women still only earn 72% of what men make in the work place, yet overall, women perform 70% of the overall work (this includes unpaid work). Furthermore, one of the biggest predictors of poverty for women and children in the United States is divorce. I can also guarantee that the beautiful woman you are sharing the evening with, spent a hell of a lot more money than you did getting ready for the date. Her clothes, shoes, hair, make-up, perfume, shampoo, waxing, under garments, nails, accessories, etc. cost a bloody fortune. Don’t be fooled by those who seem to have a natural look. That takes some major maintenance as well. The cost of dinner is a minor effort toward balancing the financial inequity between genders.

My Answers:

    The same, and for similar reasons. First: if it’s a date and not a meetup, you asked me out. Whoever asks pays. Second, it is a fact that I spend a hell of a lot to look pretty for you. The drugstore makeup in my purse alone would set me back $70 to replace, not to mention the perfume, the nicer makeup, my manicure, etc. Third, I’ve dated cheap guys. It’s fine if you are not extravagant, I don’t need to feel I’m dating a millionaire. I don’t need the most expensive restaurant in town, or a pricey bottle of wine. But if you act as though the check is a contagious disease I’m going to draw parallels and make some assumptions that you may not like.

E. The day after you have sex with her for the 1st time, you acknowledge the experience by?

  1. Sending flowers with a handwritten note to her home or workplace.
  2. E-mailing to tell her how much you enjoyed the experience.
  3. Calling her to chat and ask her out again.
  4. What? I scored. Time to move on.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 4 points
  2. 2 points
  3. 3 points
  4. -10 points
  5. Admittedly, I am biased about this (the Goddess loves the flowers). Still, if you really dig this Chik, go for it! It’s a little risky, but it’s not a marriage proposal, for Pete’s sake. The flowers are going to set you apart from every other shmuck she’s ever boffed. Besides, if you send flowers, imagine how enthusiastic she’s going to be the next time. A personal call is good too. It allows for intimacy, your voice tone can express genuineness, and there’s a bit of risk involved. Don't be a dope and think it’s cool to wait 5 days. If she’s a Hot Chik, she may have moved on by then. E-mail may be adequate, but unless you are really creative and have some technical knowledge to make it special, it’s generally pretty lame.

My Answers:

  1. 4 points, for exactly the same reasons as Theresa. Everybody does #3, except for the few assholes jerks that pick #4. If you really like me, show it. It is impressive as h*ll.
  2. 2 points if it’s a normal email. Not as personal as a phone call, and it seems like you’re avoiding talking to me. If you include something sappy and romantic, and follow it up with a call, then score 3 points.
  3. 3 points, unless you wait a week. Then it seems like a booty call, so give yourself 1 point.
  4. -10. And I’ll tell my friends.

F. Rank the following gifts from most romantic to least romantic:

  1. A book by her favorite author
  2. Pretty lingerie
  3. Gift certificate for a massage and a facial.
  4. A bracelet you noticed her admire a few months earlier.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 3 points if you ranked this first. A book by her favorite author is something several people in her life could give her. My boss could give me such a gift. Believe me, it wouldn’t be a romantic gift if he gave it to me. However, if the book is a particularly special, it becomes romantic. The rare 1st edition Gone With the Wind is an example. It was a challenge for Charlie to acquire this particular book for his Love. Any gift that has emotional value adds to the romantic value. The fact that you know who her favorite author is, and that you know that she likes to read requires some thought. It's worthy of 3 points. Charlie receives an 3 extra points for Gone With the Wind.
  2. 0 points if you ranked this first. I ADORE pretty lingerie. When I discover something that makes me feel sexy, I’m 3 inches taller and glowing. However, that is the gift I buy myself. Occasionally, I might think of you when I buy it. Unless your gal specifically asks for lingerie, leave it to her!
  3. 2 points if you ranked this first. A gift certificate for a massage and a facial is a gift that many women enjoy. However, it’s not something we expect to get from our sweetie. While it does send a message that we deserve to be pampered, it’s the message we generally receive from our Mom or our girlfriends.
  4. 4 points if you put this first. The bracelet is #1 because it fits more of the criteria of a romantic gesture. It’s personal, thoughtful, and original compared to the others. It’s also a bit of a challenge because the gift-giver has to remember the exact bracelet and the store from months earlier. The personal part is what distinguishes it the most, not the fact that it’s a piece of jewelry. It’s unlikely that anyone else in her life knows that she admired that particular item.

My Answers:

  1. 4 points, if: 1) You’ve taken the time to know my favorite author out of the gazillion books I’ve read; 2) It’s a book I haven’t got, or better yet, one I haven’t read, and 3) it’s got something special about it, like a hard-to-find first edition or a signature, or a special romantic meaning. Given I’m such a reader, it’s a sign you’ve really been paying attention if you can even accomplish #1 and #2, much less #3. If you slapped a paperback into the grocery cart knowing I like mysteries, you get credit for thinking of me, but it’s not a romantic gesture. See the “effort” prong of the test under #B and give yourself 2 points.
  2. 3 points if it’s really pretty and in my style. Unlike the goddess, I don’t bother to buy lingerie much. Bras and panties I will spring for, but lingerie needs an occasion. If it’s a fishnet body stocking, I’ll presume you think I’m some sort of hooker and give yourself 0 points.
  3. 1 point. Facials and massages are cool, but it is something I’d expect from my sister. The only caveat I can think of: if you have decided to spend the day pampering me, taking me to lunch and a makeover and shopping then dinner and a show followed by a night in a b-and-b, take the 4 points. Any man who puts himself through that much chick sh*t deserves it.
  4. 4 points. You not only paid attention to my babbling, but you remembered I liked something months later? And if it’s jewelry and I like it, it’s probably expensive, so you’ve been saving up for it. Holy crap.

G. To set the mood in the boudoir, you?

  1. Change the sheets and put the kids to bed early.
  2. Light candles and put on sexy mood music.
  3. While getting out of the shower, grab her ass and say, "Wanna?"
  4. Massage her feet while she’s taking a bath and talk to her about the day.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 2 points
  2. 3 points
  3. 1 point
  4. 4 points
  5. Showing interest in her, taking your time, and being affectionate and thoughtful is what #4 is all about. It creates intimacy and that’s romantic and sexy. Numbers 2 and 1 have some of those elements, but not to the same degree. Once you get to #3, it’s just silly. Silly can be a good thing. You might get lucky, but it’s not romantic.

My Answers:

  1. 3 points. I don’t have kids, so it’s sort of N/A for me. But I equate it with taking the time to make sure the house is clean and candles are lit – it’s something that took you quite a bit of time just for me.
  2. 3 points. See above. Really, guys, it’s in your best interest. It’s a distraction thing. You do not want me thinking I should be doing the dishes while you try to seduce me.
  3. 2 points if it’s playful, spontaneous, and silly. If you know I’ve got five minutes to get to work or it’s 3 am and I’ve got a big presentation tomorrow, 1 point if you make it clear that you’re just appreciating me, 0 points if you are serious. If that’s your usual approach, -10 points and go find yourself a hooker.
  4. 4 points for the spirit of it. It’s all about pampering and getting her in the mood. I’d prefer to take the bath alone, primp a little, then get the massage elsewhere. Talk about the day is nice, but let’s save that for dinner. I don’t have the most romantic job.

H. The following best describes your attitude about sex:

  1. You get what you give.
  2. We’re in sync, so I don’t really have to think about it.
  3. If she’s not satisfied it’s because she’s not trying hard enough.
  4. My satisfaction is all about getting her motor running.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 3 points
  2. 2 points
  3. 0 points
  4. 5 points
  5. This is the question that I would have scored less than perfect. I tend to believe you get what you give sexually. See my post called Sex Police for all the exagerated details. It has some merit because it suggests that you are willing to put forth effort to have a good experience. However, the most romantic response is #4. This response demonstrates thoughtful generosity, and the attitude that your lover is idolized and adored. Number 2 implies that you have faith that you have a good sexual relationship, but it lacks thoughtfulness. Number 3 lacks any merit whatsoever.

My Answers:

  1. 4 points. Love is mutual and reciprocal. Take the time to give me my attention, then let me take the time to give you yours. I love that.
  2. 4 points if it’s true and you have put in the thought and effort to make sure it’s true. Most men don’t.
  3. -10. I grade harshly for selfishness and bad attitude.
  4. 3 points. I like being appreciated, but I don’t want to be worshipped.

I. When your Sweetie walks into the room, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

  1. I wonder what kind of mood she’s in?
  2. Sweet Jeezus, that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!
  3. She’s going to ask me if I paid the water bill. Should I lie or tell the truth?
  4. First, kiss those gorgeous lips, then …

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 1 point
  2. 3 points
  3. 0 points
  4. 4 points

    * Give yourself an extra point if you couldn’t help yourself and answered 2 and 4. Also, the person who e-mailed me to say #4, but also #2 if I was wearing my magic jeans gets an extra 3 points. Very cool, Baby! This question recognizes the subtle difference between passion and sexuality for those who struggled between #2 and #4. No one that I’m aware of answered # 1 or 3. I only gave #1 a single point because there was a modicum of thoughtfulness involved in the response. Number 3 needs to consider couples counseling.

My Answers:

  1. 1 point. Not really romantic. Practical, particularly if you’ve been married a while. But not romantic.
  2. 4 points. It is a subtle difference between sexuality and passion, but I’m presuming that if you’ve hung in there for all the rest of the romantic gestures, you already know that, and I don’t mind being a sex symbol for my sweetie (whoever that will be in the eventual future).
  3. -10 points for even thinking about lying. It’s a partnership, dude. Get the concept.
  4. 4 points. ‘Nuff said.

J. Which term of endearment seems the most romantic to you?

  1. Muffin-Butt
  2. Sassy Pants
  3. Sweetheart
  4. Sex Kitten
  5. Ball & Chain
  6. Cupcake
  7. Sweet Blossom Lips
  8. Buttercup
  9. Trick
  10. Spankalicious
  11. Suggest your own

Theresa’s Answers:

    1 thru 4, 6 thu 8 and 10 receive 4 points
    5 and 9 receive negative 10 points and a citation from the Sex Police
    11 receives 5 points for creativity, sentimentality and originality

My Answers:

    1 = 1 point. Whaddaya mean by that?
    2, 3, 6, and 7 = 4 points.
    4 and 10 = 2 points. Cute, but too objectifying to be romantic.
    5 = -20 points and a divorce if we’re married. If you think of me that way, what the h*ll are we doing together?
    8= 2 points. Okay, but a bit like a kid. Call me pumpkin while you’re at it.
    9 = 0 points.
    11 – Grade yourself on creativity, sentimentality, and an expression of appreciation of mental or physical beauty. Cutsey is okay, but not love goddess material. It doesn’t have to be totally original. Anything negative gets -20 points.

Interpretation of Scores: Anyone scoring higher than 30 points is a damn good choice for a Valentine.

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