Letter from the Editor

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Before you come to the house looking for a teenage girl, look here...

I'm sure that most of the fathers of dating-age daughters will agree with me on this. Today's boys need some serious help in dating ettiquette. You've got no game! No style! This informative guide should help you manage that all-important first date. It should also come in handy for the 2012 crop of senior citizen presidential candidates, who, about now, should be seeking out new 19-year-old trophy wives. Score along, nerds.

1. Greeting the girl.

A. A killer smile +10 points

B. "Would you like to see a movie Saturday?" +5.

C. A clever note (no e-mail please, you dork). 0

D. "How You Doin'?" Joey is canceled. So are you. -5

E. You've tattooed her face on your forehead -10

2. Picking the girl up.

A. You come to the door and meet the folks +10

B. You brought a gift, goodie! (No, lingerie is not a good choice.) Flowers still work. +5

C. At least you are on time. 0. On time, but got the wrong house? -5

D. Show up on a skateboard. - 10

E. Sit in the driveway and honk like a moron -20, and her Dad will have the constitutional right to remove your spleen and insert it in your carbuerator.

3. Where to go on a date.

A. Something creative and different, Chachi. (Preferably not involving helicopters, a police chase, paint guns or a late-night call home for bus fare from Tijuana.) + 10

B. Something smart. Think play, art show or concert, not monster truck rally tailgate. + 5

C. Playing it safe - dinner and a movie and making that curfew, since you are quite attached to that spleen. 0

D. Wal-Mart -5

E. Watching "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" on the parents sofa and proving you in fact are not, while her parents plot your demise. - 10.

4. That all-important dinner.

A. A place where the entree doesn't come in a styrofoam box, and you remember to pull out her chair. You offer her a sample bite of your order, and this is key, before that spoon hits your own germ-encrusted maw +10

B. Pizza and good conversation, no coupon involving a meal "of equal or lesser value" for her + 5

C. Two words - "Dutch Treat." This dude will never, ever see a second date. 0

D. Your mom packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for you to split. It's in a Spongebob lunchbox. - 5

E. "Hey - you'd be surprised what tasty stuff you can find in the dumpster, almost whole!" - 10.

5. What to wear on a date.

A. Iowa State sweatshirt + 50 (This may only work at our house.)

B. Untucked white oxford, jeans with limited holes, white sneaks. Not original, but always works. + 5

C. A masculine rugby shirt and khakis. Respectable. 0

D. A beer advertisement t-shirt and jean shorts made out of hemp. - 5

E. A dress to match hers. -20

6. The accessories.

A. Get a belt, kid. Fewer people want to see your underpants than you apparently imagine. +10

B. A watch. Her dad will be checking - don't even think about bringing her home late and saying you lost track of time. + 5

C. A minimum of visual piercings, no skintight Baby Gap t-shirt, or thug life hoodie. If you are wearing a cowboy hat, you had better be in the rodeo. 0

D. Holy cow - did you leave any of that putrid cologne in the bottle? Is that stuff manufactured by the local Tyson plant or what? - 5

E. Three extra girlfriends in the back seat, just in case. - 100.

7. Don't be a jerk, jerk.

A. Open the car door for her. Offer her your arm while walking. Pull out her chair for her. It may sound cheesy, but the guy who treats a girl like gold always has a girl, and the rest, well they have the internet, don't they? +10

B. Keep her safe. Show up sober, don't make her hair smell like smoke, don't peel out of the driveway or take her somewhere she will be uncomfortable. Make her feel well protected. You're a good guy, kid, tell your parents I said so. +5

C. It was a pretty iffy idea to plug the CD with rappers using the term "bootylicious" on a first date, now wasn't it? 0

D. You farted - 5. You blamed her for it - 50

E. Well, if you wanted hands, lad, you should have kept them to yourself. So, how do you like dad's new Skilsaw? - 1,000

8. The Aftermath.

A. You call her within 24 hours to thank her for a fun evening, and let her response tell you if an invitation for a second date is going to be appropriate. Oooh, Mr. Sensitive. +10

B. You call her a week later to thank her for a fun evening. Still okay, but that's leaving a girl hanging a bit. + 5

C. You text her to thank her for a fun evening. Too impersonal, and if you ask me, you're a bit of a weinie. 0

D. You call her, on the cell phone, from her front lawn, five minutes after you drop her off. Hell-o, restraining order.

E. You call her, but by her best friend's name. Heaven help you, boy. She has her mom's temper. I hope you're not a bleeder.