Wow. I’ve got to admit the responses to yesterday’s post completed floored me—what a huge range of experiences in the “I love you” department! In reading everyone’s stories, I was reminded of two experiences that even I’d forgotten. The first was in third grade when a boy from the Czech Republic wrote me a love note using his sister’s nail polish. His name was Vladislav and as the son of recent immigrants, he struggled with his English. He also wore really girly sweaters and everyone teased him—everyone except me, that is; I used to hang out with him during recess when no one else would and tried to help him with his homework. Evidently I’ve always had a thing for foreigners. And metrosexuals.
The second was perhaps the most romantic “I love you” of my life because, as several of you noted yesterday, “J’taime” is way better than “I love you.” (Especially when you’re eighteen, freezing to death and just after seeing The Nutcracker. Sigh…)
But getting back to my “research.”
Up until approximately three weeks ago, I thought I’d invented the term “manthropology.” Then a little voice in my head said, “You know, Kat, you’d better Google that before somebody sues you!” So I did, and sure enough there’s a book by that very name thanks to paleontologist Peter McAllister: Manthropology: The Science of Why the Modern Male Is Not the Man He Used to Be.
And here I thought I was so clever.
In fact, it turns out that McAllister’s not the only “manthropologist” out there. There’s another. Her name is Babe Scott and seeing as she’s written a new book called Delicious Dating: The Single Girl’s Guide to Decoding Men by Their Wining and Dining Style, she’s a bit more to my liking.
I was skeptical when I first took a look at her book. Firstly, her name is Babe; call me crazy but I can’t see putting any more faith in a serial dating “manthropologist” called “Babe” than I can in a psychic called Sherry (remember Mystic Sherry of the South Philly Review?).
Secondly the entire premise of her book—“that dining comprises a prelude to seduction and a mirror of our lovemaking styles”— seems a bit… inefficient. If you want to know how good a guy’s going to be in bed, just sleep with him.
But you know me. I like thinking about men. And I like trying to crack the code—whatever “the code” really is— and I like categorizing people even though I know its dehumanizing and I really ought to stop doing it.
So I bought the book. And I loved it.
Babe Scott is to food what Carrie Bradshaw is to… well, just about everything else that my generation holds near and dear. She’s got a way with men and a way with words, as evidenced in her reminiscence about an ex-fiancé’s favorite wine, nicknamed “El Cheapo.”
This vintage of Chateau Cardboard was so recent that it had to be measured in milliseconds rather than years.
Quoting chef Lidia Bastianich, she draws the connection between food and sex and asks readers, “What else do you put into another person’s body.”
I won’t go into all of Scott’s Male Food Types (but you can buy the book here) but I have done some reminiscing of my own (who me?) and now I’m a bit worried about Date #7.
Date #7 eats rather quickly. I know this because I eat rather quickly and he still finished before me. Having spent the majority of my childhood shuffling from softball practice to dance rehearsals to 4-H meetings, I learned to eat when and where I could, as quickly as I could. When I was in grad school, I used to make an entire vat of egg pie at the beginning of the week (basically a frittata composed of tomatoes, broccoli and Sainsbury’s brand smoke salmon trimmings) and grab a piece on my way out the door each morning. Sometimes I’d take a more leisurely approach to breakfast, by which I mean I’d pause to lean on the counter with my slice-o-egg-piece in one hand while I poured my coffee, but then our matronly cleaning lady told me I was going to give myself heartburn so I went back to eating-on-the-go just to avoid her lectures.
Fortunately I had a flat mate from Belgium. If you know anything about Belgians (or just about any European, save the Protestant-work-ethic Germans perhaps) you know that they enjoy their food. That’s why French women are so skinny and why Italians can drink wine with dinner every night without descending into alcoholism.
The point I’m trying to make is that eventually, I got better. Not perfect, mind you—there were times when I felt like a complete cannibal in comparison to Date #4, and don’t even get me started on Date #17 and his aversion to movie theater popcorn—but I improved. I can now sit in a pub for an entire afternoon without slamming my chair back in frustration and shouting “Aren’t you done yet?”
But Date #7 is another story. Granted, our first weekend together was basically the extreme sports version of online dating— an entire year’s worth of correspondence compressed into two very short evenings together— and I did drag the poor fellow across the entire city of Philadelphia without ever once pausing to ask, “Are you hungry?”
According to Scott’s “manthropological” research, Date #7 is a classic “Food Sensualist,” right down to what he does for a living. Date #4, on the other hand, was a total “Five Star Man” and the vast majority of men I’ve fancied over the years have been “Pretzel Players” (go figure).
Surprisingly, Scott doesn’t say too much about fast eaters so I guess I’ll just have to find out about Date #7’s sexual prowess the old fashioned way. (Damn.) In the meantime, if you liked my “man types” you’ll love Delicious Dating (but be forewarned, if you’re not single, you’ll wish you were after reading this book).
- An Epidemic of Serial Daters (katrichterwrites.wordpress.com)
- Remember Date #7? Well… (katrichterwrites.wordpress.com)