Toilet Training for Men

Don't do this.

During a recent visit to my local bagel shop, I hadn’t even placed my order when the young guy behind the counter turned around and queried, “May I ask you a question?”

“Of course,” I replied.

“Should the man pay for everything on a date?” he inquires just loud enough for all his female coworkers to hear. Obviously, I walked in on a discussion between him and his female coworkers.

Ah, dating advice. One of my fortes. “On the first date?” I ask seeking clarification. “Absolutely!”

My answer seems to vindicate his position, but a young woman working there seemed to disagree. I press the point a little further.

“In fact, he should continue to pay for everything at least until the sex starts.”

This evokes a few laughs, but I elaborate. “Seriously, he should continue to pay until its pretty obvious that they’re an exclusive couple. That’s just the way it goes.” You can argue until the cows come home about the need for this in our modern world, but I’d never change my stance. The man, like it or not, needs to feel in control. He isn’t, necessarily, but he needs that illusion.

Another coworker, an older woman, chimes in. “What about the door?”

“Holding it? Always,” I reply. “Chivalry is not dead.”

And finally, before I left, I shared some advice I once gave a young male intern who worked for me in my home office on Roadside Magazine several years ago. One day, I went to the bathroom after he had just used it, and I noticed the seat still up. I called him on it, and he began to object. “Why should women get to dictate these stupid rules?”

I explained that for sanitary reasons, I put myself into the habit of always leaving the seat AND the lid in the down position. But I had another motive that I tried to impress upon my young charge.

“Imagine for a moment that you’re out on a date with a girl you really, really like. You’ve been working this chick for weeks, and you finally get to take her out. Things are going really well, and she invites you back to her place. You had a few beers, so you excuse yourself to use her bathroom. You come out and she follows you in, and when she gets there, she finds the seat left up. In one fell swoop, your chances of getting laid that night have just dropped precipitously. The green light just turned yellow. Maybe worse.”

The intern rolls his eyes, but I press my point. “Now, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but if it is your goal to be this girl’s boyfriend or at the very least to just get laid that night, why would you do anything to jeopardize that?”

Women focus on the details. I know both from personal experience and from sitting in on some hair raising conversations about the men they’ve known and dated. You soon discover that a woman can get hung up on what to a man seems like the most inconsequential thing, and they will hone in like a laser beam.

Men typically paint their impressions of a woman in broad strokes. “Too fat.” “Small tits.” “Talks too much.” “Great lay.” “Lousy lay.”

Women will talk for a half hour about that bead of sweat on the end of his nose during love making. Or about that sound he made. Or the time he left the toilet seat up on the first time she invited him up to her apartment.

When I gave the same bit of advice to that young buck in the bagel shop, he still looked puzzled, but I left behind a bunch of nodding women.