My wife and I blew $23 (over $40 if you include the two sodas and popcorn, but I digress …) to see “I Love You, Man” a couple of weeks back. Good movie, made me laugh. However, it’s very important to continue laughing when life imitates art.
Often referenced in the film is the term “man date.” A man date is, well, how do I explain? For more on this, let’s ask the experts — The New York Times:
“Simply defined a man date is two heterosexual men socializing without the crutch of business or sports. It is two guys meeting for the kind of outing a straight man might reasonably arrange with a woman. Dining together across a table without the aid of a television is a man date; eating at a bar is not. Taking a walk in the park together is a man date; going for a jog is not. Attending the movie “Friday Night Lights” is a man date, but going to see the Jets play is definitely not.”
Kids, I confess: I went on a man date.
I have a male acquaintance who, for the sake of this entry, we’ll call Jake. I have been working with Jake on a project the past few month, with all correspondence taking place over email (i.e., I had never met the dude). Jake just so happens to live in my neighborhood and, I had come to learn, shares an eerily identical taste in music, among other things. So, why not grab a bite to eat?
We agreed to pizza. My wife found this hysterical (and, I found out later, so did her father). I mean, c’mon, it wasn’t like we were going to be slurping spaghetti! The missus makes new friends all the time; why can’t I do the same?
I will say, as the minutes to my man date crept closer, I started feeling more and more like I was going on an actual date. For starters, what should I wear? (I went very casual, as to not give off a “let’s make out” vibe since I didn’t really want to make out. This isn’t a real date, remember?) Can I pull this off? (By nature, I’m the kind of person who lets people come to me, not the other way around.) What if things get ‘weird’? (Luckily, they didn’t.) As I walked to the pizza place, I actually found myself feeling nervous. (Did I remember to bring a condom? Oh, wait, wrong date. Nevermind. Nerves be gone!)
Yes, I am having fun with this because, let’s face it, on the surface this whole thing sounds pretty gay. In reality, it wasn’t. It was just two men, sharing a pizza and drinking beer … in a candlelit, romantic setting.
Oh, did I forget to mention that? I had never been to this place before, so little did I know I was in for mood lighting and not a single TV in sight. And I picked the place, so that burden fell on my shoulders. Gay? Okay … maybe just a little. (NOT that there’s anything wrong with that! Unless, of course, you’re married to a woman, which I am. Her feelings may have been a little hurt if I spent the night at my man date’s crib. Luckily for the both of us, that didn’t happen.)
Joking aside, the night consisted of two men talking about everything from sports to music, eating good food and drinking beer. Perfectly normal male behavior. Just pretend the candles never happened.