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Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"Paranoia means having all the facts."

--William S. Burroughs, Beat Generation writer (1914-1997)

Sick of just hanging out? Want a date? Check out the new rules

By Jessica Alexander

September 22, 2006 | In 1977, a book was written by two women who caused an overnight tsunami in the wide world of dating. "The Rules," was an instant hit with all the women who continued in their dreary lives of dateless weekends. It became the talk of the town, from Oprah to 20/20; finally the dating bible had arrived!

We should all be exhilarated at this recent discovery, right?


OK, so I realize that, yes, many nights, even for a dating vixen such as myself, have been in fact very uneventful. Or in other words, me sitting at home watching "24" with my roommates, ogling over Jack Bauer, or maybe even dressing up as Greek goddesses to watch Disney movies, "Hercules" anyone?

You would think that this little book, "The Rules," would be the best thing that ever happened to a college student, especially a college student in Logan, Utah. As some of you might now, or maybe you don't but you should, people just don't date in Logan. It's all about the hang-out scene.

I'm sick of hanging out.

This was my way out! My way to find a real man! Maybe not to marry, believe me, I am definitely not ready for that little bundle of joy. I just wanted a nice evening out on the town with a decent guy who could actually hold an intelligent conversation.

My aunt swore by "The Rules."

"This is how I got my handsome hubby Rhett!" she proclaimed as she handed over her tattered and torn copy. I cradled it close to me, and literally by the way, jumped into my bed, waiting to dive into the secret world of dating bliss.

And then I found this:

1. Don't talk to a man first.
2. Don't call him and rarely return his phone calls.
3. Don't accept a Saturday night date after Wednesday. (My aunt's personal fave!)
4. Stop dating him if he doesn't get you a romantic gift for Valentine's.
5. Don't tell him what to do or try to change him...
6. Don't talk too much.
7. Don't stare at other men
8. Do The Rules to live happily ever after!!!

And so on and so forth.


OK, I can see the breaking up with him if he doesn't get you a 24 karat pure gold diamond ring for Valentine's Day; I mean that's just absolutely essential in this dating thing. They just don't make cubic zirconia's like they used to! But not staring at other men? What about Jack Bauer? How can I live without staring at him dodging bullets and jumping retaining walls? I don't know if I could handle that.

All right, as much as I am serious about the Jack Bauer thing, who came up with these rules? And how did my aunt find her true love with them? I decided to take this out into the real world.

While so casually bringing "The Rules" up to my roommates, while some of our friends of the male species were over, I was not really surprised at their reactions to the commandments.

"That's a load of bull!"


These are just a few of the words that were said. I decided to omit most of the profanity. Just as I expected, these guys thought it was ridiculous that girls would actually follow this little book as strictly as the latest Atkins diet. Anyway, I was convinced the book that made headlines and wacky feminists' heads spin, was not the ticket for my dating revelation. What did I do then, you ask?

I pulled out my new ammunition.

You see, awhile after reading The Rules and then letting it gather dust on my nightstand, I happened to find a treasure of a discovery. Right at my local Barne's and Noble. It's called the "REAL RULES: How to find the right man for the real you."

Now this is what I'm talking about.

Dr. Angelis goes off on the whole 1950s mumbo jumbo, saying we are not our grandmothers' mothers who first told us we could get pregnant by kissing. Instead, she says we are not manipulative and masquerading, but human beings, just like our male counterparts. Okay, so maybe we can be a little manipulating. But, that is because we are girls. It's by default. In all honesty though, these NEW rules were actually a huge hit with our friends of the male species.

First rule: Treat men the way you want to be treated.

Second rule: Men need as much love and reassurance as women do. Men want to make women happy, do things right, and open up to be loved. On the other hand though, they fear they won't know how to make us happy, that they won't be enough or make a mistake, and get rejected.

Want some more of these fabulous rules?

Be yourself.
Don't play games.
If you like someone let him know--smile at least!
Pay attention to warning signs!
NOTE: breaking up with one's girlfriend of 3 years, last month, apparently does not make it okay to let him take you out and woo you with his charming wit and stunningly good looks...
Don't fall in love with a man's potential.
Same thing here, just take him for who he is ... trust me. And show your most attractive feature, your mind!

Bottom line? The males were very impressed with this list. Well, I kind of expected it, I mean my mind is exceptionally brilliant. Boys? I'm not saying I'm desperate, but if I followed these new and improved rules, can anyone save me from my Greek goddess complex?


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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