Brian Keaney

Tag: friends

The Two Date Curse

I almost didn’t call her back.  It probably wouldn’t have been a surprise to her.  I didn’t know it at the time, but up until then she was afflicted with what her sister called The Two Date Curse.

Our first date was great.  We didn’t go home after leaving the bar, but instead moved down the street to a second to keep the date going.  We each had one more drink, but then the waitress seemed to forget about us.  We waited, and waited, and then waited some more.  There wouldn’t be time for another drink; at this point we just needed the check.

The hour was growing near when my train would be leaving the station, and I had to get home.  I eventually left her to wait some more alone and, after sprinting through Downtown Crossing towards South Station, barely caught the train.

I paid for the drinks that evening, which was how I knew I wanted to see her again.  If I didn’t want a second date, I would have accepted her offer to go Dutch.  I split the bill on a lot of dates, and it was still costing me a fortune.  I had a line item in my budget for dates, and I even managed to occasionally pull off a date with one girl at 6:00 and another at 8:00.  I even had it worked out how I could have squeezed in a third girl at 10:00, but it never came to that.

On this particular second date, I learned just what a lightweight she was.  We were two beers in, and she was clearly feeling them both.  She was also far more nervous than on our first date, and that manifested itself in a shrillness in her voice.

As we sat in whatever hipster Davis Square establishment we were patronizing that evening, I thought that this might be the end of it and I would be on to the next girl.  Something obviously changed, because this girl has since agreed to marry me.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and not only because she will be the last girl I ever date.  A friend has recently written about how difficult it is to make friends as a post-college adult, and recently The Art of Manliness posted about the 3-Encounter Rule.  That is, you really need to spend time with someone three times before you know if there is potential for a relationship–platonic, romantic, or otherwise–there.

Though I dated a lot of great girls, very few of them got to a third date.  Don’t get me wrong: I am very happy with Lilli and can’t wait to marry her.   Still, I can’t help but to think how my life may have been different if I had given some of these other girls a bit more of a chance.  Lilli’s experience, what with her Two Date Curse, and even Aziz Ansari’s love life for that matter, leads me to believe this is more common than it should be.

Next weekend we are going out with another couple for the second time.  I obviously enjoyed our first encounter, and we will see if there is a third.  I hope there is, not only because I enjoyed the first time so much, but because I need to break my own two date curse.  You can never have too many friends, but I have had far too few third dates.

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With (Facebook) friends like these

Saturday was my sister’s wedding reception.  Her second wedding reception in three months.  For a marriage to the same guy.  That’s a post for another time, but even though he’s been around for a couple of years now, her husband just got around to adding me as a friend on Facebook the other day.

Why have I never added him?  I have a no-add policy on Facebook.  I figure that I’m friends with the people I want to be friends with in real life, and everyone who I don’t see very often but in whose life I am interested is already a Facebook friend.  Only in extremely rare occasions, such as when my childhood best friend  joins, will I click the friend request button.  As has been noted previously, I am just that cool.

I won’t hazard a guess as to how many or to what percentage, but a number of my Facebook friends are not friends at all.  Some are former acquaintances at best.   It got me thinking: how many of them know me well enough to know when my birthday is?  To test it out, I changed my birthday on Facebook.  Rather than pick a random day, I selected the day of my little sister’s birth.  As a bonus, that way I could see how many people would wish both of us a happy birthday.

In July, 66 of my 606 friends posted on my wall to wish me a happy birthday.  I don’t know what the problem with the other 90% is, but I probably don’t like them anyway.  In September, slightly fewer, 54, wrote on my wall.  The best part is that almost half of them, 22, wrote both times.  The worst part is that someone who I would hope would remember my actual birthday wrote in September, but not in July.

Both my sisters picked up on this, and one even wrote on my wall questioning why I was stealing her birthday several weeks ago.  So as to not ruin the experiment, I promptly deleted the post.  A few other cousins also noticed that something was amiss, and one even facetiously mused about how he could have gone all these years without knowing that Krissy and I shared a birthday.

A couple people did recognize that September 29th wasn’t my birthday.  A girl I haven’t seen since 1998 commented that she knew my birthday was a week before hers.  Another who I haven’t seen much since college also knew it wasn’t my birthday, but I don’t know how she remembered that.  Finally, one cousin who loves to remind me of how old I am pointed out that two birthdays in a single year must mean I am even older than previously thought.  I didn’t like that one very much.

Now comes my favorite part.  A total of four people, consisting of two high school classmates, including one who was a good friend at the time, one of Krissy’s classmates who I probably knew better, and a second-cousin I haven’t seen in at least a decade wrote on both our walls and wished both of us a happy birthday.

I don’t know that my experiment has any great importance, but perhaps the fact that the Ig Nobel awards were awarded on the same day as my fake birthday might be significant.  Laugh at me if you will, but it makes you think.