Mind + BodyFeb 01, 2013
Two is Company...Three’s a Crowdsource
Why outsourcing the act of dating is one big fat no.
Story: Pamela Raymond
Photos: Illustration by Sarah Quatrano
In the normal world, boy meets girl. Boy asks girl on date. This simple anthropological event has gone on since men first realized women are nice and soft to the touch. But lately, I’ve been seeing a curious deviation from the standard dinner and a movie.
The dinner and movie (or the binge drinking for two) are still in play—but with a twist. Let me start from the beginning. My friend, Igor, is one of the reasons I wish for death and can also be so hopeful about life. Sometimes he’s a lunatic, and I happen to be on the business end of his antics. But in general, he’s pretty cool. Now that he’s back on the dating scene, he has a troubling pattern in how he dates. His standard method of operation is to ask out a nice, barely-legal grad student (they are always grad students!), and then proceed to bring her to events with all of his friends—on the first date!
Am I missing something, or shouldn’t the first date be reserved for getting to know your date’s craziness and assess accordingly? I call what Igor does crowdsource dating. Why? If you believe anything on Wikipedia, then the definition of crowdsourcing is: “A process that involves outsourcing tasks to a distributed group of people. This process can occur both online and offline. Crowdsourcing is different from an ordinary outsourcing since it is a task or problem that is outsourced to an undefined public rather than a specific body. An example of specific body is paid employees from a company.”
It definitely seems like he is outsourcing his task of “first date” to a distributed group of people. For example, when Igor and I had planned to go to a concert one night, I got a text asking if he could bring his date with us. What? Ah...no, as in “hell no.”
This method of crowdsourcing implies that Igor’s problem is now my problem. It is not. When I asked him why he does this, his answer was simple and annoying, “What if I get bored?” Bored? If you get bored, do what normal people do, and start drinking. Or, gracefully bow out with a lame excuse. No harm, no foul.
Date dumping is now such a habit for Igor that all of us are pretty accustomed to it. It still begs the question: Doesn’t your date deserve at least two hours of your attention? For Igor, and all the other guys and girls out there making dating a team sport, here are a few pieces of advice:
Friends are friends, not surrogate pimps. Your tireless adventure to get laid, or whatever it is you are trying to do, is not on your friends’ agenda. We don’t care. Stop imposing it on us.
Suck it up. Stop being a baby and man up. Yes, it sucks when someone doesn’t turn out to be all that you wanted, but that’s life. Heaven forbid that you’d have to be the interesting one and impress someone for a night!
Treat your date with a modicum of decency. Spend two hours trying your best to understand them. If after two hours your mind is numb, by all means ditch them in a humane manner. Don’t dump them on your friends.
The bottom line is this: You can count on friends through thick and thin. You can even count on the very closest to bail you out of jail or give you a ride to the airport. Just don’t count on them to share your dating responsi- bilities. Ok, Igor?
Pamela Raymond keeps a hectic social schedule, so she sees a lot of relationship dilemmas. A native of New Orleans, Pamela infuses a mix of Southern sass and Yankee tough love in her columns. Pamela is a seasoned writer, public relations specialist and social media guru in St. Louis.
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