Psych, Jokes, & Rock ‘n’ Roll: What’s a date?

George Carlin said a comedian’s job is to remind you of things you were too busy to laugh at the first time. In our daily college routines, we do things that we take for granted—stuff we hate, stuff we love, stuff that makes us downright uncomfortable. This column observes these minutia, combining observational comedy with the psychology of the people, objects, and interactions we all share.

Was that a date? At one point or another, you’ve asked yourself that question. Some nights you want to answer yes, others no. Thanks to our society’s abstract language, chances are a few of your evenings out have fallen into that weird iffy zone. When it comes to dating and relationships, we cower behind euphemisms and flat-out goofy language.

Have you been on a date?
Let’s see—I’ve gone out three times, I’ve grabbed lunch four times, twice I’ve done coffee. I guess that’s zero dates.
But weren’t you just seeing someone?
Well, I was seeing Gertrude, but then my glaucoma kicked in.

Being on a date is like belonging to a Fight Club: You don’t talk about the date (plus the boy thinks he is Brad Pitt.) So you don’t say date, you say, “Would you like to get coffee?” since there’s no better first impression than having coffee breath and jitters. You say, “I was wondering if you’d like to grab lunch or something.” If there is any WONDER involved and an OR SOMETHING, the person is interested. Also, GRAB plays the meal off as insignificant and quick—two words that hopefully don’t describe you.

The most popular date euphemism is “going out.” Out where? Unless you have the hots for a hermit, let’s hope that participating in “out” is part of her daily routine. What scares me about this euphemism is that “I’d like to take you out” is one word away from “I’d like to take you out back.” I don’t know what happened Jim?! It started out as an Al Forno dinner, but ended in an Old Yeller situation.

Once you’ve done the going out, it’s still difficult to express your feelings for the person. Our language doesn’t really have a verb in between the sentiments of like and love. So back in the day, some Alicia Silverstone-worshipping valley girls created the verb “like like.” We still use that phrase “like like”. You know when you like like someone, since that’s when you want to hump hump them in the SciLi SciLi.

Not only are our dating euphemisms silly, they attempt to suck the fun out of our romantic endeavors. How do we describe a relationship that’s fun, exciting, magical, joyous, and truly beautiful? SERIOUS. A serious relationship. Millie shame on you for smiling and enjoying your boyfriend’s companionship. You’re supposed to be taking this seriously! If we have serious relationships, then there should be a double standard. When was the last time you heard of a hilarious breakup? I wouldn’t try anything with her now, she’s going through a hilarious breakup.

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