Thursday, August 09, 2007

Holy crap! Women order real food on dates! The apocalypse must be nigh.

An article in today's New York Times, "Be Yourselves, Girls, Order the Rib-Eye," is about how it's apparently socially acceptable for women to order beef on a date, as opposed to Ye Olden Times, when a gal had to eat at home before a date so that she wouldn't perish of starvation when she ordered the chopped salad and water.

No, really:

Salad, it seems, is out. Gusto, medium rare, is in.

Restaurateurs and veterans of the dating scene say that for many women, meat is no longer murder. Instead, meat is strategy. “I’ve been shocked at the number of women actually ordering steak,” said Michael Stillman, vice president of concept development for the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, which opened the restaurant Quality Meats in April 2006 on West 58th Street. He said Quality Meats’ contemporary design and menu, including extensive seafood offerings, were designed to attract more women than a traditional steakhouse. “But the meat is appealing to them, much more than what I saw two or three years ago at our other restaurants,” Mr. Stillman said. “They are going for our bone-in sirloin and our cowboy-cut rib steak.”

In an earlier era, conventional dating wisdom for women was to eat something at home alone before a date, and then in company order a light dinner to portray oneself as dainty and ladylike.

Translated: holy crap! Women have the audacity to eat whatever the hell they front of a man!!!

Apprently, the article says, this gusto for the cow-flesh impresses the modern menfolk:

Saehee Hwang, 30, a production director at, found herself out with friends at DuMont restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when she started feeling attracted to a new guy in the group. She said she had wanted to order a burger, but started having second thoughts. “I didn’t want to appear too much of a carnivore,” she said. “It might be off-putting.”

But then she decided she should not change her order to fit a preconceived idea of what a man might want. She ordered the house specialty, a half-pound of beef on a toasted brioche bun with Gruy√®re cheese. “We started dating afterward,” Ms. Hwang said. “And he told me he liked the fact that I ordered the burger.”

Holy crap! You mean a man might actually like me if I act like a real human being, with actual physiological needs as well as the right and self-determination to eat whatever the hell I want? Say it ain't so!

Well...maybe not. You see, the article ALSO mentions — twice — that ordering meat on a date is much more acceptable if you're a thin woman:

Red meat sent a message that she was “unpretentious and down to earth and unneurotic,” she said, “that I’m not obsessed with my weight even though I’m thin, and I don’t have any food issues.”


But others, especially those who are thin, say ordering a salad displays an unappealing mousiness.

Well, shit. What if you're a fat woman? Will your date scream and flee into the night, emerging much later on the internet to tell the tale of My Date Ordered A Whole Cow To Pad Her Already-Ample Rump? I guess I'm back to ordering lettuce and water with lemon when I want to impress the menfolk.

Oh, wait — my boyfriend doesn't give a shit what I eat (and because he's a vegetarian, I know he won't steal my burger, which is a bonus).

Thank god! Garcon, bring on the seared cow-flesh!!!


Rachel said...

In addition to the whole concept that eating less makes one more dainty and feminine somehow, meat especially has been genderized as a masculine food. It seems as if some of these women - like the one who wanted to order shots of Jagermeister to prove that she is “a guy’s girl” - are only ordering meat because it is a "manly" food and that it will make them appear more attractive to men.

Mariellen said...

Good gawsh almighty, whatever happened to being yourself on a date? Oh yeah, eat to impress, dress to impress, be manicured and coiffed and perfect on all your dates. Then if he happens to catch you in a moment when your hair is down, so to speak, he will wonder who the hell you really are.
Sorry, my man takes me as I am, all of me, appetite, opinions, and imperfections.

Teppy said...

Sorry, my man takes me as I am, all of me, appetite, opinions, and imperfections.

Mariellen, at first glance, I read "opinions" as ONIONS, and I thought, "Well, onions go with beef, sure...."

I think I need new glasses. Anyway, I totally agree. From the very start, my boyfriend saw my real appetite, and my real opinions (or onions!), and had the option to take me or leave me.

It's too exhausting to try to be someone you're not. Plus, if I had to order a salad when I wanted a burger, I'd get resentful, which would end up making me unappealing to my date anyway!