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Dating Referee

 |  life

I fell into a conversation with someone at Starbucks for a while today while I was quaffing my espresso campana due to the long line for napkins, believe it or not. It turned out that she was a student, but that she was also working part time as a dating referee.

I don’t know if they have these in other parts of the country, but in California, at least, most of the trendy dating spots have dating referees available on Fridays and Saturdays. You tell the restaurant beforehand what date you’re on (i.e., first, second, whatever), and if you need to they can arbite any disputes.

She said that it paid pretty well, and she got pretty good tips, so it wasn’t a bad job for a college student. I asked her what the most common problems were:

Her: Probably the worst is ‘personal questions’
Me: What do you mean?
Her: Whether such-and-such question is allowed at that stage. I can’t tell you how many times I have to tell women that extremely personal questions aren’t allowed until at least date 3.
Me: Like, sexual history?
Her: Not only that, but the most recent date, how many relationships in the past year, so on and so forth.
Me: (laughing) Inquisition dates! I know those. What’s the biggest problem for males?
Her: Oh, definitely, hands. At least twice a night I have to flag a guy down, make him keep his hands to himself.
Me: What’s the penalty?
Her: Generally just a verbal, but in extreme cases I’ll make him sit as far as possible from her, or sit on his hands, or something, although some guys are sneaky. I flagged one guy and then he took off his shoe and rubbed his foot against her leg. I ended the date right there, got her a taxi. I hated to do it but sometimes there’s no choice.

It was kind of interesting talking to someone that enforced the dating rules, and she was kind enough to clue me in on some of the stuff that I had always wondered about (for example, it turned out that the official ruling was that e-mail does not count as an official “thank you” by the male after a date unless the date was made via e-mail, and even then it’s tacky — I had always wondered about that). I wanted to give her the whole rundown on my current problems, see if I was justified in the way I was feeling, but she started looking bored and said something to the effect that I would have to pay her if I was going to give her my life story, so I didn’t. Still, it was kind of neat to run into her.


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