From what I’ve seen, dating has changed since mon époque.* But I wonder why les jeunes
filles gens of today sometimes make going out with someone more difficult than it used to be.
years decades since I’ve sorti avec mon copain — gone out with, or dated, my boyfriend (or any other guy – but not au même temps, of course). And though my husband and I have gone out on many a “date night” during our marriage, well, once you’re married, you’re not dating anymore.
But way back when, we were dating. Normalement, he would call me, ask me out, I would say “Yes,” and we would set up a rendez-vous (date). He would call me from a “land line” or even a pay-phone similar to the one in the photo, and I would answer the phone. If he called and I didn’t answer, it meant I wasn’t there, and he would call again. When the time for our date came, I would be
almost ready, and we would go to a movie or out to dinner.
I’m not one to changer d’avis (change my mind) very often, so it worked.
But back then, when a guy called and asked you out, if you said “Yes,” you didn’t cancel on him at the last minute (or even before that), unless you got sick, someone died, or you had an accident. Yes meant yes, and it didn’t mean maybe. There was no easy way to cancel, anyway, like there is today. So you just went out — and had fun.
Like lots of people, I’ve enjoyed listening to a popular song recently that demonstrates (I think) how different dating is now:
Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?
Hmm. Is she going to answer the call, I wonder? When I first heard those lines, it reminded me of a song that mon copain at UNC and I liked, featuring these lines:
Why do you build me up (build me up) Buttercup, baby
Just to let me down (let me down) and mess me around
And then worst of all (worst of all) you never call, baby
When you say you will (say you will) but I love you still
I need you (I need you) more than anyone, darlin’
You know that I have from the start
So build me up (build me up) Buttercup, don’t break my heart
In my novel — about to be released — characters go on dates, and (because they live in a time before cell phones, or even answering machines) they don’t stand up their dates. They live up to their commitments, even if they’ve only committed to Saturday night. “Oui” means “Yes.”
And like today, no one wants a broken heart.
* Autrefois, or back in MY day