EssCahPay! It's funny it's spelled just like the word escape.
I've been in a situation more than a few times where, after approximately 8 seconds, I know that this date isn't going anywhere. Sometimes, I figure it out during the phone call when we set up the date.
So now I am faced with a choice: spend 1-4 hours in the company of a person I do not want to spend any time with, or, push the emergency escape button.
I've spoken to many religious, dating, and mental health professionals about this. Wouldn't it be better for both of us if we were just honest with each other and said "Hey, you're clearly not my type so I'm going to cut this evening short so you can get back to season 6 of Schitt's Creek?"
I've gotten almost every opinion from "Absolutely not, you need to give him a chance!" to "Maybe he's nervous?" to "Honesty is the best policy" to "Hakuna Matata."
It means no worries.
Because there is not a clear answer the part of me that is the Archer leans toward brutal honesty. The prey leans toward sucking it up and spiraling into a vague feeling of emptiness.
To balance these two sides, I instead have found ways of cutting a date short that allow him to feel like he has the power, when, in actuality, you were always the one in control. I thought I'd share a few of these here to help any of you out there who need to cut something short. This can also work for job interviews, conversations with your mom's weird friend, and homeless people on the train.
Share your expertise.
I have a few major areas of expertise. The most boring of these to the average outsider is gymnastics. There is not one person on this earth who actually wants to hear another person rank the top 10 college gymnastics teams by how cute their leotards are. Nor does anyone care what I believe Simone Biles should use for her routine composition in order to get the most D (for difficulty...gosh!) I believe every person is an expert in something that is terribly boring to others. Bring out the minute details of your favorite hobby and just wait. You'll be home within 45 minutes.
When a woman goes to a mental health professional to discover if she has depression the test is very simple. The doctor pulls out his/her phone and pushes play on the seminal classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey. If the patient begins rocking out, they are not depressed. If they respond "excuse me?" then it's time for pills.
Trust me, I know this for a fact.
Women, when not affected by a depressive episode, have an innate sensitivity (known as Bina) that allows them to understand that Christmas music is the best.
Men lack this sensitivity which is why they must wear tzit-tzit and yamulkah. Therefore they cannot possibly understand when you start sharing your devotion to Christmas music. It may even begin to scare them as you reveal the ritual for midnight on November 1. Men do not like to be scared. Subsequently, you'll be home in the time it takes dear Mariah to say "isssssssssss you."
My favorite thing about not being in school is that I haven't had to study for 4 years. My least favorite thing about not being in school is that I can no longer convincingly use finals as an excuse.
Finals and I had a great run, for far longer than was believable. Somehow, a full two years out of college I was still telling boys that I needed to get home soon to study for remedial potions.
At year three, even I realized that I had been in fake remedial potions for long enough to make Neville Longbottom a potions master.
Dating while I was still in undergrad was great. I'd go out Labor Day weekend, a full two hours after school started, and would tell my date that I need to be home in order to study for finals.
"Finals?" he would say. "Didn't you start school yesterday?"
"Oh yes." I'd respond. "My school is on the minimesters system."
Since even the colleges themselves don't know how college actually works, I managed to get away with this one.
Oh how I miss the days when extremism could end a date! I used to say crazy things like "I think everybody who immigrated within the last 100 years should be sent home," and then I would be sent back to my home.
Sidebar: If everybody who immigrated within the last 100 years was sent home, I'd need to find a way to send half my DNA to Europe.
Extremism became the all-too-terrifying norm. Suddenly you could say things like "I think we shouldn't have any doctors to begin with" and boys would agree with you.
This has been a personal attack on me.
I'm not a political extremist at all, I try to see things from both sides. But now, suddenly, everyone is in a corner as far to the right or left as they can go and neither side has any idea what they are talking about. And it means that for more dates than I'd like to admit, I've said a completely insane and made up political view to get a boy to take me home only to have the boy agree with me and then proceed to quote Ben Shapiro for 25 minutes.
Quoting Ben Shapiro for 25 minutes is never the way into a girl's heart. Or anywhere else in her anatomy.
Unless...Talking about Ben Shapiro is the boy's way of trying to escape?
Oh right. Boys have a way to escape. It's called driving you home.
I'm hoping that now that the country has zigged, it may zag back to somewhere where extremism is a good escape method. One day, I may even run for office under the heading "The Archer: Making Political Extremism A Good Escape Route For Dates Again And Also Give Us $1200 Again." Just working on fitting that on a baseball cap.