The Carrot or the Stick?

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WITH so much happening in the dating world lately – (clearly not mine, but overall) – I thought it was timely to take a look at some of the global developments in this arena. Friends have sent me all sorts of reports on love, and some of them have been as eye-opening as the bad spelling or questionable grammar with which I’m regularly assaulted by potential suitors.
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First cab off the rank is a new dating App called Carrot Dating. And no, it’s not for vegetarians or those who like to do kinky things with vegetables. This free App (and yes, there is no way I’d be paying for it), apparently allows those looking for love to use incentives such as dinners and chocolates in a bid to convince others to accept a date offer, according to a report in Mashables. Yes, a cold, hard bribe. And by this we mean dinners, flowers, shopping and even trips. The last item on the list makes me laugh, as only this week I was joking with a fellow single travel writer about how we could offer a free trip as part of our attraction. Then we realised if we have to present an overseas holiday as part of our overall package, then they really aren’t worth knowing.
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But not, according to Carrot Dating App developer Wade, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (how did I just know he’d be American). Wade came up with this gem when he apparently discovered his “shy” and “socially awkward” personality made it hard to meet women. Wade reckons this form of bribery works “because both sides have absolutely nothing to lose and something to gain by breaking the ice and getting to know each other”. Nothing to lose, Wade? How about several thousands of dollars on that trip to Jordan that I could have spent with someone I actually know and like?
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But say what you will about Wade. Since its October 1 launch, the App has been downloaded 45,000 times, with a ratio of 2 women to every man (that part sounds realistic in the dating world in my experience). And to date, more than 28,000 bribes have been offered and accepted in return for a date. The report does not say whether Wade himself has found love from this venture, but I wish him all the best.
Another friend sent me a piece of literature that has been circulating for a while now. It’s a piece written from a bloke called Charles Warnke and it’s entitled: “You should date an illiterate girl”. (I knew I was doing something wrong learning to read and write all these years). According to Charles: “Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in a film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. F**k her.”
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Warnke goes on to write: “Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so goddamned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am.”
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In his defence, debate has been raging about whether he actually means his words in the way they are first interpreted, or whether he is being facetious. And yes, I have only published a portion of what he wrote so I encourage you to read the entire piece and make up your own mind. I am yet to decide. In response to this piece, another writer (one of those pesky literate girls) Rosemarie Urquico penned: “You Should Date A Girl Who Reads” in which she says: “Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.”
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Urquico goes on to write: “Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”
I, for one, would rather spend the rest of my life with a good book than a bad bloke. What about you?
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2 thoughts on “The Carrot or the Stick?

  1. A Glass Half Full says:

    I am one of those pesky reader types. Definitely go for a man who reads. And not just one who reads because you and he thinks he should. One who really likes to read. And who has similar reading tastes to you, so you can borrow his books. And then talk about them. I love Rosemarie Uriquo’s description of the girl who reads – it’s perfect. And I agree with you, Goddess: far better to spend time with a good book than a bad bloke. Great blog post!

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