A random girl sits down next to me with a scowl on her face, talks to my friend two feet from me, doesn’t look at me, and doesn’t say hi. I poke her gently and say, “Hi, my name is Chris.”

She says, “I’m leaving.”

I ask my friend what’s going on. “She had a bad day, and isn’t in the mood for talking.”

“Well,” said I, “I have bad days all the time, and people don’t care about me one way or another. I thought she was being rude by moving in such close quarters and not being verbal.”

“You should have tapped her on the shoulder, not poke her on the shoulder,” says my friend.

“Tapped her. I was already afraid of how annoying it would be to have a random guy touch her in a square centimeter, and you’re asking me to touch half a square foot of a woman’s body?” It’s like, you’re the gender society doesn’t restrict out in the open. If you want a relationship, you have to make the first move now because of changing times. I’m not going to caress a random girl just because “the book” says they like touch, and I’m not going to a dance party unless it’s doo-wop, jazz, or disco.

When a man shows his emotions at first, he doesn’t have depth, but when a woman is expressive, suddenly she has depth and she needs space? Guys are still supposed to be absolute stone-faces in some places.

On the other hand, I am proud to say that I go to a campus with so many women (a 2 to 1 ratio, as I last heard) that a significant number of them are majoring in biology, physics, chemistry, and math. These women are aware that it is illogical to talk to a stone, because a stone undergoes a lot of “pressure,” experiences occasional volcanic activity, may express random “sediments,” and only reveal “what’s really inside” when you “break them apart.”

One day when I was at a particular campus event, there was a pause in a conversation between the leader and a cute girl. I chimed in and got no response. I spent a few days deeply hurt, then suddenly, the girl shows up in a class of mine and starts talking to me like nothing happened. It turns out she was just sleepy the other day, and is really, really nice.

In dating, there are just too many rules. In Pennsylvania, there are even more–but wait–the age thing is a double standard. In the personals ads, an 18 year-old woman can date somebody up to age 60 as if this is Geoffrey Chaucer’s day (that’s the 1300’s, by the way) because that “crusty old knight” is likely to have wealth, muscle, and success in battle. (The Goths later took this out of proportion, saying that all men who couldn’t kill hundreds of other men, wear heavy armor, and drink a lot of beer, should die).

All the time, I wonder why people disappear and keep coming up with alibis now, and why I was asked out more in high school. The reason is–it’s the new high school; people just take it more seriously. More cliques, more pretending they’re busy and talking to their best friends. It reminds me of when Xena and Callisto are having a fearsome battle, and then Callisto just leans over and kills Gabrielle’s husband just because she can. I would date Gabrielle, but not Xena.

Now put aside the Amazon world of dating, and you’re left with friendship. I’ve had several people complain to me about forgetting their names. “Well, I said, “you didn’t call me to hang out and you didn’t invite me to an event your group or club was having. I only saw you once in the past three weeks.” Geez, everybody does this. They say they’re my friends and take road trips to White Castle behind my back. There’s definitely a double standard here. I never cling to them like a stamp to a letter, but they expect me to treat them like so? Naw…that’s for my future wife, my best man, and other front-seat wedding guests, who I visit 500 miles away using Amtrak when you’re not looking. Honestly, if I could cash out my tuition/room/board and just travel, I’d be set for life.