Chicken Wings and Fries We Don’t Go On Dates: What Happened to Real Dates?
Mood Music: Take You Out by Luther Vandross
Downtown by Lady Antebellum
I don’t know about where you guys live, but I live in the South and here we have wing joints.
Wing Joints go under titles such as Exotic Wings and Things, Wings Plus, and Wing It. These places are very small fast food restaurants usually ran by people of East Indian or Asian descent. These restaurants specialize in wings of all flavors served with fries (ranch, cheese, or regular) and a huge soda or flavored type Kool-Aid beverage. The meal is completed with a literal slice of light bread, haphazardly thrown across the oily wings.
There is absolutely nothing fancy about these places and in most of them you can’t dine in. Your order is served in a cheap Styrofoam container with no logo and placed in a white translucent plastic bag usually without a logo as well, but rare and sparingly you will receive a bag that has “Thank You” or smiley faces repeated numerous times over its thin surface.
Wings can be served in a six to twenty count combos and the average price is about ten to twelve dollars for a single entrée. To me it is a greasy repugnant mess, but among all of my friends and cohorts it is the Holy Grail.
The significance of explaining this to you is because these places have taken a prominent place in pop and social culture. This meal, if you will call it that, has taken the place of real dates and has become some type of odd exchange for sex.
If you have ever listened to Future and Drake’s 2015 release Jumpman I am sure you have heard the line in which Future proudly declares –
She was tryin’ to join the team I told her wait, chicken wings and fries we don’t go on dates.
Not only is this declaration a popular lyric, it also has become a type of lifestyle for modern couples.
This is not an experience that I can personally related to, but among my female friends, co-workers, and acquaintances when I ask them what they did over the weekend.
They usually reply with the brightest of smiles – “He brought some food over and we chilled.” I have been around them all long enough to understand that food usually means wings and fries, he is whoever the female in question is dating or seeing, and chilled always equates to having had sex.
This is the point of the conversation that I usually frown and change the subject. I become instantaneously nauseated because I know of a golden era were dating was a much more formal and romantic experience.
Before The Chicken Wings and Chill, There was the 90’s
You see, unlike some of you all who are reading, I watched my sister who is a little older than me date in the golden era of the nineties.
Every weekend I remember watching in envy as some tall dark and handsome guy knocked on our door and swept her away in a freshly washed car and a heavy mist of imitation Curve.
Sometimes they guy would arrive to our home with cheap corner store flowers and/or chocolates, other times a dollar store teddy bear or a bubble gum machine ring, but never was he often empty handed.
Then later that night I would sneak to peak out of the window to see my sister and the guy share whispered ‘I love yous’ and gentle goodnight kisses as fireflies danced around them on my family’s porch.
Moments later, my brash dad would yell from the inside of our house,”That’s enough, break it up!” and my sister would tip toe into the house with the countenance of having stumbled out of a beautiful dream.
I am sure that you might think I am quoting scenes from Family Maters or Boy Meets World, but this was the reality for most teenagers in that decade. Even well into the early 2000s the love letter still existed, just listen to A Blues for Nina from the Love Jones Soundtrack and relive passion so rare that it is becoming an artifact.
The Death of Dates
Somewhere along the way BET’s Midnight Love turned into BET Uncut and MTV negated the M in its initial for reality shows. Shortly after, the real date tragically died.
Baby got shorten to ‘bae’ and candlelight dinners at Olive Garden got exchanged for sloppy sex and chicken dinners at Bae’s house.
Movies at a theater got replaced for Netflix and Chill. Pants and dresses worn on dates even retired for basketball shorts and Gucci Flip Flops (pun intended).
I have always been interested in this shifting of paradigms, so about five years ago I took an informal survey among female co-workers asking how many had been on a real date- I was deeply saddened by the results.
Nearly every woman there either had been in a relationship or was currently involved, but only about thirty percent had been taken on a date.
The saddest case was of a young woman who actually had a child and had been involved with the child’s father for years, but had never gone to a movie, a restaurant or even a walk in the park with the guy.
Why Real Dates Matter
This conversation about bringing back real dates usually angers my male friends because they tell me dates are just a chance for a woman to spend their hard earned cash and my female friends just don’t feel like there is any urgent cause for going out- but both parties are miserably wrong.
Firstly, dates don’t have to cost a lot of money. A walk in the park, a gym workout, visiting an art museum, even an ice cream at McDonald’s is indeed a date.
Having a date is about hanging out with a person and learning little things about them like what they like to eat, what they like to do, what movies interest them. Knowing these little things really help you get to know a person and determine if you want to further the partnership.
I am not totally opposed to couples spending time at home together if they are indeed doing more than eating chicken wings and having sex. Playing a board game, sharing a glass or wine and conversation, even enjoying a political debate is an awesome way to share more than just physical intimacy.
Time spent picking another person’s brain is an investment in a relationship that can render an invaluable return.
Hours well spent helps partners care for each other more and really has a way of deepening the bond. I truly believe there is a correlation between high divorce rates and the lack or real dates in modern society, because romantic partners are expending a lot of energy learning each other’s bodies and mistaking that for having learned each other’s minds.
I have a lot more to say about modern dating ethics, and in the future I will future delve into the subject, but I will wrap this up with this simple stance- Real Dates Matter.
Curious minds want to know: Soul Squad do dates matter to you or are you ok with a night of Netflix. Comment Below.