The Plus One Phenomenon – Stephanie Renée

Written by on October 26, 2014

Writers and filmmakers have made a lot of cash perpetuating the existence of a Mars/Venus effect, where men and women are hopelessly doomed to miscommunication because of the inherent differences in gender and perception. I tend to think that’s a bunch of nonsense. People are people. Better to get to know them personally than to project a heap of stereotypes onto them because of what pop culture tells you. But as a single, unmarried and childless woman, I face more than my fair share of assumptions and questions about my motivations for something as simple as having a date to a social function. This, friends, I have come to call the Plus One Phenomenon.

I am a grown woman working in the media and communications industry, which means I have a lot of access to the cool things happening in and around the city. I am also deeply entrenched in the cultural scene, so I regularly get invitations and tickets to concerts and other performances. You might think that this would make me a fairly hot commodity, but we humans have a way of gumming up the works unnecessarily. I can’t just ask a man to join me on these outings without having to navigate an unspoken set of criteria about my intentions in extending the invitation. You know…we single, childless women out there are all secretly plotting how to seduce a man into changing our status. Put a ring on our finger, pay our bills and leave us breathlessly sexually fulfilled. Yeah, whatever. I was just looking for someone to take this extra ticket and make the evening fun. Just tonight. Just this one show, doggone it.

I realize this may come off sounding far more cynical than I actually feel about the situation. I wouldn’t mind dating someone seriously again, should the right man and circumstance present itself. But, on most occasions, when I ask someone to hang out, all I’m asking about is one event. One opportunity for us to chat, laugh, absorb some culture and, ideally, dissect what we’ve seen and heard over a cocktail and some insightful conversation. I do not keep a rope in my trunk, to hogtie some unsuspecting man into relationship submission based on his acceptance of a ticket to a show. The idea amuses me, but I am not compelled to vacation at a dude ranch to learn the skill.

Ah, dating! Once upon a time, we understood that getting to know someone by spending time was a prerequisite to envisioning them in anything more involved than sharing a car ride, meal and social outing together. I’m sure there are a few cool guys out there who understand this principle. Until they reveal themselves in my circle, I’ll continue dating my sisterfriends and gay male buddies, regularly. They can reap the benefit of all of my Plus Ones, and we don’t even have to fret about whether a kiss is appropriate at the end of the night. Because we do that anyway.

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It’s the end of the month, so be sure to catch up on all of the music I’ve been playing on The MOJO for October on Spotify. And for links to full albums and books from my guests, check out my new Amazon.com link on The MOJO page here on the WURD site.


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