"I don't feel going out to coffee is a date, do you? I don't like to date guys at my gym, but got cornered into saying yes to coffee to a guy. Gyms are my place to get away, not look to meet guys. My friend says this is a date. I say it isn't. Isn't COFFEE just going out to talk?"
And so begins Kathryn Soler's* post on Facebook. The responses are fascinating:
"Depends on where you are having your coffee."
"Coffee is an interview."
"Anything is a date that's marked in your calendar, and you put on your makeup, and brush your long blond hair before going out."
"If it is a guy you already know...it's friends. Someone you don't know? it's a date. Guys use coffee as a date because there is no commitment of time or money. Some guys have been so cheap they haven't even bought the coffee. Haha, sometimes not even their own."
"If you change your underwear, it's probably a date."
"I like to think it is a date if they pick you up and pay for you, otherwise it is just friends hanging out."
"Going out for coffee is NOT a date. Enjoy!"
Then the talk focuses in on to who pays. From the 53 responses, it seems like women still expect men to pay on a first date, and men expect to pay.
Coincidentally, I went on a first date, or a walk, or a who-knows-what, that same afternoon. I shared the thread with Jason and just kind of tossed in, "Isn't it funny, like what do you think this is - a date, or a walk, or?" He said it was refreshing to talk about it. He drove to the Dish wondering "what the nature of getting together was."
If I go walking with a new woman friend, I wouldn't automatically think it's a date. We walk to get to know each other. Just person to person. So why do men and women automatically think that because we get together ? especially for something as simple as coffee - that it's a date? How can I be on a date with someone I don't even know?
Can I not go out to coffee with a man unless I think it's a date?
Personally, this all-too-common male/female interaction misses a lot of life's finest, because we limit our engagements to precontrived notions of what we are supposed to be doing together. I want to meet you because we might write a book, or solve a community problem, or change the world, or just share some caffeine and laugh.
What if coffee was more than just a date? Maybe we should sip together for bigger reasons neither of us understand.
At least not yet.
* Kathryn is part of the Sunday Blues Jam at the Pioneer in Woodside, 4PM ? 8PM. Still rocking it out with the area's best musicians, cheap drinks, terrific dancing and fun people. Always free (but don't forget to tip the bar and band).
Oh ? and there's plenty of possible coffee opportunities.