Sometimes Wikipedia is unintentionally hilarious in its serious, and very thorough take on the history of bananas.
Aren't you just sitting at your desk, Wikipedia-ing the evolution of can-openers? How about the "Wikipedia Game," where you and a friend race to connect two unrelated words and see who can do it in the fewest clicks?
Maybe I just have too much time on my paws. Far, far too much, being that I am simultaneously Wiki-ing Sir Francis Bacon and the history of the cumquat (Such an interesting history, by the way.)
Here is Wikipedia's definition of "dating," which I tried to annotate on the site but was swiftly rejected. Therefore, my annotations are below.
The whole piece goes on and on and on with dates and pictures of people in corsets and lots of links to stupid things, so I just put the meat and potatoes below. And by meat and potatoes I mean turkey and sweet potato fries with butter spray.
"Dating is a form of courtship, (1) and may include any social activity undertaken by, typically, two persons (or if you're the guy from TLC who is getting arrested for polygamy because you are ON A SHOW ABOUT POLYGAMY) with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. (2)
The word refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity. Traditional dating activities include entertainment or a meal. (Or peeing the bed, see above.)
In many cultural traditions, a date may be arranged by a third party, who may be a family member, acquaintance, or professional matchmaker. Internet dating has become popular in recent times. (3)
Although dating etiquette has become more relaxed during the twentieth and twenty first century, there are considerable differences between social and personal values.
For example, when an activity costs money (for example, a meal), traditionally the man was expected to pay; but in recent times the practice of "going Dutch" (splitting the expenses) has become more common and more acceptable. (Cheapness is trendy.)
With the wider availability of information about traditionally secretive issues individuals are more open about their interest in sexuality both in form of dating language and dress. (It's okay to dress like a slut now!)
The difference in expectation of a date in the male / female view of dating is quite marked and clearly shown by the public advice disseminated by popular media, e.g. magazines, which is in stark contrast. (4)
The average duration of courtship before proceeding to engagement or marriage varies considerably throughout the world. (Khloe Kardashian - three minutes. Set a record.)"
(1) O rly, "courtship" means three vodka sodas and a skirt with a long zipper and a perpetual semi-slobbery makeout with that Jason (Jordan?) who you think you took Psych 211 with, the one where you just sat with your friends and played on Gilt Groupe for hours on end and then asked the dorky boys to send you notes in exchange for speaking to them?
(2) Other, more gray-area relations include the one night stand, a random hook up from Aepi, the girl you just need to take to semi-formal, your friend who you have coerced into pretending he is your boyfriend so that he will go to meet your parents because they think you are never getting married, or a date to that wedding where you need a hottie because you totally hooked up with the groom's best friend at the last wedding you were at and he needs to be really really jealous.
(3) OH yes, those young people like to use the Internets for dating.
They leave out here that it may be arranged by a third party with or without the consent of the dater, like your mom running into Donna Finegold at Costco and discussing how you and her son, Jeff, who is painfully awkward and thinks that randomly saying dirty rap lyrics is a form of conversation, would be a great match to get married. Love in the 64 oz jar of pickles section. Swoon.
(4) Boys = sex. Girls = Harry Winston engagement ring, three children, Becca, Sam, and Avery, and a steady stream of trips to exotic locations, where you can take cute pics of the two of you to post to Facebook and make the best friend of the groom jealous. But you know, no expectations.
Follow Meredith Fineman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/50firstjdates