My friends and I have a not-so-secret secret society called Steak n’ Ladies which we conceived of during our senior year of college at a brutally small school in Central New York—a place so devastatingly suffocating that twice a week I had to reclaim my sanity by driving off campus to the nearest Subway, where I would down a Diet Coke and take my free refill to go. (As all Diet Coke addicts can attest to, DC is most satisfying when served from a fountain dispenser). It wasn’t as depressing as it seems though, and six months out of college, I can wholeheartedly say that I miss it.
But somewhere between freshman orientation and graduation, I missed the memo that it was the norm to hook up with guys who you’ll invariably see the next day in class, where you’ll pretend your relationship is strictly platonic. As a consequence, I spent my semesters looking for love in all the wrong places. In fact, I once read in a Sunday Styles wedding announcement that a couple had met while waiting at the toaster in their college dining hall, and so for a brief period during my sophomore year, I longingly searched for my soul mate while my rye toast made its way through the conveyor. He never showed up, and I ate burnt toast for a week.
It wasn’t until I turned twenty-two last fall, that I, along with my close friends, came to the realization that we were, are, and always will be, ladies. Frustrated with the failure of a tall, dark and handsome man to apparate into our lives, we drafted the charter for Steak n’ Ladies, a society founded on the basis that since we each had yet to find a guy who would buy us a steak, we would buy each other steaks.
We celebrated our friendship and the general lack of steak-buyer in our lives by taking ourselves out to dinner. This wasn’t to be any other night out though, this was Steak n’ Ladies Night, and so we sipped wine and toasted to our strong, independent womanhood.
The fact that we didn’t actually buy steaks and instead ordered boring things like salmon and chicken potpie is besides the point: we are ladies and we deserve steaks.
Despite my recent entrance into the post-grad world, I’m still having trouble finding my steak buyer. The steak-buyers do exist. I’ve seen them in their natural habitats, treating girls to candle-lit dinners. I’ve even seen my male friends take on the steak-buying role when their girlfriends come to town.
But if the steak-buyers are out there, why aren’t they buying so many of us steaks? I confess that I don’t even want a boyfriend. I just want someone who thinks I’m as great as my mom thinks I am and who wants to take me out to a nice steak dinner. (The obvious person who fits the bill is my dad, but I wasn’t going for that.)
Here’s my rudimentary theory as to why the ladies aren’t getting the steaks they deserve: There are two types of girls: ladies and pocket girls. Pocket girls are simple and easy and can be treated like Polly Pocket — when you’re tired of playing with them, you can close them up and put them in your back pocket. Ladies, however, can’t be put away. They’re smart and opinionated, sassy and stylish. They live their lives like a Destiny’s Child anthem.
Guys are intimidated by ladies, and so they often settle for pocket girls. Guys who are scared of anything long-term are especially attracted to pocket girls because they don’t have to commit to them. Guys equate a steak dinner, and its younger cousin, frozen yogurt dates, with commitment.
Sometimes I wonder if all guys think that all single girls just want boyfriends. But we don’t. Nobody wants to be chronically single, but not everyone wants a serious man-friend either.
Most of us just want to be taken out to dinner.
Elaheh is an aspiring Nora Ephron living in New York City, where she’s figuring out what it means to be a 20-something millennial. She has a serious addiction to clothes, which doesn’t bode well for her savings but makes great material for her blog, The Channeling Board. You can follow her on Twitter.
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