Like any extreme sport, dating comes with several sets of rules that must be learned and conquered before one can progress to the next level. Just like you cannot skydive without first mastering the jump from a small step ladder or chair, you cannot date a woman without first knowing the safety procedures and where the emergency exits are.
At the risk of generalising and pandering to media-induced stereotypes of females, chocolate is the solution to almost everything. Like a spare key or extra batteries, it is best to keep a box or block of chocolate on hand for emergencies in addition to the ‘every day’ chocolate stored in the pantry, fridge, freezer, glove box and the wardrobe (your girlfriend/wife/mistress/’friend’ will deny it, but trust me, it’s there). Chocolate is of course the first lesson in dating as it serves more purposes than you could possibly imagine. For example:
1. The Treat- Your girlfriend has just achieved a personal goal. She is ecstatic and you, as a loving partner are exceptionally proud. Obviously, you’ve planned a special dinner and a bottle of bubbly (and if you haven’t, I’ll wait while you go and make a last-minute reservation), but the really sweet thing is the box of beautifully wrapped handmade chocolates you left on her pillow. Major brownie points right there.
2. The Reward- Similar to The Treat, though the occasion need not be as big. Friday night she comes home exhausted after work, sore feet and in a terrible mood and BAM! You whip out a Cherry Ripe to say ‘Hey. You’ve worked hard this week and your work matters.’ That right there is almost sweeter than the chocolate itself.
3. The Birthday/Anniversary- She’s just hit you with the ‘I don’t need anything but your company’ line. Some girls mean it. Good on them. But a) you feel guilty not getting her a gift and b) you’re not sure whether she is one of the few who doesn’t want presents. The solution? Yeah. It’s chocolate. But be careful here. I don’t mean a block from the supermarket confectionary aisle. I mean something fancy like Max Brenner or Haighs.
4. The Distraction- You had a list. A hundred ‘little things’ she asked you politely to do on your day off. Instead, you got distracted by good surf or good mates and forgot to fix the hinge on the backdoor and the clothesline is still screeching in the wind. The only thing standing between you and The Silent Treatment is the chocolate you bought ‘for no special reason and completely on a whim because you love her.’ You sly dog.
5. The Apology- Often makes an appearance when she catches you executing The Distraction. Also appears when she’s mad but refuses to say why because ‘You know what you did.’ Honestly, she’s been ignoring you for so long, she can’t remember why she’s mad either; she’s just not about to admit it. A small, humble box of chocolates with a bow will help you both out with that one.
6. The I Love You- You want to let your girl know how special she is. Get creative. Chocolate scented candles and body lotion to pamper herself with makes for a nice change of pace. Or if you’re up for a little effort, chocolate dipped strawberries- everyone loves a man who knows his way around a kitchen.
7. PMS- As a male, this is not something you want to think about, but something you will inevitably have to deal with. Smile, nod, and ply her with chocolate cupcakes. Hang in there, you’ll be okay.
Of course it is crucial to remember that the bigger the crime does not necessarily equate to the bigger the chocolate. Expensive chocolates are smaller and not given every day. Your girl knows this.
Finally, this is not a situation where tried-and-true ‘If in doubt, go without’ rule applies. If you are in doubt, keep in mind;
60+ : Rum and Raisin, crystallised ginger, Turkish delight, orange crème.
30-59+ : Espresso, hazelnuts, fruit ‘n’ nut, chocolate dipped coffee beans, praline.
20-29 : Caramel, mint, Cherry Ripe, Snickers, Mars Bars.
The younglings like the fancy science experiments with pop rocks and jelly beans and whatnot, the health nuts like dark chocolate, the vegans eat cardboard and those rocking dentures like soft chocolate mousse.
You now have no excuse to fail.
– by Blaire Gillies