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A Guy's Brutally Honest Evaluation of "The Rules"

Guess who is back from the trail? That's right our favorite bearded ginger the Good Badger, Zach Davis. He sent me an email last night taking a break from his serious writing & whipped up this gem. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. Ladies who've read and obeyed The Rules, Zach & I ask you, WHAT THE SHIT? -Taylor Cast

1) Be a “Creature” Unlike Any Other

I have this friend.  Let's call him Vladimir (my fake names are usually Eastern European, deal with it).  Vladimir has no standards.  Although he's a good looking dude, he refuses to leave the bar without an inebriated, young lady in tow.  Because there is a certain percentage of the female population who won't readily go home with some guy they just met a darkly lit place that serves bad decision juice (see: “most”), this often leaves Vladimir scrambling come last call.  But fear not, it is at 2:00 AM when Vladimir is most proficient, as like most skilled workers, he operates best when the pressure is on.  Anyone who has been to any bar already knows, the people who are willing to hop in a cab with a new face for the purpose of visiting bone town- typically leave a little something to be desired in the “physical appearance” department.  After all, they've likely already been through a round or two of rejection on the evening.

My friends have dubbed this type of person as a “swamp creature”.

Hopefully that's not what rule one is referencing.

(It is at this point you're likely saying, “I bet he hasn't even read the book”.  You're right.  On with the book review.)

2)  Don't Talk to a Man First (and Don't Ask Him to Dance)

I have been approached by more than one female (but let's be fair, less than a lot) at a bar in where they initiated conversation.   More often than not, the conversation was worthwhile, engaging, and in no way did I lose respect for them for making the first move.  Conversely, I found it to be a turn on.  The problem is rule #2 isn't a rule of the book, as much as it is just a rule of life.  The result is that any female who takes the initiative ends up standing out, thus making them “a creature” (in the good way this time).  Maybe this varies from culture to culture, but in the land of the free, a confident female is sexy.

Do it up girls.

3)  Don't Stare at Men or Talk Too Much

This is laughable.  Don't talk too much.  I agree. Some women (people) would do themselves a favor by not talking at all. Don't stare at men.  Again, I agree.  Staring is weird.  Don't stare at anything you don't intend on killing.
#3 stands.  Bravo #3.

4)  Don't Meet Him Halfway or Go Dutch on a Date
You don't have to ever expect to pay for anything when with a guy.  This is totally true.  But, the longer this lasts, the sooner his wang starts to expect payment in a non-monetary form.  Unless you plan on bumping uglies in the near term future, it might be in your best interest to buy the next drink.

5)  Don't Call Him & Rarely Return His Calls
….and when possible, spit directly in his eyeballs.

If someone (anyone) is not returning my phone calls, and I'm not chasing down their debt (unrelated to rule #4), that's where the game of phone tag ends.  If someone who I'm dating refuses to call me but once every four contacts, I have every right to assume she's either a) not interested or b) busy boning Vladimir.  Unless you're Erin Andrews, don't think that you're so good you can get away without returning calls.  You don't pay for anything anyway.

6)  Always End Phone Calls and dates First
Girl:  “…..and then Bethany gave me a really nasty look, and I was like, pshhtt whatever, your butt looks fat in those jeans anyway.  Get a job you stupid ho.  After that I ate lunch.  I couldn't believe how hungry I was!  OMG!  (actual OMG, not ‘oh my god')  I guess I had sort of a small breakfast, but I ate a few minutes later than normal.  But the sandwich I got from Jimmy Johns was sooooo good.  Even though the delivery guy gave me a nasty look.  I was like….”

Guy:  “Oh yeah?  Sounds like you had an interesting day.  That actually kind of reminds me of something that happened to me today.  I was being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for”

Girl:  “Hey, sorry but I gotta go, Keeping up with the Kardashians is going to be on in a few minutes and I need to make sure I find a comfortable sitting position.”


First off, the only person who should be dating this girl is satan.  Secondly, you may be cutting short a good date because you're too concerned with removing the responsibility of decision-making to ensure that your dating life goes more smoothly.  Rule #6a should read: “rule 6 applies to those who lack decision-making skills”.  With that amendment, I agree.

7)  Don't Accept a Saturday Night Date after Wednesday.
What?  Who plans that far in advance for anything other than a wedding?  I usually don't know what I'm doing on a Saturday night until late Saturday afternoon.  I know you don't want to give the impression that you're sitting by the phone waiting for his call or that you're so unpopular that no one will hang out with you on the weekend, but, really?  Wednesday.  What if both of our plans fall through?  That could be fate's way of grabbing each of us by the hand and whispering in your ear, “…bone…”.  When fate whispers bone into my ear, damnit, I listen.  Who am I to ignore fate?

8)  Fill Up Your Time before the Date
If this refers to an agenda, then bravo, you have sufficiently murdered all spontaneity that could have possibly arisen within the date.  I know it's a full moon, and I know it's perfectly clear night, and I know that we're driving by this really beautiful view of the sky overlooking the lake, but we can't stop, sorry.  Our 10:15PM is already slotted for “frozen yogurt”.
9)  How to Act on Dates 1,2, and 3
Is this a rule?  Is it the same rule for all three dates?  I'm guessing there is a “no bone” policy attached to this one, along with a whole host of other arbitrary restrictions.  I just hope the next rule doesn't tell you how to act from date #4 through commitment time.

10)  How to Act on Dates 4 through Commitment Time
DAMNIT!  Again, I didn't actually take the time to research what is being said here but it's probably along the lines of “have sex with him, but only if he opens every door for you that day, even the doggie door.  If he doesn't, ignore him for a week, and make him buy you a Porsche, but don't forget to avoid eye contact on Tuesdays otherwise you'll ruin the whole thing.  After all, it's the rule.”

11)  ALWAYS end the date first
Wait, didn't we already do this one?  You're going to make guys self-conscious and make them think you're not interested.  He'll get into a game of chess with you and try to preempt your move by his ending the date first.  This process will go on and on until this scenario occurs.

Girl gets into car…

Guy: You look beautiful tonight.

Girl:  Thank you, you look very handsome yourself.

Guy:  Well this has been fun, should we do it again sometime?

12)  Stop Dating Him if He Doesn't Buy You a Romantic Gift for Your Birthday or Valentine's Day
Define romantic?  Does everything need to be dipped in chocolate, or what is an acceptable ratio?  What if he buys you an iPad?  Is it awesome?  Obviously.  Useful?  Duh.  Romantic?  Nope (there's no App for that).  I'm guessing if I get you an iPad for an artificial economy boost holiday such as Valentine's Day, you're not going to stop dating me.  If you do, everyone on earth hates you.  You need to know that.

13)  Don’t See Him More than Once or Twice a Week
First of all, make up your mind.  If the rule is once, then twice is breaking the rule.  It can't be both.  Just say twice.  If you're going to make rules you should be a little more decisive.  The legal voting age isn't 18 or 22.  The legal drinking limit isn't .08 or .13.  If you're going to take decision-making out of the hands of those who can't handle it, at least be confident about it.  You're confusing the easily confused!

Secondly, what if you both legitimately want to spend time together?  I realize you run the risk of losing the honeymoon phase, but that's going to die anyway.  At least let the puppy love, naked-fest exhaust itself on its own terms and not prematurely by your indecisiveness.

14)  No More than Casual Kissing on the First Date
Some people consider “crotch” akin to “casual”.  I just want you to know that.

15)  Don't Rush into Sex, Wait at Least Three Dates
Apparently Vladimir is going to die alone.

16)  Don't Tell Him What to Do
Now we're getting somewhere.

17)  Let Him Take the Lead
but don't let him end the date first…and deny him sexually…and ignore his phone calls.  This girl is starting to sound like a mannequin.

18)  Don't Expect a Man to Change or Try to Change Him
I have plenty of friends who are completely whipped by their significant others, and, you know what, they're perfectly happy being changed.  Ladies, go on, change your dude.  He doesn't need to fart the alphabet at your dinner parties.

19)  Don’t Open Up Too Fast
Isn't this rule #15 too?

20)  Be Honest but Mysterious
If you're wearing a cape over your face, he can't hear your honesty.

21)  Accentuate the Positive & Other Rules for Personal Ads
Don't say: “I used to be really easy in high school”
Do say: “I was really popular in high school!” 🙂

22)  Don’t Live with a Man (or Leave Your Things in His Apartment)
#22 can stay too.

23)  Don't Date a Married Man
“….unless he's super wealthy.”  This doesn't need to be a rule, does it?  Isn't that like saying, “don't date a convicted rapist”. Can we put this in the “don't be a dumbass” section”?

24)  Slowly Involve Him in Your Family & Other Rules for Women with Children
I hope the emphasis is the “slowly” with this one. If you have children, it should read “frozen molasses climbing uphill.”

25)  Practice, Practice, Practice! (or, Getting Good at The Rules)
If you haven't been completely programmed to have all decision-making taken away from you by now, have friends come over and practice with flash cards.  When in doubt, avoid eye-contact and end the date.  Better to be safe than capable.

26)  Even if You're Engaged or Married, You Still Need The Rules
“The first rule of the Rules, is you need the rules.” If you're married, I'm guessing you've figured out a system that works.  Does that mean you should divorce him if he forgets Valentines Day?

27)  Do The Rules, Even when Your Friends & Parents Think It's Nuts
AHHhhh, the rules makers are geniuses.  Evil geniuses!  They were prepared for this post!  Isn't this a “rule” for cults too?

28)  Be Smart and Other Rules for Dating in High School
If you've made it this far, you've already proven that you are not.

29)  Take Care of Yourself and Other Rules for Dating in College
Take care of yourself like hit the treadmill for 45 minutes a day?  Or take care of yourself like don't go to a frat party and leave your drink unattended?
The point is moot because most college educated women know how to make decisions.  That's why they're taking over the world.

30)  NEXT! & Other Rules for Dealing with Rejection 
This rule should immediately precede #6.

31)  Don't Discuss The Rules with Your Therapist.
…because she will think you are retarded.

32)  Don't Break The Rules!
“The second rule of the rules is that you need the rules and if you break the rules the rules will break you.  RULES!”

33)  Do The Rules and You’ll Live Happily Ever After!
“…because you'll have forgotten what it's like to think.”

34)  Love Only Those Who Love You
See: #23

35)  Be Easy to Live With

This is rule #3 again.

To read all about Zach's adventures on the trail and post trail head over to his home The Good Badger. Be prepared to wet yourself from laughing.

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  1. This is absolutely brilliant!

    I would now like to request that Zach the Ginger write a summary of Eat, Pray, Love. Please. For the love of all that is still sacred in this world.

    1. Can't say that I've read it but…that's never stopped me in the past.

      Maybe you're onto something 😉

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