Asking me about dating is like asking a monkey about his experience falling out of trees. I have done it, yes, but more or less accidentally, and so surprised was I that it actually happened that next to nothing has been in the way of constructive advice. For this reason, I tend to avoid writing too much about dating. To quote Mark Twain, “it is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” Of course, the original Mark E. Mark is also famous for his admonishment, “you don’t have to actually have a vasectomy to say you have a vasectomy.
The great minds over at the sustainerati publication “Grist” have no such professional blogger qualms about giving out bad, uninformed advice, which they do in spades in the post “TreeShagger: 10 great green date ideas”
I was most disappointed by the mis-leading title: the column was not filled with 10 ideas for budding dendrophiliacs. If it were, this would be a most helpful, relevant article to that niche market, as I have a feeling that since the Druids, most “treeshagging” dates have involved pruning sheers, watering cans, and unfortunately located splinters. This column could have been the start of a much-needed cultural renaissance of arboreal ardor. Instead, it settles for glib, pointless advice that will serve as an excuse for closeted dendro-philiacs too lazy to come up with good date ideas to woo their “treebeards” to bring home to mom and dad for the holidays.
From the article:
Idea #1: “Hit Up an Arcade”, the authors “go-to first date: cheap and superfun”. To begin with, “cheap” and “superfun” while good qualities in a date, are not necessarily green. This takes a page from the hipster playbook of if its “retro, its cool”. In that sense, going to the local square for a medieval execution would be the ultimate, but only if you do it with an ironic detachment.
Idea #2: “Hang out in the library”-Going to a place with an injunction specifically against unnecessary conversation will certainly help those who are bad at small talk. But what then? Again, this isn’t necessarily “green” so much as cheap and lazy. Maybe you can read romance novels over each other’s shoulders, or, if you feel like proving your daring, use a computer for more than the allotted thirty minutes. Nothing says “bad boy” like quietly flouting the rules of under-paid middle-aged book keepers.
Idea #3: “Go pet some cats.” Again, treelover, cheap does not equal green. A date that went “don’t go participate in a NASCAR event”, that’s green. A date that goes “Climb a tree near a NASCAR event to get a free view”, although it does-like any good date-involve accidental tree humping- is just cheap.
Idea #4: “DIY junk food”-sort of on the right track, but again, its more cheap than green-going and catching your own dolphin for dolphin steak is probably cheaper, but that don’t make it green. I see where they are going with this one-buy local, I suppose and you’ve actually got a green date on your hands.
Idea #5: “Get artsy”-A twist! this date starts out cheap-stealing art supplies from your 5-year-old from a previous marriage to share with your date-but then goes green, by encouraging you to go pick up trash with your date. If you find some donuts that means not only do you get out of paying for the meal, but boy oh boy, are you setting yourself up for some dumpster love.
Idea #6: “Go outside, I guess?” You can tell by the condescension of the title that this is the best idea on the list. And it is.
Idea #7: “Photo scavenger hunt”-CHEAP DOES NOT MEAN GREEN. CRACK IS CHEAP, THAT DON’T MEAN IT’S GOING TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT.
Idea #8: “Use your noodle”-Agreed. You should also “properly marinate your sauces” and “lick your bowls clean”.
Idea #9: “Find the best cheap view in town”-goddamit. This advice advises you to head to the highest elevation in town. This is also good advice for the coming climate apocalypse, wherein your knowledge of the highest elevation means you will be more likely to survive rising sea levels. You will then need to mate with the other survivors to repopulate Earth. Bingo! This is actually the best bit of advice on the list.
Idea #10: “Get Random” Firstly, a date with no central theme is not a green date. Secondly, on a list of “10 green date ideas,” telling someone to come up with their own idea as one of the “ideas” is a cop out. Given how little thought was given to the above nine, I’m not sure why we had to cash it completely in on number ten.
Of course, our dear treeshagger might have had an ulterior, ultimately green motive: to give people such bad date ideas that they never have the opportunity to procreate-given that at its root, climate change is in part caused by the simple math of overpopulation-this is very green indeed.