There's one pop culture reference a lot of dudes use to justify a date, and ultimately the person he's seeing is bad or good – it's called the "door test."
It's from a gangster movie from back in the early 90s called A Bronx Tale. (It's got Deniro in it, and it's excellent.) The scene is where the head honcho, Sonny, explains to this kid he's taken under his wing a simple test to see if the girl is a keeper: you be a gentleman, open her car door, and walk behind and see if she unlocks the driver side for you.
"If she doesn't reach over and lift up that button so that you can get in, that means she's a selfish broad, and all you're seeing is the tip of the iceberg," Sonny says in the movie. "You dump her, and you dump her fast."
Many people I know lived by this rule, the guy would pay attention, and the women who'd seen the movie knew if they didn't do this, it was curtains. The thing is, most cars don't have manual locks now, so this is an outdated test of character.
Dating in 2022 is terrible.
If you're at the bar, talking to someone can be dicey. People don't go out to meet people anymore. They go to blackout with the homies and bitch about whatever new whack restriction has been dropped on us out here just trying to get back to when the hottest news we cared about was the Popeyes chicken sandwich.
If you're on the apps, that shit is demoralizing as fuck.
You might be a smooth operator in the real world, but when you're trying not to sound like a serial killer with those prompted questions or trying to not look like a choad in your khaki shorts holding a Northern Pike, you're battling against the gods to not get swiped left.
You're going to get ghosted, catfished, and likely there will be a few psychos in the mix – that's just dating - male or female, or whatever your pronouns are these days.
Because of the psychological landmines of the world of trying to mate with one another, we've developed our own arbitrary tests to weed folks out.
I stand by a lifetime rule: if someone can't eat with chopsticks, don't fuck them.
Look, there are other obvious things to be taken into context like if someone's rude to waitstaff or bartenders - walk out. Don't even explain. Leave that dude waiting for you at the bar, or leave that chick sitting at the table alone. Anyone rude to servers is Doberman feces. Full stop. Even if the service sucks, chances are you don't have the whole story, and acting like a dick isn't cool. And barking orders at a bartender is an immediate go fuck yourself.
But, the chopsticks thing, this a test of social agility: If someone can’t use chopsticks, don’t fuck them!
Do you want someone who can’t use two pieces of wood to pick up their lo mein trying to do stuff to your nether regions? Absolutely not. That’s hand-eye coordination.
Chopsticks take time to learn how to use, and they demand mental allowance and a willingness to be patient with food. Chopsticks require attention to detail rather than shoveling in a plate of chow mein with a fork like a savage.
Don't you want a mate who can take their time, talk to you, savor food, but also understand the complexities of the meal, as well as show an aptitude for enjoying cultural cuisine? And if you’re one of those “food is just a turd” people - ew. Go back to your kickball league.
When you're grabbing drunken noodles at the Thai spot or getting your favorite Vietnamese bun cha, they give you chopsticks for a reason - it's the natural utensil.
If you lack the proper hand-eye coordination, work on it. Good food requires effort to make, so it should also require the same amount of cultural appreciation – this ain't a burger joint.
And don't even with the whole "this is America" thing, if that's your point of view, stick to Olive Garden where they're cool with the fork.
When I asked a few female friends about this, their answers were pretty much the same, "if a guy used a fork at sushi, deal-breaker. I'd never go out with him again."
And my favorite, "There has to be scholarly data correlating not being able to use chopsticks to not being able to eat pussy. I honestly believe that." Sushi is a sensual, communal experience, which tastes better when shared with someone. Using your fingers is more acceptable. And if you refuse the chopsticks, they notice.
Food should be a gateway into who someone ultimately is.
That's why we share the meal – it's an act of social currency.
When someone can't get with the program over ramen, it might seem nitpicky, but I'd rather have an arbitrary rule about chopsticks be an X-factor in my life than any woman ever-questioning, but really, "what does that mouth do" – in the worst way possible.