Dating Games: Don't drive me crazy!

There is no better way to crash and burn on a date than to drive like a maniac.

road rage 88 248 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
road rage 88 248
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
We all know not to drink and drive and we all know to fasten our seatbelts, but how about driving while your hot date is sitting next to you in the passenger seat? The rules for that may not have legal recourse, but they should be followed just the same. I know it's girls who are supposed to be bad drivers, but you'd be surprised the stunts guys would pull to impress a woman. And guys - just because it's considered chivalrous for you to take the wheel doesn't give you a free pass to put the pedal to the metal. Offering to pick up your date for a night out is just the first step. Opening the passenger-side car door is always noted and appreciated. If you were introduced via J*Date but have never met before, it's usually a smart move to meet up somewhere for coffee or drinks. If you hit it off, you can invite your date to take a ride to another location for dinner. Thus, the car and its driver (that would be you) must be prepared. Having a clean car with a full tank of gas is more important than the type of car you're driving. Late one night on the way home, my date drove around for half an hour looking for an open gas station. Another date had to clear debris off my seat but there was still tons of clutter under my feet. And if you have the time, go to a carwash or wipe the car down quickly. Seeing a thick coating of dust on the rear windshield with the words "wash me" written into it is not attractive. That said, guys who are overly obsessed with their cars are also a turn-off. One guy picked me up in his teeny-tiny luxury convertible, freshly waxed with personalized plates. My friend Julie's ex-boyfriend was a fanatic about his car, but it wasn't even like it was a 1957 Corvette Stingray, it was a 15-year-old foreign import! He wasn't trying to keep it in pristine condition for resale value, he just thought his car was the cat's meow. Driving safely is a major turn-on. Don't drive like your grandmother, but this isn't the Indy 500. If I end up with whiplash because you slam the brakes at every red light, I'm probably not going to make out with you. Let me know you care about me by making me feel safe. Reclining your seat all the way back and using your knee to guide the steering wheel is not cute. Asking me to be the deejay so you aren't distracted from watching the road… is. Cursing at the guy who cut you off while you flash your brights and tail him - not so hot. Using your turn signals and waving to the guy who let you in - hot. Slowing down to let an elderly couple or a mom with a stroller safely get on the curb before turning - very hot. WHEN IT comes to music, program a setting to the Top 40 station and make sure the volume doesn't impede conversation. I don't understand when a car full of people pulls up beside me with the bass so loud it makes my car vibrate. How are they able to talk? Besides the obvious tips of opening the door for a lady, there are other things you can do to make your date feel comfortable: keep a box of tissues handy; make sure your car's not making any peculiar noises; and if there's no parking nearby, don't be too cheap not to pay for valet sometimes - I wore these sexy stilettos for you, so please don't make me actually walk in them! And I'd prefer you take your hand off my leg and keep both hands on the wheel, thank you very much. Israeli drivers are in an entirely other category altogether. Where do I even try to begin? It may take a lot of self-control, but try not to drive like the maniacs around us. Straddling two lanes while you try to figure out which is going faster is totally obnoxious. Driving in the emergency lane because there is traffic is not only illegal but pretentious. And this may come as a shocker, but just because the drivers around you are changing lanes without using their turn signal or slowing down to under 120 kilometers per hour in the fast lane or stopping to let someone cross the street does not mean you should honk your horn for the next 30 seconds. Two wrongs don't make a right. Driving responsibly on the streets of Israel will make you stand out as a man among boys. In other words, it will be the easiest, and safest, points you'll ever earn. To some it may seem obvious while this could be news to others, but how you drive does say a lot about you. Driving a date, especially a first date that you're trying to impress, can be nerve-racking. When you combine the two - showing off and nervousness - it's no wonder that it usually equals speeding and basically acting like a jerk on the road. But it's not an excuse. Driving safely is a sign of maturity and a mature man is the kind of man women are looking for.