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  ed in a traditional European household’where simply the thought of my asking you out spells-naughty. Growing up, I learned that men call, ask and pay for the date. During my 3 years at Berkeley, I have learned othcnvise. Many Berkeley women have brightened their social lives by taking the initiative、with men. My girlfriends insist it's essential for women to participate snore in the dating process. "I can't sit around and wait any more,"my former roommate once blurted out.‘Hard as it is, I have to ask guys oW if I want to date at all!"


  Wonderful, more women are inviting men out, and men say they are delighted, often relieved, that dating no longer solely depends on their willingness and courage to take the first step. Then why am I digging my nails into my hand trying to muster up courage'?


  I keep telling myself to relax since dating is less stereotypical and more casual today. A college date means anything from studying together to sex. Most of my peers prefer casual dating anyway because it`s cheaper and more comfortable. Students have fewer anxiety attacks when they ask somebody to play tennis than when they plan a formal dinner date. They enjoy last minute let's make dinner together“dates because they not only avoid hassling with attire and transportation but also dun't have time to agonize.


  Casual dating also encourages people to form healthy friendship prior to starting relationships My roommate and he;r boyfriend were friends for four months before their chemistries clicked,they went to movies and meals and often rot together with mutual friends, they alternated paying the dinner check."He was like a girlfriend "my roommate once laughed-blushing". Mcn and women relax and get to know each other more easily through such friendships. Another friend of mine believes that casual dating is improving people's social lives. When she wants to Iw a guy know she is interested. she will say, "Hey, let's go pct a yoghurt"


  Who payfor it? My past tlatrs have taught me some things. You don't know if I'll get the wrong idea if you treat me for dinner,and I don't know if paying for myself. John whipped out his wallet on our first flute betore I could suggest we go Dutch.


  During our full dinner stroll he told me he wa; interested in dating me on steady basis. After I explained I was more interested in a friendship. he told me he would have understood have I paid for my dinner. "I have practically ;topped treating women on dates.'"He said defensively. "It is safer and more comtbrtable when we each pay for ourselves." John has assumed that because I graciously accepted his treat, I was in love. He was mad at Himself for treating me,and I regretted allowing him to.


  Larry. on the other hand. blushed when I otfercd to pay fur my meal on our first date. I unzipped my purse and Hung out my wallet, and he looked at me as if I had addressed him in a foreign language. Hesitant. I asked politely, "How much do I owe you''" Larry muttered, "uh, uh, you really don"t owe me anything, but if you insist..."


  Insist. I thought. I only offered. To Larry, my gesture was a suggestion of rejection.


  Sliding into his desk, he taps my shoulde and says "Hi, Laura, what's up'?"


  "Good morning”I answered with nervous chills Hey, how would you like to have lunch after class on Friday"


  "You meant attcr the tnidtenn'?" he says encouragingly I'd love to go to lunch with you.


  "We have a date"I smile.



  She left her shoes: she took everything else--her toothbrush, her clothes, and even that stupid little silver vase on the table we kept candy in. Just dumped it out on the table and took the vase. The tiny apartment we shared seemed different now:her stuff was gone. It wasn't much really, although now the room seemed like a jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing incomplete. The closet seemed empty too most of it was her stuff anyway. But there they were at the bottom, piled up like they usually were ,every single one of them,Why did she leave her shoes?She could have forgotten them, I knew too well that she took great pride in her shoe collection, but there they still were, right down to her favorite pair of sandals.They were black with a design etched into the wide band that stretched across the top of them,the soles scuffed and worn,a delicate imprint of where her toes rested was visible in the soft fabric.


  It seemed funny to me she walkcd out of my life without her shoes. Is that irony or am thinking of something else? In a way I was glad they were still here, she would have to come back for them, right?I mean how could she go on with the rest of her life without her shoes? But she's not coming back,I know she isn't. she would rather walk barefoot over glass than have to see me all of her shoes! All of them. every sneaker, boot and sandal, every high heel and clog, every flip-Ilop.What do I do? Do I leave them here or bag them up and throw thorn in the a trash? Do I look at them every morning when I get dressed and wonder by she left them? She knew it" she knows what she"s doing. I can't throw them out for fear she may return for them today. I can't be rid of myself of her completely with all her shoes still in my life, can't dispose of them or the person that walked in them.


  Her shoes left deep foot print up my heart, and I can't sweep it away.All I can do is stare at them and wonder, stare at their laces and straps, their buttons and tread.They still connect me to her though, in come distant bizarre way.I can't remember the good times we had,which pair she was wearing at that moment in time.They are hers and no one else's.She wore down the heels,and she scuffed their sides, it's her fragile footpaint imbedded on the insole .I sit on the floor next to them and wonder how many places had she gone while wearing,these shots, how many miles had she walked in them, which pair was she wearing when she decided to leave me? I pick up a high heel she often wore and absently smell it.I don't think it is disgusting.It's just the last tangible link I have to her, the last bit of reality I have of her. She left her shoes; she took everything else except her shots.They remain at the bottom of my closet, a shrine to her memory.



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