Created By: Malady on March 17, 2017 Last Edited By: Malady on yesterday

Wait For Your Date

You gotta wait for your date to get ready.

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Fancy restaurants, dinner parties, and catered Dances and Balls have a Dress Code. If the date is for anything more than fast food and a flick, expect this trope to come into play. The couple in question can be teens, twenty-somethings, or a happily married couple treating themselves to a night on the town.

Stereotypically, the girl in a couple takes longer to get ready for the date than the guy, leaving him to cool his heels while she finishes getting ready.

There are usually three common reasons that the woman takes so long to get ready:

One: it's an expected social more as much as it is a trope, because in the case of teens, it gives the family a chance to get to know the Love Interest of their girl.

Two: the man generally has less required of him to be ready for a night out:
  • haircut;
  • shower, shave, deodorant, (optional splash of after shave or cologne)
  • underwear, clean tie (which may match the date's outfit), clean and pressed shirt and suit;
  • shined shoes;
  • making sure his car (if he's driving his own) isn't a rolling trash can;
... and he's pretty much done. Maybe if he's feeling fancy, a pair of swank cufflinks that match his tie tack. If he's feeling especially fancy, his cufflinks and tie tack will have gems in them, coordinated to match his date's jewelry, but that is really considered above and beyond in many cases.

Women have beauty regimens that can and do take hours:
  • the washing up which will include some or all of the following:
    • a Cosmetic Horror Cucumber Facial;
    • tweezing or otherwise shaping of the eyebrows;
    • the mani-pedi, with the polish shade either neutral, or complementary to the eventual outfit;
    • the shaving (or Painful Body Waxing, sugaring, threading) of legs and armpits even if the dress will likely cover both;
    • deodorant which must be carefully applied so it doesn't smear on the eventual dress when putting it on;
    • making sure that various body washes, lotions, deodorants, and depilatories do not have clashing fragrances that will remain after she gets out of the bath/shower;
  • foundation undergarments slips, and stockings or hose;
  • hair (either home-set, salon styled or a wig);
  • makeup (which includes foundation, concealer, blush, lipstick, eyeliner, mascara or false eyelashes, and eye shadow which must all be matched to the outfit she's chosen and which must also cover any tattoos that would be inappropriate in the venue);
  • perfume;
  • jewelry;
  • the clothing — and the clothing must be complementary to her date's. particulary if she knows she will end up serving as arm candy for him in front of people important to him.

The more formal the event, the more complicated and time consuming preparation is for the woman.

Three: in addition to the ordinary grooming and dressing rituals women incur for a date night, The woman might also plan on pulling a Big Entrance featuring: a Grand Staircase Entrance because She Cleans Up Nicely in a Pimped-Out Dress where Everything's Better with Sparkles, so as to stun her date into speechlessness.

The same is also true of She Is All Grown Up if this date is the start of a Childhood Friend Romance or Childhood Marriage Promise. This approach is particularly effective if the girl is usually a tomboy or if they haven't seen each other since they were scrawny tweens.

Oftentimes, the guy waiting for his date is getting the If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her... speech from her dad, her nine brothers, her best friends, etc. If they're teenagers, the dad may also remind the young man of his daughter's curfew. He may intimidate the date with his own size if he's a Papa Wolf who wants to make absolutely certain nobody harms a hair on his little girl's head. He may intimidate the boy waiting with his impressive collection of guns, swords, rare magic items, kennel of giant mutant dogs, etc.

The upshot of this trope for the man, is that he gets a chance to relax (or not) before he gets into the party environment. He also doesn't have to worry about himself or the girl being Underdressed for the Occasion. Variations are common and can include Tacky Tuxedo, which means some kind older person will take advantage of the girl's extended prep time and rush the young man out to find him an outfit that won't humiliate him and his date, preventing a Snobs Vs Slobs situation.

It is not unheard of that there are gender-flipped or same-sex versions, but the date causing the wait is almost Always Female.

This trope may follow The Promposal.

This trope is commonly associated with
  • The Prom/High-School Dance
  • Women's Mysteries, since men don't usually know or care about all the multiple details of a woman's preparation for her glamorous appearance.

Also occasionally found in the company of
  • Know Your Vines - for when a formal occasion's etiquette calls for the guy to bring a corsage to his date.

Not to be confused with Stood Up, where the dates are meeting at a neutral location rather than the home of the woman doing the elaborate preparations.

[How's this description? We need soo many more examples....]


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: Archie is sometimes kept waiting by Veronica or other dates.
    • In one short joke, with an anonymous girl, her Dad announces that her date is here.
    Girl: "Oh daddy, Archie can afford to wait."
    Dad: "Well, maybe he can afford it but I can't" (as Archie raids the refrigerator)

[[folder:Magazines]]
  • MAD: In Lighter Side of..., this appeared at least twice:
    • One had a teenage boy picking up his date; Dad said she'd be ready in a few minutes. Meanwhile, "Would you like to play a nice leisurely game of chess or two?"
    • In another, a husband is waiting for his wife to get ready. When she is finally ready, the husband takes off his coat because "I gotta shave again."
  • One staged photo in Playboy style guide section implies this, in that the man of the couple has nothing more to do than adjust his gold cufflinks. The woman, however, is still in her slip, facing a closet full of clothes, unable to decide what to wear.

    Literature 
  • Homer's The Odyssey details how Penelope, acting regent of Ithaca as the wife of Odysseus, kept a bevy of suitors housed and fed in a reception hall while waiting at least nine years for her husband to return home from the Trojan War. Almost all of these suitors were opportunists, social climbers, wannabes or straight-up mooches, leeching off the Ithaca treasury. Greek custom of the time forbade Penelope from shooing them away, as that would be an affront to Zeus, however she also remained circumspectly distant from them, allowing only servants to content them.
  • Referenced in Harry Potter: Hermione Granger shows up at the Yule Ball looking fabulous with her normally frizzy and unkempt hair beautiful, coiffed, and well behaved. Hermione herself explains that she only did it for a special occasion because all the preparation, even with the magical assistance of Sleekeasy's, takes too much time.

    Music 
  • The Kinks: In "Come Dancing" by, where he describes his sister's social calendar.
Another Saturday, another date
She would be ready but she'd always make him wait

[[folder:Webcomics]]
  • Curtailed: It's played with in the Friday 12 February 2016 installment, where the married couple Mandy and Fox race each other to get cleaned, prepped and dressed to go somewhere. Fox won via supplementary panels showing an animesque Transformation Sequence.

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe: As mentioned by Aquerna in Straight from the Squirrel's Mouth (Chapter 10):
    Jerry wasn't picking her up until five forty for their date, and she didn't need two hours to get ready this time, because she already shaved her legs, and filed her fingernails and toenails, and did three coats of polish on her toenails, and picked out her outfit. So all she needed to do was just showering and washing her hair and styling her hair and getting dressed and putting on just the right amount of makeup and then doing her nails. She figured all Jerry did was take a quick shower and get dressed, because that was pretty much what her dad did when he was taking her mom out. She didn't mind that guys didn't need hours to get ready, she just couldn't figure out why her dad didn't seem to know her mom needed a lot more time, because they had been married like forever.

    Western Animation 
  • Tom and Jerry: Averted and Played for Laughs in "Solid Serenade". Tom goes with a bass fiddle to pitch woo to a pretty female kitty. This kitty is seen in silhouette in her boudoir tweezing her eyebrows. However, once Tom starts his rendition of "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't," the kitty power-primps herself in less than five seconds, and emerges ever-so-elegantly onto her balcony to be serenaded.
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • March 17, 2017
    trixus
    Sometime the boyfriend have (most likely awkward) small talk with their roomate (school for scoundrels, 22 jump street) or their parent (3 days to kill, the simpsons flashback where homer met marge) while waiting for the girlfriend.
  • March 17, 2017
    Malady
    ^ I understand all that... But for all those, there should be some note of who's dating who...?
  • March 17, 2017
    NateTheGreat
    Is this the trope where the guy arrives at the girl's place and she makes him wait for her to finish prepping, or the trope where we keep cutting between their apartments seeing the progress of their respective preparations? With the second often the guy's "preparations" involve irrelevant stuff like video games and fooling around with cars/basketball/etc., with only the last shot being him doing a quick hand-through-hair and heading out.
  • March 17, 2017
    Malady
    ^ More the first one... The second one is sorta a Lampshading or a Play for Laughs, showing how he can laze away and still be ready at the same time as her, or something?
  • March 18, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Webcomics
    • Played with in the Friday 12 February 2016 installment of Curtailed, in which the married couple Mandy and Fox race each other to get cleaned, prepped and dressed to go somewhere. Fox won via supplementary panels showing an animesque Transformation Sequence.
  • March 18, 2017
    Skylite
    Often times, the stereotypical girl in a couple is taking longer to get ready for the date, it's because she's pulling a She Cleans Up Nicely in a Pimped Out Dress where Everythings Better With Sparkles, so as to stun her date into speechlessness. The same is also true of She Is All Grown Up if this date was a Childhood Promise and they haven't seen each other since they were scrawny tweens.

    Oftentimes, the guy waiting for his date is getting the If You Ever Do Anything To Hurt Her speech from her dad, her nine brothers, her best friends, etc.

  • March 18, 2017
    Malady
    ^ Okay... Using that...
  • March 18, 2017
    Skylite
    ^ Tweaked it and added a few more tropes that automatically go with this one. Hope that helps.

  • March 18, 2017
    Malady
    ^ Thanks!
  • March 19, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Magazines
    • One staged photo in Playboy style guide section implies this, in that the man of the couple has nothing more to do than adjust his gold cufflinks. The woman, however, is still in her slip, facing a closet full of clothes, unable to decide what to wear.

    Literature
    • Homer's The Odyssey details how Penelope, acting regent of Ithaca as the wife of Odysseus, kept a bevy of suitors housed and fed in a reception hall while waiting at least nine years for her husband to return home from the Trojan War. Almost all of these suitors were opportunists, social climbers, wannabes or straight-up mooches, leeching off the Ithaca treasury. Greek custom of the time forbade Penelope from shooing them away, as that would be an affront to Zeus, however she also remained circumspectly distant from them, allowing only servants to content them.
  • March 19, 2017
    Arivne
    I have also seen this trope with a husband having to wait for his wife as she gets ready to go out to dinner or a party with him.
  • March 19, 2017
    Malady
    ^^ - Is the Odyssey, Mythology or just plain Literature?

    ^ - They're still going out on a "date night", as it's called, right?

    ...

    Why is my Whateley example so borked???
  • March 19, 2017
    Skylite
    There you go, unborked. Looks like it might've been a cut/paste glitch or an apostrophe glitch.
  • March 19, 2017
    Skylite
    There you go, unborked. Looks like it might've been a cut/paste glitch or an apostrophe glitch.
  • March 19, 2017
    Malady
    ^ Thanks!
  • March 19, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Averted and Played For Laughs in the Tom And Jerry cartoon "Solid Serenade" in which Tom goes with a bass fiddle to pitch woo to a pretty female kitty. This kitty is seen in silhouette in her boudoir tweezing her eyebrows. However, once Tom starts his rendition of "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't," the kitty power-primps herself in less than five seconds, and emerges ever-so-elegantly onto her balcony to be serenaded.
  • March 19, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Oh, by the way, I listed Literature.The Odyssey under Literature, since Homer's book is the only place where this trope occurs. Mythology tends to focus on the extraordinary, the divine and the just plain Beyond The Impossible shenangians, whereas well-off women attracting sponges spouting the spiel "your husband's probably dead; wanna marry me?" was a routine hazard rather than the stuff of legend. Homer's Literature.The Iliad and Literature.The Odyssey, while not 100% accurate, remain the Codifier for the customs, persons of note, and chronicles of ancient Greece, then known as Achaea.
  • March 21, 2017
    Malady
    ^ Thanks!
  • March 21, 2017
    SquirrelGuy
    In Archie Comics, Archie is sometimes kept waiting by Veronica or other dates. In one short joke, with an anonymous girl, Dad announces that her date is here.
    Girl: "Oh daddy, Archie can afford to wait."
    Dad: "Well, maybe he can afford it but I can't" (as Archie raids the refrigerator)
  • March 21, 2017
    SquirrelGuy
    Music: In "Come Dancing" by The Kinks, where he describes his sister's social calendar.
    Another Saturday, another date
    She would be ready but she'd always make him wait
  • March 21, 2017
    SquirrelGuy
    In MAD Magazine's Lighter Side of..., this appeared at least twice. One had a teenage boy picking up his date; Dad said she'd be ready in a few minutes. Meanwhile, "Would you like to play a nice leisurely game of chess or two?"

    In another, a husband is waiting for his wife to get ready. When she is finally ready, the husband takes off his coat because "I gotta shave again."
  • yesterday
    Malady
    ^ You could just edit your first post...
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