Another popular method was the Bluetooth chat. "If the MSN ID trick didn't work out, you could always go to a cafe, sit in the men's section, turn on your Bluetooth, and hope for someone behind the wall in the women's section to see your phone. Then they'd connect to it, and the two of you could text." All while trying to determine how attractive the other person was solely by their emoji usage.
"Red dress dancer! Don't blow this ..."
"In a mixed area like the food court at a mall, a guy might also write his phone number on the back of a McDonald's receipt and then crumple it up and drop it on a fine lady's tray or on the floor next to her table. If she's interested, she can pick it up and unfold it and text him, or she can reject him by flicking it off the table."
Nowadays, people mostly use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. That takes all the desperate, horny spy action out of courtship. But that may soon change, as Saudi Arabia has already banned Facebook's chat function, and is considering banning the site altogether because they think it might be turning people gay. So start brushing up on your romantic carrier pigeon messages, young people.
Women Are Not Legally Adults
Ali Al Mubarak/Getty Images
When you take away someone's rights, you have essentially turned that person into a child. But Saudi Arabia is the best Arabia! They can do better than "essentially." Adam told us: "Women aren't adults in Saudi Arabia. My mother didn't have her own residence permit. She was just listed as a dependent on my dad's permit ... I'm not sure if it's still the case, but a woman's mahram [guardian] could even get a text message if she tried to leave the country."
FAYEZ NURELDINE / Staff/Getty Images
Being picked up at the lost child kiosk is embarrassing enough at seven; imagine it in your 40s.
That's true, by the way. There is indeed a Saudi app that lets a woman's father/husband/brother/male family pet know when she tries to leave the country. Because how can they be sure that some sicko hasn't lured her away with cute pics of those unholy, irresistible puppies? See? It's all an effort to protect women.
"As a Saudi woman," Aaida explains, "I'm treated as a minor legally. If I want to renew my passport, my guardian has to do that. If I want to get a job, my guardian has to sign that off. It needs to be clear that my guardian is OK with that. Until 10 years ago, my guardian would have access to my bank account, but they stopped that now."
HASSAN AMMAR / Stringer/Getty Images
Probably realizing it'd be easier to simply not let women have their own money.
And yet, another Saudi woman we spoke to insists that the country's rules have their occasional upsides: "When you go to some party and, y'know, you have somebody with you, then you will not be talked at so much by people. You're not so much exposed, because you can always refer to your relative -- 'Help me out. This person won't leave me alone.' Sometimes, it may happen that someone wants to talk to you, dance with you, and it's really helpful to have someone who can say, 'She doesn't want to talk to you.'"
So Saudi Arabia treats women like second-class citizens in order to protect them from assholes, who believe they are justified in behaving like assholes because Saudi women are second-class citizens. It's an ouroboros of crap.
Adam is a renowned forum lurker. As an avid Cracked fan, having his pseudonym mentioned in this article is nothing short of the fulfillment of a life-long dream.Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at email@example.com.
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