This is simply a whim update, because I've had several discussions recently regarding how men handle picking up women, and not overlapping targets with their friends. Some people call it shotgun, some call it dibs, and other just simply refer to it as "calling something" - but when it comes to prospective dating potential, I like to recognize it as "The Squirrel Rule". Urban Dictionary entries state the definition as follows:
Squirrel - 1. (n) A title given to a woman by man, used within that man's circle of male friends in order to express a form of affection-based ownership. 2. calling~ (v) The act of bringing one's friends' attention to a gorgeous woman in the vicinity; by doing so, it is expressly understood that the "caller" has priority in pursuing the target for romantic purposes.
It's a little convoluted, sure, but it makes sense, and the action it describes is relatively understood. It applies to both men and women in the dating realm. And one little known rule is that under no circumstances are people in relationships permitted to call dibs on anyone that isn't their already-declared paramour. Doing so is almost as bad as vocally expressing intent to cheat. That's just how it works.
The Bro Code even has a clause devoted to this very science of calling, but because the idea is already understood between guy friends, the article takes it steps further:
In the event that two Bros lock on to the same target, the Bro who calls dibs first had dibs. If both call dibs at the same time, the Bro who counts aloud to ten the fastest has dibs. If both arrive at the number ten at the same time, the Bro who bought the last round of drinks has dibs. If they haven't purchased drinks yet, the taller of the two Bros has dibs. If they're the same height, the Bro with the longer "dry spell" has dibs. Should the dry spells be of equal length, a game of discreet Broshambo* shall determine dibs, provided the chick is still there.
* Rock, Paper, Scissors for Bros
I don't know if it's a bit overboard to say that this is one of the most important rules to keep for close friends and siblings in similar dating-age brackets. Personally, I've always held this rule sacred; I would never steal the prospective date of any of my brothers or bros.
Between my older brother Daniel and I, it was always unspoken. We're only a year apart, so he made sure not to fish in my waters and I not in his. I did have problems with my little brother Derek through most of High School, but it was a string misunderstandings and misguided decisions on his part. We moved past it right before I left to college, because I wasn't going to hold it against him...he's my brother.
But as far as the rule applies to friendships, breaking it is a cardinal sin! Breaking of the rule can effectively ruin friendships. And typically the caller will not move past their interest in the Squirrel, leading to possible awkward situations in the future should the thief continue romantic relations with the target.
Now, one thing I have been asked to clarify is the reasoning behind using the title "Squirrel" (as opposed to another animal or action). The truth is, I'm not sure where it started, but all signs trace it back to the movie Bring it On, where the jocks and male cheerleaders refer to the gorgeous cheerleaders as Squirrels; they use it in order to subtly point attention to girls walking by without it seeming odd. Also, the act of breaking the rule was referred to as "scamming".
In my defense, the first time I heard the term used was in a webseries I watched called "We Need Girlfriends": In fact, it's the very first word used in the (very short) series, and comes into play heavily when the main character starts dating the same gorgeous blonde. Just watch and see...
Over and out,