It’s no surprise that S, D, and I have a rule about what does and does not constitute a safe and appropriate first date activity.
Here are some examples of activities I would call safe, good bets for a first date: bar trivia, drinks, outdoor beer festival, movies, board games and beer. Notice I can no longer say frozen yogurt, since I am forever traumatized by what happened there.
What do most of these activities have in common? The consumption of alcohol and the absence of food. Why?
1) The consumption of alcohol. Never have I ever treasured alcohol’s medicinal and psychological capabilities more than when I started dating. First dates make me nervous. And nervous me is not sexy. Nervous me is a lot like this:
Buzzed, relaxed, me, on the other hand, is a a total blast. After two mojitos, I’m all like:
2) The absence of food. This is not what it sounds like. I am not anorexic or anything. I love food. I love food so much I dropped my sandwich on the ground the other day. In Dupont Circle. And I picked it up and ate it. No questions asked. (Hmm..I bet you’re wondering, “How is SHE still single?”)
The reason I try not to eat on first dates is that it prolongs the interaction significantly. Once you’re sitting in a restaurant with someone, especially a nice one, they’ve basically got you hostage for at least three courses. At a bar, you’re in safe proximity to the server to discreetly motion for the check at anytime. At a restaurant, there is no guarantee your waitress, the kitchen staff, the hostess, etc, will understand the sensitive predicament you are in, and they could very well take their time getting you through the meal. And then you are stuck there, unable to leave without making it super awkward. So until I am sure I can stomach someone’s company and they can stomach mine (pun intended. HAHAHA), I try to stay clear of ordering food.
So, this brings me to my date with R. R had messaged me on OKC, and while I thought he looked cute in his profile pictures, his message and profile contained some significant spelling and grammar errors (usually a deal breaker for me), and I wasn’t sure how much we’d have in common. But, I decided to give it a shot, and agreed to meet R for an after work drink. We arrived at a bar/restaurant around 7 p.m. The first thing R asked me was, “Are you hungry? Do you want eat?”
Truth:Yes, I want to eat. I had a Lean Cuisine at my desk at noon and since then I’ve been eating a combination of peanut M & Ms and big gulps of air. But, I was two seconds into the date, and I wasn’t sure how long I wanted it to last. So I followed my rule, and said, “No thanks. I JUST ATE.”
So we decide to just have drinks at the bar. And I ended up having a good time with R. He was very outgoing, had a great sense of humor, and kept the conversation lively. I ordered one vodka tonic, and then another. We were having such a great time talking about our favorite obscure TV shows, that I let him order me a third. And a fourth.
Midway through the third drink, it hit me. I’m kinda drunk. And I’m starving. We’d been at the bar for almost two and half hours. But because of my little lie at the beginning of the date, I didn’t want to be like, “CAN WE EAT NOW? I AM ABOUT TO COLLAPSE!” (Looking back, that would have been a pretty normal thing to say. But did you know alcohol has negative side effects???It impaired my judgement.) So, instead, I just kept on keeping on.
After the fourth drink, I claimed I had to get home to prep for an early meeting (AKA scarf down a box of Cheez-Its in 45 seconds flat or less). R and I walked out of the bar, and he offered me a ride home. Now, Dating 101 says taking a ride from a stranger is the stupidest thing you can do, but despite this knowledge, many of us have done it. And I was drunk and starving. So I said, “Yes, as long as you don’t try to murder me.” (Thanks for the tip S-works every time!). I get in R’s car, where he proceeds to ask me if I like INDIAN HOUSE MUSIC. “Yes!” I shouted. “I LOVE IT!”
Truth: WTF is Indian house music? Is it anything like American/European house music? Cause, if so, I hate it.
Reality: Guys, I was so drunk and delirious that I thought I actually DID like it.
So R drove me home, and I flung myself out of the car in pursuit of Cheez-Its so fast you could have mistaken me for Flo-Jo. Ten minutes later, R texted me and asked me out again. I guess he was pretty drunk too. (Actually, I hope he wasn’t, since he drove me home. But you get what I mean).
Date Rating 8/10: I inflated the rating by 3 points out of drunkeness. R was friendly, cute, and nice, but we had little in common. And he “made me” listen to house music.
Lesson learned: Eat before your dates. Or suck it up and order an appetizer. It’s OK to get buzzed, but getting college-style drunk and hungry (DRUNGRY?) is not a good idea.
What happened to R? We went out again. But I controlled the substance abuse, so it wasn’t as interesting.