Monday, January 08, 2007

First-date advice

Deirdre: My big resolution is to date more this year -- and I'm sure I'm not the only one! Now that I'm getting mentally psyched to date -- it is a state of mind, after all -- I've been thinking a lot about how to handle one of my least-favorite things ever: The First Date. You remember what that's like, right, ol' married woman?
Alisha: Oh yeah! Six years ago I had a first date. I was super nervous. Wore extra deodorant. Dressed to the nines. Was super attentive, and made sure I was on time. I always thought I was a cool cucumber on first dates. Some people aren't, though.
Deirdre: You just hit, like, the top four things you're supposed to do on a first date: You eliminated the B.O. possibility, dressed to impress, made sure it wasn't all about you and were prompt.
Alisha: If only I could continue doing all those things now that I'm married. OK ... I do wear deodorant every day!
Deirdre: Well, we singletons don't do those things every day, either, even though we should (especially the deodorant part). After all, you never know when you might meet somebody dateable. What else do you remember being important for a first date?
Alisha: Use generic conversation. Nothing too specific. For example, I would never bring up my life-long commitment to having two kids by age 28, like some people do. That's heavy stuff to take in the first time you meet someone.
Deirdre: Amen! And I think it's a little unrealistic to have such a set-in-stone plan, anway. If you're determined to have those kids and you haven't met Mr. Baby Daddy by the time you're 27 1/2, you're likely to marry the first critter that offers you a cubic zirconia.
Alisha: Oh yeah. But I know lots of women who are determined not to stray from that life plan. Scary. OK, so what advice do you have for first-date etiquette?
Deirdre: This is a "duh!" comment for most of us, but some people never learn: When you're out with someone, don't salivate over someone else, like that waitress with the nice rack. People do notice that crap.
Alisha: Good one. Oogling eyes are a huge turnoff. Don't care how bad of a time you're having -- stay focused on the person you're hanging with. How about: On a first date, never expect to be kissed unless you just know the chemistry is definitely there. You're just setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect it. Think about the first date as hanging out with someone really cool, and hey, if there's a second date - awesome. If there isn't - nothing lost.
Deirdre: And I have to add to that one shouldn't pounce at the end of the date in an attempt to "close the deal." The only deal that may be closed is the decision to call 911. Now, here's one: Don't refer to an ex as "methhead" or "firecrotch" or anything of the sort. It makes you look bitter and tacky. In fact, don't refer to exes at all unless asked ... and then, be tactful. (For God's sake, don't mention restraining orders!)
Alisha: For a "Do," how about pay close attention to detail. If your date absolutely hates condiments, and she orders a plain cheeseburger. Surely to goodness, don't be a fool and decide to make her hot dogs stacked with ketchup, mustard and relish on the second date.
Deirdre: Since we're talking about eating out -- ladies: don't order the most expensive thing on the menu, thinking it's cool 'cause the dude is paying. And guys, don't choose a place one step above Mickey D's 'cause you don't want to spend too much money. Gotta pay to play ... and girls, that can mean -- GASP! -- going dutch.
Alisha: Excellent advice. My final what-not-to-do on a first date: Don't get drunk. First of all, you don't want someone to see your alter ego because it could be quite an ugly sight. And, we all tend to be rather honest when the spirits hit us. If you aren't diggin' your date, whoa ... you're just askin' for an episode of Jerry Springer to happen.
Deirdre: No lie! A friend of mine had a first date with this sketchy dude and he drank so much, he had to sleep it off on her couch. Talk about losing most of your cool points! Careful with the mojitos and Sam Adams, people. But overall, I would say on that most important of dates, treat the other person as you would like to be treated.

Readers: Got any first-date advice you want to share?


Anonymous said...

You said it all! It's been a while since I've dated, but I'm changing that this year myself! Deirdre, be sure to keep us posted on your dating progress!

Anonymous said...

Don't eat cute...If the woman I eventually married had done this, well, she wouldn't be my wife right about now!

Eating cute, by the way, is akin to saying, "I'll just have a salad," instead of getting that sit-down restaraunt burger-and-fries that have been on your mind all day. I know that a lot of guys get turned off by a woman who doesn't eat cute on the first date, but I'm not one of them.

And if you just gotta have a salad, make sure it's one with some chicken or beef in it, not a wimpy little house salad.

Anonymous said...

Better yet, don't order the damn salad. You aren't fooling anyone anyway, but then you come off as a self conscious, insecure phony too worried about your weight.

Anonymous said...

How about how to get a first date advice column for us 29 year old virgins who've never had a date.

We don't goto bars, our "friends" don't know any single people because they're all married and the speed dating programs are all a joke, as are the online systems.

Anonymous said...

Who knew you guys existed?

Anonymous said...

We do. And that's the problem, no one knows we exist.