So – I’m going on a date! Oh boy! What to say, where to go, how to dress, who to be, and WHY!?!? The anxiety is tremendous.
I haven’t done this for 25 years, and I had a lot more to work with back then. But if the place is dimly lit, and it’s cool enough to wear a lot of layers, and I take a swig of liquid fortification beforehand, it’ll be all right, right?
Here are some tips I have learned from experience: Review the potential suitors online profile to avoid hideous mistakes; read the newspaper so you have something scintillating to discuss; establish an escape strategy as part of pre-date negotiations; stick a bottle of wine in the ‘fridge for post-date recovery phase.
The dates themselves are not so bad, even if I have to tap the shoulder of every single man in the place to find my SoulMate. Chatter is pretty easy, and I have learned not to sign up for dinner, so a gracious escape is possible.
The most interesting conversations reveal the conditions that caused the disintegration of each other’s marriages. It’s really the only thing you have in common. And also enlightening. Ranting and blaming (by either participant) is BAD. Children are another instructive topic. Repeated reference to spanking may be an indication of something other than support of corporeal punishment. Discussion of prospective plans should be avoided – you may need to craft a new future to escape.
Then comes the dreaded Presentation of the Check. Now I know in the old days men paid for dates. And I think they still should. If they can’t they should be working a second job instead of wasting my time. But the Man of the Oughts has been emancipated. So I always bring bills of various denominations to minimize the pain.
Finally you hear “Would you like to see me again?” NO – you are NOT 5’11”, you are NOT “athletically” built, you are NOT 55, and YOU HAVE A HITLER MUSTACHE! Good grief.
So the basics to remember:
- No dinner
- Determine an exact entrance and exit scenario
- Double check profile
- Skim newspaper
- Stock wine
- Bring small bills
- No mention of future plans
- Don’t offer to be “just friends” – because they’ll ask about benefits
- Keep address, phone number or email address private
I hope my experience helps each of you have a better Night Out!
Next week – what to do if, despite my advice and precautions, a second date ensues.