24 Dates To Take Yourself On

Mar. 22, 2013
Untitled-60Arizona based writer. Check out a collection of my best writing here or follow me Twitter @CEHudspeth

1. To the movies. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – this is one of the most liberating, pleasant experiences ever. No sharing snacks, hearing opinions on the previews or responsibilities other than to enjoy the film, and yourself.

2. Cheap buffet. Usually I like to wait all day to eat, only having a snack here and there – you know, like appetite foreplay. A handful of Doritos for breakfast, a Fruit Rollup for lunch – just to get the juices flowing, the mouth watering. Then, when hunger is at its climax, you go to your buffet and make them reconsider their all-you-can-eat policies.

3. A nostalgic ride down memory lane. This could be anything from watching your old VHS tapes, to searching YouTube for your favorite childhood programs, to flipping through the pages of your middle/high school yearbooks. Reflecting alone may make you emotional, but it could also lead to some unexpected type of motivational epiphany.

4. One night at nice hotel/resort. It sounds weird, I know – and perhaps it is strange, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel good doing it. Now this one may cost a small chunk of change, but it wouldn’t make sense to treat yo self at a Motel 6, would it? Take advantage of all of the amenities; bar, pool, gym, rooftop, room service, etc. I recommend ordering from the nearest pizza joint and consuming all of it, then heading down to the pool/hot tub area to show off your brand new food baby impregnated stomach, while soaking your bloated body in the hot tub.

5. Self wine and dine. Choose a recipe, buy the ingredients from the store and acquire a bottle of wine or two… Or three — maybe four, whatevs. A homemade dinner for you, by you and multiple glasses of the elixir of mauve & lavender life = pure joy.

6. Teach yourself how to do something you’ve wanted to know for a while now. For me, this would be learning how to make a .GIF. I feel like as often as I’m around a laptop, my ignorance to the creation of little, animated images is inexcusable.

7. Netflix, obviously. Just you and the TV, but the benefit of being solo is selecting what you, and only YOU want to watch.

8. Have a photo-shoot. Look, many of you do this anyway, but this will be an organized version of the 5,000 pictures for one usable Instagram photo that you normally take. Use your webcam or an actual camera and create what will inevitably become your new Facebook default picture.

9. Art date. Coloring, sketching, watercolors, finger-painting, knitting, whatever tickles your fancy. You forget how tranquil this type of stuff is until you do it. And no, “I can only draw stick figures” is not an adequate response. Get a coloring book and crayons, or create the best damn stick figures you’ve ever drawn.

10. Depending on the time of day, do some cloud watching or stargazing.

11. Coffee shop fun. You can take a book or your trusty laptop as a companion, but make sure to order a large version of your favorite drink and perhaps a snack, then stay a while. Don’t leave until you can smell coffee beans within the fabric of your clothing.

12. A fancy bath. Buy the salts and candles, dim the lights and turn on some Sade until you feel like you’re a woman scorned, even if that doesn’t describe you in the least bit.

13. Go shopping like a baller… at the dollar store. When things are 99 cents we can get our overpaid athlete on and throw whatever we want in the basket without concerning ourselves with poor people stuff, like prices. This isn’t far from Macklemore’s take $20 to the thrift shop and pop tags concept – which isn’t a bad self-date idea either.

14. Self gratifying activities. Nice things, like volunteering or skimming through your closet to clear out all of the unused clothes and shoes that could help the needy and donating ‘em. It’ll make you feel good inside and hopefully be more than a one-time deal.

15. Go out for drinks. Being at the bar solo is looked at as socially abnormal, but it’s worth trying. Obviously you want to have a cab, subway or way home that doesn’t involve you getting behind the wheel, but unaccompanied drinking often leads to deep thought and conversations with strangers – two awesome things. You don’t have friends to rely on talking to, forcing you to drink and get out of your comfort zone. You’ll start alone, but there may be people around throughout the experience.

16. Active body. If you’re not a big fan of public exercise, this is a great opportunity to buy a yoga or Pilates DVD and fail miserably at a bunch of stretches, movements and poses that are 500 times harder than they look, without any witnesses.

17. Guilty pleasure shame eating. You know the stuff that’s so unhealthy or over the top that people give you funny looks for eating it? Well indulge in all of the bacon, syrup sundaes or heavily topped froyo you’d like, without any judgmental glances.

18. Take a long walk around your neighborhood with the intent of thinking and relaxing more than exercising or burning calories.

19. A long drive. Bring some form of music to play along the way, or roll the windows down and listen to the sounds of tires rolling against pavement and air whirling in. You can travel across your city or go to a different one nearby. The relaxation that comes from a good old-fashioned drive makes the absurd amounts we pay at the pump worth it.

20. Social network expansion date. Signup for a social network that you don’t have. The “new and improved” Myspace? Tumblr? Pinterest? And if you have all of those, try Google+, because I know you don’t have one of those already.

21. Pet store. Going and looking at all of the animals will certainly make you have lots of feelings and emotions. All of the puppies are so friggin’ cute and you’ll consider financing that $2,000 Yorkie, but ultimately realize that you’ve just got puppy fever and bills to pay. Still, it’s ALWAYS nice to look and wish.

22. The indoor all-nighter date. See what happens when you stay home and don’t sleep. Maybe you’ll end up creating something brilliant, maybe you’ll binge watch an entire TV series on HBOGO — who knows? We’re often surprised by what happens when it’s just our thoughts and us.

23. Try to bake stuff. When you’re a novice, baking requires time and patience that we don’t always have. Surely you have time for this self date, get in the right frame of mind so you have the patience, those two ingredients along with whatever’s in your 2-layer German chocolate cake recipe are all you need.

24. People watching by your lonesome. Just make sure to do it somewhere that doesn’t seem creepy. Watching people in the mall is a lot more manageable than watching people in a Walgreens or something. TC Mark

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Buy "I Love Life, I Just Wish I Were Better At It: Best Of Christopher Hudpseth on Amazon, the iBookstore, and Vook (Outside the U.S.)

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