You guys keep emailing me and asking what’s the best thing to do on the first date. And I appreciate it, I really do. It’s nice to wake up in the morning and see so many messages in the It’s Not a Match in-box, especially when all that’s in my personal one are two emails from my Mom, and a message from a girl named Tanya promising XXX SUPER HOT NUDE PICS JUST FOR YOU HONEY, TOTALLY REAL!! which I’m starting to think is a hoax. I mean, if they really were just for me, why do there seem to be so many people CC’d? And if they’re real, why does she looks like someone attached two Goodyear blimps to the chest of an underfed Russian woman? So many questions, so few answers. If only Tanya would ever write back!
Seriously, as much as I like hearing from the readers, my response to the first date question is always the same: Get Drunk. Don’t get messy, sassy, or stupid–just get a nice, respectable Dean-Martin-Christmas-Special kinda drunk. No shots, no drinks with the word “sex,” “slide,” or “blowjob” in them. Just a couple of cocktails, wines, beers, or Zimas. (Zima is Tanya’s favorite. Probably.) Do you need alcohol to have a good time? No. But you might need it to have a good time with someone you’ve never met who could very well be awful. I mean, come on. If someone walked up to you and said “Hey, see that chick standing in the corner? You’ve gotta talk to her this minute. I’ll tell you her name and her job and what she likes to do on the weekend, but you’re probably gonna forget. So GO.” Are you gonna slug back a bourbon first, or just go at it stone-cold sober? You’re taking the drink. You’re looking at the guy like he’s a lunatic, and then you’re taking the drink. Because drinking makes meeting someone easier. However, the following date ideas do not…
GETTING COFFEE: What, the evening doesn’t have you jittery enough, you wanna throw some caffeine into the equation to see what happens? Why don’t you just meet your date on a roller coaster, or, say, the inside of a volcano? I have never, I repeat NEVER had a good first date that involved only coffee. You can’t meet at Starbucks, because that’s just depressing, so instead you meet at an Independent Coffee Purveyor, which is either going to be dank and dirty or filled with strollers. I’m not sure which is worse for romance, but neither is good. And then what happens if the date is going well, you get a…second cup of coffee? Good grief. Dating is the anti-Glengarry Glen Ross: Coffee is Not for Closers.
PLAYING POOL: Why not invite your date to change your carburetor, or perhaps perfectly shave a man’s Adam’s apple? I mean, how far exactly do you want to take your date out of her comfort zone? Women often feel insecure about their pool playing ability, thinking it’s something men are either great at or care about tremendously. Neither could be further from the truth. It takes me 45 minutes to clear a pool table, and that’s with me manually dropping balls in the pockets when no one’s looking. But why pick an activity that is very possibly going to make your date nervous? There are plenty of women who love and are great at pool, but they’re in the minority, so don’t risk making the night uncomfortable. And if you think the thing where you teach them how to line up a shot is going to be cute and datey, you’re wrong. It’s gonna be weird and gropey. Put down the sticks and order a DRINK.
PLAYING DARTS: Sure the date is going badly now, but what if we introduce small, pointy knives into the equation? “Ooops! She hit me in the eye! I guess at least I don’t have pay for drinks!” I actually think darts is a pretty good date activity, because no one’s particularly good at it, which evens the playing field. Unless you’re one of those burly darts aficionados who’s known as “The Hammer” or “Bullseye Barney,” but something tells me snarky dating blogs really isn’t your thing, so I’m not speaking to you. If you’re gonna play a game, darts is a good choice, because it doesn’t monopolize the conversation too much, but still, it’s distracting. And really, any activity that increases the likelihood of a punctured lung is never a great date game plan.
GOING TO A MOVIE: Is there a way we can get to know each other less? What if we just watched DVDs separately at home? Or, how about this: at exactly 6:15 you take a two-hour long nap at your house, I’ll take one at my house, and then we reconvene afterwards to see how it went? Sound good? GOOD!
GOING OUT FOR DINNER: It guarantees the date will be long, expensive, and possibly result in gas. BINGO! I believe we have BINGO!
WALKING OUR DOGS TOGETHER: No good first date involves feces, human or otherwise.