Monday, July 12, 2010
Best First Dates
I've been on a lot of dates in my life. Every now and then I think about how much money I've expended in my lifetime on the opposite sex and while I have no way of knowing, it's still a staggering thought (debate: If they didn't work out, which they didn't, was it a waste of money?). I sometimes wonder about what I could buy today if instead of buying that extra plate at a restaurant I had put that money in a jar. Still, no sense crying over spilled milk. No sense crying at all, frankly.
So, since relationships have been recently on my mind (which, if you read this blog, my definition of "recently" is fairly expansive), I started thinking the other day about dating, and 1st dates in particular.
First dates suck. They're awkward, stressful, and put way to much pressure on the guy. We (men) approach 1st dates like a bank heist. We case out the joint for a long time, we might even venture in and pretend to be interested in a checking account just to get a better look. We construct our plan, attempting to predict problem areas and provide for contingencies. We assemble our team, make the hit and then, of course, nothing EVER goes according to plan, and we almost always get busted.
Still, every so often the elements combine in your favor and fate smiles upon you.
3rd Place: The Foreign Scare
Merry was my first and last blind date. It was October of 2008 and I needed a date to the Odyssey Dance Company's annual Thriller. My roommate Ben's girlfriend (now wife) Natalie had been taking for weeks about her friend Merry who was, apparently, "perfect for me." Feeling sad and alone (2008, look how far I've come) I told her to put her money where her mouth was and make the date happen. She did.
Merry made the trip down from Boise and stayed the weekend. We took a big group of friends up the canyon on Friday for a bonfire so I had a chance to get to know my date before, the date. This was awkward ("hi, you don't know me but I'm taking you out tomorrow"), but undeniably pleasant.
The next day the four of us had some dinner at Cafe Sabor (Merry was a vegetarian at the time, something she has fortunately grown out of since. Still, it was a strike against her). After dinner we made our way to Thriller. Merry had taken tap dancing lessons so she appreciated the dancing, I appreciated three guys dressed like Jason jumping around with machetes. Between the two of us we licked the platter clean.
Afterwards we made our way to the bunker (the house I used to live in) and watched Footloose (my first viewing) in which Merry's tap teacher was an extra (through Merry, I'm connected to Kevin Bacon by 4 degrees).
The icing on the cake was after the movie when Merry asked me to play her a song on my piano. The way to a man's heart is to provide him ample opportunity to show off and then (listen closely) to be impressed whether you are or not. My basement had a cool look at night and I played her Rescued by Jack's Mannequin before we rejoined Ben and Natalie (read: provided them alone time to fondle each other to their hearts content) and then called it a night.
2nd Place: Cowgirl Up
I met Cami at a group thing and was immediately smitten. For the next seven days I lied, cheated, and stole to maneuver myself into a position where I could ask her out. I finally did and enlisted the help of my Trevor for a night of nights.
We started with a vintage Cache County Demolition Derby. While we were there Cammi and I played a game of seeing who could find the most redneck member of the crowd. We laughed, we joked, we got to know each other better and we sat very, VERY, close together (BTW, I'm kind of a cuddle slut).
Then, the Piece de Resistance. After the derby we swung by Panda Express for some to go (mmm, orange chicken) and headed to the roof of the Best Western on 3rd and Main for dinner. Yes you read that right, we ate dinner on the roof of a hotel on Logan's Main Street at night. Voila. It was picturesque, delicious, and scored me some serious browny points.
To close the evening, we made our way to a park where the 4 of us ran around on playground equipment. Trevor and his date bailed soon after, leaving me and Cami alone, sitting on top of a jungle gym, in the moonlight. I broke my cardinal 1st date rule and kissed her, I had to.
1st Place: Gutter meatball
When I was a senior in High School I, after much deliberation, asked out Julie. This was a big step for me because I was transitioning between cliques and this evening marked a departure from my comfort zone.
As such, I went with the easy date: Bowling and dinner. Nothing fancy.
We went bowling at Weber State (probably cosmic, don't really remember). Bowling is a total cliche, and yet its a great date activity. When you go with another couple you spend more time sitting and talking than actually throwing a ball down a lane, and yet the regular interruption and sense of competition keep the night flowing without running into awkward silences.
After the game I said to the group, "Where should we eat" at which point my wingman Ben (I've had a lot of friends named Ben) BRILLIANTLY suggested "Let's make dinner." You want to know to a woman's heart, cook her something.
We stopped by the store and bought ingredients for black pepper chicken alfredo over fettucini (what I would request for my last meal) and of course, a bottle of martinellis. When we got to Julie's house we were locked out so Ben and I McGyvered our way in through an open window (I know that sounds problematic, but it really kept the mood fun and spontaneous). Once inside we outlawed the girls from helping with the preparation, exiling them to the barstools where they watched in awe as the two Men put on a culinary show of (artificial) maturity.
Once prepared, we ate dinner while playing the I Never drinking game (with the martinellis). I never, another great 1st date staple, providing you with interesting tidbits about a persons personality and the occasional nuggets of slightly embarrassing revelations (the good kind though, the flirty kind).
After dinner we threw on a movie and got our cuddle on. The whole evening was fun, low key, and we quickly adapted to the roadblocks. I could have kissed her that night, and I thought about it, but it wasn't necessary. It was all good.