June 24, 2011
What does it mean to be too honest? Potentially hurting someone’s feelings by revealing too much? I personally think there is no such thing. But there are such things as timing and context. And timing and context are extremely important when getting to know potential romantic / sexual partners.
In theory, most people want to know everything about their dates up front—daddy issues, divorces, criminal backgrounds. However, divulging such information on the first date may be a false move. Maybe you should wait until date four when you both mutually dig each other to share details about your self-built S&M basement dungeon or propensity to eat cat food.
This brings me to my most fantastic eavesdropping-on-someone-else’s date moment: the girl who couldn’t shut up.My friend and I were having dinner at a chic chic French restaurant. Sitting next to us was a girl and a boy, and the conversation between the two took a nose dive:
Girl: What’s your family like?
Boy: Oh, just normal. I grew up in a suburb. Dad is an accountant and Mom is a school teacher. You?
Girl: Well, my family was a bit different. My mom’s sister lived with us and we constantly were taking care of her.
Boy: I’m sorry. Did she have an accident when she was younger?
Girl: Not really, she had schizophrenia.
Long pause (I mean, can you blame the guy?!)
Girl: So, did you know that schizophrenia is genetic?
Then the bitch went on to describe the symptoms of schizophrenia. I wish I was making this up because I really felt bad for this boy. Man, what a trooper. He sat there and nodded, but definitely had a pained look on his face that screamed, “Get me the fuck out of here!”
Right as the waiter came by to take their dessert order, the boy whipped out his credit card faster than a cowboy at draw. Holy shit, I’m sure I smelled smoke coming from his pocket. He tossed the card at the waiter before the girl could accept or deny the chocolate soufflé special (I had it and it was amazing).
Girl: Um, I’m going to the ladies room. Be right back.
After the girl left the table, the guy buried his head in his hands, looking like he was contemplating his next move. Oh, how I wanted to reach out to him and say “Run!” He was gentleman enough (or self-loathing enough, whatever) to wait for her and they left together. But he did make it very clear that he had to leave quickly and in this quiet chaos, he left behind his umbrella.
I hope both boy and girl are happy. Maybe with each other, but I highly doubt it.
Do you have a grand eavesdropping-date moment?
June 22, 2011
Many first dates take place over a meal. When you think about it, ordering dinner with someone can be a very intimate and revealing moment. You can learn a lot about someone during the seconds after the waiter asks, “What would you like?”
I’m not suggesting that choosing the chicken over the fish is a soul-revealing act, helping you to predict whether the next 60 minutes will be the beginning of the next 60 years. But I am suggesting that what someone orders may expose a bit of his or her personality.
I am immediately drawn to adventurous eaters, to whom I attribute a certain sophisticated, badass worldliness. One of my favorite dates was over pasta with pink sauce and sea urchin. I told Oscar (awesome name, no?) that sea urchin was one of my favorite foods and he wanted to try it. Major props.
Now I recognize that sea urchin, fois gras and bird’s nest soup are on the extreme side of this food argument. Expecting someone to try foods that look like rat vomit may be asking a lot. Just don’t be a lame diner. For example, I abhor a salad eater (har har, gross). On a recent date, I ordered the seafood couscous, complete with a whole octopus. What did he order? A fucking side salad. WHAT?
And what’s worse is a lame diner who judges. I know it won’t work when I order crazy foods and my date makes a face. On a second date, I ordered the house special—the clay pot quail. Not only did my date ask if I had made a mistake, he also asked if I was going to eat the entire thing. Duh, you’re going to pay for it, aren’t you?
So this leads me to my 2nd funniest eavesdropping-on-someone-else’s-date moment: the pickiest of all eaters.
My friend and I were craving chicken fried steak so we went to the Delta Grill, a place specializing in New Orleans cuisine and grease. We were sitting next to a couple—a Death Cab for Cutie reject (dark hair, striped sweater, pained soul) and a Mena Suvari look alike.
Their choice of eatery was absolutely ridiculous because Mena was a vegetarian with an aversion to fat. She ordered the tofu salad. TOFU SALAD? Who orders a tofu salad off a menu with crawfish popcorn and blackened catfish? Who takes such a girl to this restaurant?
It didn’t stop there; Mena asked the waiter if there was any fat in the salad? WHAT? He promised to put the dressing on the side.
So I can’t imagine what the chef must have thought when he received the order. Did I just prep all yesterday for lobster pot pie for some bitch to order the tofu salad? The one item I put on the menu as a dare? Why the fuck didn’t she go to Zen Palate across the street?
The chef must have been really amused or really pissed because the salad that appeared was basically a little bit of lettuce and a sad tofu block acting as the garnish to an entire bowl of salad dressing. I nearly got a hush puppy up my nose slyly watching this unfold. My friend was too deep in his gravy eating to notice so I had to fill him in later.
Mena huffed a bit but then realized 30 calories was more than enough for tonight’s intake. She picked around the lettuce and grimaced at her emo boyfriend for ordering something so disgusting as the seafood gumbo bowl. He looked depressed.
After witnessing this catastrophe, two questions raced through my head:
- Why the fuck did emo boyfriend take Mena to the Delta Grill? He knew what the food was like and I distinctly remember him saying, “I love the shrimp here.” Shame on him.
- Why did she agree to eat there? Let’s say she wanted her boyfriend to enjoy a nice fatty meal. She sure failed in her endeavor by being such a tool.
Ugh, not a good time.
But who had a good time? This guy (me). Oh, and my friend who ate more chicken fried steak than one person should be allowed.
June 20, 2011
Today, I called in sick and it reminded me of the best first date I ever had.
I ate some bad shellfish the day of the date, and when the suitor came to pick me up, I was in no form to be going out, puke in my hair and all. He was such a kind soul and stayed with me the entire night, watching Arrested Development episodes and holding my hand.
But just kidding—this only happens in the movies and to those bitches who have perfect blond hair (you know who you are, you usually brag about it at brunch).
My first dates, as you know, don’t usually work out so lyrically, and read like those Craigslist Rants and Raves. Although mine are on the very far end of strange, first dates in general are inherently awkward—two randoms coming together to see if they’d be willing to take off their clothes for each other and/or pursue some sort of romantic relationship.
Although I have great sympathy for those who actively date, particularly in New York, I find eavesdropping on others’ first dates to be a highly amusing exercise. So in honor of my favorite survivors, singles who date, I am recounting my top three eavesdropping date moments over the next three days.
The first isn’t really an eavesdropping moment but more of a common observation. Why do dudes take their vegetarian girlfriends to Brother Jimmy’s? There is nothing more upsetting to me than seeing a guy with a barbeque platter stacked with ribs and pulled pork sitting across from a girl who has ordered a side of steamed green beans. Seriously?
This is troublesome to me for two specific reasons:
1. Why would you ever order just green beans when you could order fried pickles and brisket sandwiches?
2. If I was the boy, I can’t imagine being able to enjoy a barbeque platter in front of someone picking at steamed vegetables. And if I was that girl, why would I tolerate a boy so insensitive to my dietary concerns?
What are some strange dating situations you’ve encountered?
Stay tuned for the next one, sure to be awesome.