One time I almost died (A first date story)

I have been on a lot of first dates in my day.

A few tinder dates. A few blind dates. I’ve been on a few met you briefly at a party, give me your number dates. I’ve been on a couple you hit me up for free drinks and I hit you up for your digits dates. I’ve been on grocery store dates and awkward forced double dates and an obligatory let’s get breakfast I guess dates and oh wait is this a date? I thought we were meeting for work drinks dates but through all of them, I can tell you one thing: I’m still pretty single and I’m still pretty ok with that. And I still feel exactly the same about first dates with total strangers.

They don’t work. It’s a scratch-off lottery ticket experience. Tell me I’m wrong guys! You pay a wad of cash, to scatch at the surface for awhile and just to find out you’re dealing with yet another total dud. I’m sorry. I just don’t really actually believe in long-lasting longevity beyond “first-dating” a complete stranger. Maybe I’m a sad cynical person but I can’t remember the last time I went on a first time outing with a guy I hardly knew and I thought WOW! When’s the next one because I’m going to hang up to call you right back Usher style. I like you enough to wait in 45 minutes of traffic. I like you more than my University of Kansas sweatpants. I like you enough to want to do this again. And again. And again.

I  think we can both pretty much tell within the first 10 minutes of talking if this has any kind of legs to go anywhere. But at the same time, I mean out of respect, we both signed up for this night so let’s just enjoy the mutual unspoken agreement that ultimately, we really aren’t meant to see this thing past a bowl of tortilla chips and a couple of strong margaritas. We hug awkwardly goodbye, and never hear from each other again. Hooray. Peace out homie, thanks for the free burrito slash small talk about your obsession with The Real World season 29. REALLY. SEASON 29. Just throw in the towel already, MTV. Jesus Christ. Anyway, goodbye forever.

It’s just not natural. I’m supposed to spend 1.5 hours talking about myself but not really telling you anything. Because if we really told eachother the truth well then we’d have to be real, and real is kind of heavy you know, bro? Leave that personal shit at home in your diary you keep under your bed Bridget Jones. First date table manners demand you have 1 slice of bread when you want 4 and that you eat a salad when you’d really love the chili cheese steak. First date manners demand you do not gush, you do not whine, you do not talk about the fact that you are terrified that the life path you are going down isn’t really right and maybe you know you’re supposed to actually do something entirely different. You are fun and interesting and balanced and ambitious and intelligent but only slightly because don’t want to alienate the person across from you with your own vocabulary LOL, hair twirl.

I’ve been on a lot of first dates.

So it was my first time ever at a Korean BBQ place and I had a little too much too drink and mistook the moist toilettes at the end of the meal for marshmallows. So what? I still find this is hysterical, disgusting but also extremely informative for future Korean BBQ outings. Honestly, I think I did him a favor. He definitely thought they were marshmellows too. I saved us really.

And note to self, do not word vomit for 35 minutes about how sorority recruitment works to a guy who went to a small Catholic private school in like New Jersey or somewhere.

Oh, if you plan on going on a date with someone who’s an athletic boxing celebrity and he never drinks but then of course tonight he does and he has 4 drinks and is literally toasted like a quiznos flatbread and then he insists that he will drive you home in the morning  and you JUST moved to Malibu and have zero friends and so have no choice, and then he can’t find the key to his house so he throws A FREAKING ROCK THROUGH HIS FRONT GLASS DOOR and you’re like omg, this is how I die…. You will not die. But you will probably never speak to him again which will be fine because hello, first dates should only be awkward, not therapy-inducing/life-threatening.

And if you’re at a restaurant and the guy orders everything for you and you tell him you don’t actually like chicken because it grosses you out and then he orders everything on the menu with chicken in it “to be funny” and doesn’t let you pick one thing, you should probably just leave. Because wtf dude!!!! Also, why are you wearing flip-flops? Come on.

And fyi, men just so you know, “Why don’t you come over and I’ll make you dinner and we can watch tv” isn’t a first date. It’s a cop-out booty call, and you know it. So put away your Dave Matthews band playlist, the only song you know on your guitar (Collide, Howie Day.. how original), your signature steak rub, and man up and buy me an actual meal.

Finally you know what? Because I’m already venting just once I’d like to get to the end of a first date, you know the moment where you are both awkwardly sitting in his car and he’s probably thinking should I kiss her or…. and I’m thinking no. Do not do that. Please. Please do not try. Then I’m silently plotting as to how I escape this car without it being uncomfortable or mean or rude but also at the same letting him know I like him and all but not enough to weirdly kiss over the console in his 2008 Toyota Camry, at least not yet.

At that moment? I would like to lean over and gracefully inform him,  “I had a great time. I’ll call you, ok? ” Exit vehicle, sans awkward terrible kiss. Sweatpants. Netflix. String Cheese. Chillin’ wit no makeup on. Drake. Done. If I was any more in command over this situation, I’d be a remote control.

Sadly, this is the dating equivalent of walking away from an explosion without turning around. This situation just doesn’t occur in real life. Because in real life, girls, we sit in the passenger seat, like a lab rat. At the mercy of the scientist to our left.

But yet, we keep trying ya know? God love us. We are a bunch of hopeful little rabbits, all trying to get our claws on something real. First dates are the mannequin version of our love lives. This is how we’re SUPPOSED to look. This is how I’m SUPPOSED to appear. But in reality, I accidentally ate a napkin thinking it was food and I know I look put together right now, but 45 minutes ago I was in my bed sobbing over yet another casualty on the Walking Dead. TBT: NOT LORI!!!!!!!!!!

But that’s the rules of engagement. That is how it is. You just have to keep throwing yourself into a big ‘ol vat of awkward small talk soup and hope, hey! Maybe this time I won’t have to go home and purge the memory of everything weird I said tonight from my brain because I’m pretty sure I referenced zombies at least 10 times. Also, I forgot to put my phone on silent and now he knows that the Harry Potter theme song is my ringtone.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Steve from Tinder just asked me if I wanted to “chill sometime”, and I have a witty pun about an ice cube I’m going to throw his way in hopes it inspires him to find his long lost arsenal of more original pick up lines.

Ba-dum-ch,

Meg

 

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