Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The road map to first dates
I hope, for the sake of the people involved, that the conversation near the end of Owl Meat's column didn't actually happen. But knowing this city, I have a feeling it did. Which makes it pretty freaking awesome. Read on, Midnight Sunners:
First dates are a cauldron of prospects that include the good, the bad, and the fugly.
The tentacles of expectation grip the throat of possibility as hormones, alcohol and anxiety bubble up in this awkward stew. They are also entertaining to watch in a bar or restaurant. Tragedy is when you fall down a manhole. Comedy is when someone else does.
These days people meet online through Facebook, Twitter, dating sites, or even a blog like this. It's high-tech retro Victorian. People get to know each other through writing like characters in a Jane Austen novel ...
Editor's note: It's funny -- I've often thought of Midnight Sun as a long-running, free-form Jane Austen novel.
Eventually you have to pull the trigger and meet in person. That first date determines if you have that je ne sais quoi – chemistry. Here are ten things that I have observed to be date poison.
1) Using a coupon at a restaurant. Yeesh.
2) Texting on your date.
3) Talking about how much money you make.
4) Work talk – Nobody cares what Smithers in accounting did today.
5) Ex talk – Leave your former relationships in the dustbin of history.
6) Doing shots of Jägermeister while your date sips Pinot Grigio.
7) Expensive, formal restaurants.
8) Don't take her to the joint where your bro-hams hang.
9) Dial down the crazy. I saw someone make his date switch chairs, because he wanted the gunfighter seat.
10) The interview – Mutual Q&A that sounds like a job interview.
I saw a classic bad first date last year. Here are some highlights:
Chip: Gulps from a heady pint of Moretti La Rossa. "You're part Polish? Do you know where the term 'dumb Pollock' comes from?"
Chip recounts the history of the Poles' resistance to Nazi mechanized cavalry (tanks) with horse cavalry.
Ashley: "Oh," and sips her bottle of Michelob Ultra.
Chip: "The girl I'm gonna marry is 13 years old right now."
Ashley: Icy Michelob Ultra silence.
What? Back pedaling, Chip explains that he doesn't want to get married for at least ten years, but ew. He orders a shot of Corazón tequila to add some luster to his pervy patina.
Chip: "For a first date I like to take a girl out for wings. If she can pick a chicken wing clean, then she passes about eight different tests."
Ashley: "That's smart."
Nooooooo ... Ladies? Does the chicken wing test sound like something that would work for you?
Ashley: On her phone checking on her girl's fantasy volleyball league.
Chip: "You gotta really be into that to know anything. Uh, I just know those two chicks from the Olympics."
That's bikini beach volleyball, Chipwich.
Ashley: On volleyball tournament rules, "Because it's totally unfair to use the 1989 rule book just because no one has the current rule book. It's just not fair!"
Chip: "We like to keep the bottle caps from beer in our pockets to show how much we drank last night. Sometimes I pick them up from the street to cheat."
Chip is now talking directly to me ... as I'm typing his words.
Chip: "I heard that Mr. Rogers was a trained assassin and ex-Special Forces marine in Vietnam, who killed a lot of dudes, man. He wore cardigans to hide the sick tattoos that covered his arms."
Ashley: Not listening. Peeling the label from her beer bottle and thinking about fantasy volleyball.
Chip: "You ready to roll, baby?"
Ashley: "Uh huh."
Whether you have a personal experience or witnessed a funny train wreck, please share them with the rest of the class. Nothing warms me up on a cold January day like dating schadenfreude.