Through my years of trials and tribulations with members of the finer gender, I've become a bit of an expert on first dates. Not so much on second dates, third dates, or even the concept of "dating", but definitely first dates. I average a few a year. Some go well, some not so well, some are best left not discussed.
(In care you are curious, however, here is my worst date: I picked her up in my military uniform after I got off work - she was not impressed as she told me her dad was in the service. Then we went to eat. I ordered a dinner, she ordered a side salad, ate two pieces of lettuce and a carrot slice and then watched me eat. After "dinner", we were supposed to go play putt-putt or something, but she claimed she needed to go home as her friend had an "emergency" and she need to go see her. So I drove her home. The end.)
With all my experience in first dates, I figured I would endow my readers with some wit and wisdom and a couple of creative ideas for your next first date (or, if you are married, the next time you take the Mrs. out).
The Ultimate Cheap Date
Remember in the movie Half Baked, when Dave Chappelle takes Mary Jane out on a date for a few hours and only spends eight bucks (after robbing the homeless guy)? Well, this date is sorta like that, only without pilfering from the down and out. The goal and theme of this date is to make it as romantic, meaningful, and thoughtful as possible while spending as little as possible. Because face it, a woman who demands you take her to Red Lobster so she can order a 20 dollar salad is probably not the type of girl for any reader of this blog, is she?
The first step in the Ultimate Cheap Date is to buy a few cheap candles, placemats, and maybe a table cloth. Trust me, you can get most of this stuff from the Salvation Army or wherever. Then bring your date to Taco Bell or anywhere else with a dollar menu. Or if you want to go really cheap, aim for less than 99 cents - a McDonald's hamburger and cheeseburger or a hard taco at Taco Bell. Then, after you pick the restaurant, set up a table like it is a real high class date. Lay out the table cloth, placemats, and light the candles. It will look sharp, trust me. Then play the date like you are taking her to the most expensive place in town.
The Consensus Date
These days we are all about open source things (programs, designs, etc). We are becoming more and more open to the idea of people we don't know contributing to what we do. Why not bring this concept into dating?
We have all been on dates that don't start so well. You sit there, trying desperately to connect and find something to talk about. You try news, sports, school, jobs, personal history, family, and even the weather, but the conversation is still as flat as 50-year old soda. Whatever you do, nothing works.
Time to open source and let the people decide your fate.
Once you realize the date is going nowhere fast, walk over to the nearest couple and ask them for help. Make it quick, and don't waste their time, but still get them to offer you some advice. People love giving advice, especially relationship advice. After you get that couple's suggestions, go to another table and ask them the same question. Try and get a popular consensus on what to do. Then, after you have a few suggestions or an overwhelming opinion on what to do, go back to your table and see if the people around you are smarter than you are. If anything, you just extended your date by telling your date what you just did. Maybe she will see the humor. What do you have to lose?
Now I can't say I have done either of these ideas. I am just saying that I think they could work. They might even get you a second date.
(Image from ancestry.com.)