15 Days, Day 11

This is part of a writing exercise dictated by this list. It may benefit you to read it if you seek to know me (or merely someone) better; it may benefit me in the selfsame way. And if knowledge of others is your goal, seek out Anna, whose list prompted mine, and Kimi, whom Anna credits for said list.

Day 11
Perfect first date?

Oh good grief. Do I need to explain why this is a BS question, or is that pretty self-evident?

I guess I have to write something.

Well, the short, easiest answer is that my idea of a perfect first date is one that doesn’t require planning, doesn’t have rigid expectations, and (quite possibly) didn’t even overtly begin as a date. As the night draws to a close, and she’s about to get out of the car (of course, I’m only the driver here because I tend to be the driver, and because I like to drive), we both hesitate, because we both realize this was more than just hanging out, and we both want to do it again. Whether we go so far as to actually voice that cliche — “Can I see you again?” or “This was fun, perhaps we can do this again!” — is part of the spontaneity that makes the date perfect.

Okay, that wasn’t terribly short, but still. I’m the sort of person who’s likely to make the mistake of not realizing he’s on a date, which is better than the other mistake I’ve almost made: thinking you’re on a date when in fact you aren’t.

I’m not, (500) Days of Summer -style, averse to calling it dating if that’s what it is, but I’m not sure rigidly defining my interaction with a girl is necessary up front. That kind of structure brings certain demands — commitments I’m not so much afraid of making as dissuaded by. Being there at eight, flowers in hand, shaking hands with daddy — it’s the sort of thing that might happen, but it’s not how anything begins. And I think by the time “we’re dating” (hey, maybe it’s “Facebook official!” /gag), we’ll realize we’ve been dating for a while. It’s kind of like that song, “let’s give ’em something to talk about.” Laughing too long, standing too close, and then we decide together to take the step of officiating. The first date after that? Really depends on who she is. No girl I’m with is likely to fit a one-size-for-all mold.

“10 First Dates”

  • We spend the whole day playing through Portal 2 together.
  • A stroll in a wooded park, followed by lattes (maybe tea?) in a cafe. We stalk the city at night thereafter.
  • We go to a concert for a band we both love.
  • A Woody Allen movie, followed by a late (candlelit) dinner.
  • Used bookstore mining in Manhattan.
  • We order a pizza and go see the latest crappy summer blockbuster, because we both know it’s a crappy summer blockbuster.
  • Hike in, scenic picnic lunch, hike out.
  • We cook a meal together and watch something on Netflix.
  • We go to a concert for a band that she loves and I’ve never heard of.
  • I make plans, I show up at her door, she says “Actually, I was thinking, if you don’t mind…” and we have a great time doing something I’d never have thought of on my own.

Honestly, I just want to reiterate how stupid this question is. I can’t visualize the perfect date without trying to visualize the perfect partner, itself a futile exercise because no girl will ever be (or should ever be) precisely what I expect or think I want her to be. And with each girl there is, perhaps, a date to dream of having — but just as no character belongs in all movies, no date can be planned without knowing who’s in it.

But hey, there are ten dates I could see myself going on. A girl who could see herself in any (or all) of those is probably well on her way to actually being part of them.


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