I am qualified to give advice on a number of subjects. I am not sure dating is one of them but since I received this email from a reader, why not…
To: restaurant refugee <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 8:15 PM
Re: Advice for a first date
I really liked your list of favorite restaurants and your blog in general. The list didn’t have any restaurants near the E Street Cinema though. I have a first date this Friday and was thinking of dinner and an indie flick at E Street any advice?
First I am flattered that you like the blog, and humbled by the question. While there are a number of good places to dine in that part of town, you don’t need to restrict yourself to dining by the theatre because your idea for a first date sucks.
I know that was harsh but this is tough love time. “Dinner & a Movie” is thoroughly unimaginative first date; it is a cliché wrapped in slices of low hanging fruit. More importantly it does little to advance what should be your only objective for the date – to determine if you want another. A good first date answers that question which means that if she were to stand you up it is still a good first date because you learned everything you needed to know to determine that you don’t want a second date.
If you are going to spend 4.36 hours with this woman (the average time for a dinner & movie date – yes I just made that up) spending two of them in a darkened theater does not help you gather that information. And have I mentioned that is cliché? You live in one of the best places in the world for FREE cultural events. Go to a museum, and then dinner. Go see jazz in the sculpture garden and then dinner. Do something different; mark yourself as a gentleman capable of crafting a date not born of a cookie cutter mold. Think.
One more thing, don’t wear khakis and a polo – they’re like garanimals for grown-ups.