Here is the sixth installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not To Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at http://1writeway.com and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at http://johnwhowell.com. These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.
10. When on your first date, do not tell your date that you’ve just decided to join the Peace Corps to save the world. Your date may think they need to be saved or, at best, that you are already thinking of running away.
9. When on your first date, do not declare in advance that you are picking up the tab even if that’s what you want to do. Your date might be the kind of person who orders the most expensive cocktail, appetizer, salad, soup, bottle of wine, entrée, digestif, and dessert, followed by a carry out order.
8. When on your first date, do not talk about your ex, particularly if you have more than one. As with job interviews, such candidness may only lead to your date thinking of you as an ex as well.
7. When on your first date, do not talk about sexual activity, either yours, your date’s, or who ever happens to be running for mayor of your city. It’s not so much to respect the morals of your date that you would avoid talking about sex; rather, it’s because your date just might be the kind of person who will want to better your story and heaven help you if they know a lot about it.
6. When on your first date, don’t dress like you are going to go dumpster diving. First appearances mean a lot and you don’t want your first date to think you’re too poor to actually afford nice clothes. Then again, if dumpster diving is your first date, then ignore this caution.
5. When on your first date, do not talk politics or religion. This is the surest way to find out if you have anything to talk about at all which will be a damn sight better than coming to blows over some little point you are trying to make.
4. When on your first date, do not question your date as if the date were a job interview. You do not need to know your date’s KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities), nor do you need to know where your date expects to be in five years, nor do you need to know why your date thinks he or she is the best person for future dates. These are the types of questions your parents are supposed to ask.
3. When on your first date, do not drink alcohol at all, even if dirty gin martinis are your favorite beverage. While you may argue that a little of bit of alcohol can be relaxing for both you and your date, the bridge between relaxation and alcohol-induced coma is more narrow than one usually thinks and often comes crowded with the sharing of too many secrets that are best left unsaid, frequent and precarious trips to the bathroom, and undesired invitations to burping contests. None of these things is likely to leave a good impression on either of you.
2. When on your first date, do not suddenly change your plans and take your date to a family reunion of your one-hundred-plus relatives, most of whom haven’t agreed on anything since the Korean War. While you may think this is a perfect opportunity for your date to get to know you and your family at the same time, your date may think it’s the perfect opportunity to hook up with one of your cousins.
1. When on your first date, do not talk about how much you want a family of your own nor ask if your date wants a family, even if you do. Your date might get the wrong impression and start thinking of you as a couple rather than a casual acquaintance. It may get way too creepy.