5.75% ABV bottled
On First Dates
I’m an egotist, so unlike most people, I actually like first dates. Hell, I downright love them. On a first date I’m like an excited filmmaker unveiling his new movie to a test audience that’s never seen it before. Like a comic who has been traversing the continent for the last decade, thousands upon thousands of jokes over the years in his repertoire now honed-down to a taut and flawless ten minute club act. And now he gets to perform in a city he’s never played before! Not that I go into any dates with scripted material or put on an act. I’m like Popeye and I yam who I yam. (Though it’s beer not spinach which gives me my bravado.) I’m more like a besotted improvist able to carefully take my thirty years of material, stories, jokes, anecdotes, thoughts, feelings, ideas, and ideals and insert them whenever a conversation needs them, to weave them into the fabric of the night, wherever it may be headed.
It’s exciting to be with someone who knows nothing about you. Your friends know all your material, stories, jokes, anecdotes, thoughts, feelings, ideas, and ideals several times over and quite frankly they’re kinda bored with them. That’s why most longtime male friends simply go drinking together in loud and dark bars, sitting side-by-side and bending elbows but rarely talking, only occasionally injecting thoughts on women in the bar via head nods and guttural grunts, oohs and aahs toward sporting happenings on the big screen, and mumbled “igottagotakealeaksavemyseat.” Many of my very best friends don’t even read The Vice Blog. They don’t have to. They’ve heard all this shit before. Plus, several are illiterate.
In a few hours I’m going on a first date. I don’t know what the girl looks like, nor anything about her. I was at a party over the weekend and a friend of a friend–not even a friend, mind you–asked me if I would go out this week with a friend of her’s. Thus a friend of a friend of a friend. If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, what is the friend of the friend of my friend? Alas, I agreed to go on the date. Hey, I always need material and I like adventures. Also, Tuesday night TV kinda sucks. Any ways what’s the worst that can happen? (Actually I know. Maybe I should write about that someday.) I don’t usually like writing about events in my life in real time because I don’t want to affect the events or shape them in any way by intellectualizing them. You know, like Heisenberg’s observer effect?
It’s not even exactly a real date, not like I ever go on “real” dates. You won’t find your venerable Vice Blogger ever nervously pulling out a girl’s chair at Olive Garden and making inane small talk. For this “date,” I am simply supposed to meet up with the girl at a Happy Hour her former college’s alumni club is hosting.* Fine with me, alcohol is a must on a first date, if not all dates. I have nothing to do right now but wait, so I’ll start early. I don’t really get nerves, but lowering the inhibitions is never a bad thing in most anything you do in life. As I write this I sip a Bitter Woman sent to me by the smartly-named Aaron over at The Captain’s Chair. Silky, almost creamy, bitter almost sour. A very good sessionable IPA, though I’ll only have one. Eh, maybe two.
But I’ve spoken about myself too much at this point, something I would never do on a first date. As much as I like controlling and dominating conversation, I also like learning about new people. Everyone, even incredibly boring people, should have a few interesting things to say the first time you meet them. And I want to hear these things. I’m not interested in typical “getting-to-know-you” job interview type questions like most nervous blokes launch into after having pulled the girl’s chair out so she can sit at their reserved Olive Garden table. “What do you do?” “Where do you work?” “Where do you live?” “Where were you born?” Boring. I want to know my counterpart’s material, stories, jokes, anecdotes, thoughts, feelings, ideas, and ideals built up over a period of eighteen to, eh, let’s say thirty-five years. By golly, entertain me woman! I’m entertaining you, let’s have a little quid pro quo here.
Luckily, I’m usually so relaxed (read: drunk) that my dates instantly become relaxed (read: drunk) and things flow swimmingly. Yes, my dates usually seem to go “well,” however you want to define that, because I’m interesting, excitable, “different,” a little weird, slightly transgressive, and hopefully not too drunk.
Eventually, after my date has spoken about herself for awhile, she’ll wonder what I “do,” and my hubris will of course lead to me telling her about The Vice Blog. Then, later tonight, or perhaps tomorrow morning in her office–assuming she works in an office setting, recall I know nothing about her as of this second– she’ll pull this entry up on her desk computer and read it and hopefully still be reading it as we reach the end here at which point she may scroll down to the comment section below and write:
“Aaron you were such a(n)…”
*OK, I guess I do know one thing about my date: she went to a much better college than me.