Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What not to Eat on a First Date

For anyone who still has a Hotmail account, upon signing out you always are greeted with MSN/Sympatico's homepage which offers a flood of very informative articles. Sometimes I read some, sometimes I don't. Sometimes upon reading certain articles I get a little envious that the author actually got paid to write something so... pointless. Somewhere, someone thought, "Yes, we need someone to write an article on the top 98 things guys who wear white t-shirts think that girls think of them." Then someone is hired to write the article and does a lot of intensive primary research by asking 98 males in white t-shirts, "'sup?" or just finding a bunch of stock photos, then writing appropriate captions.

Or maybe it doesn't happen that way. Maybe someone is contracted to write x number of articles, subject matter provided by the employer. The employee writes the articles and then rants about it on his/her personal blog about his/her English degree not earning enough respect.

But why earn respect when you can earn dollah bills, y'all?

In case I someday have a job for which I write pointless MSN-style articles (one can only dream!), I will practice with this, "What not to eat on a first date." If it were an MSN article, I would accompany each point with a hilariously appropriate stock photo.

Subject of post inspired by a conversation I had with someone once at, I believe the Gahan House. Note: The Gahan House was recently listed by Zagat as the most popular restaurant in PEI. While it's generally quite busy, go for the local brews and then eat elsewhere. Or sneak in your own sandwich.

End long-winded introduction. Commence list, in no particular order.

  • Garlic. This is for North Americans. We notice garlic breath. Unless both parties will have indulged in the exact same amount, don't do it unless you are trying to sabotage your own changes at a good-night snog. Don't like your date? Then get the most garlic ridden dish you can find, eat it, and then go to the kitchen, ask for a few cloves, and dash to the washroom to rub it all over yourself. Note that garlic consumption is more common in some other countries. My Korean coworker told me once that although they eat copious amounts of garlic in Korea, they don't notice garlic breath. He didn't even know it existed until he moved to Canada and someone said something to the effect of, "Wow, a lot of garlic in your lunch?" and Korean coworker didn't know how the Canadian figured it out. Breath, my friend.

  • Salad. I like salad, I really do. It's colourful, versatile, easy to transport, and full of important things, like vitamins. (Sidetrack: imagine having a salad made of spinach and kids Flintstone vitamins. So healthy and delicious!) That being said, ordering a salad as a main on a first or early-on date is something I wouldn't do. Sidedish salad is acceptable. I would be worried the salad would actually suggest to Mr. Male that I am overly self-concious about how I look, anal about what I eat, and will judge those who order less healthy entrees. Plus I can make delicious salad at home. As always, there are exceptions. As I said, sidesalad, or restaurants that are known for having good salads. There is a restaurant in town that has wonderful apps and salads (and occasionally 2-for-1 specials) but has bland/boring entrees. Salad is more than acceptable there.

  • Spaghetti. Despite Lady and the Tramp's most memorable scene, spaghetti is not romantic. The accidental kiss could never happen among humans with proper table manners. If it does happen, it means you are sharing your food with a canine. I'm sorry. Next time please wear your glasses.

  • Olives. This is mostly if you're on a first date with me. They make me want to gag. I do keep trying them occasionally to see if my palate has changed and if I have learned to love the salty bastards, but they make me shudder and I make awful facial expressions. If we have a light snog and I can taste them on you, I will throw up in your mouth. NOT SEXY. (Note: current boyfriend would likely not approve of me going on first dates with others so this really isn't a concern anymore. But you should realise that I am not the only person who dislikes olives. Research shows, of my four-couples sample, that only one person in a relationship likes olives, the other person does not. Thread cautiously with your stinky olive breath.)

  • Chinese food. This is specifically for Charlottetown, it may differ elsewhere. If you are on your first date, it's dark outside, and you're eating Chinese food with a potential 'special someone', it means you are not on a date and you actually are just in step 2 of picking up at the bar. It's 2:30am. THIS IS NOT A DATE. WIPE THE RED SAUCE OFF YOUR FACE AND DRINK SOME WATER. Do a pre-test make-out session in the washroom or in a alley and then figure out if you want to spend further hours with the drunk person. If you didn't arrive with that person and your first meeting is at the Chinese restaurant, just go home. Picking up at China Garden is like eating dog food when you are too lazy to cook. STANDARDS ARE IMPORTANT.

  • Ribs. I'm not sure about this, even though it is my own list. I guess it depends how hot you look when covered in rib sauce and eating meat with your hands. Maybe it's highly erotic. Maybe not. Le Boyfriend and I ate ribs on Valentine's Day. Our relationship survived and more than three months later, we are still together. Could that be due to the ribs, or despite of the ribs?

I'm still undecided about putting lobster on the list. So delicious, and perhaps strongly cracking it open could be very suggestive. However, wearing and bib and having smelly hands for the next hour = not so sexy. In a related note, time to eat. In a lunchroom. With coworkers. No suggested foods to restrict. So free...