first date

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling Jesus or Buddha or civil rights or ‘How to Make Money in Real Estate With No Money Down.’ That doesn’t make you a human being; it makes you a marketing rep. If you want to talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are – just to find out, for no other reason. Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it’s not a conversation anymore; it’s a pitch.” –Quote from The Big Kahuna (based on the play “Hospitality Suite” by Roger Rueff)

So you’re on a first date, and you want to cut through the weather talk. So you ask… what? What do you ask? What are good first date questions which leave you with insight as to who this person really is? How do you cut through the clutter and actually spend time with someone real? Hell if I know. I’ve been on many a date, thinking it went swimmingly, assured there would be a second date, only to never hear from him. Please, I’d never call him. The man should ALWAYS pursue the woman, otherwise, he’s really, genuinely just not that interested.

Do you have any regrets?
If your idiot date says no, “I live life without any regrets,” ask for the check. Integrity is a product of regret; it builds over time because you pick something from your past that you’d like to do over, but you can’t, because it’s too late. “So you pick that thing up, and carry it with you to remind you that life goes on, the world will spin without you, you really don’t matter in the end. Then you will gain character, because honesty will reach out from inside and tattoo itself across your face.” –The Big Kahuna

If you knew you would be stranded on an island, what three movies would you take with you? If you both answer this question, you will learn what kinds of movies you’ll have to watch through the course of your relationship… There are those that might add porn to his list, and others who would add “An instructional movie on how to survive on an island.” Right there, in that difference, you’ve learned a lot about how your date thinks. Mine: Little Women, Good Will Hunting, The Shawshank Redemption (if I could have a fourth, it would be a comedy… but it’s too hard to choose one)

If you had three wishes, and you can’t wish for more wishes or anything having to do with money or world peace, what would you wish for? 1. To always be able to eat whatever and however much I’d like without ever having to exercise, and I’ll always be healthy, strong, fit, and thin. 2. To have a very happy and healthy close-knit family including an amazing husband, and three kids, with several grandchildren nuggets 3. To move easier and more swiftly through rejections and loss.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do? Walk away from my marriage

Name your top 3 favorite bands. (aka what music do you listen to?) 1. Barenaked Ladies 2. REM 3. Indigo Girls (gasp)

Do you do any (bad) drugs? If he actually admits to anything at least you know he’s honest. I’ve never tried any drugs. The jury is still out if I’d ever date anyone who does.

Can you be in love with more than one person at the same time? This question doesn’t have a right answer… but it does give some insight into top level views on love and how people justify things.

What are deal-breakers for you? Liar’s and mamma’s boys

How often do you talk to your mother? Enough said.

If you don’t like your date, how do you let them know? Do you just never call or do you tell ’em at the end of the night? I won’t call him back, and I prefer not being called if he’s not interested. The whole, “I just don’t think we’re a (gagging at this word) *match* but we can be friends” is unnecessary. If someone doesn’t call you back it means s/he isn’t that into it. Next. Don’t whine that you need an answer. You have the answer; pay attention to it.

If you do like your date, how long do you wait to call them? I like when he calls right away. Here’s the whole deal with this. Listen up. If a woman is digging’ you, she wants you to call. If you do it right away or wait a while it won’t matter. She already likes you. If she isn’t diggin’ you, she doesn’t want to hear from you anyway… but some girls get anxious if even the guy she didn’t like doesn’t call, so some boys work that angle. At the end of the day though, she still won’t dig you after your next date. You can usually tell right away if you like someone.

Most of the answers matter, and some, despite not hearing what you’d hoped for the answer, you decide to grant a second date because of chemistry, because of want and instinct. Because you know that your rigid checklist hasn’t worked so well for you in the past, and sometimes you just have to let go, get beyond the “good answers” and just live it. It’s scary, but it’s fcuking hot as hell. And I look good in red.



  1. Ya know, if I ever do this blog thing, you're really gonna think I'm a KopyKat. Or do we all just think and write about the same stuff?

    Part one of a three-part series.

    We all have our own opinions on what is the ideal first date. It even says so in our profiles. I think women are a bit more conservative, and rightly so when it comes to the dreaded first date. Women seem to want the safe meeting at Starbucks. You can’t get into too much trouble over a Venti-double-shot-non-fat Caramel Macchiato-extra-hot-no whip-whatever…

    I shouldn't have changed from a Journalism major to an Accounting major in my senior year.

    The Graduate, Rainman, Shawshank Redemption

    You, Good Health to all my inner circle, Bigger Equipment

    Run my own restaurant (physically), leave my son (mentally)

    Beatles (old), REM (recent/current), Vertical Horizon (current). What do I listen to?



    No smoking, No JAPS, No dummies


    Let them know…i'll never ignore anyone

    I wait until I get home, then I call

    So, will you grant me a second date? I probably shouldn't post this but…

  2. Honesty–it's easier that way.
    1. Regrets? Many, but living w/choices made.
    2. Island Movies: Amadeus, Godfather, Run Lola Run
    3. Wishes: good health, clarity, sunnier days.
    4. Hardest thing to do: taking care full-time of my 3 month old daughter.
    5. Top 3 "bands:" Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk (fave genre: jazz)
    6. No drugs.
    7. Love: can't be in love w/more than one person.
    8. Deal-breakers: dishonesty
    9. Talk to mom: 2 or 3 times/week
    10. End of night w/bad date: "I had a good time, but I don't think we've clicked. Best of everything to you."
    11. End of night w/good date: talk to her the next day (morning), without suffocating her space.

    P.S. Always be flexible. "The man SHOULD ALWAYS do this or that…" seems a bit restrictive.

  3. 1. Oh yes I have regrets, but how can you live a full life without them. A life with no regrets is a life without risk and dare I say, a life without passion.

    2. Playing By Heart, A River Runs Through It, G-dfather 2. Only 3? This causes me physical pain just to contemplate.

    3. To be in the best physical health and condition of anyone my age, to be able to speak and read every language fluently, to have a photographic memory.

    4. Probably to close my store. It pretty much bankrupted my entire family.

    5. Beastie Boys, James Taylor, Billy Joel (James and Billy aren't bands, do they count?)

    6. I have never taken a drug that wasn't prescribed in my life. I used to occasionally have a drink, but I don't even do that anymore.

    7. I don't know. In love with two people. Probably. I would have to think though that would immediately become the toughest thing someone ever had to do. At the end of the day it will mean nothing but pain for all three people involved.

    8. I can't take people that aren't smart. I know it makes me kind of a snob, but if she can't talk to me about anything and/or she hasn't been anywhere I am not going to be stimulated, no matter what she looks like. If she is smarter than me, I think it is a huge turn on.

    9. My mom is sick, so I talk to her as often as she wants. That doesn't mean she isn't a huge pain in my ass at times. 2 times a week usually, unless we are coordinating some sort of gathering or holiday celebration.

    10. I always liked my dates, at least on some level, otherwise I wouldn't have tried to get them to go out with me in the first place. If there was nothing there after sitting and quietly talking for awhile the relationship usually morphed into some sort of friend thing. I haven't really been on many blind dates so not knowing anything about the person at all before I sat down isn't something I have a lot of experience with.

    11. Not long. I ended up going out with my wife 4 times the first week I met her.

  4. Answers:
    1. "Regrets? I've got a few…" But if you learn from them, they become lessons over time, not baggage. Most of mine center around NOT following a lesson I learned in driving school: "Check your blind spot."

    2. The Quiet Man, Mister Roberts, Waiting for Guffman (Then I'd trade with the previous posters on the other islands so I could still see Godfather 1 and 2. Anyone got Papillon??)

    3. That my children would grow with passion for life and compassion for others. Health and happiness for friends and family. The ability to fly.

    4. Delivering the eulogy for a friend who was killed along with his wife in an airline disaster six years ago; written to, and for, their three children sitting in the front row.

    5. Elvis Costello, Randy Newman, Beatles.

    6. No. (Tried pot twice. Inhaled.)

    7. Yes. But you gotta choose, and if that choice leads to marriage, then that's who you stick to… or don't take that step; don't make that promise. "Forsake all others," as you put it recently, Steph. Personal relationships from that point on can lead to love, or even the feeling of falling in love. Let's face it, getting to know someone and falling in love is a powerful rush… There's nothing like it, and it feels great. BUT you've already reserved that for someone else. I don't buy the "we just got too used to each other" cop-out that friends of mine have used to my face. I DO buy the "marriage takes work from both parters" axiom, so if you find the richness along the long journey, you'll learn that there are rewards there that are greater and last longer than "the thunderbolt." (Bit long… sorry.)

    8. Snobbery. Inability to be self-aware. Inability to turn off the cell phone.

    9. Sporadically, as a character on stage would make an aside to the audience during a play… "Hey, did you catch that, Ma??" (She died six years ago.)

    10. If I liked them, I usually made a couple of oblique references like "we should do INSERT HERE sometime" at an appropriate time during the conversation. At the end of the date, I'd venture out on the limb, and make it clear at the end of the date "This was fun. I'd like to try it again. Soon." Then gauge the reax. Sometimes the limb snapped. Sometimes it didn't. If I didn't intend to pursue things further, I really don't recall. Only ever had one blind date.

    11. I can remember being totally torqued up to call RIGHT AWAY, but the key is finding the right moment. Maybe that night. Maybe late morning at work or lunch the next day. Certainly ALWAYS within 24 hrs. And I'd soar or crash on the TONE of voice in that first "Oh, hi." once she knew it was me. Could almost always tell. (RARE BONUS for a "Wait a second, let me close the door," or "let me get rid of this other call.") Getting voicemail was always a crusher, because it's too soon to know what they think. Total black hole. Total crap shoot. Total stammer trap.

    Other questions:
    If you could have any other occupation than you have, and start right away tomorrow morning, what would it be??
    What's holding you back from doing it??
    Skippy or JIF??
    Smooth or crunchy??

  5. Regrets, I've had a ton, but here are a few: the impatience of desire, which lead to: obsessing over a past that doesn't exist, which lead to: stifling my future. also, letting my parents select my college; and credit cards.

    Movies: a sexy one (Unfaithful or Femme Fatale), an 80s gem (Ferris, 16 candles or St. Elmo's) and a smart drama (Usual Suspects, a Godfather, or–I swear I'm not bandwagoning–Shawshank).

    Music: The Rat Pack Christmas CD, the Gladiator soundtrack and Raul Malo/Mavericks.

    Unfortunately, I can only focus on one love at a time. Dealbreakers: drugs, already having children, cheating.

    If i don't like a date, I slink away and disappear like a wuss. If I do like him, I wait for him to come to me. This is not a diva act: men can go on and on about how they THINK they want women to take the initiative, but when girls get even mildly aggressive, guys get freaked out and end up feeling emasculated.

    As for my first-date interrogations, I mean conversations:

    I never ASK what kind of car he drives, but i make sure i find out. Before you berate me for being shallow, I posit that it's not so much an indicator of wealth but of character: motorcyles are wild; sports cars are obnoxious; status cars (BMW, benz) are a bit conceited and metrosexual; generic cars (honda, toyota) are solid and grounded; but i like boys in trucks (SUVs not pick-ups), to me it means manly and athletic.

    do they have a favorite quote? if they have one, i'm impressed and make the assumption that (perhaps incorrectly) they are smart. but if they don't have one, i don't hold it against them. My faves: "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission." "Wisdom is knowing when to shut the fuck up." Also: "It's not good to talk about your troubles. Eighty percent of the people who hear them don't care and the other twenty percent are glad you're having trouble." — Tommy Lasorda; and "When you're right, nobody remembers. When you're wrong, nobody forgets." — Muhammad Ali

    A person that fascinates you? if he answers adam sandler or terrell owens, he's out. Me: amelia earhart, martha gellhorn, frida kahlo and pretty much all the european actresses of the 50s and 60s.

    Vacation spots?: if he's the kind of guy who thinks camping, canada or the jersey shore qualify as 'vacations,' he's out. my perfect vacay: a Mediterranean seaside resort or hitting the film festival circuit (sundance, cannes, venice, etc.)

  6. WHOA! A MARTHA GELLHORN SIGHTING!! I didn't realize anyone else knew who she was (other than Papa's family and I).

    Great call Stormi. HOw about Lillian Hellman? Now there's a woman with some serious balls.


  7. "Do you like apples? Do you like apples? Well, I got her number! How do you like them apples?"

    I won't bother typing every response, because, and perhaps contrary to popular opinion as of late, I DO have a life.

    Thanks for the Shins, by the way. I am freaking addicted all of a sudden…and not unlike my addiction to your life. Does my recent addiction count as having 'tried' drugs? Your life is like my "video crack"!

    Ciao bella!

  8. it's a date, not psychotherapy.

    i've had some weird first dates, but if a girl started asking me these questions the first time we met, i'd be looking for the exit pretty quickly.

  9. Agreed, ijc, a conversation as such seems forced or juvenille. It can be fun, though. I treasure the art of conversation and of common silence. Get to know each other by listening, not probing…it evolves naturally.

  10. Please don't misunderstand, I don't grill my dates. I try to keep things light and airy and fun for god sakes. But if on the odd occasion there's an awkward silence, I go to questions such as those, rather than the boring, 'So how's work?' or 'How many brothers and sisters do you have?'

  11. oh, and yes, robotnik, i could never understand why martha was so under the radar. and lillian is cool…but dashiell is cooler.

  12. Stormi…I LOVE YOU!
    I, too, adore Dashiell–but Lillian put up with so much of his shit…and her plays are great!

    Martha was stigmatized as a "Papa disciple" and, it may be true (see her awesome book Once there was a War)…but she was damn good and a true reporter.

  13. I forget who said it but a first date is pretty much like a job interview. Feel the person out, see if he/she is qualified for the position you're looking to fill. The questions are like an initial screening.

  14. Wow, everyone is actually answering those questions. Was this a test?
    I hate the whole 20 questions routine on a date. I'd rather be skewered. Whatever happened to good conversation? I prefer to learn about people via a good chat. If a person listens well enough there's no need for some of the direct interrogation. In fact, a sure way for me never to call for a second date is to play the questions game. It leads me to believe that person can't hold a normal conversation.

  15. call me at (country code, you should already know it) 79 555 05 05 to deal and Saturday date.

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