The Top 5 Things That I Should Avoid Doing On My Next Date

man_fireSome asshole once told me to write about what scares me. In turn, I wrote an epic essay on my own shadow and nobody read it. That’s the last time I’ll take advice from him. Or maybe I should just try this again:

Women scare the shit out of me. And not in a way that I bare my fists and prepare for battle every time I see one, but in a way that I know severe psychological damage is possible if confrontation occurs. Let’s put it this way: Everybody takes showers. It’s totally normal and necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. You, on the other hand, step into the shower only to find a dude with a gun to your head, telling you that this shower isn’t for washing. You don’t get clean that way. Everybody laughs at you because you are so smelly and frightened. You are afraid of showers.

Okay, that was a terrible analogy. Let’s re-do:

If dating was a sport, I’d be a lot like Ryan Leaf. I had a lot of potential in coll–but…ummm…I guess it was only the first part of college–

–oh wait, I got this:

If dating was a sport, I’d be a lot like Manti Te’o.

Nope, that’s not right either. Fuck it, let’s move on.

If there’s anything in the world that I’m really bad at [besides introductions], it’s dating. I never know what to say to strangers, my mouth constantly goes dry while I sputter specks of foamed saliva every which way and 9 times out of 10, the girl ends up pulling out the insurance policy stating that whatever the hell just happened wasn’t actually a date [and I may call her in the future, but only under the terms that we are simply friends, as I have dissuaded her from dating for the time being, or until she hooks up with some Billysburgian vegan who, on paper, appears to be exactly like me, minus the veganism, nice apartment and the ability/confidence to ride a bike]. But there comes a time when I have to get back on the horse and ride, before the mob decides to shoot me after taking a lemonade break mid-race. The only way to do that is to learn from my mistakes. So here’s 5 essential mistakes that I’ve made in the past:

5) Don’t appear to be horrified when she admits to being a hippie
Hippies need love, too. In fact, they love love more than I love anything, as they have way too much love to give. What they don’t love, however, if the cynical doucheface that doesn’t know whether to throw up or laugh his ass off at the idea of homemade shampoo. I thank the stars that I wasn’t near any mirrors when she pulled out a glass tupperware container of homemade yogurt. My reaction was probably both horrified and infinitely amused. She went on to reveal that she made her own soaps and deodorant, while I went on to reveal that I did not give a shit and she really didn’t look like a hippie. Not a smooth move, to say the least.

Afterward, while waiting for the Franklin Ave shuttle, she spotted a stray cat on the tracks. She became inconsolably panicked, as I pondered out loud why that was the umpteenth time I had seen a stray cat at that specific station. We never spoke again.

4) Don’t let her drink you under the table
Sure, drinking is fun and it loosens up your tongue. In fact, I highly recommend it for any social situation. But when you’re meeting someone for the first time, you are completely unaware of her tolerance. I usually just figured that if she was still drinking, I must be doing fine and should probably keep up. Sometimes that isn’t the answer. Suddenly, you’re playing beer league tee-ball and you’ve spun your head on the bat too many times. You hit the home run, the only thing left to do is run the bases. But by the time you round second, the spinning earth that you stand on becomes too much and you’re down for the count. Sure, you can get as wasted as you want on a date. Just keep in mind that it will not continue as long as you want it to.

3) When she reveals that she has a boyfriend, don’t start revealing your darkest secrets
That’s always the curveball from hell. I’m not sure what kind of cold-hearted hussy would do such a thing, but I sure as hell came across one of them. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the boyfriend either did not exist or she was shopping around for a new one. I interpreted it as 40 bucks down the drain, 3 hours I’ll never get back and an official license to say whatever the hell I wanted. So I told her stuff that I wouldn’t even reveal to you dear readers. I went all out. Her jaw dropped in different directions. In a way, it was my own form of sick vengeance. Because, seriously, what kind of a girl casually name-drops her boyfriend 3 hours into a date? Apparently, the same kind that would go on a date with the kind of guy that would write an article like this. That’s who. It might have been for the better, as now she’s engaged [but still listed as single on okCupz].

2) Don’t hate yourself so much
This is the key to get out of a woman’s heart. It is most common criticism I have ever received from the opposite sex. A large part of my sense of humor is based on my unabashed ability to make fun of myself. A few examples:

Girl- “My place is a piece of shit”
Me- “That’s funny, because I’m a piece of shit, too!”

“You look beautiful. But then again, what do I know? I’m a complete fucking idiot!”

Girl- “This is really good butter.”
Me- “I hate myself!”

You get the idea. To be fair, I do not hate myself. I happen to think that I have some positive qualities to my personality and I have a few things to offer to society. But when it comes to dating and relationships, I’m a useless, shit-eating numbnuts. To elaborate further:

All of your friends play basketball. Some are really good, some aren’t, but it’s an activity that you all partake in. Now, say, you have been playing for a decade, but your skills have not improved at all. While some of your friends have found much success, half of them even making it into the NBA, you find it hard to even get the opportunity to shoot. Sometimes people will even deliberately pass you the ball out of sympathy, but you just can’t do anything with it. You have not made a single basket in 7 years. You touched the rim twice, but no net.

Now, tell me: If you have this kind of experience, how would you think of/project yourself when the topic of conversation comes up? You may have cured aids, but if you really suck at basketball and all you can think about is playing basketball, then you will not stop thinking about how much you suck.

It goes around like that ad nauseum. I will never have a successful date if I do not have confidence, but the only way to get confidence is by having a successful date. This will not end until I meet someone that is willing to accept this flaw, or be so viciously attracted to me that the subject never has to come up. What would follow would be 9 minutes of the most awkward and sloppy sex that has ever been performed by a human being. But then, at least I would get over myself?

In other words, I’m totally screwed. But I can’t let anyone know about that. Shit, I just did.

1) Don’t let her know that this article exists
Ummm…bail?

-Shamrock Tanner

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