What NEVER to Say on the First Date

Photo by Melinda Van Lone ~ WANA Commons

Photo: Melinda Van Lone ~ WANA Commons

My single pals have given us hours of entertainment here on More Cowbell and spawned blog titles like:

And my fave of all faves: Alicia and Mr. Frigid. She made me laugh so hard, recounting this last night, I had to share it with you again. (It’s been a few years.)

You can probably tell, my gal-pals are all starting to believe that the current dating pool is looking more like a cesspool.

Still, every time a new low is reached, I’m shocked. 

I mean, don’t we all try to bring our “A-Game” to a date? Dress up a little. Comb our hair. Check our teeth for debris. ACT NICE!

Am I alone on this one, all you current and previous daters in my posse?

Y’all are some of the best peeps around and I value your opinion. So I ask you, would you continue a date like this? (Or would you drop-kick the person back to their car?)

Pertinent Facts:

#1 – My gal-pal, Alicia, met this prize specimen on Match.com. (He was also on Plenty of Fish.)

#2 – Their first date was a movie date. (A huge no-no in my opinion.)


a) You don’t get to talk (unless you want people like me to shush you).

b) The armrest. If the date hogs it or gets grabby, it’s curtains for the date.

c) Movie food. The prices are outrageous. I at least want an umbrella in my drink for those rates.

In case no one ever shared the list with you, the elements of a great date are:

  1. Well planned
  2. Rich in variety
  3. Full of conversation
  4. Shouldn’t be pricy

Looking at this list, you can see why a movie on the first date is almost always a bad idea.

So back to the heinous Mr. Match…here’s a play-by play (and my commentary).

After the movie (which he talked all the way through), Mr. Match asks, “So what do you want to do now?”

Alicia says: “There’s a Starbucks near here. We can go get some coffee.”

“I don’t like Starbucks,” he answered. “Starbucks is too expensive.”

She bit back a sigh and said, “What would you like to do?”

“Let’s go have a drink. I saw a Macaroni Grill down the street.” She agreed to meet him there.

When they arrived at the restaurant, he said, “I don’t want to have dinner. Let’s sit in the bar.”

“Fine,” she said and tried not to cringe when he yelled out, “Garçon” and waved the bartender over. While they waited for said bartender to work his way to them, Mr. Match says, “I hope he brings some chips and salsa. I’m hungry.”

“I don’t think they have chips and salsa here.”

“What kind of Mexican restaurant doesn’t have chips and salsa?”

Oh hell, thought Alicia. I have GOT to get home. “This is an Italian restaurant.”

“You don’t have chips and salsa?” He asked the bartender when he approached them, then bitched when “all he could get was bread.”

Alicia was starting to feel a little bitchy herself and began her calculations to bring the date to a close. She promised herself she’d go after one drink and ordered a glass of wine. When the bartender poured a generous portion, she sighed with relief.

Mr. Match began discussing her choice before the bartender was three feet away. “Why didn’t you get Chardonnay if you want to drink white wine.”

“I like Sauvignon Blanc.”

“But Chardonnay goes better with this bread.”

REALLY? What makes you think that?” She fought to keep a straight face and downed a big slug of her drink.

He looked down his nose at her. “I read it somewhere.” Picking up the folder that contained the drink list, he flipped to the page that detailed the wine. “Lookee here, they have Gnarly Head Chardonnay and Kendall Jackson. Maybe you should get one of those instead.

She stared at her glass, which was already half empty, and said, “I’m fine.”

In response, Mr. Match waved his hand toward the bartender again. “Garçon!”

She lost it and yanked his arm down. “Please stop. I said I was fine.”

He looked down at her hand, then back up at her. “Maybe you need another drink,” he said in a huff. “Because you seem kind of frigid to me.”

Alicia dropped a ten dollar bill on the bar and stood. “Thank you for the movies,” she said and began moving toward the exit.

She glanced back when she was almost at the door to make sure he wasn’t following her and saw Mr. Match sampling her wine.

I told her she was nicer than me…I’d have had to cut him loose after he talked all the way through the movie. Certainly I’d have been contemplating violence at the very first “Garçon!”

[By the time he critiqued my wine, I’d have been thinking about where I’d hide the body.]

What are your thoughts about online dating? Have you or your friends tried online dating? Were the results positive or negative? Do you have any advice for my gal-pals? Enquiring minds always want to know here at More Cowbell!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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38 Responses to What NEVER to Say on the First Date

  1. I’m a fan of on-line dating because that is how my wife and I met. But, I also met my share of doozies before her. Like any cross section of society, on-line dating will be a mixed bag.

    (face palm and still shaking head over the multiple “garcon” usages….good grief!!!!)


  2. Jane Sadek says:

    Online dating has to be safer than what I used to do – meet guys in bars – but it seems a little creepy to me. After twenty years of marriage, all dating seems a little creepy to me, so I’m not a good judge. I’m just glad to say that I met my husband at the Dallas Museum of Art, so I don’t have to tell people that we met in a bar.

    In the years before I met him, I noticed a six week trend in my relationships. I was divorced, so the general consensus of guys was that I had to be dying for “it.” After fending off the obligatory grope on the first date, I’d explain that I didn’t do that and they’d say they respected me for it. We’d wait until I was ready, they assured me. So, I’d warn them that I wasn’t going to be ready on that side of a marriage ceremony and they’d say it was cool. Six weeks later, after reminding them frequently that I wasn’t that kind of girl, they’d tell me I was frigid and break up with me. It was a running joke with my friends and I. Apparently, six weeks was the official time frame for dates without sex a couple of decades ago.

    Observing things from this side of the marriage ceremony, I think the new official time frame for dates without sex must be about six hours. Not for me. If anything ever happens to Bill, I’m just going to be that nice little widow lady traveling by herself. I feel sorry for anybody who’s trying to wade through the dating game – no matter what the official time frame really is.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Hey now, Jane…I met my hubby in a bar. 🙂 That being said, it was my first time in a bar for several years, but I was totally *supposed* to be there, meeting my man.

      I think dating is hard ALWAYS. I don’t know if it’s to make you appreciate your honey when you find them, or what, but I also think it’s getting a wee bit harder with technology in the mix. The “numbers game” can be much less personal when it’s not face-to-face.


      • Jane Sadek says:

        It was just a fluke that I didn’t meet Bill in a bar. What I didn’t realize when I was hanging out in bars was that the first question people seem to ask a couple is where they met. It’s just nice to be able to say a museum. It gives everything a different tone. Note to singles – only meet men in places you’re willing to admit to later in life.


  3. Michelle says:

    I met my husband almost 17 years ago, through online dating, so I had at least ONE good experience.

    But, my favorite was the guy who showed up in a t-shirt, short shorts, tube socks and sneakers to our restaurant date. I live in FL, so wearing shorts to a date is normal, appropriate attire. Looking like you just stepped out of middle school P.E., is not. He proceeded to complain the entire time the restaurant HE chose. We shared and appetizer and I left early with a “spontaneous migraine,” which he thought was a real ailment. The wait staff caught me on the way out and slipped me a piece of Key Lime Cheesecake for being their “most suffering, yet entertaining customer of the night.” It was damned good cheesecake.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Wow, you guys met back at the beginning of all this. Was it an AOL chat room? I heard amazing stories of great meet-ups from there.

      You totally made me snort over the high-school gym outfit, but I’m dying over the pie. What wonderful waiters! I hope you went back there WITHOUT the creepy man. 🙂


      • Michelle says:

        Worse. Love@aol personal ad. LOL

        Hubby was the ONLY man who responded who knew where Panama was – the country, not Panama City, FL. He’s a US Army Veteran who’d been there “unofficially” a few times.

        As for the restaurant, Hubby and I have actually become good friends with the owners. Once we started socializing, I told them the story, and they both said, “You’re I-Dumped-Tube-Socks-Boy?!” Apparently, the story became a legend, over the years. 🙂


  4. I am SO glad not dating and plan to NEVER date if the hubs shuffles off before me (I tell him he’d better not). I don’t think I could handle this brave, weird world of dating. I’m so old school. Not that I think I’d attract anything but old dudes looking for someone to care for them in their old age. LOL


  5. Nope! Never did the on-line dating gig. Al Gore hadn’t yet invented the internet when I was last single.

    BUT, I did serve as the Match.com admin for a friend after his wife left him.

    This dude is an Airline Pilot who can’t work a microwave oven, and never learned to spell properly. I did his profile information. He had his profile pics taken in our house, on our staircase, in front of our fireplace, and with our dogs. He’d usually dictate his communications. I’d clean them up. His requirements? Hot. Preferably blonde. No older than 40. Petite. I think he might have added “likes sex” had it been an option.

    Sadly, he sometimes got the urge to write his own responses when on layover. One chick sent him a response to one of those saying he clearly hadn’t written his own profile.

    The worst? A gal he dated a few times had an inbound waiting for him when he came over one morning. She was pissed. I asked what he’d done. He showed me the email he sent while on layover. “you asked me to tell you the truth abot why i dont think we shoud date again. to be honest your a lot heavier than you looked in your profil pictures im sorry but i dont think your pretty enough for what i want in a women.”

    I did not bonk him with the frying pan, but wanted to. He found a lovely gal. They’ve been married for three years. I suspect she often wants to bonk him with a frying pan.

    Oh! This rocket scientist also booked two getting-to-know-you glass-of-wine-meet-and-greets on the same night, at the same bar, timed only an hour apart. Moron.

    Should I ever have to troll for a date again, I’ll do my own face-to-face recon.

    As for Mr. Movie, Wine Connoisseur, and Garcon? I would have let him buy that second glass of wine. Then, a third so I could dump it on his pompous head. And, I would have ditched him with the bill. Only fair. Aggravation surcharge. Might even have sent him a message: yur too fat and dumb for me


    • Oh. My. God!!!!!!!! Wow, just wow!!!


      • If your comment refers to Mr. Mush-for-Brains-Pilot, my reaction mirrored yours, Steve. I believe that was followed by some version of “what in the cluck were you thinking?”

        The woman he matched on Match.com? A tall brunette who only met his predetermined requirements in one area: younger than 40. She’s strong enough to put him in his place. Verbally smacks him into place when he needs it. Which may be the only reason he lives.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      That is wild, Gloria! I cannot believe that your pal EVER found anyone to marry him after “i dont think your pretty enough for what i want in a women.”


  6. Jess Witkins says:

    I am getting weird stares for laughing out loud in the coffee shop while seemingly staring at my computer, Jenny! HILARIOUS! I hate when people are rude to wait staff. I would’ve said something. So many red flags there!

    Let’s just say, if you need help wiping off any fingerprints, I’m your gal! LOL 😉


  7. Cate Russell-Cole says:

    If anything happens to my husband, I am never going the dating route. I will die a weird crazy cat lady – alone, happy and without ignorance like this to assault my intelligence. Thus, I will be happy. 🙂


  8. filbio says:

    Now you know why so many of these weirdo dudes are not hooked up and on these on-line dating sites. I would have strangled my date is she was like him. I have a lot of younger friends that are currently on these sites and so many creepers are on them. Most of the dates go nowhere.

    If I ever go the single route again I would not on-line date. There are more than enough places to meet people out in public, especially in NYC.To each his or her own I guess.


  9. I’m with you, Jenny. I’m not very tolerant of rudeness.

    Many, many moons ago I’d met a few guys from online. The one who stood out in my mind? The guy who said he ran his own “fine dining establishment” (I suspect he was a manager for a fast food restaurant). Met him at a local restaurant. He said he was tall, athletic with sandy brown hair. The hair was virtually nonexistent…and as for the athletic build…it was more skinny than athletic. In fact, a heavy wind could’ve blown him over. Not to be arrogant, but when we walked in, there were a few guys at the bar that looked at us as if wondering how the heck we wound up there together. (I dressed nicely–as per your above comment. He dressed like he was socially inept.)

    When we were seated at a booth in the restaurant, he chose to sit beside me instead of across from me…and tried to run his fingers up my thigh within the first 10 minutes. I slapped his hand away (of course). Then he made some comment about if all he wanted was sex, he could’ve paid someone for it. KID. YOU. NOT. I looked at him and said, “Excuse me? Did you just call me a prostitute?” He clarified that no, he didn’t think I was a prostitute. He wanted a woman that he could call whenever he had an itch to scratch and free time on his hands. (Thank GOD I only ordered a soda.) I told him two things. 1. I was nobody’s beck and call girl. and 2. He must not like women very much. Would you believe he was confused by that statement?

    My favorite part was when I finished the soda and told him I had to go. He insisted on walking me to my car and asked if he could kiss me goodnight. I don’t think telling him “You must be joking” then slamming my car door in his face was too extreme, do you?


  10. Great post, Jenny! Thanks for the early morning giggles. Anyway, I never used online dating services, having met my husband in the early 80’s at college. However, three of my friends did meet their husbands online (after suffering through many weirdos) so I believe it’s a valid avenue of matching up with the right one.

    I truly hope I never have to be on the dating scene again. Like some of your previous commenters, I believe I’d prefer to live with my cat should I find myself alone again. 🙂


  11. DeeAnna Galbraith says:

    Hi, Jenny. Long ago and far far away, I had a date with a real Adonis. No, wait. That’s what HE thought. He had a convertible and it was a beautiful night. When we rolled up to the first stoplight he asked me to open the glovebox and hand him his brush. That’s right he brushed his hair at every stoplight or stop sign.

    After the movie, we went to a bar. Drinking age is 21 here. I was 19. When the waitress took his order and asked for my I.D. he grinned and winked at her. “She forgot to bring it.” At which time, the waitress asked for HIS I.D. and I had a coke.

    I forget what I used as an excuse for a second date, but unfortunately “Um, no, and hell no, weren’t acceptable.” *shudder*


  12. Julie Glover says:

    All you had to was “talked during the movie” and I’d have been out. That’s a no-starter for me.

    Now bring me my halo because I met my husband at singles devotional hosted by our church. 😀 Actually, I know a couple who met through personal ads (you know, before the internet) and got themselves a long marriage and four beautiful children. I know this method does indeed work for many.


    • Julie Glover says:

      (You did read sarcasm into that halo comment, right???)


      • I don’t know if Jenny read the sarcasm, Julie, but I chuckled.

        The youth director in charge of keeping twenty-plus tweens and teens in line while making sub sandwiches for a youth program fundraiser had to look for a good looking guy and me somewhere between scooping bread innards and layering meats.

        We’d somehow managed to get lost in the balcony. The dark balcony. The dark balcony in the church sanctuary. The church sanctuary far away from the church kitchen.

        I was too young to experience anything more titillating than kissing. Thank goodness.

        May have been the first time I practiced kissed something other than the side of my fisted hand.


  13. My husband and I met through online dating, but not before we met some doozies (I wrote a short story about it, must dig it out)
    On our first date, my (now) hubbie dropped his keys down the drain. Despite all the dating rules to the contrary (and after an hour spent crouched over said drain with the tyre iron from my car, trying to get the darn thing open) I drove him home to get his spare key. The rest, as they say, is history. But he’s never been allowed to forget it, especially as the drain is outside the place my aunt works as chef!


  14. No way would I have stayed. I’d have said, “Excuse me, I need to visit the powder room.” And I would have…the one in my house. I once gave an obnoxious butthead who was pestering me for my phone number a wrong number. But by far the worst date I ever had was when I was eighteen.

    A friend arranged it with another one of her friends. All through supper (and I had to pay for my own), he lamented the loss of his ex, a woman he was still madly in love with. Afterward, he took me on a tour of every bar parking lot in town, letting me know which of his friends were inside the buildings (based on their trucks or cars). I was too stupid back then to invent a headache or stomachache, so all I could do was wish he would run out of parking lots and take me home (about thirty minutes away). At my door he wanted to kiss me. I just said nope. I don’t kiss on first dates. Technically I might have…with just about anyone but him.

    To this day I wonder if my friend was sitting at home laughing her butt off while I was on the date from hell.

    Have I tried anything like Match.com? Nope. Would I? Probably not. Be my luck I’d run into Mr. Personality there. 🙂


  15. I met my pseudo (aka first) husband online. It’s a looong story. Our pairing obviously didn’t pan out well. LOL I think that where we are in our lives and our emotional journeys makes a big difference regarding relationship success, no matter how we meet. My sister met her hubby online and they are super duper happy.


  16. Karen Rought says:

    Ugh. I feel so bad for her. That’s a terrible first date.

    My best friend met her girlfriend of over a year online. I LOVE her. She’s absolutely wonderful, and it feels like we’ve been friends forever. It’s definitely a success story (so far!), though it still hasn’t convinced me to try online dating. It just seems too scary. (AKA I’ve watched too much CSI to feel comfortable meeting a complete stranger at a bar.)


  17. Stephanie L. says:

    At least she got a movie out of the deal..what a story! This why so many first dates are ONLY dates!


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