Some people have called this 'cuffing season.' The idea is that you will have someone to hibernate with? Order Chinese food, watch Altered Carbon, break up the last week in April and go on a cocaine and cigarettes diet until you look palatable in a swimsuit and can resume your hedonistic ways of drinking until you can't stand on the weekend and rolling the dice that you'll wake up next to someone that doesn't make you want to vomit.
That's just me? Well regardless, even in LA people seem to be more interested in dating during the winter months. Now despite the fact that I despise dating (I'm more of an aforementioned, black out and hope for the best kinda guys) I do have some thoughts on dating. In fact, lately I've even had to accept the possibility that I might be forced to use one of the following strategies because the Townhouse thirst really does die down during February. What follows is a guide for women, but also for me I suppose, on what to expect based on the type of date you may find yourself asked on. I might be a savage but for some reason I have a unique understanding of the human condition and I know the real meaning behind all of these 'creative' date ideas.
Now follow me down this cynical path of despair, we're all dying alone.
First let's set a scenario that will remain constant for the remainder of this article.
Last Saturday, you (an American female) were drinking with a friend at a casual neighborhood bar. You met a guy that was somewhat charming. You and your friend followed him to the next bar and the next thing you knew you were making out in the corner of a dark club and he had his hand up your shirt.
"NO!" You protested. "I'm not that easy, take me on a date and then we'll see." He resisted with sad puppy eyes for a little bit and said canned lines like "we don't have to have sex I just want to cuddle," or even better "Let's go on a date right now." You resist and both go your separate ways. He texts you a couple times on Sunday asking you to come over, he even requests a nude. BUT YOU HOLD FIRM.
"FIIIINNNNE" He acquiesces. "Let's go out on Wednesday."
Congrats! You have a date! What follows are the 10 different dates you might get asked out on and what they really mean. You're welcome in advance.
1. Let's grab a bottle of wine and watch the sunset on the beach, then we'll take a stroll around the canals.
On the surface: A lovely first date! Casual, fun, dare I say creative!
In reality: He's fucking poor. Actually broke. Poor people don't go to bars, broke dudes do, because worst case scenario their dad will give them money followed by a stern phone call. Broke dude likely spent all his money on cocaine the Saturday you met, you just failed to notice. By taking you on a walking tour of the neighborhood his out of pocket expense is roughly 8 dollars because that's how much he will spend on the second cheapest bottle at Whole Foods. If you really want to confirm this, suggest grabbing a cocktail after your stroll. Not a beer. A cocktail.
The worst ever scenario for a guy on a budget is the phrase "creative cocktails" in a Yelp review. That is a fancy way of saying, YOU'RE FUCKED BRO. I mixed Jager and Skol Vodka in college, THAT is creative. A $22 organic Old Fashioned is just annoying. Broke bro will probably make an excuse in this situation, he's tired. Or perhaps he'll suggest grabbing another bottle of wine and watching a movie. You could do worse, it's your choice on whether or not you want to be paying for his dinners the next two months.
2. Come over I want to cook for you.
On the surface: Oh? He can cook!
In reality: He's fucking poor. Actually broke. Also he wants to fuck, but not in the creepy way you're thinking. I know women generally assume it's a terrible idea to go to a guy's house for a first date because of sexual assault and understandably so, but I speculate it is much more likely that the guy just doesn't have (or doesn't want to spend) $200 to take you out. You aren't heading to his creepy sex dungeon, you're going to his 4 bedroom 1 bath apartment where his roommates will be laying on the couch and he's going to cook bad bolognese while serving you 2 Buck Chuck that he expertly placed in a decanter before you arrived so you won't know how cheap it was.
That's actually a pretty solid move that I'm not even mad at.
You're probably thinking, "a first date doesn't have to cost $200" but you have to realize that this guy wants to have sex with you. So he is going to get four drinks to calm his nerves and hope that you have four as well. That's 100 right there. Much easier to set the whole thing 25 feet from his bedroom.
3. Let's hit this super fun BYOB place!
On the surface: Dinner and bring your own drinks? What a novel idea!
In reality: He's slightly less poor, and also an alcoholic. The reason I don't love dates is because I need about eight drinks before I am comfortable talking to a girl and if you order 8 drinks on a first date you look like a psychopath butttttttt if you bring three bottles of wine to a BYOB Caribbean place and make sure your wine glass is never all the way empty or all the way full everyone loses count really quick...
Also at a BYOB place the social construct of 'should we order one more?' goes out the window. The alcohol exists, it's a sunk cost. He may say something like, oh I was just at the store and figured I would get a bottle for the house but you both know neither of you are leaving that place until it's all gone.
4. Let's check out a movie
On the surface: Movies are fun, especially with the new reclining chairs!
In reality: He doesn't trust himself to be able to hold a conversation for 3 hours so he chews up over half in a situation where you sit in silence in the dark. Then AFTER the movie you can fill time with talking about the movie. No questions about work, about family, just real surface level stuff and then you can talk about how fucked up you both were on Saturday, if you don't hate each other by this point it's about time to go have sex.
Sidenote: I went to 50 Shades of Grey last week and I was the only guy in the theater. We brought a bottle of wine and I had the greatest night of my life. My only regret was not bringing a bottle of straight Whiskey. Getting shitfaced with a bunch of thirsty women during a campy movie is hilarious.
5. Let's go see this show
On the surface: Hell ya, a concert and on a school night! It will look so cool on my Insta story.
In reality: Here's a fun little secret, there isn't a ton of talking done at a concert. It's like going to a movie but it's more socially acceptable to dance and make out with your date. I went on a quasi blind date to a Guster concert once and it was fucking awesome. We smoked cigarettes, drank beer and lost our motherfucking minds when they played "Come Downstairs and Say Hello." I walked away from the show knowing nothing about the other person but thinking that we should do it again. I don't like talking, I don't have much to say. But I do like dancing and kissing in a crowded space. Also ladies, the good sign about this, is if a guy is taking you to a place with $18 beers he probably has a job.
6. A sporting event!
On the surface: I can pretend to like sports for a night.
In reality: I'm kidding, I know women like sports. Going to a game is actually a pretty good first date. You can casually converse but also if there is a lull you can comment on the action. The first date after you've already had a sloppy bar hook-up is always fascinating because 90% of the time you are recapping things that you do or don't remember from the previous weekend. "So did you say you're from Minnesota?" "Um, Texas." "Oh ya!" That exact line has probably been said a million times in 2018 between white millenials on a first date. I did the research.
Fortunately at a game you can laugh it off and say "let's go get a hot dog and a comically large beer." The truth is on a first date, no one is trying to figure out if they are soul mates, the questions to answer are: Is this guy going to murder me in my sleep? Is this guy going to give me AIDS? If the answer to both of those is no, how bad could it be? I mean maybe they don't look as good in the light, but if they're polite and feed you enough Dodger Stadium Micheladas they're probably getting a minimum of a hand job, even if they are ducking into the bathroom for key bumps during the 7th inning stretch.
7. Dinner. Just a normal dinner.
On the surface: The classic date! Get dressed up! Adult!
In reality: This is arguably the most intense first date there is. 2 people, one table, and two hours of conversation to fill. Kill me, kill me now. Every dinner date for me is that episode of Atlanta when he is calculating the bill in his head. There are two competing objectives every time a man and woman go to dinner. The guy wants to spend as little money as possible and still get his penis touched. The girl wants to feel appreciated and classy. So if you ask for the wine list and your date doesn't have a stroke, then maybe marry him because he isn't worrying about this bill causing his power to get shut off. And if you have poor parents he may even be able to cover the wedding.
Jesus Dave that was pretty anti-feminist, you live in California now, you can't say things like that. Women work too.
Oh FUCK YOU inner monologue I can still dig into my inner privileged midwest kid. Half the people that read this blog voted for Trump. Besides, I hide behind the fact that it's satire even though I'm always like 89% serious.
On the surface: Basically the standard first night out for young people.
In reality: Fun story! Everyone that works in entertainment incessantly goes out to 'drinks.' This is masqueraded as a way for people to network. That is a fallacy. This exits solely for the purpose of helping young people fuck each other. In fact, I would posit that any two people that have worked at a studio/agency/production house or network can play six degrees of Kevin Bacon with sexual partners. I hooked up with someone that worked at UTA who probably hooked up with someone at Paramount who probably fucked a bisexual actor in the bathroom at the Pikey who sucked the dick of a director at 3 Arts to get a job, and that director is married to a casting agent who is having an affair with an assistant at WB. And that's how I know Mike. Hey Mike!
But for real, drinks are just like dinner with more incremental breaks for you to bail. Once you sign up for dinner you're in for the whole two hour debacle. Drinks? You get a chance to call it every 20 minutes. Can you imagine if your date casually drops that he is a 9/11 Truther and you still have to wait for the desert menu?
9. My friends are having a thing
On the surface: Wow, he thinks enough of me to introduce me to his friends!
In reality: He is terrified to be alone with you. Furthermore he would rather be with his friends all night and then conveniently retire to the bedroom with you. It's really an ideal scenario. His friends will laugh at his jokes. His friends' girlfriends will be there and give you some comfort that this guy is in fact normal, but the truth is....if a guy brings you around with his friends the first date, he will always choose them for the rest of time. I have a very standard test when it comes to women. Would I rather be with just her, or would I rather be shotgunning beers with my friends listening to LMFAO songs from 2009.
Unsurprisingly only one girl ever passed this test. I don't know if that means I lean asexual or if I am just a raging alcoholic.
10. Something offbeat!
On the surface: A comedy show? Bowling? A play? A fucking pottery class? He really put some thought into this!
In reality: Effort is for assholes. People that try too hard on a first date are trying to hide something, distract you even. It could be something as innocent as they weren't cool in high school and didn't have a lot of friends, they were in a bad frat in college and a virgin until they were 26. Or maybe they are a sex offender or divorced. Maybe they had a 'domestic dispute' with a former lover that is easily available for discovery on the internet!
My go to college date was to take girls to musicals that came to town. Who doesn't want some culture in Bloomington, Indiana. But looking back I think I went like 0 for 5 on those dates. Do you know why? Because I was trying too hard. I had much more success kicking down the door at Kilroy's and shouting DADDY'S HOME, ordering 2 bottles of Cook's Champagne and pulling my dick out on the dance floor.
That's a metaphor for confidence I think.
Oh God, this is a mess. Let me walk this back.
If someone goes over the top on a first date, they are compensating for something and setting the bar impossibly high. They are setting you up for a lifetime of disappointment.
That was probably over dramatic, but let's check the final scores.
Scenario 1: Poor
Scenario 2: Poor
Scenario 3: Drunk
Scenario 4: Doesn't want to talk to you
Scenario 5: Doesn't want to talk to you
Scenario 6: Drug addict
Scenario 7: Boring
Scenario 8: Fuckboy
Scenario 9: Unavailable
Scenario 10: Try hard.
So what did we learn? We learned that you are fuckkkkkkked. You're going to die alone and this whole dating thing is a farce. Happy fucking Valentine's Day!
I'm kidding, it's not as hopeless as it all seems. Shockingly at my core I'm a romantic, not in a classic way but more of a Trainspotting kinda way. I still think I'm going to stumble out of this haze some day and get my happily ever after.
In the mean time, I figure it's best to just be super honest when it comes to dating. Say exactly what you want and what you're expecting. We're old now, the time to play coy is over. You're not going to get your "You complete me" moment, but you might get your "But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all."
Way to land the plane there Dave. You managed to shit on LA, the entertainment industry writ large, the institution of dating, throw out at least 5 humble brags, reference substance abuse constantly, but somehow land on a message of hope while quoting both Jerry Maguire and 10 Things I Hate About You.
Why thanks inner monologue, you're not too bad either.