My last date — and an idea for my next one?
Way back in 1982 or 1983, I went on a date with a man I met at a bar. I was 21 or 22 at the time and I’m pretty sure I was at the bar with some college friends. In fact, I think my previous boyfriend was among those gathered for drinks. I can’t remember how we got to talking, but I suspect he was a friend of one of my friends. I can’t remember anything we talked about, but when he asked me out for a date, I said yes.
My Last Date
The date was dinner and a movie — and for the life of me, I can’t remember which we did first. It must have been dinner, right?
Dinner was at a place called Coco’s. It was (or is?) a restaurant chain in the New York area. I was living in Hempstead, Long Island at the time, in my first apartment. Coco’s was in Hempstead, but on the “nice” side of town. (Not sure if there is a nice side of Hempstead these days.)
I don’t remember what we ate, but I assume it was standard chain restaurant fare. I do remember the conversation, though. It was dominated by my date, who spent most of the time talking about his ex-wife, his religious beliefs, and the kind of furniture he liked. I felt as if it were a job interview for his next wife, where he was running through the qualifications for the position and telling me what to expect. The entire dinnertime conversation was a complete turn-off. The furniture bothered me most: do people still have Colonial American furniture?
So I wasn’t very optimistic about the rest of the evening.
The movie was Blade Runner, the classic science fiction movie directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford. I absolutely loved this movie — and today, it remains one of my favorites of all time. I loved the complex story, I loved the visualizations and style, I loved the characters, I loved the violence. I came out of the movie feeling good, ready to see it a second time.
My date, however, hated it. Absolutely hated it.
That’s when I knew there was a mismatch.
He drove me home and I let him walk me up to my apartment. But I did not invite him in. I think there was a G-rated kiss on the doorstep before I went inside.
He called me the next day to ask me out for a second date. That kind of amazed me. He was apparently either desperate to make it work or completely out of touch with reality. I set him straight. I told him I didn’t think we were a good match.
He tried one more time a few weeks later, leaving a message on my machine. I didn’t return his call.
(And in case you’re wondering, my soon-to-be ex-husband and I didn’t really date. We just started doing things together and didn’t really stop — until this year.)
My Next Date?
I think dinner and a movie is a great idea for a first date. Dinner gives you a chance to see what kinds of restaurants and foods you both like. It gives you an opportunity to discuss the things you both think are worth discussing. It gives you both food for thought for the rest of the evening and beyond.
The movie, of course, gives you an opportunity to share the experience of third-party content. Rather than both of you talking about what you want, the movie offers fresh input from someone else. How you both react to it can help you understand how alike — or different — you are. I know that if I hated a movie and my companion loved it, there could be a problem. But even a discussion of the movie can help bring out similarities and differences in the way you think.
If I got to plan my next date, it would be dinner at an independent (not chain) restaurant that offered healthy choices (like salads or grilled meats/fish) followed by an action/adventure flick like the new James Bond movie, Skyfall — maybe in IMAX.
The hard part, apparently, is to find someone who agrees that might be a pleasant way to spend an evening.