03 May 2008

First Dates are Always Awkward

The Mrs. and I were in Border's tonight, preparing to enjoy a nice cup of coffee after raiding the discount racks. I sat quietly reading my new book to myself, and she stood at the counter waiting for the hot hot coffee.
She was laughing when she returned to me, which was odd, 'cos I was the one reading the funny book. I asked her what was so funny, and she told me that the couple in the corner were apparently on their first date; the awkward conversation was too easy to overhear, and my dear wife has very good hearing. They had also apparently been discussing how she (not the wife) was hard of hearing in one ear. Well, luckily enough she (the wife this time) forgot to put the honey in my drink, so I gladly walked up to the coffee condiment counter to avail myself of the the good stuff in handy packet form.
The packets were sticky, but that's okay, because it gave me more time to listen in.
Don't judge me - you know you do it, too.
He was laughing the loudish, slightly too ebullient laugh that all men exhibit on a first date when they sense it going south; that somehow his own laughter can resuscitate the evening. I listened to him tell her that he was having the peppermint mocha, but then that he didn't go to places like this, save for once or twice a month. LIAR! No man only wanders into a coffee establishment on his own once or twice a month and knows how to order a peppermint mocha, never mind what one even is (They are delicious. I love them.). The poor bastard went on (he was a huskier fellow) lamenting the caloric content of one of those fabled drinks, how he was going to have to call his Jenny Craig rep tomorrow and go to the gym work work it off.
Jenny Craig, man. That's A-list material right there.
She laughed briefly and politely. The whole time I stood there, pouring honey into my drink, stirring my drink, trying to figure out how to get honey-laden napkin un-stuck from my fingers with out licking them... Anyway, he stunk of desperation, and I know, dear readers. I been there.
On our way out soon thereafter, we almost walked up to them and asked for first date confirmation, reliving the memories of our own first date (an untouched picnic, the slightly awkward conversation), but decided in the end that discretion was the better part of valor.
Besides, if that guy was barely holding his own without 2 complete (and nosey) strangers interloping in their evening, WITH our 'help', he would have been reduced to a high volume chuckle factory with his peppermint mocha in one hand and not hers in his other.
Maybe I'm wrong, maybe she was really into him, but I've been on first dates good and bad, and falling back on your choice of beverage as a topic of conversation is a bad, bad sign.
I'm going to put this out for whomever cares to read it: guys out there, relax. Don't try to be funny. It's painfully obvious when we are. Sure the ladies want a guy that makes her laugh, but lying about coffee and Jenny Craig?
Well, maybe that's where they met.

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