Rounding in to my fourth (or is it fifth? It at least feels like my hundredth) year of being single, I can safely say that I have gone on ~a lot~ of dates. And, as someone who has gone on ~a lot~ of dates, I can tell you I am becoming quite tired of the first date rigmarole. Mainly consisting of beverages of some sort (unless, god forbid, your special swipe wants to take you hiking or some such nonsense ), and the awkward “are we sleeping together on the first date?” dance. Now, I don’t know what qualifies one to be an advice columnist or dating guru, all I know is that no one has ever asked me to be one. But, I will tell you this, dear reader: The thing that bums me out more than anything is the first date survey.
You know what I mean—when you’re answering question after question about your life, your hopes, your dreams, etc etc until you’re so bored you’re starting to wonder who you have to write to in congress to get a bill passed for pouring an 8 count to be the standard measurement on drink orders.
Now, I know you’re thinking “yea-duh. Nobody on the face of this planet enjoys that horribly awkward, but somehow necessary part of the date. You’re not making any kind of revelation here,” and, you’re not wrong. But, the thing is, the reason why I hate it (And boy Howdy do I) is because invariably there will come the time when my date will ask the dreaded question. After spewing my guts and trying to make cross stitching seem interesting for the past twenty minutes and thinking I’ve really made progress, staring deeply into his eyes and thinking that I am probably going to make it out of this one alive, he will pop the question :”What’s your favorite music?”
DUN DUN DUUUUUUNNNN
“Whaaaaat,” you screech(insert mental gif of spit take here). You can’t believe it. How can that possibly be the question that makes me quiver with unease when there are so many other, less easily answered topics a date could broach? I know, I know reader, you are just like my dates and I can already feel you slipping away. You see, I hate it because I genuinely do not give a fuck about music. And that is tough titties to deal with in the dating world.
Music is fine. I’m happy enough when its on, I don’t mind hearing the music other people enjoy. I appreciate it’s qualities in terms of ability to add to cinematic moments. There are certainly songs and bands that I appreciate, tunes I find catchy, and so forth. But, frankly, I would prefer to watch a show or read a book than to listen to music and people Do. Not. Get. That. It’s like a personal affront. It’s like I have physically wounded them when I let loose that I can get down with Ke$ha, but I honestly don’t know who that obscure band is and god, no, I don’t really want you to play their five albums for me (but, fuck, okay fine you’ve already brought out your spotify playlist so yea, sure go on lets hear it).
The other day I spent a solid five minutes referring to Heuy Luis and the News as Heuy Lewis and the Band, until the nice gentleman I was talking to informed me of my mistake. I really don’t have much of a knack for it.
Sad though this may be, I’ve decided to get it over with as quickly as possible with the my new dynamic duo of questions. Instead of the boring back and forth of “tell me your passions” and another sad foray into “21 questions” I’ve added in an invigorating round of “what do you hate” ? An exciting river of emotions as the two contestants plow through things that are really obnoxious and off putting to them. This game is helpful threefold.
- It spices up the mundane date with something I actually care about. That something being: are we going to be able to complain about the same crap. Or, even better, are you enough of a curmudgeon for me to begin with? Because, honestly, you can have your goals and aspirations, but if you aren’t going to rant about people walking two abreast down a sidewalk that barely fits one person and then those people won’t move over to let you through—thank, frankly, I’m not really sure we are going to be compatible. And, also, if you don’t mention a general distaste for cable/internet conglomerates right away then I will have to naturally assume you are the devil incarnate.
- It is the easiest way to find out if someone is a racist/sexist/classist/abelist/otherwise-ist kind of person. Nothing screams “run the other direction” than somebody telling me they hate when women talking about periods.
- But, most importantly, it gives me the opportunity right out of the gate to express that I do not care about music. It is not my life, it is not my drug, it is not the one thing that keeps me going. They will learn, very quickly, that concerts do not give me any kind of high, and if they see me at one its because I’m supporting a friend, or it’s the one band I care about.
Now, as if it is not enough to simply know the things that can drive my new potential partner looney toons, I’ve decided to up the ante. If they have been willing to play along up until this point, they should have no trouble in the lightning round, “Would you eat a human?” Now, before you get all up in a tizzy, this is always qualified by letting everyone know the extreme Donner Party-esq circumstances. I’m not asking you to bite in to me during foreplay, I’m merely wondering if we are on the same page…survival wise. If we were stranded, for whatever reason, and someone that wasn’t the two of us died in a way that didn’t involve tainting their nourishing meatparts would you eat them to survive? Again, the question serves threefold.
- If you are too freaked out by this question to even answer, then we aren’t going to get along. I am as weird as I am morbid, and if you won’t even entertain my curiosity of this unseemly topic then you probably also hate Stephen King, and if that’s the case what use to do I have for you?
- If we were stranded and we did need to eat someone, don’t you think it’s important our values line up? Can you imagine what an awkward conversation that would be, like, ten years into a relationship when one of us is clinging to life and the other one is too disgusted and prefers to die? Isn’t that something you want to know before you have children? That if push comes to shove you’ll have help rearing the twins in the woods like savages because all of humanity has come crashing down? I’m just saying, it’s something people should be on the same page about.
- If they answer yes too quickly before I can qualify what kind of situation would require them to be eating the flesh of humans, I can boogie out of there right quick. I love Thomas Harris’ works, but I am in no mood to be reenacting scenes from Hannibal, thanks.
I’ve found this is the quickest and safest route for me to take to really streamline the process of letting everyone know where I’m at, music-wise. While I’m happy for everyone that has their passion, I’m not really trying to life a life where I need to know about all the best bands in the tri-state area. If you’re a musician and we end up dating, I will happily support you and talk about your inspiration, but until then, keep your info in your soundcloud.