“How to Do First Dates”

There are moments in your life when you read something and it resonates at a very close and relatable place. This was one of those moments for me. The writer, Ron Anahaw, is a twelfth grader from Towson, MD. His essay perfectly summarizes the first date experience. So much so that I just had to share it with all of you! Read below and please let me know your thoughts.

Bring several pounds of washcloths. Hide them. You’re prone to sweat, and she’s got skin like a glossy leaf. Don’t be a cliche. When you compliment her, which is a must, stray from things like “You’re pretty,” or “You’re beautiful,” or “My God, you’re so hot, damn, girl.” That last one got you slapped. Hard. Your dignity faded faster than the mark on your face. Say things like “Your hips are the ocean’s curves,” or “Your eyes have stolen the stars tonight,” or “Te amo. Tu tienes mi corazon.” (Chicks dig Spanish.) Wait–scratch all that. Too creepy. Dial it down. Wait till you’re married to say any of that. “You look nice tonight,” that’ll do just fine.

If you feel so inclined, create hypotheticals in your mind of you two pumping out two-and-a-half kids, adopting a dog, and erecting a white picket fence in the suburbs, but by no means should you verbalize any of this. She’s trying to enjoy her salad. You’re at a diner, for God’s sake. This is not the time or place to have a salad thrown at you in disgust. Even if you feel like your souls throb at the same wavelength, even if your lips are itching to pull apart and let loose a “We’resoulmateslet’sgetmarriedrightnow,” resist. Resist. Focus on your burger. It’s nice, tender beef. The fries go well with ketchup. Bite, chew, swallow, nod, laugh at her jokes. Plate’s empty. Dessert. Yum. Wipe the sweat from your forehead.

The stars giggle while you try small talk. Ask for water only if she does too. You don’t want to seem too thirsty. You want to seem the right amount of thirsty. Oh no. Oh God, no. You notice that she has the kind of lips that wars are fought over. This is going to be tough. “Are you enjoying the apple pie?” Good, a question; it will distract you from her lips. Anyway. She has no idea the factors that affect your answer. For example: Is she enjoying it? Is it warm or cold? Have you used your fork or spoon or–God forbid–your hand to eat it? How big is it? Does it make your lips itch? Wipe your hands, you’re sweating. Say the pie is fine, that’s safe. Your tongue is so parched–hold. Don’t ask for water. Dessert is done. She’s still talking to you. She doesn’t care that the food is done. My god, you’ve made it this far. Keep it cool. Don’t worry, you’re smooth, you’re slick, you know how to spin a few cool rhymes. “I’m chillin’ in a diner / with a cool girl, I like her / almost as much as this apple pie / hope she likes this nervous guy.”

…What. Did. You. Just. Do. Yeah, that’s right, inwardly groan at the pure cheesiness of what you just said! In fact, outwardly groan! You idiot! You–“Was that a love rap?” She’s smiling. She’s giggling. Wait. Maybe you didn’t just screw up. My friend, you can do it. Lean in for the kiss. Do it.


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