Those who have been reading my blog for a while now, know I’m kind of opposed to the whole dinner-as-a-first-date thing. Some say it’s traditional, I say it’s unoriginal. There’s no thought in taking a woman out to eat, it’s something our parents parents did, and thus we do it too.
But I am the kind of guy who really enjoys a great meal, who is insulted by the vastness that is the Cheesecake Factory dinner menu, and prefers to find holes in the wall and places where the demand for a table is so high, they only accept walk ins. My motto: If there’s a line outside, I probably want to eat there. Hell, ask my mom, my first words ever were “I Eat.” So, for me, eating is an intimate act akin to sex, because anyone who has ever gone out to eat with me knows the whole experience gets me to open up about my own childhood growing up in my grandmother’s restaurant.
Of course, the other reason I don’t like to take a woman out to eat on a first date is the same reason a lot of men have a problem with it. What has any woman done to deserve to eat on my dime? As I just said, going out to eat with a woman is something like sex, and if we’re not going to have sex on the first date, we’re damn sure not going out to eat on the first date.
This has been my attitude for about four or five years now, and though there have been occasional exceptions (she was fine, what can I say), and accidental first-date-dinners (I was hungry, she was just around), I have been steadfast in maintaining this line in the sand. Especially after I lost my previous job at VIBE. Those who were reading way back then remember one of the first posts I ever wrote was a declaration that I would not go out on a date of any kind until I found a job. Those who started reading later, remember the post where I said I lied, I was still going out on the occasional date or two.
Which brings me back to this whole dinner-as-a-first date thing. To be honest, one has to be 1,000-thread count smooth to always avoid taking a woman out to eat on a first date. Or, they have to be a recluse. Either way, most times, taking a woman out to eat on a first date is just easier. Still unoriginal, but then again, some first dates are not worth the effort to be original in the first place. But I have developed what I believe is the best compromise for a first-date meal. It still involves food, but not expensive food, and not just any kind of food either. This compromise is very specific. You all ready? Here it is:
For the remainder of the winter season, I’m only taking women out for soup.
Yep, that’s right, I said it and I mean it. Me and her, whoever she is, are only going out for soup. I’m not talking Hale & Hearty either, unless of course, they carry a specific soup she likes. We can go to other restaurants, nice ones even, so long as they carry a good soup. Even if she is particular about her soup, she only likes chicken noodle or split pea, then we’re going to go and find the best split pea and chicken noodle soups in New York City or wherever my dating life finds me.
The way I see it, not only is this compromise apropos for the season, but it is also economical. A really good, quality Pho-Binh noodle soup doesn’t cost anything more than $5.00 in most places that sell them. Throw in a couple of fried won-tons and we’ll be full for the entire night. And for those women who are into breaking a man’s pockets on the first date, some soups, like a quality lobster bisque or bouillabaisse can cost upwards of $14.
On a more personal note, as a self-entitled foodie, I tend to get into these fits of culinary compulsions. When I really am digging a specific type of food, I want to try as many variations of it as I can. For instance, at one point, I was into finding the best burgers possible in New York City and so, three or four times a week I would go to a new burger spot. This whole soup thing is sort of like that, except now I am allowing women to accompany me on this journey, but let me be clear: I am not, under any circumstances, going to wave on this soup-for-a-first-date-thing until further notice. So for all those women who try to weasel their way out of it, talking about how they want some solid food on the first date, proceed to the next guy. For right now, I’m all about soups, and soups only. There will be no exceptions made.
Well, wait, there is one.
You all know how I feel about my tacos.