Being Yourself on A First Date (January 6, 2012 @ 2.15pm)
Speaking as a single, 31 year old woman living in New York City, I can tell you that I have been on a number of first dates in my time and many have been with men who are so out of touch with how to act like a gentleman I thought I was on a date with a primate… and not a primate like a chimp either. A primate with a tail that more closely resembles a lemur than a cousin of man.
Now I am far from a lady of class – I’m not a Kennedy or a Rockefeller or a Carnegie or a Lauder – but I do know that manners and etiquette will get everyone farther than you think. Therefore, I am offering up some suggestions – and these are listed in no particular order since they are all important – on how to make an impression on the ladies you meet. Afterall, if you are going to spend your money on a night out, you may as well put your best foot forward since you are paying the tab (and yes, you should pay).
Wine – You do not have to be a French sommelier in order to impress your date with a bottle of wine. All you need to do is ask what pairs nicely with the dish and order it. If bottles are suggested, you don’t have to order something that costs $150, especially if you and/or your date aren’t connoisseurs. You just can’t choose the cheapest bottle on the list – you know, the one that costs $20 and tastes like cheap, flat beer. Also, when the wine arrives, don’t swirl it so vigorously that you spill it onto the table. Just sip it, or better yet, allow her to sip it first. If she likes the taste, accept the bottle. Easy, right?
Drinking wine – Don’t ghetto-handle the wine glass. Don’t ghetto-handle any glass but a wine glass with your palm print on it is really off-putting. Hold the glass by the stem since that is what it is there for. Also, don’t gulp the wine. It’s not Gatorade and there is no rush.
Opening and Pulling and Picking Up and Ordering – Open doors, all doors all of the time. Pull out chairs. Pick up things she may drop, like a napkin at dinner, and pick up the check. Let her order first. If she needs a moment, tell the server to come back. Don’t order first and then rush your date. That’s not cool. If she orders wine, feel free to get a cocktail but match her drinks. Do not get drunk and leave her to watch you misbehave. That will not get you a call back and you will be left telling your story to your boys about how she was a stick in the mud… but they will know, and you will know, you blew it by getting wasted.
Eating – This is important. Eat like a human being. Use the proper silverware for the appropriate course. If you are unsure, look it up beforehand. Don’t use a salad fork when eating steak. Don’t use your teaspoon to eat bisque. Don’t employ chopsticks if all you are going to do is stab your noodles and complain. Don’t slurp, lick your chops, spit anything out unless absolutely necessary, eat off of her plate unless she invites you to, feed her unless she accepts the offer! All of these things seem simple enough but they aren’t generally observed behaviors.
Picking the venue – Men, you should always aim to impress your date but that means a lot of different things, especially in New York City or other cosmopolitan cities where the entire world seems as if it is at your fingertips. Ask your date where she would like to go, or if she likes a particular type of cuisine you choose the place. Also, be mindful of your wallet. Don’t take her to Le Bernardin if all you can afford is a salad and two coffees. Some tiny hole in the wall with great food and a fun atmosphere is perfectly fine. It’s the company, not the strangers, that will make the night. You should also know if she is more casual or fancy. I, myself, am totally casual and would be out of place in some trendy lounge, preferring a tapas bar and a game of pool over the Meatpacking District scene. But there are ladies out there who wouldn’t know anything about pool and would feel out of place ordering a bunch of little plates. Bottom line, know your date and make her comfortable.
Be yourself – All of these suggestions are nothing if they are taken into account to such an extent that you are no longer yourself. Be yourself. Be funny and quirky and sarcastic and whatever else comes naturally to you but don’t be an animal. Take your date into consideration at all times and make the night special so she wants to see you again, the real you.
Compliment her – Don’t tell your date she has on a nice dress or pretty shoes. Those compliments can come from a woman on the street that thinks she has nice style. Tell her she has nice ear rings, or you like the way she did her hair. Say something that you can’t appreciate from a mile away, and something she put thought into. (Secret: Women chose what they wear on dates with purpose, so acknowledge it and it will go a long way.)
Candidly, it’s not hard for girls to get free dinners, aka get a date. The trick about getting the second date with someone you enjoy is to be a nice person, be generous and kind and considerate and have manners. If you drop your chopstick or a burp slips out, that’s fine – just laugh it off. But don’t do it again.
Bottom line, have fun. Make your night a great one and just be mindful of your actions. First dates are the hardest interviews you will ever go on so make the most of them.
Cigars and the lie that is the Cubano (January 3, 2012 @ 5.07pm)
I recently enjoyed my first cigar in ages, some no name stick I had on New Years Day. The men were talking up the fact that it wasn’t a Cuban and the ladies were purring at their knowledge. That is where I cleared my throat and started to school people on why their theories on Cuban cigars is a crock.
The art of smoking is lost on our generation but the belief in a Cuban always being the superior product is not. Why? For people who know nothing about cigars I suppose there is some nostalgia associated with Cubans along with their inaccessible nature. ”Ooh babe, it’s not a Cuban? Is it good?”
Here are the facts. Back in the day when the whole shebang nearly went down and the world blinked tobaccanists had the presence of mind to harvest some of their seeds and move them to countries where there was much less static. It was there that they planted and grew all of the cigars we are able to get today – Patron, Joya de Montery, Romeo y Julieta, etc. Not only did they transplant the exact same seeds but they did so in nearly the same soil in nearly the same climate and so the tobacco that was harvested was nearly the same… and it still is.
If you look at a good stick, some things should always ring true. The stick should smoke evenly, meaning one side doesn’t burn more than the other and it doesn’t tunnel. The stick should not have cracks if it was kept in the proper manner – that means a humidor, not a refrigerator or baggie with a small humidification device. It should hold onto its ash. The cigar should look at nice, or nicer, than it tastes.
After educating people on what a cigar should look like it was time to chat about their taste and smell. Look, some blends are mild and smooth while others are spicy and bitter. At the end of the day, a cigar is like beer and wine and pasta and chewing gum. You like what you like and it doesn’t matter what people say. It’s your money so smoke what you like when you like. Just don’t judge a smoke right off the bat because it’s not a Cuban.
And do not dip it in brandy. And don’t be too aggressive with your cutter. And don’t use a punch on a torpedo.
Just be *considerate* and all will be well (April 1, 2011 @ 2.04pm)
I know there are tons of men out there who just want to figure out what women want and believe me, gentlemen, the feeling is mutual. The dating situation is aptly called a “game” because it often feels that wa;y but that word suggests there would be a winner and a loser when, in fact, there should just be two winners who shoulder the weight of the relationship together.
I was speaking with a couple of people about this earlier today – one male and one female – and both people were in complete agreement about one facet of dating… Just be considerate of the other person and all will be well. I swear to the sweet Lord above, I think the three of us have inadvertently stumbled upon the key to making things more understandable between the sexes.
No one wants to be with someone they don’t care for or don’t find attractive so I don’t know what to tell you if you meet someone and it’s just not a fit. I mean, if that’s the case just move on. But if you have found someone who you care about and who you would like to interview for the role of husband or wife… BE CONSIDERATE and do things for that person out of the kindness of your heart, not because you think you have to or believe it’s expected of you!
Before I give an example of considerate behavior, let me say this one thing: Bringing flowers to your girlfriend’s house on a Friday night “just because” is not considerate. It’s kind. Opening the door for your woman is kind. Cooking dinner for your guy is something nice. These things are not considerate. There is a difference.
An example of something considerate: Last Christmas Eve Day, I was going to NJ to spend the evening with my BFF and her family. I was spending the evening before that with someone special and his family in Long Island. Instead of having my guy come into the city to pick me up, I took the subway to him because that would make his life easier. The following morning, instead of making me take mass transit to my BFF, he drove me there. That was considerate on both of our parts.
Look, the bottom line is that I want a partner who will make my life happier and easier and better, not someone who is going to be a burden. I look for the same things when I make friends, right? I want friends who are going to bring value to my life and I excuse people from my life who take more than they give.
So gentlemen, it’s actually very simple. Women want someone who is nice and kind and smart and all that stuff but someone who is considerate is really important and eerily hard to come by. Knock our socks off with consideration and you will get much farther than you think. Selfish is not hot.
Why do I need to break up with you, sir? We’re not dating! (March 13, 2011 @ 6.24pm)
Riddle me this: Why do I find myself having to break up with yet another man I’m not dating and not sleeping with? Apparently, I either find really dumb single males to make my friends or I give off some sort of pheromone that screams “Please get the wrong idea and mistake friendship for me wanting to make babies with you!”.
Men: What is it that I am doing that gives off the wrong impression? I don’t think I’m overly flirtatious or gregarious. I’m just me and I’m loud and I laugh when you say funny things and I make jokes when the timing is right and I can talk about sports bc I like sports, not because I’m trying to find an “in” with you. What gives?
Ladies: Does this happen to you also, or is it just me? How does this happen?
Honestly, I have chatted about this with my girlfriends and some of my guy friends and they have no idea where the disconnect is, what sort of math would yield this answer, or why it specifically happens to me. In all honesty, this poor guy is going to be Guy #3 that I have broken up with but haven’t dated or banged. I wish a guy would come along that I’d actually like to date and he would *correctly* read whatever signs the others are reading and I could ride off into the sunset wearing my awesome Christian Louboutin shoes and a smile (that’s a poorly constructed sentence but you get what I mean!).
Is “cougaring” the new black? (February 24, 2011 @ 3.42pm)
I am starting to feel like the only 30 year old woman in New York City that has not yet had sex with a younger man. What is the draw, ladies? Men? Even my mother called me an ageist the other day because I don’t date men who are younger than I am. My mother!
I would like to go on record as saying I am not an ageist. I just prefer my men older than me… is that so wrong? Like 5-10 years older is nice if we are getting specific but 2-3 will do just fine.
Can someone please explain to me the allure of dating a younger man? I mean, the women who I am friends with are not in their 70s so dating a younger man is not all kinds of hot, nor is it some sort of accomplishment. We are all contemporaries and yet I feel like some sort of prude or something.
Look, I went interracial before it was in vogue so this whole “blazing the trail of dating equality” is not that interesting but, I’m not going to lie, I am a little concerned about being a jerk. Should I just cougar some unsuspecting lad and get it over with? Is cougaring that stylish? And also, just because I’m a curious person, why would some young buck want to date an old lady (not my age, really old… like 70)?
Yes Men, you can be too clean (February 18, 2011 @ 11.32am)
I think I can speak for all women when I say that there are some men out there who are just too clean… cut. Depending on her style, that can vary but I don’t know a single woman who wants a man who is more put together than she is. For me, I don’t want someone who has a standing appointment to be waxed, manicured, tanned, teeth whitened, etc. However, going every couple of weeks to have his hair cut or have a proper shave is totally fine with me.
What is the difference? The difference is that I don’t even have a standing appointment to be waxed, manicured, tanned or teeth whitened so neither should my guy. I mean, the whole point of dating someone of the opposite sex is to be with someone who is a little rougher than me. If I wanted to date a girl, I would.
There are some no-nos, though. Some big fat stinky no-nos when it comes to this clean thing. Dirty and/or long nails, funky body odor, greasy hair, stank breath, dirty clothes… you get the hint. Nothing about a man should scream “I’m a man and therefore I’m allowed to look and smell like a barnyard” – not his grooming and not his attitude. Men should be dapper and well put together yet still a man, chivalrous with their women but not animals when they go out with the boys, confident and not cocky, clean but not too clean. Ya feel me?