We’ve been through so many first dates we may have forgotten how to act. Repetition breeds tedium, especially in relationships. (See the current divorce rate for evidence.) So, the next time a fellow comes a winking, and you decide to meet in a public place with lots of witnesses, bring along this handy list and refer to it frequently between sips of your just-makin’-you-handsome martini.
- What do you do for a living? Don’t shorten the question to “What do you do?” because his answer will probably be irrelevant, like “Cupcakes.”
- Do you have any children? Be careful with this one. Not everyone assumes that children and offspring are synonyms. An answer of yes can mean anything from diapered terrors to a freeloading adult.
- Where did you go to school? If his answer ends in “Tech” and it doesn’t begin with “Texas” or “Virginia,” beware. Then again, if your front-end needs alignment, he could be useful.
- Did you grow up in [where you currently are and, no, not “a bar”]? This will tell you how likely it is that the person you’re with has already mated with other patrons.
- What’s in your iPod? If his answer is “Lint,” he gets points for creativity and no second date. If he lists Liza Minnelli, Madonna, and Depeche Mode, you have a new shopping partner. If he doesn’t know what an iPod is, send him back to the old folks’ home.
- What do you like to do for fun? This will tell you much. Listen for subtle clues that he might be a redneck: “Go cow tipping, drink Old Milwaukee, chew, watch NASCAR, or camp out in my backyard.” If everything he lists is an indoor activity, he’ll wind up being another piece of furniture you won’t use.
- Do you like to cook? A great answer is, “Yes, in fact, I was just about to go bake a fresh spoonful of crack. Be right back.” However, brownies, muffins, salmon, and green bean casserole are more encouraging.
- What’s your favorite local restaurant? If his mother works there, excuse yourself. If it’s Carl’s Jr., look for clues that he’s wearing Spanx and diabetic.
- Do you have any dream vacations in mind? I hope they don’t include anything in the Bible Belt or India. If he lists “Vegas,” he either is a gambling addict or convicted John.
- What kinds of exercise do you do regularly? Encouraging answers involve some type of physical exertion beyond walking, kicking a spongy ball, and drinking beer between reps. Firing a gun is not exercise, nor is sitting in the stands yelling at teenagers or eating.
You can learn so much in ten simple questions, can’t you? Maybe I’ll create a score sheet to assist you further–an iPhone app, perhaps? Naturally, if he has huge hands or is a great kisser, his answers won’t matter … much.