Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Things I Am Not Allowed To Discuss On A First Date

About a year ago I was preparing to go on a first date -- not just any first date but my FIRST first date since leaving my fiancé a year earlier. Sure, rebound boy DH and I had gone out drinking together a number of times after the big break-up, but we never had anything to eat so I don't think any of those encounters actually counts as a real date. Anyway, it was a first date, so naturally I was nervous, particularly because I suck at making small talk.

My friend Eileen is no stranger to first dates -- she rather enjoys them, in fact -- and the task of calming me down fell to her. It went a little something like this:

Eileen: What are you gonna wear?

Me: Um, jeans?

Eileen: That works. Do you have dressy jeans?

Me: Doesn't that sort of defeat the whole purpose of jeans?

Eileen: Okay, so just your regular jeans. With a cute top, like a going out top.

Me: Have you ever seen me in anything that even remotely resembles a going out top?

Eileen: You know what, just wear something red. You look good in red. Or pink.

Me: Oooh, I have cute brown mocassins with a pink bow on them.

Eileen: Perfect.

Me: Okay, but what are we gonna TALK about?

Eileen: Well, I can tell you what you're NOT gonna talk about.
And then she made me a list of things I am not allowed to discuss on a first date, presumably for my own good.

I mention all this because I just discovered that list still hanging on my fridge. It reads:

Things Megan is not Allowed to Discuss on a First Date
  • President Bush
  • J.Crew
  • logging
  • the Bill of Rights
  • the Supreme Court
  • the Bill of Rights as interpreted by the Supreme Court (and definitely do not mention the 5th grade Sandra Day O'Connor Halloween costume!)
  • sports (because you suck at that)
  • religion
  • the war in Iraq
  • TV
  • land use (see logging)
  • Wal-Mart

You know, all the things I like to talk about. Well, except for sports -- I definitely do suck at that.


IAMRONIN said...

WTF Meg,
What do you talk about then? Globalization? Noam Chomsky? Coffee? What? You like debating about everything on that list? Don't you?? I know, you can talk about gun control or would that fall under the bill of rights?
How about leather seats? Would that be fair game?

Chris said...

On the rare occassion that the stars are aligned just right and I actually go out on a date, I get politics and religion out on the table immediately. My thought is, why not? Those two things are pretty important to me, so what's the point of postponing them until later and then finding out that she's a Dubya supported or that she's beeen born again? I also try to strategically insert some foul language into the conversation so I can gauge the reaction.

Phil said...

I would happily discuss any of those thing on a first date with you. Even when you don't agree, opposites attract.

vikkitikkitavi said...

When I started dating again after my divorce, I used an online service affliated with Salon, and Nerve, and The Onion. I figured if a guy was into those publications, there was at least a snowball's chance in hell he might be able to tolerate me.

lulu said...

Are you allowed to discuss the moral implications of owning an SUV?

Megan said...

Ronin - Gun control would definitely fall under both the Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court. However, in this case talking about gun control on date number one would have served me well, as the gentleman in question and I eventually split over major disagreements about guns, skiing, and whether Supertramp is the greatest band ever.

Chris - I think the rules are different for men and women, but yours is probably a much better policy.

Phil - In some ways, opposites do attract, but I'm with Chris - no Dubya supporters or born again Christians for me. I also once almost broke up with a guy because I thought he didn't recycle.

Vikki - And it worked! :)

Lulu - I'm pretty sure the SUV thing is off the table as well. Do you want me to add it?

Grant Miller said...

You also don't want to talk about movies or music, because if the other person has hideous taste the date will end quickly.

Megan said...

Doesn't leave much, does it?

eileen said...

I know, I know, that some of these topics on the "taboo list" must have made conversation fairly limited, but I must say that when faced with the task of calming down our Megan and trying to make sure that the First first date went well, this list was created . . . I agree that controversial topics are good to discuss on the 1st date, but I think that there are some other successful topics - like recycling, hemp-made products, free-range Turkeys, and maybe even other organic products. :)

Megan said...

Yes, to be fair, Eileen has witnessed me actually say to a guy in a bar, "You are everything that's wrong with the world" amid a heated discussion over real estate development (see land use) AND been kicked out of an entirely different bar as a result of my arguing with an entirely different guy about Bush and the war in Iraq. So she knows of what she speaks.

wonderturtle said...

But the guy for you will be totally turned on by both of those incidents.