The other night I was eating corn on the cob and feeling very happy I was not on a date because I looked like a rat gnawing on a typewriter spool. It inspired me to write up the worst first date foods, complete with a handy dandy legend for quick reference...
M = Messy
NR = Makes nose run
U = Unwieldy
F = Gas Producing (could be applied to any food really)
C = Cheap/thoughtless
A = Alters your appearance
PSYCH = Plays with your mind
NA = Noise Alert!
Spaghetti (M, U)- Choose your pasta wisely! Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes, so there are safe choices like penne. But avoid spaghetti. My Italian grandmother was adept at twisting her fork into a mound of spaghetti and pulling it out in a nice, manageable ball. I never picked up that skill. So, if you can't get that spaghetti to cooperate with your fork, you are left to suck the loose dangling ends into your mouth like a vacuum cleaner over a worm farm. Pasta sauce only complicates matters. Loose ends of spaghetti left to their own devices hanging out of your mouth will act like octopus tentacles slinging sauce all over everything, including your date.
Soup (U, NR, NA) - It hurts to include this amazing food here, considering it's my all time favorite food. But, inexperienced soup eaters are not skilled at cooling and managing bites of soup, so they do the only thing they know to do: they slurp, making your date think they are having dinner with a sump pump. And if you're nervous or shaky, soup can spill from the spoon or the bowl. And why does my nose always run when I eat soup?
Beans and Other Gas Producers (F, NA)- Beans act as ammunition to turn your first date into your last. On a first date, you don't need to eat any food that will bloat you up til you float away like the Hindenburg. And you know what happened to the Hindenburg. And you know what happens if you let the gas go. Some day you'll hit that right of passage where you can eat all the gas producers you want, but for your first few dates play it safe.
Super Spicy Foods (A, PSYCH, NR) - There's an amazing Thai place that I order food from every now and then. I spar with the guy who takes the delivery orders (he knows me by now), by seeing how far we can up the ante with the spiciness in my chicken with basil that I order. The dish arrives to my apartment so peppery-hot, that I am sweating mid way through the dish. I think to myself: "I look disgusting right now". You're usually nervous enough on a first date-don't give yourself another reason to sweat. Some peppers are even strong enough to alter your mental state. I once bought a few habenero peppers and chopped them up and threw them in my stir fry. I ate it while watching a football game with my roommate. The next day I woke up and realized I had blacked out the night before from the peppers. My roommate later told me that I was comatose for about three hours after I began eating. Unless your date is horrible, you probably don't want to black out your first time together.
Fast Food/Chain Restaurants (C) - My friends and I joke that taking a girl to McDonalds ensures that she won't want to see us again. Sure, there are those campy impromptu fast food experiences with that special someone, but on a first date it's best to go to a special place. Also, if you look like you've done some research it's always appreciated. Best case scenario, you introduce that your date to a place or a food they never had before, and mutual discovery is what love is all about. But... I must admit if a girl took me to Chic-Fil-A, she'd have my heart.
The great thing about 'the one" is that he/she will love you regardless of what food you eat on your first date. These suggestions are based on avoiding personal anxiety. Most likely, if the person's into you, impersonating a vacuum cleaner on a worm farm will be perceived as "cute" instead of "gross". Funny how love works. So, perhaps what I'm trying to say here is: you must put yourself through personal embarrassment in front of that special someone to see if they are the one. Isn't love fun?
So, what foods would you black list for a first date? Can you share any food horror stories from your dating life, and do you agree or disagree with my list?