OK, you have cleaned out your apartment (bulldozers are not not an option, BTW) and have her coming over. However, it now falls upon you to help figure out what the hell to watch. DO NOT make the mistake of just letting her pick. First of all, she will feel like you are a total wimp for not even having an opinion. Also, most women will feel a lot of pressure from unilaterally picking out a movie, for fear you will judge her negatively and/or be really bored with the movie. The women who don’t feel pressure are either so over opinionated that they know what you should be watching (“I just know you are going to love Love and Other Drugs!”) or just a total sociopath who will have no problem subjecting you to Thelma and Louise. In either case odds are you would have a more pleasant evening dropped into the scorpion pit, so just hope she will not want to just pick out the movie (by the way, if your progress in the relationship her hesitance to pick movies without discussion will dry up like paint. Eventually , you will watch Thelma and Louise).
This, however, does not give you license to subject her to the Wrath of Khan or whatever other sci fi movie you want (Khaaaaaaan image courtesy of the TV show t shirts). You need to engage in a dialog, and understand that she will be judging you based on how you interact with her in this discussion. You have to dance along the thin line of not being a dominant jerk or a spineless wimp.
At this point I usually start off by suggesting 3-4 movies that would seem like good compromises. She will probably shoot the first three down, so keep the one you really want to watch for fourth. If she shoots down all your initial suggestions at that point ask her for her suggestions. If she says something like “I really want to see …!” you are pretty much committed to that and need to respond with “I haven’t seen (insert lame movie name here) but it looks interesting.” However, that would tread down the path of her being the controlling jerk. The best response is if she comes across with 3-4 suggestions of her own. Let her reel them off and then pick the one that has the highest chance of not making you pray for death. Try to not fall into the trap of suggesting other movies as if you drag this out your chances of saying the wrong thing or suggesting something stupid will increase dramatically.
Because I love doing these and feel like they are really funny, I am going to list off a number of movies and/or genres and what I think her opinion will be or what it says about her.
Titanic-this is a Billy Zane chick flick. If you suggest it you will look like you are pandering to her or possibly in the closet. If she suggests it she might just be that aforementioned sociopath. Also, as a rule try to avoid movies with guys that women swoon over. If she spends two hours watching weedy pretty boy Leonardo di Caprio die to save the girl you will look terrible in comparison, especially if you failed to put yourself between her and the creepy homeless person the other night.
The Empire Strikes Back-or any of the Star Wars franchise. If you even suggest this flick you will most likely never hear from her again. If she suggests it try to discretely determine if she was actually born a man, or possibly had a brain transplant of some kind. If she is in fact female and suggested this film than prepare to either marry her or receive the heartbreak of your life when the perfect woman dumps you.
Generic chick flicks-if you suggest this see the listing for Titanic. I guarantee she will suggest at least one as a test of your machismo. Don’t fall into that trap or you will end up with a new friend and no sex.
I gotta run, but I will do more of these tomorrow. Have a great day.
Like the US Marine Corps likes to say, Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. You actually have a human female (to the best of your knowledge) coming over to watch a movie at your place. Don’t screw the whole deal up before she even arrives.
You have hidden away most of your nerd stuff and other things that could potentially embarrass you in your living room. However, there are plenty of things to screw you up in pretty much every other room in your place.
First, the kitchen. Make sure there is actual food in your refrigerator, not just beer and condiments. Salad makings, some meat and cheese, maybe even some kind of food that requires preparation. I won’t go as far as to suggest you actually cook something. I mean, we’re not trying to stop the world from spinning on it’s axis here. Just make it look like you subsist on something other than fast food and Cheetos.
Then the bathroom. Assume she will at some point glance into your medicine cabinet. Get rid of anything medical, especially if it is for an embarrassing affliction. Preparation H, rogaine, viagra, anything skin related, or for that matter anything that could be used for something weird (Vasoline) needs to go away. Your medicine cabinet should contain toothpaste, floss, deodorant, a comb, some hair gel, and maybe some Q-tips. Then, go out and by some good, super soft toilet paper and be absolutely sure you have a full roll on your holder AND a spare roll somewhere handy and visible. You have no idea how much toilet paper some women can go through in a given day, and running out of TP and having to ask you for more (or go without) will really piss her off. Hide the plunger, but make sure you have a toilet brush in a holder. Even if you are not in the habit of washing your hands after using the bathroom (and really, if you aren’t, why don’t you just go out every day and eat a bucket of sewage? Also don’t shake my hand) have some hand soap next to the sink in a dispenser. If you had to buy some for this date make sure the seal is open and dump about 1/3rd of it out.
Finally, the bedroom. This is where you hope to end up, if not tonight than some point in your lifetime. Don’t make the huge mistake of getting rid of all your contraband by dumping it into the bedroom and hoping she avoids it. Get rid of the weird stuff. Make sure you have clean, high thread count sheets, a duvet for all your cruddy blankets, a bed frame (no mattresses on the floor), a minimum of two pillows, and a nightstand with a lamp. Assorted other bedroomy stuff is cool, like a dresser or a mirror. Keep the decorations to a minimum. You don’t want her to think you like to go to sleep looking at your Empire Strikes Back poster every night (Empire image courtesy of the sci fi t shirts). If there is something in your bedroom that a 10 year old would think was cool, get rid of it.
Now, it’s time to clean. Yes, everything we have done up until now was just to get your place ready for a complete cleaning. Honestly, I hate this and when I have the money I like to pay a housekeeper to come do it for me. However, it has been a couple years since I have had that kind of scratch, so I am back to doing it all myself. If it has a flat surface, dust it. If it folds, fold it. Make your bed. Scrub out your bathtub, sinks, and toilet (actually pay particular attention to the bathroom, as most women are really sensitive to that sort of thing and will get really skeeved out by a dirty toilet). Scrub your linoleum. Vacuum your carpets. Open your windows and get some fresh air in. Throw down some air fresheners and spray Fabreeze likes it’s a fire extinguisher at a four alarm fire. Don’t miss window sills, the top of your TV, under the couch, or the inside of your refrigerator and microwave.
Odds are you will spend hours and still do a mediocre job of it, but this is the minimum you have to do. The vast majority of women can’t feel comfortable in a place they think of as dirty, and more than anything you need her to feel comfortable so she will want to get closer to you or at least come back some day.
OK, I’m seeing the new X-men movie tonight, so tomorrow will be a movie review. More on this subject Sunday, I think, although I am done with the cleaning stuff and will get into some other movie related specifics, like what kind of movie to recommend.
So I was preparing myself to watch Hop last night (any by preparing I mean punching myself in the stomach repeatedly to build up a tolerance for the incoming pain) and at the last minute decided my last few weeks have been difficult enough, despite my desire to see something Bat-nipple bad in order to write a funny review. However, I took a look at a couple of the recent reviews I did for decent movies and decided they were not without literary merit. I looked online for the Grand Lake Cinema, which is closer to me and tends to show artsier movies. The only problem is they don’t have $5 movies twice a week. Low and behold, Limitless, a movie I had intended to see a few weeks ago but missed, was playing at 7. I had about 10 minutes to get there so I rushed out and made it with about 30 seconds to spare only to find there is apparently another Grand Lake Cinema in Colorado that apparently shows up higher on Google results. Ironically, Hop was playing at 7, so it seems fate is pushing me to see that animated Easter pile of dung (I did read a few other reviews before making that statement, and now stand by it. From what I have seen when do get around to watching it there appears to be plenty of writing fodder).
However, as I have been know to say upon occasion, fate is a fickle bitch, and I for one refuse to kowtow to her every whimsy. I turned around, went home, and did my laundry. Of course, that leaves me with the burning question of what do write about today, but I think I have gotten into a lazy habit of using the film reviews as an excuse to think less, so I will got back to my old friend, nerd dating.
The idea of dates that involve physical activity of some kind I touched on briefly earlier, but think it rates expansion. The fact is a large number of nerds (myself included, unfortunately) approach physical activity with the same relish as they would a sewage sandwich liberally smeared with Branston’s Pickle and mucus. However, in addition to the massive medical and body image improvements that can be gleaned from doing something active, it also makes for an awesome date.
In general, women like doing physical stuff. More importantly, even if they don’t they want the guy they date to be into it. If your first three dates are all along the lines of dinner and a movie they will probably come to the (correct) assumption that you are a couch potato, and therefore from a primitive biological evolutionary standpoint less likely to kill a moose in order to provide for them and their offspring, thus ensuring that their DNA is successfully passed on to the next generation. Also, if you are wondering if there are any other reasons to get more fit, never forget the impeding zombie apocalypse. It is coming.
Not only do women like doing physical stuff, but in many cases it is quite the aphrodisiac. If you spend an afternoon playing tennis with her and she gets really turned on by it, guess what is the closest thing to a man in her line of sight?
So what are some good physical dates that are fun, inexpensive, and won’t leave you sucking oxygen 500 yards behind your potential date? Here are a few.
Bicycling-running is right out, as most of you can’t go more than a block or so without passing out or injuring a knee (by the way, there aren’t a lot of turn offs stronger than getting hurt and hauled off in an ambulance doing an activity considered normal by humans, like running). Bicycling is pretty easy, however, and fun if you can do it in a casual manner. Make absolutely sure your date doesn’t do Triathlons or even know when the Tour de France runs, or you will look like a loser as she laps you for the 8th time. Best would be if she doesn’t even have a bike and you can rent one for her. As an aside (sorry if any of you find this observation sexist, but I am a straight male) having a girl ride a bike in front of you can do a lot to enhance the scenery, if you know what I mean.
Hiking-I have never met a girl who didn’t claim to like hiking, even if they secretly hate it. I think when women hit puberty they all receive a gift package of a training bra, assorted feminine products of a suspiciously vague nature (odds are I happier not knowing what they are, but if there were ever a worldwide conspiracy by women to enslave men (and who’s to say there isn’t? Or that it hasn’t already happened and we never noticed?) they could easily smuggle weapons and secret documents in packages marked with the word “freshness”), male guilt projectors (possibly located in the bosom), and a liking of hiking. It is physical, close to nature, and usually has good scenery. Also, it is the two of you alone in the woods, which can lead to other physical activities. Finally, while it is a great chance to talk, if you feel the strain of maintaining a conversation has gotten burdensome it is perfectly acceptable to hike in silence, thus enhancing the grandeur of nature or something.
Also, earlier I said getting carted off in an ambulance doing something normal like running is a huge turn off. However, getting hurt while doing something unusual like hiking is often a huge turn on. Twisting an ankle, getting bit by a rattlesnake, or being mauled while protecting your girl from a mountain lion will elicit so much sympathy sex you won’t know what hit you, assuming you survive. Crafting a makeshift crutch out of a tree branch and limping out will greatly enhance this. On the other hand, poison ivy, chiggers, or ticks are just gross and will get you nothing, so be careful.
I think that’s it for today. Tomorrow I’ll talk about some other stuff you can do that fits in this category in more detail.
I think I am ready to answer the Aquaman versus Wonder Twins question. Honestly, I kind of hope they manage to kill each other off, leaving only Gleep standing among their corpses, but I think I will have to give it to the Wonder Twins. I think Jan would fail miserably, as any sea animal she turned into Aquaman could probably command, but if Jayce just turned into water and then used it to strangle Aquaman I don’t think he could do anything about it. Kind of a weirdly complicated question. (Aquaman image courtesy of the DC comic t shirts)
For today I pull a topical question: who would win, the Punisher verses Fidel Castro?
Sorry again about not blogging a lot this week, but the fact is twice a year I get a ton of new shirts and this is the week they have arrived. I spent the last two days working on 11 new shirts. My favorite of the new one has to be this Zoolander shirt. It’s the logo from the Derek Zoolander Center for Children Who Can’t Read Good and Want to Learn to do Other Stuff Good Too shirt. Hilarious (image courtesy of the funny t shirts category)
I’m going to make this one brief, as I have to write a newsletter as soon as I get this done. Basically this is the last of my online dating posts for a while, since after the first horribly awkward meeting the potential relationship usually devolves into a normal dating situation. The one last thing that is significantly different from “normally” meeting the girl is that, unlike meeting someone at a club or political rally, there is a pretty good chance at the end of the date you still don’t have her number. You could simply head home and email her, asking for her number, but personally I don’t like to rely on that. Remember what I said months ago: most women are looking for an excuse to drop you like a bad habit, and being a wimp on the phone number is the perfect rip cord for most of them. Also, remember it is super easy to ignore an email, and her having written evidence of you having to beg her for her number will come back later and bite you on the ass.
You can actually get a pretty good read for your odds of getting her number by how long she sits with you at that first meeting. It breaks down like this:
10 minutes or less-uh oh.
11-30 minutes-not really likely to happen. Odds are she was trying to be open minded and give you a chance, and you blew it. This range can often times result in you getting a fake number, usually to one of those rejection lines but sometimes to something funny like a bowling alley or adult book store.
31-60 minutes-really about 50/50 here. You didn’t offend her visually or verbally, and she has probably put you into the “maybe” category. However, know that you are dating on thin ice here and are one major misstep from a complete dating meltdown. Tread softly, my freind.
61-120 minutes-really good. Probably about 80% here. She had a good time hanging out with you and would most likely be willing to see you again (either that or she has been treating listening to you talk like slowing down on the freeway to look at a traffic accident). You likely have a little more leeway in the making mistakes area, although honestly that varies quite a bit and can still mean one.
121-240 minutes-excellent. Hopefully you took her to dinner and the two of you had a great time. Also hopefully you didn’t tell her your life story or bore her all night with stories about your blog or commercial website. You would have to screw up pretty badly in the last 10 minutes to fail here.
241+ minutes-believe it or not, eventually you reach the point of diminished returns and your odds start to drop. If she feels like she already knows you or has spent a lot of time with you she may well lose interest. If the meeting goes four hours it will feel like a date. If it goes more than that it will probably feel like an all day meeting. Try to cut out after three to four hours. Make it look like you have some kind of life to get back to.
Anyway, it’s time to ask for her number. How best to do this? I find this is one of those unusual situations wherein being straight up and honest works best. Just look her in the eye and say something like “This is great. We should definitely hang out again.” If she replies positively whip out your cell phone and say “What is your number?” It would be polite of you to dial immediately so she has yours and knows you are not some kind of nut with caller ID blocked or something. At that point shake her hand and go home to plan something great for your first date.
Gotta run. Still not sure what do do next for dating. The girl I am seeing turned me on to some new music today so maybe I’ll review the one band she gave me a burned CD of. I’ll figure it out tomorrow. Any dating questions or subject suggestions would be seriously considered.
I am going to start a whole new section here. We have talked about what to avoid but now you are in the zone of actually coming up with something to talk about. This is a bit of a tough subject and I think it will end up going a few posts.
The best thing to talk about is her. Let her tell you about her life, her pets, her parents, what she studied in college, and which bead stores have the best selection of ceramics (I could only dream of a girl who was into beading, or for that matter anything at all. Most of the girls I meet seem to have no interests whatsoever). The problem is you can’t just space out while she blabs on. You actually have to pay attention. She is setting traps to catch you in on the next date when she says something like “Remember what I told you about my cat who got caught in the combine?” The correct response to an obvious trap like this is “You mean the one you called Tripod?” not “You had a cat?” Remembering and referencing details she has told you will help you score points on the later dates, and can also save you some pain if she is the type to tell you the same stories over and over again.
So encourage her to drone on. The big mistake here (and one that I still fall into all the time) is having her tell you something painfully boring but reminds you of something funny from your life that you feel compelled to tell her about. Next thing you know dinner is over and you have done nothing but tell her stories of your childhood or t-shirt selling website.
The next thing you need to do is look and act like you care about whatever she is talking about. Pay attention, look her in the eyes, ask insightful, provocative questions, and encourage her to give you details. This takes practice, but once you learn it you can kill an hour easy. (I don’t care t shirt courtesy of the novelty t shirt category)
Of course, it helps immensely if you are actually interested, not only for the date flow but also for the possibility of an actual relationship. My cousin reads this blog and she will beat me if I indicate there have been dates wherein I wasn’t really interested in the girl’s life story but feigned interest. I guess I am due for a beating.
Anyway, this is a good way to start off the date. Unfortunately it will not suffice. We’ll go into some other things to talk about on the next post.
We talked about the guidelines for picking up your date at her place. Let’s assume you were not able to put her at ease (or just plain kind of creeped her out. This does not imply that you are creepy, as some women can be creeped out by a bird flying overhead. Of course, I wouldn’t discount the possibility that you are creepy and if so, work on it) and she doesn’t want you at her place and wants to meet you somewhere public.
Odds are you are catching some shrapnel from some other guy being weird, so don’t be surprised if she is by nature a little skittish. Try to pick a place with a good amount of people, booze, and a place to sit down. If possible not too noisy, but starting a date off in a crowd of people get a good energy level going.
(t shirt courtesy of the television t shirt category)
Anyway, 5-10 minutes early. Get a drink and sit at a table (not the bar. Drunks hang out at the bar). Keep an eye on the door. Expect her to be 10-15 minutes late. In this circumstance it is OK to text or email on your phone, but put it away as soon as she shows up (look like you are busy). Smile and wave when she appears.
That’s it for today. I gotta run. More tomorrow.
I have been seriously remiss in blogging lately, but have had an unbelievable amount of other stuff happening. This last weekend I was at a Warhammer tournament where I got my ass beat pretty badly. I need to figure out how play 8th edition competitively.
Anyway, I promised I would get back on the dating advice and so here I am. Last post I started talking about basic dating etiquette and I will continue here. I am going to operate on the assumption that you have not creeped her completely out and she is going to let you pick her up at her place (I’ll do a post later about what to do if you HAVE creeped her out and she is going to meet you at a public place). First of all, it behooves you to show up early, but not too early. 5-10 minutes is most appropriate. If you show up 30 minutes early park OUT OF SIGHT of her building (don’t be seen hanging out in your car like a stalker. In fact her neighbors might see you. Try to park at the 7-11 a few blocks away or, better yet, don’t show up 30 min early) and play Plants vrs Zombies on your iPhone (fun game, BTW).
I know this is a stereotype, but it often remains true that she will make you wait while she finishes up. If she is willing to let you into her living room odds are she is fishing for compliments about her decor, so be sure to say something positive about her place. “Nice wall hanging, wow lots of space, love the potted plant, did you paint that sacrificial alter yourself?” DO NOT wander about her place at will. Stay in the living room unless she invites you elsewhere. DO NOT open cabinets or drawers. DO NOT turn on the TV or start texting on your phone. In fact, your best policy is to sit on the couch with your hands on your lap waiting patiently and trying to think of good compliments for her place.
Once in a while you will be stuck with having to talk to her roommate(s). This is a special level of hell. Be extremely careful. Not only are the roommates examining you like a fetal pig on a dissection tray, but since most women seem to like to see each other single and miserable they are looking for a reason to shoot you down. They will report to your date in excruciating detail all the reasons why you suck. They will claim to be looking out for her, but misery loves company and if the roommate is single then she will hate the idea of living with someone in a relationship (Lifeguard shirt image courtesy of the novelty t shirt category)
Also, this should really go without saying, but given the guys I am talking to here I guess I can’t assume anything, do not under any circumstances say anything to any roommates that could be misinterpreted as hitting on them. It is a sad fact of the dating world that the roommate of the girl you are picking up will almost inevitably be hotter and more interesting than your date. Deal with it.