Let’s face it guys and gals, first impressions are everything, especially when you are trying to impress a member of the opposite sex on a date. Having experienced some atrocious ones as well as having had a chance to discuss this very thorny issue with several “playas” in the past months, I’ve compiled a list of things that you gals should avoid doing at all costs while on a date, that is, if you decide you want to see him again.
1. Bringing along watermelon seeds (or any variety of dry seeds) on a movie date - this was ages ago, yet I still get flashback once in a while.
The date was going well. She was an attractive Viet girl, full of life, full of laughter, and full of…ahem…cleavage. I was thinking that she could be the one, the one to bring home to show mama. My relatives would all breathe a collective sigh of relief to see me finally dating a non Korean girl. Sadly, there was a reason why our eye-catching girl was still single.
The scene of the crime: The local Cineplex
We had just finished a nice romantic dinner and I had decided to take her to a movie to let her get used to being in the dark with me (hehehe). As we settled in our seats all the way at the back of the theatre (of course), my thoughts were zeroing in on her soft, luscious lips. I was going to make my first move. I was going to plant a wet one on her as soon as the lights came down. I was going to let her know that she was the one. Then it happened…
In one swift move, our girl pulled out a small plastic bag of those red, waxy looking watermelon seeds that they sell around Tết from her purse. Hmmm…I started to think, it’s not Tết this week, or this month for that matter, it was April for crying out loud! Oh well, no problem I thought, it could have been worse. She could have brought along sầu riêng (ick). Then, as soon as she started chomping on those seeds, I began to hear the unmistakable “crack pltthh, crack pltthh” from her in a perfect rhythmic fashion as if she were a machine, a spitting machine!
God almighty…my girl was cracking the seeds and spitting out the shells on the floors of the local Cineplex! My face went red (luckily it was real dark) as the folks in front of us glanced back and started to snicker at what was going on. She was going to upstage Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet for crying out loud. I said to myself “What the heo?” (click here to buy a t-shirt from kyduyenshop with that logo. Pardon the brief product placement, as I am in advertising after all).
Ok, where were we? Oh yeah, the spitting Princess. At that time, I had no choice but to ask her to refrain from spitting out any more shells until Titanic has gone down and we have left the theatre. Of course, she wasn’t happy about it but she did stop. Needless to say, that was the last time I took her to a movie theatre, or anywhere else for that matter.
2. Bad table manner at a fancy restaurant. This story is based on an interview I did with a celebrity photographer from Cali just last month. Let’s call him “Cậu H.,” a true playa in his own right.
The scene of the crime: an upscale Italian restaurant
Cậu H. wasn’t sure if his date was joking. There’s no way she'd just asked the tuxedo clad waiter at this fancy Italian restaurant for “Maggi” soy sauce to go with her Linguine Pescatore! He was looking at her desperately, pleading for her to say “I was joking Đại Ca…hi hi hi” so that they can have a laugh over it. No such luck, the girl was dead serious.
To save his girl from embarrassment, the slick (however bedazzled) waiter had politely told her that he’d check with the kitchen for it and will return. Of course, he wasn’t coming back with a bottle of soy sauce for her to use on their fancy dish. It’s akin to asking for ketchup for your filet mignon at Morton’s. Or conversely, asking for Grey Poupon at a fast food drive-thru (remember the commercial?). Bottom line, Cậu H. thought that it was really bad manner on her part to do so and it embarrassed the heck out of him.
That was not all. Cậu H. also claimed that this girl had a peculiar habit of bringing along some fresh chili whenever he takes her to a non-Vietnamese restaurant. Why? She claimed that her meal is not complete unless she gets to take a bite of that fresh chili every so often. Hmmm…not the end of the world, but tacky nonetheless. Being in a reporter mode, I hinted that may be the dishes that he and his date ordered were really bland or the restaurant was bad? Not true! Cậu H. was a bit perturbed over my smartass inquiry.
He also recounted a time when a lady friend of his did not know how to use knives and forks properly at a restaurant. He animatedly described that she was holding the fork in the left hand in a fist like grip with the end of the fork pointing out while using her other hand to cut the steak in a saw-like fashion. He said it was like watching someone sawing of a 2x4 on some home improvement cable network. Once again, I tried to give his girl the benefit of a doubt and suggested that perhaps Cậu H. had ordered a cheap cut of bovine meat so it probably was incredibly tough to cut. Once again, he vehemently denied it and started to pay attention to how I was holding my fork while we were eating….yikes!!! “I ain’t yo date” I murmured …
In all, Cậu H.’s various stories served as a reminder that a girl should behave appropriately when a gentleman takes her to a fancy joint. If his somewhat believable stories can teach us anything, it’s the fact that a seemingly well adjusted man like Cậu H. was somehow traumatized by those events and that those events have caused him to avoid staying in a long term relationship with women. As a result, at the tender age of 52 (he claims), our celebrity photographer is still single, and often dine alone. Sighhhhh….
Ok, last but not least, here goes the obligatory bulleted list of "Don’ts” for the ladies that I’ve collected from my subjects in no particular order (Thanks! You know who you are). As with all things that you read on the internet, take these with a grain of salt.
Thou shall not:
● Bring your girlfriend(s) along on your date, worse if bringing along a male friend.
● Bring your family members along (uninvited) to a restaurant, worse if the entire family comes along.
● Order the most expensive items on the menu, worse if he’s just ordering a salad meal.
● Spend too much time talking (and texting) on your cell phone with a girlfriend, worse if talking to a male friend.
● Flirt with other guys, worse if they’re his relatives.
● Talk about your ex, worse if your ex is his relative.
● Yell, scream, or swear randomly, worse if you’re at his parents’ house.
● Praise other guys in front of him, worse if he thinks they’re losers.
● Tell him that you’re smarter (or better) than him, worse if everybody else already knew.
Duy Hân works as a senior analyst in the advertising department of a large financial organization. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and is finishing up his MBA this June. He lives in the Washington DC area and has a beagle named Alaska that likes to take long walks on the beach. He can be reached at AskDuyHan@gmail.com .
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