If the International Olympic committee were to decide to add “Bacheloring” as an official sport, there is no doubt about my candidacy to represent the US of A. My merits in the cold pizza eating competition alone are enough to garner consideration as captain of the 2012 team headed to London. I can see it now…
“From the United States…now competing in the Vienna Sausages and SPAM recipe challenge…Brandon Howard!”
Unfortunately, the Austrian judge is always so critical of my technique and, ultimately, I have to give the edge to the German.
For the time being, my Olympic dream will have to be put on hold in lieu of the continuous occupational and social responsibilities of my life. I’m not complaining–I love staying busy. I enjoy nothing more than being with friends on weekends and letting my hair down–what’s left of it. An occasional night at home on the couch is also therapeutic, but typically I am the happiest when I’m outside of the 600-square foot, third-story castle in the sky that I call home.
About once a month, I get to the point that I need to just spend some relaxation time alone but I don’t want to be restrained by white walls of my apartment (along with the turkey sandwich and Seinfeld re-runs that come with it). It’s at that point that I head out for an exciting night on the town with one really cool guy–me.
The Top Five Reasons I Go On a Date…With Myself.
1) Attire. Prior to a traditional date, I typically try on at least three different shirts in front of the mirror and over-analyze what I believe will be her first impressions of me based on each shirt. Keep in mind, I have probably worn each one at least 20 times before, but I still feel the need to find the perfect look for the night in order to maximize my sexy factor. On the contrary, for a “me date,” I no longer have to worry about such trivial matters. If I want to dress up because it makes me feel good to look good then sometimes I do. Other times jeans and flip-flops are perfectly appropriate, and my date never thinks a thing about it.
2) Food. The world is my oyster. Whether I want to take on Indian Buffet, eat a dozen clams, or simply enjoy a rack of the messiest ribs known to man, I no longer have to consider her needs or preferences. Sure, when exiting the restaurant there is a decent chance that I reek of curry or accidentally saved a little BBQ sauce in my beard for later. However, for one night, I actually have the freedom to not worry about what a small, ill-advised cuisine decision on my part may say to her about my long-term prospects as a husband.
3) Conversation. I am 30 years old, and there are still times that a pretty girl will completely disarm me of any creativity, personality, or tiny ounce of wit that I may have brought into the equation to begin with. I would like to think that some girls find my nerves charming, but after 30 minutes of continuously awkward conversation interrupted only by extended silence, my goal of scoring a second date is probably ruined when the most interesting thing I can think to ask is, “So…how is your food?”. On a “me date,” my only worry is making sure I have enough time to read the entire newspaper during my meal and enjoy one of my other favorite pastimes, people watching.
4) Entertainment. As someone who puts excessive thought into planning my other dates, it is refreshing not to have to worry if she is going to be bored or offended by my movie choice. Additionally, I don’t have to sit through an extended scene of two soul mates running in a dead sprint towards each on other on the beach in the rain. “Will she find putt-putt corny?” “She looks ridiculous when she plays pool…does she think I’m making a move or condescending if I try to correct her?” These are questions that I have posed to myself and for one night, it’s nice to know that both my date and I agree that yes, this is a ridiculous romantic comedy but if anyone asks, I would never subject myself to such a show.
5) Hug/Kiss. Hitch (aka Will Smith) taught me in 2005 that a girl playing with her keys at the door is an obvious sign that she wants a good night kiss. I have searched the world over waiting for the perfect moment on the perfect date that the jingle of her keys signals me to “go 90” where after she will come the remaining 10. Surprisingly, it has never happened. Inevitably I am left with the same awkward debate about how to hug her and when to kiss or when to just high five and run away. On the contrary…well, I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out that this is a worrisome aspect that is clearly absent on a date with myself.
Best of all, at the end of my night, I crawl into bed satisfied and assured that I did and said everything just right to warrant another date.
Photo credit: Library of Congress (The Commons)