It was a beautiful sunny fall day and as I approached Panera, the coffee/shop restaurant where I was meeting Mr. E., my first Tinder date, I decided to sit outside.
I sent Mr. E a text to let him know my location. A few minutes later, my phone rang. It was Mr. E calling about a logistics snafu. His ex- forgot to pick up his son from school to take him to the doctor. Mr. E. needed to reschedule.
“Why don’t I take you to dinner?” he suggested. Although I have broken this rule many times, I don’t usually want to have dinner on a first date-meeting. Who wants to be stuck in a restaurant with someone if there’s no chemistry, connection, or conversation? I prefer going for a drink or coffee. So we agreed to meet a few hours later at a wine bar.
As I was getting ready for our date once again, Mr. E. texted me to say he was tied up and wouldn’t be able to make it. He apologized and said that he and his ex’s co-parenting duties sometimes got switched at the last minute.
So, for the second time that day I changed out of “nice leggings” and a dressy top and put on sweats and a long-sleeved t-shirt. I kicked off my heels, put on beach shoes, and placed my necklace back in the jewelry box. I hung up my small “date” purse and collapsed on my bed.
I got out my iPad, clicked on iTunes, and selected Colbie Caillat’s song Try. Given my day, it was a good song to listen to. I started thinking about what a woman does to prepare for a first date and what a man might do as well.
Too bad an inconvenienced woman can’t send a bill to her cancelled date for her lost time and mental anguish. Why are doctors the only ones who get to do this?
Let me share with you my typical get-ready-for-a-date scenario and ladies, you can let me know if this sounds familiar. My guy readers can comment as well. Let’s multi-task and also have some veggie-heavy frittata.
T minus 48 hours (if the date is planned that far in advance):
- Get hair touch-up at salon if suffering from excessive root visibility
- Get manicure (a do-it-yourself manicure should be done the same day as the date)
- Do laundry if the most likely date outfit is dirty
- There’s no way to lose 10 pounds but at least get to the gym
T minus 24 hours
- Print out my date’s profile so I can review before the date. Make list of things to ask about. Highlight potential negatives to be aware of (did he mean to imply he’s been divorced more than twice?)
- Get to the gym once again
- Try on a couple of date possibility outfits remembering that guys like red and pink. Resolve to buy more red and pink clothes.
T minus 6 hours
- Switch purse essentials from everyday bag to date bag
- Add “extras” to date bag: breath mints, toothpicks, date makeup.
- Tweeze eyebrows, shave legs, etc.
- Try on same outfits as yesterday plus another couple of possibilities
- Put makeup on with extra care
- Style hair with extra care
- Hydrate skin with excessive application of pricey perfumed lotion
- Hydrate lips with super expensive lip balm
- Review date’s profile and notes from phone calls
T minus 2 hours
- Touch up makeup
- Touch up hair
- Brush teeth, use mouthwash
- Re-hydrate skin with excessive lotion application
- Re-hydrate lips with super expensive lip balm
- Put on fresh underwear (just because)
- Get dressed
- Fret about outfit
- Get undressed
- Get dressed with 2nd outfit
- Check date bag to see what I’ve forgotten. Check! Retrieve driver’s license, credit card, and cash and put in date bag
- Quick look at date’s profile so as not to confuse with other guys “in the running.” Oh God, why do I have CRS?
- Last minute mirror check
- Out the door
My date’s imagined first date prep:
T minus 2 hours:
- Comb hair
- Brush teeth
- Put on last pair of clean pants and shirt
- Quick look at date’s profile
- Pet the dog; say, “Let’s do this!”
- Out the door
O.K., my routine might be slightly exaggerated for effect (writer’s prerogative) and not all steps happen every time…but it’s close enough to an essential truth: Women spend a lot of time putting their best face and body forward for men. If only it could be worth it more than 25 percent of the time.
Do you agree?
Until next week, happy dating or not dating.