Thursday, January 14, 2010

Foods to avoid on a first date

Notice I said first. After that, it's cool to be a slob.

Salad - every bite is unpredictable. Lettuce is notoriously cut unevenly and let's face it, each forkful provides a new challenge. Not to mention all the other variables: croutons, cheese, rings of onions, too-big tomatoes. All of these things are dangerous and could leave a trail of ranch dressing on your cheek with no warning. Or fall off your fork and onto your lap. I'm sort of an expert on this last part.

Pasta - similar to salad in that each uneven and messy bite provides you with more stress than you need on a first date. Don't get me started on spaghetti. That one should be avoided unless you're married or one of the dogs in Lady and the Tramp.

Ice cream cones. Years ago a friend told me that how you lick an ice cream cone is how you kiss. I don't think that's true, but I haven't been able to eat an ice cream cone in mixed company since without feeling judged and self conscious.

Tacos - Justin mentioned this one to me when I was telling him about this list. He couldn't be more right. You have the shell breaking, the cheese falling out, the mouth open wide. It's a recipe for disaster. Delicious disaster.

Popcorn - let's just agree that it's a good thing that popcorn is usually eaten in the dark. The number of popcorn kernels in hand and popcorn kernels that make it into the mouth are not the same in my experience. My friend Heidi blogged about this recently and went into better detail if you want to check it out.

Smores. This idea came from Katherine and as soon as she said it I wondered how I hadn't thought of it. All three ingredients are an accident waiting to happen - the melted chocolate on your lips, the clump of marshmallow stuck to your chin, and the crumbs from the Graham crackers all over your shirt...well, if you get a second date after this, you must be really hot.

Do you have any to add?


Bernadette said...

I hear you on the salad. Don't even think about biting into a grape tomato on a date. Very dangerous. One bite and tomato juice sprays across the room.

Kathy said...

I wish I had never read the ice cream theory....

I would add anything spicy to the list. Your eyes and nose run, you gulp water and desperately gasp for air. And some people have an unappealing after effect when eating spicy food. Remember "Along Came Polly?" Not the least bit attractive.

Mark Bowman said...

Can we add Pizza or anything else with hot melted cheese to the list? It's kind of like the dangling pasta problem, except you can't divert your date's attention and quickly slurp away the evidence.

Individual slices are tethered by elastic umbilicals to the mother pizza. When they break free, the cheesy strands rarely flip up neatly onto your slice. Instead, they wrap around your wrist or drape across your drinking glass.

Taking a bite repeats the experience in miniature, except this time, the strand stretches and snaps, adhering to the closest hair. If you have a sexy Tom Selleck moustache or wear your tresses down and free, a date to an Italian restaurant may leave you with dangling icicles of dairy goodness. How neat.

I bite my ice cream.

Katherine said...

Man, they are all definitely things to avoid. I also went on a first date once where I spilled hot chocolate on my white shirt. That was awesome (thank goodness for jackets...). I may have also burned my tongue on it. I may be understanding better why I'm still single...

Elizabeth Downie said...

What about when you take a bite of food that's too hot and you have to do that open-your-mouth-but-not-too obviously-fast-breathing-panic thing? That's not a good look.

Or when you take a sip of hot chocolate and get whipped cream on your upper lip?

Heather said...

on one of my first dates with Jim i ordered chili cheese fries. It was horrible. Don't ask me why I did it. You've got all these diferent sized fries. You try to be clean and eat them with a fork, but then you're shoveling them in. Dripping with cheese and chili. Awful.

My second one is garlic bread. Not a messy eat, but a horrible breath later.

Heidi said...

I think fried chicken or wings or ribs need to be added. Anything you eat with your hands that is greasy/saucy..... And with salad, big pieces of lettuce are a real hazard.

Also I feel really special that you added popcorn! ahaha thanks!

Kwo Ling said...

I will forever suggest ice cream from now on. I'm not worried about my kissing abilities, but I once had someone try to eat my face. Okay, he wasn't trying to, but he did anyway. I guess if he goes diving in mouth wide open he shouldn't get a second date... that's what I'm taking away from this post.

Erin said...

hahaha! I LOVE this! So this one time I was on a date (thankfully not the first because it probably would have been the last) I got a shrimp skewer and you'd think oh safe! shrimp are small and easily contained in your mouth, right? VERY WRONG! I couldn't get the shrimp off the skewer and long story short, one of my shrimp greeted my date in the face:)

Michelle Williams said...

GREAT post hahaha! My bad date experience was with a tough lobster. My date encouraged me to order it cause I had never had it. But it was a bad restaurant to get sea food at and it was so tough I couldn't cut it with my knife. I had to apply more pressure and the whole thing went flying off my plate onto the floor!!! I didn't make a great impression that night.

Vaughn said...

i love the randomness. If the amount of ice cream eaten says anything about your kissing abilities...I must be the at the top on that one. I savor the flavor, lick it until my tongue goes numb and repeat several times daily if not hourly.
I am at the opposite end of the spectrum, i usually like to order and then devour like a wild dog a set of ribs on a date. I figure, "well this is me anyway, i might as well not hold it in the closet anyway" Maybe this is why i do not date much. At any rate, i think anything that is a messy finger food should be off the list, but i will live on dangerous ground, lick my fingers and enjoy my meat between my teeth and a bib that says "Big Bubba's BBQ"

Sarah said...

I remember you telling me about the ice cream theory years ago, and haven't been able to simply eat or observe anyone eat an ice cream cone since that day!

Anonymous said...

obviously dinner dates are disasters waiting to happen. Why do people even pretend to think going out to eat for a date - or even a business meeting is a GOOD idea? Seriously, what is safe? Why don't people go out for water just to be safe? I suppose people like adventure and entertainment. Thus, going out to eat can certainly provide adventure, entertainment and deplete an elegant date to a sloppy, messy average joe... certainly leveling the playing field!

I remember three times in one year going to restaurants with Stamper - only to be kicked out because each place experienced fire during our visit. Was that a sign?

So, how do you live it up and tempt fate at a meal?
Go to the Manchester Chicken broil - order up some fried chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans, and top it off with ice cream.
What about ribs? Mmmmmm! Sloppy!
Sloppy Joes!
Chicago style dogs!?

What about a juicy beer brat coooked over an open flame. Take a bite and juices fly!

Hmmmm..... crab legs are always a diners delight, along with Spaghetti and meatballs, or liver and onions.

What about one of those monster Turkey drumsticks at the fair? Disgusting and huge!

fajitas - or anything that requires the bread rolling and the contents falling out the other end

BW3 Wings! Why on earth did we all show up there on Tuesdays? moist toilettes can't clean those hands

Does anyone remember how Bill Knapps (on Washtenaw and Carpenter) used to have finger bowls to clean the fingers after eating fried chicken? They did in the 70's and I thought they were sooo cool!

Toffee! Try getting that out of your molars!


Primerib and horseradish in a darkened restaurant. This girl has mistaken the horseradish for mashed potatoes twice in the last two years! Woooooeeee

I suppose the safest bet is to find someone who is chill about this - or order the same thing as your date - then it is really a contest of skill!

Happy eating to you all!

Anonymous said...

I love ice cream on the first date. I want to know what kind of kesser she is :)

Claire said...

I laughed the entire way through this post. Hiiiiilarious :)

Anonymous said...


I think you are underestimating the power of a little whipped cream on the upper lip. If the date is really going well and you've got the right guy, he may just go in for the patented "clean-up".

You know how the milk mustache looked kinda sexy in some of those early 2000's advertisements. Same thing can be said about your whipped cream mustache.

A whipped cream mustache draws attention to the lips and can be pretty sexy, unlike some of the other foods you say to avoid in your post.

We may attempt to address food in a future installment on our blog. Stay tuned.