I have never been on a date. I have no regrets, although I am not completely adverse to the concept. For me the problem is this: I hate restaurants.
For me, restaurants result in the following. You cannot order anything that is messy or difficult to eat: no pasta, no salad and definitely no sauces. I obsess about this constantly, to the point where I have made a list of various no-go foods. My list begins with a Steers burger with mushroom sauce. I am also a vegetarian, which usually makes for poor conversation; resulting in me trying to explain that I have nothing against people who cause unnecessary harm to our fellow creatures and contribute significant amounts of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. It also doesn’t allow me many options for avoiding all the no-go foods. Which leads me to the next aspect of dating which I am intensely afraid of; conversations.
While on a date it is required that you think of interesting, heart-felt and completely benign topics to talk about for more than an hour. Either you find topics to talk about or you have to sit for an hour listening to him talk about himself. Considering I love topics to do with bad jokes, sex, religion, feminism, vegetarianism, music, the environment and government (with the odd book or two thrown in), I find polite conversations quite irksome. I am not very good a small talk. I am also deathly afraid of awkward silences. I am that girl who sprouts out agonisingly embarrassing puns whenever I feel like a conversation is reaching its end. It’s my attempt at lightening the mood, but generally results in people thinking of me as socially retarded.
Take me dancing, instead
Lastly, I have no idea what I will wear on the first date. This is every girl’s fear, but if you had to look into the dark hole of cupboardom, you would see why it’s especially applicable to me. I don’t follow fashion, fullstop. I am also stuck in student mode, which has resulted in a cupboard filled with R50 Pep shoes and countless pairs of cheap jeans. These particular items don’t exactly make one feel comfortable dining out in restaurants that are more than one star affiliated. I also feel these rebellious urges overcoming my natural inclination towards looking inconspicuous: I bring out the black leather, short skirts and black stockings. In the end I just look like a cheap hooker.
This leaves me with two options. I can either never date or I can only go on dates where the guy has used some imagination (i.e. he has considered doing something besides sitting in a restaurant, eating over-priced food and making bland conversation). It is not like I have limited the male species; in fact, I am about to list many very interesting activities which can be very beneficial to his cultural education, as well as mine. If I had to name a few more imaginative, or unconventional, dates I would list the following: art gallery smoozing, hiking, whale watching, museum browsing, theatre/dance production watching, your favourite band, salsa dancing (or any dancing for that matter), a game of pool or whiskey tasting. Just don’t take me anywhere that silence has a habit of raising its awkward head.
In retrospect, there are very many positives to not having dated before. I have never had to deal with the shock of my date turning up in skinny jeans and a wife beater t-shirt, or being taken out to the local Spur family restaurant. No man has ever had to sit through a half-hour session of me complaining about the price of food. I have never had to consider whether the end of the date requires one of those awkward kisses, or whether my date is going to expect sex. I have never had to ponder on the likelihood of a second date and then “waited by the phone” for days after. The thought, to split the bill (on my student budget) or not to split the bill (which goes against my ethics), has never once entered my head. In this respect, I once went out with a friend who usually paid for the meal, but this time didn’t. I made the mistake of ordering an SQ dish and drinking half a bottle of red wine. I ended the night throwing up the most expensive meal I have ever eaten and wasted a whole lot of money that I couldn’t afford.
So really, I have never envied those couples sitting in the restaurant next to me. In fact, I think I am going to make a rule in my life from now on: no restaurants. If he can’t come up with a more creative date, then I don’t want to date him in the first place.