Maybe you’ve eaten one or more of the foods on this list during a first date and not only have you lived to tell the tale, you’re now happily married. To you I say: Liar! Just kidding. Still, I can only speak from personal experience—take my advice or leave it on the curb like a forgotten Styrofoam take-out container—avoid the following foods on a first date at all costs. Why? Oh I’ll tell you why, in excruciating detail.
Have you ever tried eating ramen gracefully? It defies utensils—spoon, fork, chopsticks—okay, maybe chopsticks are what you’re supposed to use, but how the hell am I supposed to know that? Also, the fantasy I had for this date regarding Lady and Tramp style noodle sucking is much harder when scalding hot broth is spilling onto your lap and the laps of those nearby. Also, this person did not find it funny when I put the chopsticks under my top lip and called myself a walrus.
Impress a date by how adventurous you are. Not only will you eat sushi, you will eat raw sushi, and not only will you eat raw sushi, you will eat something called the Tuna Volcano Salmon Colossal Fucked Up Mess, and just try fitting that little number into your mouth in one fell swoop. Go ahead, try. It’s a choking hazard to say the least, and if a man makes that joke, you should also leave immediately.
First of all, this burger was the height of a West Hollywood apartment complex and twice as thick. The person who took me on this date could have been named Dude Bro, so psyched was he for his “totally stacked artisanal” burger. Avocado, onion rings, mushrooms, fried egg, rat-tails, bottle of Jack Daniels—you name it. He loved it. Meanwhile, the yolk of the fried egg ran down his face and onto the table and soaked any of the date’s remaining potential. I distinctly remember him asking, “Do I have something on my face?” Yes, yes you do.
Homemade Spicy Hot Sauce
The fact that I even set foot in this person’s apartment is a disturbing feat in itself. He referred to the hot sauce as “one of his concoctions” which he “whipped up” just for me. Where did he find the spices or peppers or recipe? Don’t worry. He made them up! It’s just trial and error—just a little experimentation. Sound familiar? Probably because it’s from an episode of Law and Order SVU, right before an unsuspecting woman tries the hot sauce that dooms her to a life of sexual servitude. The only thing burning that night were my legs as I ran away.
Disturbing for the man on this date only because of how much I ate. “Wow you really have an appetite” is the last thing I remember him saying.
Crab in a Bag
This actually involved an entire crab in a plastic bag filled with butter and Cajun seasoning. The point of the date, I guess, is for you to gaze into one another’s eyes while savagely breaking open the shell of this recently live animal with only a very small tool and your bare hands. It’s so strenuous I was sweating like a pig for slaughter by the time I finished, and my fingertips were bloody from the crab’s razor-sharp claws. They do have an endless supply of moist towelettes, of which my date insisted on taking extra home for himself “just in case.” I knew immediately, while drying my sopping brow, only a psychopath takes a person here for a first date.
This is a bad choice only because I can’t pronounce it. I was on edge during this entire date, afraid to say it wrong and expose myself for the inbreed I really am—geero, hyro, gary-o, or some permutation, no matter how many times I heard him say it first. Honestly, I can’t remember a thing this person said on the date, because I was too concentrated on what this glorified sandwich prefers to be called. I will eat this in private, however, and I’ll call it whatever I want.
Don’t forget—a bad date with the right person is never bad. In other words, you can’t say the wrong thing to the right person, unless you grossly mispronounce gyro. My best advice: try to order a steak, something easily consumed with a knife and fork, or whatever utensil you can use least embarrassingly.