Enjoy. I hope this helps someone out there. For the record I think some people take first dates a little too seriously, but I could be wrong…
I won’t bore you by repeating the basic procedures of proper male hygiene, so for sake of brevity I shave, shower, brush my hair, and swig some mouth wash. Now for the clothes. For all my first dates I have always worn a suit. This makes my attire selection quite simple. Although I do need to meticulously pick a hat, suit, shirt, tie, socks, and shoes, I imagine the process does not take longer than 10 minutes. (Come on how hard is to pick that stuff out?) Being that it is the winter, I also have the pleasure of selecting a shabbos coat and scarf.
If time permits I check my date’s address in Google Maps to see where the house is located and if street view is available. (Isn’t technology amazing? Just image what people had to do before Google Maps! Circle the block three times maybe?) I then check my pockets for my wallet, keys, and cell phone. On the way out I make some minor adjustments to my tie, glance in the mirror, and leave; generally on time.
For a first date I aim to arrive fashionably late at my date’s house between 3 and 8 minutes after the set time. In most cases, traffic invariably causes this to happen. Of course some cities are worse than others, but I am not pointing fingers…
Side Note: If I am running more than 15 minutes late I will let either the shaddchan or the girl know, depending on the circumstances.
The Drive to the Date:
I don’t really have much to add to this section. The only tidbit of importance that I can append is that I try to put all the pertinent addresses I may need into my GPS before I leave and briefly check the routing methods. Like other people have mentioned, I keep a playlist in my phone for pre-date moments, although I haven’t played that in a long time.
Side Note: I always appreciate when a shaddchin is informed whether I can park in the driveway. In some place parking is nightmare. But again, I am not point any fingers…
The “Meet the Parents”:
Game Time! Now let the fun begin. Nearly all of my first date encounters have involved meeting the parents. As per the “rules” I don’t willingly eat or drink any of the fine delicacies artfully presented by my hosts. They’re like paintings, enjoyable only when looked at, but not tasted. The only exception is when I am involuntarily poured a glass of water or club soda, in which case I complacently sip my beverage, but just to be polite. But really, who has an appetite on a first date? So now we get down to the conversation. This process can vary significantly from “flame grilled” to topical conversation. Although I am foodie at heart this is one situation where I prefer bland. How about this, let’s just say I have met some very interesting parents…
Anyway, the conversation goes on for about 5-20 minutes, to which either the girl will get anxious and make her grand appearance (Ta-Da works for me) or her mother will go off and drag her out of her hiding spot. Either way, upon her arrival we exchange salutations and make our way towards the foyer. In most cases, especially in the winter with the entire coat taking etiquette, the parents will accompany us to the door.
At that point, someone will open the door, usually the father, but in some cases it’s the girls; I think that just might be because her parents are starting to make some embarrassing remarks such good luck, have fun, or be home before 4 a.m., but I am unsure. We then proceed to issue all the goodbye/pleasure-to-meet-you etc. niceties and proceed to the egress.
Stay tuned for more.