The Lesson: Etiquette
The Test: A double date
The ‘Expert’: Brad
Will Jason be able to use what he learned from his Jessica’s etiquette lesson on a double date?
Taking what I learned from Jessica in the 1st part of the challenge, I really wanted to impress. Brad and Melissa were setting me up on a blind date with their friend Danielle, and doubling with us. Since, I have good manners and my mother didn’t raise no fool I tried to focus the most on Emily’s Six Dating Duds:
- My way or the highway
- Social show off
- Outrageous flirt
- Daters who live in the past. * From Emily Post’s Etiquette
After reading these examples and speaking with Jessica, I found myself wondering how often I had been a ‘dating dud’. I knew for a fact I wasn’t a dater who lived in the past. But, sometimes I have the tendency to be the social show off/life of the party (as though that impresses anyone), and I can be a bit of a flirt. These were two things I would have to make sure not to go overboard on. Now, I’m not a complete jerk so Abandoning, My way or the highway, and Touchers wouldn’t be a problem, but because Emily pointed them out I would have to keep them in mind.
Double date time! I met Brad and Melissa at their lovely apartment, and then it was off to our venue of choice, The Central, to meet up with Danielle for drinks. I made sure I went down the checklist of what I had to do before Danielle showed up:
- Phone off (check)
- Pack of gum in pocket, bad breath would not be a problem (check)
- Wallet (check)
- Speech cards with interesting anecdotes written down…kidding!
When Danielle arrived I stood up and shook her hand lightly. Now here is where I thought I made a mistake; I didn’t pull out her chair. For some reason, I couldn’t decide in time whether it would look weird to cross the table, pull out her chair and then cross back. So, my thought process at that moment was “Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.” Other than that I don’t think I really made a mistake (hopefully) and, in fact, I think it went really well. The conversation was good, I didn’t dominate or over do it. I definitely was not overly flirty or, really, flirty at all and I most assuredly didn’t try to pull any moves like some slime ball. All in all, it was a great time, and it was easier with Brad and Melissa there. In the end I paid, because I insisted, held the door for her on the way out, and got her number for a possible second date. I felt moving in for anything other than a handshake goodbye would be a little pre-mature and perhaps presumptuous, so I shook her hand and she was on her way. I think I did well, but perhaps Brad sees it a little differently…
The Truth (as I see it):
My role in this little experiment is to judge. To “objectively” assess Jason’s mantacular abilities on a first date. Was he able to learn from Jess and Mrs. Post? Would he crash and burn within the first 5 minutes, or soar to unseen heights of well mannered gentleman-dom?
Now you may be asking yourself “What gives you the right to judge Jason?!?”, “Just who do you think you are Macks!”. Well allow me to give you a little background. I have been in a long term relationship that has just surpassed the epic, cred producing, 5 year mark. Me and my lady have never broken up, not even for a minute, we are a super couple, one might say the greatest that’s ever lived! (Shout out to @melissadawng!) Therefore I feel I am more than qualified to judge my friend Jason on a first date, and that is exactly what I did.
As Jason already told you, we chose The Central as our first date spot. We figured it was the perfect casual, blind date location. All of us had been there before; therefore it was a nice neutral zone. Not fancy, not dingy, and it had live music to fill in any awkward first date gaps.
I have to say, Jason did well. He stood up when Danielle entered, introduced himself politely, and shook her hand. He even told her, and I quote, “Brad and Melissa have told me so much about you, I’m happy to finally meet you in person!” How our mantastic fella has grown! That little pearl got a nice smile and a bit of a blush out of Danielle. I think it even covered for the fact that he blundered and didn’t pull out her chair! Thankfully she wasn’t looking and didn’t notice his up and down dance as he fought with himself over whether to get up and come around the table. Crisis averted!
Next up was the first true challenge of the first date, SMALL TALK! I strongly believe a first date is made or broken in the first 5 minutes. The quality of your initial Q&A sets the tone for your date’s first impression, and in this case Jason did well. He asked her the basics: what she does for a living, where she lives, etc. Where he excelled was his follow ups. He let the conversation ebb and flow naturally, avoiding the uncomfortable first date Jay Leno scenario. So far, so good.
Now it wouldn’t be a first date, and it wouldn’t be Jason, if there weren’t a couple of mistakes. There were times where he seemed to fall back on his friendship with myself and Melissa whenever the conversation started to wane. He would simply switch over and find a safe topic such as the office or our communal friends, which at times briefly alienated Danielle. Tisk tisk Jason. But these diversions never lasted long and he always recovered.
Overall I would have to give Jason an A-. Believe me, I’m just as surprised as the rest of you! He was polite, he held the door for her on the way out, he asked just enough about her and offered just enough about himself. He laughed at her jokes, and she laughed at his. He didn’t stare at the pretty waitress, nor flirt with her (as he is prone to do). I was a little disappointed with the handshake goodbye, I felt they had enough of a rapport to merit a hug, but there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe on a first date.
So the first challenge was quite the smashing success! Stay tuned to the Mantastic project as we continue to make Jason a better man, one embarrassing challenge at a time.