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I was on a first date with a boy we'll call Wayne. We had a lovely evening. Great dinner. Great conversation. Then, while sitting in his car maneuvering the good-night kiss around the gear shift, he asks, "Where is this going?"
Ever quick with the charm and honesty, I say, "Well, I was going to make out some more and then go home."
Not what he meant.
He starts crying. Now when I say crying, I don't mean he teared up. I mean, he unleashed such a deluge it could salt a ham. Believe me people, I wish I was making this up. Did I mention this was our FIRST date?
Stunned, I asked him what was wrong? I thought maybe I poked him in the eye or something when I went for the reach-around.
He went into a 10-minute diatribe about how the last girl he went out with broke his heart, left him for another, never loved him and just exactly what were my intentions.
When I didn't answer he says, "JUST, hiccup. DON'T snork HUUUURT MEEEEE sob, sob, snot, sob."
A first date's like a job interview. You are interviewing a perspective mate. No matter how casual the date, this is important stuff! Now while the tears were kinda creepy, the idea behind what Wayne did was correct. He was honest about what he was looking for and wanted to know what I was looking for. I'm all for this, just maybe in a subtler way.
Dating is tiring. You never know if you are dealing with a candidate who is being true or one who's blowing sunshine because he or she wants to seal the deal before the nightly news. Even if the interview goes well, you can't be sure the applicant will show for their first day of work.
That is why I've devised a quick questionnaire over my decade of dating to help avoid some of the pitfalls.
Are you now, have you ever been or do you plan on being gay?
This doesn't necessarily take the date out of the running for a second, at least for me. I seem to attract bi-curiosity like a black suit to lint.
Have you ever been in prison?
Again, much like the actual workplace, this doesn't need to preclude the date from a position at your firm. But you will want to follow-up with details to decide what is quirky and what is psycho. If he's making the date with his one phone call from the pokey - not quirky.
Do you have a home, do you have a car and are they the same thing?
OK kids, I know it's slightly chic and may be a little practical to shack up in a car, or a tree for that matter. But if nothing else, this situation does beg the question: Is he or she into you or just looking for cheap real estate. This also let's you into how stable their lives are, if their house can be impounded for parking violations.
Were you terminated from your last relationship, and if so what was the reason?
I preface this question, just between us chickens of course, with the fact that I have been dumped more times than garbage on collection day. The point of this question is to see where they are in the grieving process. You can determine if the wound is fresh, by his or her answer.
Now it's your turn. I've shared one of many bad first date stories. I want to hear yours. Tell the story and the outcome. We will sort through the best ones and print them in an upcoming column. It can stay anonymous if you like, so feel free to share.
Tears upon mentioning a former relationship: Real fresh. You're a rebound.
Agitation recounting the break up: Walk briskly, you don't want to startle the beast.
It was all the other person's fault: Oh dear God, run, and be comfortable with the fact that he or she will blame you for it later.
Deadly silence followed by, "I don't want to talk about it:" The previous relationship is probably chopped up in a basement somewhere next to the shrine of human hair the psycho has erected.
The correct answer is, "You know, we both made some mistakes and it didn't work out." I will also accept "we grew apart" or "we weren't right for each other."
Are you currently dating someone and or are you married in any sense of the word?
It is important to word this question carefully. There are many ways the candidate could answer that will mislead but still be truthful.
A) Separated is still married! And they may mean separated because they are at the bar with you and the spouse is at home. So technically, not a lie.
B) If they cheat with you, they'll cheat on you. Enough said.
This one's a biggie. Do you play Halo?
If he or she starts foaming at the mouth and twitching, you may not want to hire this one. Because there may come a day when you are sitting at a bar looking pretty and waiting for his ass. He's out playing with his boyfriends at the clubhouse losing track of time, only to show up later when your hair isn't cute anymore at half past give a crap.
The moral of the story kids: Whatever you ask, don't be afraid to ask it. The position you are interviewing for is a big one with a lot of responsibility. You need to know if he or she is up for the challenge.