So while I was out testing the waters of the gene pool yet again this weekend, it occurred to me that there are two things absolutely necessary to get through most situations in life, but particularly a new date: a bottle of wine and a good sense of humor. Obviously the wine helps unleash the sense of humor some people are hiding; it can also intensify the one you already have on display. But a sense of humor, not just yours but your date's, is essential for getting past the awkward "Hey, howyadoin'?" introductory jitters and also for taking subsequent awkward situations in stride. I was pleased that my date this weekend thought to offer me both the wine and the good humor. It goes a little something like this....
We met up at Tomato Head for some din-din and conversation. For those of you who have never been to Tomato Head, it is an eclectic little joint that offers tasty food and some pretty decent hippie watching. We were surrounded by no less than three tables of mixed sexual orientation in the 2 hours we were there! One guy looked like Jimmy Buffett, if Jimmy Buffett were being played by Richard Simmons in a made-for-Lifetime-movie. Good stuff.
Anyhooser, the Tomato Head also has artwork festooning their otherwise drab beige walls, and sometimes this artwork is tasteful, sometimes it is complete and utter swill. The particular selection gracing our table fell into the latter category. I took a picture of it with my camera phone, so it's not the best but you can get the gist of it above. I asked my date what he thought the craptastic paint-by-numbers job that we were forced to endure was supposed to be, and together we came up with the following ideas:
1. Randy Owen (the lead singer from Alabama) has a bad manicure and has just busted in on Neo from the Matrix and they're getting ready to duke it out Industrial Light and Magic style.
2. Randy Owen is a werewolf, inexplicably topless but managing to keep on dark denim (so 2 years ago) and is trying to intimidate a disheveled, cardigan-clad Mexican vampire named Luis.
3. Randy Owen and Luis the Mexican vampire are possibly homosexuals and are having a techno dance party, but you can't see the disco ball because it's outside the frame of reference of the picture, though their hands are raised as if they are already sweating to some raunchy Pet Shop Boys remix.
Any other thoughts or suggestions are welcome.
I have no doubt that the bottle of wine being 3/4 gone had a lot to do with the level of participation, but I will have to give the boy props for going along with the madness that is the Mind of The Big E. It's not every day you have a date willing to indulge your sardonic critique of some poor schmuck's ridiculously elementary artwork. Even I know you've got to draw some sort of shadowing beneath a person's feet in a painting or they look like they're levitating. Get serious. And the sad part is, this child wanted $250 for that piece of shit. I wouldn't walk from here to my front door (around 30 feet) to pick it up off the sidewalk for free. But I digress.
I really appreciated my date for being so jovial and willing to go along with me. I also really appreciated that he provided a lovely bottled libation that appealed to my epicurean side while being a participant in our MOMA moment. It was cultured and crass at the same time, which is increasingly hard to find these days. So my advice to you, gentle reader, is this: I would encourage those of you out there who are more or less quirky like me to just let it all hang out. If your date jumps in with both feet and provides more color commentary, fantastique! If not, I'd politely let him pick up the check and then feign an illness or at the very least have backup plans post-date so you don't have to lie. I always make back-up plans with friends, just in case. You never know when you're going to have a stage 5 clinger on your hands or you've got to make a quick getaway because Mr. Diarrhea of the Mouth has just told you all about his quest for the perfect remedy for his raging case of eczema. Or on the off chance that you end up liking the person, you can always invite them along so they can get a sense of what you're like in your natural habitat. It's a win-win most of the time. So, happy dating, and leave me a comment if you want!