He Said is going to admit right here and now that he has never been a master of the first date. True it is that we have dated some very awesome and artistic women, but we always lack when it comes to that first swing out of the box. He Said is way better at the weeks, months and years after that first date than he is at opening night.
That's when you are supposed to be inquisitively gazing at the person from across the table, past the food and wine, asking them questions that are meant to elicit long answers so you learn more about them besides who their favorite band is and what the hell is wrong with your mutual friends. Because the longer you let someone talk, they will tell you more than they initially wanted to. It's a magic trick that men and women have been working for years, and one He Said seems to fall for daily.
Sadly, most of our first dates have been drunken affairs full of petty theft, strip clubs, bowling alleys, a few nervous TGI Friday's trips in high school, an endless stream of bars and concert venues throughout town, Hobby Airport and the random movie theater. The Brendan Fraser and Christopher Walken vehicle Blast From The Past wasn't exactly a romantic barnburner back in 1999. Plus, visiting a porn shop that first night out of boredom isn't a good bellwether for a healthy relationship either.
If you search for first-date songs online, you get a bunch of creepy fucks trying to tell you to listen to "romantic music" before and during that initial meet up. Sinatra is for boomer couples in Cialis commercials wearing white linen shirts on the beach dancing in slow motion, and and Bob Schneider is for pretentious ex-frat dudes still plying old tricks from their days at the Library on Sixth Street.
Music has always played a big part in the run-up to a first date, along with excitement, unfounded weirdness, tension headaches and sweat (He Said's chief export). The first date is almost like a boxing match, matching moves with moves. Dodging and weaving with her pointing questions and inconclusive body language with your constant need to fart. Just being honest, ladies. That's why we take the long way around the car and check the tire pressure after we open the car door for you.
Nickelback, "Figured You Out"
OK, hear us out. You play this in the car on your way to wherever the first stop is on the date. Make it look like an accident somehow. Say that your Dad borrowed your car and he left the disc in there. If she nods her head at the song or softly mouths the words, feign diarrhea and give her cab fare back to Clear Lake.
Blink-182, "First Date"
When He Said went on one of the first dates of his young adult life, he was really into pop-punk. So it wasn't a stretch that he would pop blink-182's Take Off Your Pants And Jacket on the way to the chick's house in his bitchin' Buick LeSabre. At the age of 18, the lyrics were spot-on.
Metallica, "Enter Sandman"
He Said has been on a couple of first dates that weren't initially first dates but in hindsight became first dates. Does that make sense? A month later you both look back and go "Well now this whole thing makes sense." We have had exactly one awesome first date in our lives, and it included stealing chairs from Mango's, the Metallica live box set Live Shit: Binge & Purge and blue bouncy ball. Hands down.
Green Day, "Nice Guys Finish Last"
Some first dates don't go according to plan. What sucks is when the girl gets other plans halfway through, and then wants to drag you into them so you can watch them stand in the corner and talk to some dipshit in a Hurley hoodie who looks like a drug dealer.
The Strokes, "12:51"
When we were younger and stupider, we always assumed the "40s" the Strokes were singing about weren't the Colt .45 kind. It made us snicker that the band would be repping $40 bags of coke, and sadly those little things colored the first few dates of one of our past relationships. This song was pretty big around that time down Dunlavy.