Religion was one of my favorite classes in high school and it was taught by a young Catholic priest named Father Ricther. Before making any assumptions, I liked the class because it was different. Not only were we required to only go times a week, but Father Richter also asked us more than “yes” or “no” questions and treated us like we were more than teenagers. Sort of.
One day, he asked us, “What do you do on first dates?” The room fumbled and grumbled. Not many of us really said much. Personally, back then I’d never even been on a date before, so I couldn’t answer that. Nobody wanted to say, “Drink a bunch of cheap beer, drive around and then make out.” Granted, I don’t know if that’s what people did, but when I did go on a date that’s what I did.
Eventually, some guy brave enough to answer said, “Go to a movie.”
Father Richter slapped his thigh, laughed and pointed. “That’s exactly the worst type of date you can go on!”
“What do you know about going on dates? You’re just a priest!” Some kid barked.
“Yeah, but I wasn’t always a priest!”
His proud smile wasn’t creepy, rather it seemed that he was remembering the good old days.
“Anybody can go to a movie with anybody. You’re just sitting there! And what if the movie is boring?”
“So what should we do?”
“Miniature golfing or bowling. Whatever makes the guy look like an idiot and get mad,” Father Richter grinned again.
“Why would I want my new boyfriend to look like an idiot?” one of the girls asked, looking really confused.
“Because if he keeps getting strikes, does he get in your face and brag about it? Because if he misses an easy putt or keeps hitting gutter balls, what will he do? Will he lose his temper? Smash the club on the mushroom house windmill thing? Buy you a Coke and compliment you on your form? His reactions explain his future. Do you want to date a guy who gets angry at a stupid game or be with a guy who knows how to lose and have fun at something that doesn’t matter? Interact as much as possible. Just remember this: a movie is a boring date.”
This is easily the best form of dating advice I’ve ever received. I do my best to keep it. I try to keep my dates interactive and something to remember. I attempt to show the real me. I can lose and keep my head up. I suck not only at miniature golf, but also at bowling. However, I soar at making the lady laugh throughout our time together.
Movie dates? Nightmares. The last one I went to (I think) was “Indiana Jones 4.” This evening’s date had never seen an “Indy” movie, but I’d assured her that these were the “coolest movies ever.” Halfway through this dog-turd movie, my date looked at me and told me Indiana Jones was the dumbest thing she’d ever seen and that I was an idiot. And I couldn’t really argue with her. She never called me back.
So, men and women: On first dates, don’t do movies. Mini-golf and bowl. Show off your winning and losing attitudes.