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How to Drink on a First Date

Screen shot 2015-04-05 at 1.47.13 PMMy friend, Matthew Latkiewicz, knows a lot about drinking.

No, really. More than you. I promise.

I mostly promise because he just published a book, You Suck at DrinkingI also promise because I’ve been a stander-by at his bar seat and a guest in his home (stunningly designed by his talented wife, Small Victories Design, should anyone be looking for someone who makes spaces beautiful) which means I’ve had quite a bit to drink with Matthew. And I promise because.

Just because (which incidentally, was my favorite response to the answer “why?” as a child).

One of my favorite chapters in the book was recently excerpted on Grub Street: How to Drink on a First Date. Seriously, such an important topic in terms of dating, and one so often ignored (because let’s face it – how many times has the answer accidentally been “too much?”).

Matthew starts you off with a cheer (which incidentally, is my favorite way to start off anything, including  but not limited to first dates):

So you are on a first date! Congratulations! Alongside selecting your outfit and making sure you don’t have spinach in your teeth, choosing your drink can be one of the most important aspects of a first date. It helps set the mood and establish your personality, and can be called upon to smooth over any awkwardness.

To properly deploy alcohol on your first date, you consider three things:

1. Choose a drinking style appropriate to how well you know the person.
2. Choose a drinking style that showcases the vibe you want to give off.
3. Avoid and/or handle date emergencies with the correct drinking maneuver.

Seriously people. Important stuff. I mean, you don’t want to order a Long Island Iced Tea on an empty stomach when you’re with a blind internet date (not only is getting sloshed after the first drink uncouth, it’s a little dangerous as a lady), nor do you want to order the most expensive wine on the perfectly-edge worn menu (for effect, not because the bar has been around that long) at a hipster dive you selected, nor do you want to be caught bored or boring on a date and not know what to do.

Speaking of which, let’s see what Matthew has to say on that whole bored/boring phenomenon we all know happens.

…Below are ways to handle specific situations that may arise. Simply layer them atop the foundation, and the date will be delivered safely to its correct conclusion.

Your date is boring you.
Be gracious and continue to ask questions. A Drinker is always gracious and always asks questions. It is one night out of your life. If you know this is going nowhere, buy more drinks and enjoy your evening.

I can’t stress how true this is. Might as well get to know the other person, learn about a different view of life, and try a drink you don’t normally get or can’t find anywhere besides the bar you’re at. Here’s another:

You are boring your date.
If you realize you are boring your date, you are already miles ahead of most boring people. Use that awareness to stop being boring. Stop your story, say, “You know what? I am boring myself, here.” Then ask: “Have you ever had absinthe?” You will immediately cease being boring forever.

Oh man. I love the concept of self-awareness here. Being able to gauge someone else’s reaction to you will in-debt that person to you forever (even if you don’t wind up at the altar together). Plus, absinthe is delicious. Specifically St. George Absinthe (no, do not add sugar).

There’s more. A lot more. On Grub Street, a whole chapter more on drinking and dating (and on Amazon, a whole book more on drinking etiquette in any situation!).

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