Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Dates & Red Robin (Yummm)

Aside from being an (ah-hem) award winning novelist, I am unfortunate I do not make enough money to write as a career author. Holding down a “day” job is essential. Only difference is, my day job is a night job. Graveyard shift. We call it First Platoon. I am a Fire/EMS Dispatcher for 9-1-1. Thankfully, when there are no fires, work is not too busy. When it is not too busy, six of us (Fire Dispatchers) sit in what we call a pod (a circle) filled with 5 computer monitors, 3 keyboards/mice and phones, per station, and we talk. And the talk oftentimes is nonsensical.

Last night we discussed first dates. Being 42, divorced, and with three kids, dating is tough. First dates, tougher. Not being rich—perhaps borderline poor—the idea of trying to impress a woman on a first date is not generally doable. And for that matter, I thought, also not wise.

Way I see it, if you take a woman out to on an expensive night, big-bill dinner, and theater, and limo and shit like that – it’s misleading. Improperly so. Think about it. (And I truly believe this is not frugal, or downright cheap). If you take extravagant measures to show the young lady an amazing time, isn’t it then fair for her to assume each date thereafter is going to hold, at a minimum, equal expectations? I could be wrong. (Feedback and comments are most, most welcome).

Way I see it, (yes starting a second paragraph identically to the one above it), if the plan is dinner and a movie, going to a restaurant that is affordable is okay. Especially on a first date. (More expensive dates can certainly follow, on things like, special occasions). But it is not always financially practical to drop a lot of money on a date. And on a first date – let’s face it – there is always a 50/50 chance there will not be a second, a follow-up, a sequel. See what I’m saying?

Maybe that makes me a jerk. A cheapskate. A tightwad. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Perceive away. Judge. I prefer to let a woman know who I am. Who I am, is not money. Not even close. Why give the impression otherwise? Misleading, as earlier indicated, and in my opinion, should be seriously frowned upon.

The fact that I like Red Robin burgers got everyone laughing. At me. I thought, and said out loud, “I think going to Red Robin is a good first date. Good burgers, bottomless fries … I mean, yummmmm says it all.”

Yeah. Wrong thing to say. Think I’d of been okay just thinking it. The comments I received went as follows:

“It’s too ‘family restaurant’ styled for a first date. It’s all parents and kids.”

“Seriously, Phil? Seriously?”

“You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but certainly not Red Robin.”

“Red Robin’s a good first date if you’re a teenager…”

And, from that above sampling, I think you get the idea.

Other, equally affordable options were suggested. Some good. Some, personally, I rejected. But by the end of the discussion, I guess I learned a lesson. Two, actually. And what is the point of open forums if there is not, at least, one moral to a story … much less, two?!?

One. Don’t ever tell close friends the specifications of date plans, unless you are hoping to be talked out of them, humiliated, laughed at, or frustrated because trying to get your point across in a five to one situation is not humanly possible.

Two. Maybe talk with the person you plan to go out with. Get their input before making decisions. While a female likes to see the man make calls, it might work out better to actually ask for some general input. You never know – they may think a most wonderful idea involves good burgers and bottomless fries at your local Red Robin … Yummmmmm!

One last question: Is it okay to pull out a coupon when the bill comes??

As always, take care!

Phillip Tomasso

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  1. If the company is good.... thats all that matters! Food is always secondary., and i dont see an issue with a coupon.... i use lots of them. Shows you know how to spend money wisely and not put yourself in debt......

  2. I agree with Tammy. Plus, I'm not a fan of first date dinners. Spinach in teeth...onion breath...sauce on chin...no thank you. Much better...coffee at a bookstore or walk through a museum.

  3. Hey now, I suggested Red Robin and like you, think it's not a bad place for a first date. Honesty is best right from the start. Why show a woman an expensive first date, she'll expect it every time and we both know that's not affordable where we work. Unless of course one doesn't mind living under a bridge in a cardboard box or a home on wheels....but that's another blog topic. LOL