Over on my new favorite blog, The Hairpin, editor Edith Zimmerman railed into the infamous fat-phobic blogger at Marie Claire, Maura Kelly, on her recommendations for what to do if you’re bored on a date. Kelly, though I guess you have to give her credit for at least appearing to want to learn about things like the fairy inside the camera that draws the pictures, unsurprisingly comes off like a moron who seems to date a bunch of “banker-types”.
Though Zimmerman’s suggestion to just drink a bunch on a boring date can a pretty good resource sometimes, here are some of my suggestions. And guess what? They don’t even really have to be dates! They can just be like, brief encounters. But you gotta get through the bullshit/awkwardness somehow, right? No matter how momentary or skull-crushingly drawn out. Or, you know, you can just leave otherwise.
1) Whatever you do, don’t get into a crazy argument.
See, this is where guzzling down gimlets could really backfire, at least for me. Here’s the thing– if you know you’re only gonna go on one date or have one encounter with this guy, it’s kind of not worth it to get into a screaming, or elevated voices exchange. I mean, obviously pick your battles. If this guy says something outrageously awful, by all means, throw a glass of water in his face and walk away right there and then. But, if it’s something semi-innocuous, just sit back and watch them dig themselves into an ass-hole, if you will.
2) Try to steer the conversation towards topics you know about or are interested in.
I hate to play into stereotypes, but sometimes, because I think many outstandingly attractive men think they may not have to try and be interesting or entertaining or whatever, some of them can tend to be a little….dull, or just underwhelming, given their looks. Again, even if you know this will be the one time you’ll probably ever see them again, just for your own entertainment, try and steer the conversation in a direction where you and the other person are genuinely engaged, instead of you just pretending to do so. And let’s face it, trying to talk about stuff you don’t know about just makes you look like an idiot, and not like you’re just trying to be accommodating or polite. However, if you are genuinely (this is the key) interested in something you’d like to know more about, but something you sort of know about already generally and won’t sound like a “fairy in the camera”-style idiot talking about, this is the type of thing that can be broached that will keep you both engaged.
3) Suggest an activity so you won’t have to talk
If you feel obligated to continue hanging out with your date and you can tell that conversation isn’t really the strong point here, maybe suggest an activity just to get you through the rest of the evening. Whether it be going to the movies or fucking bumper cars, at least you’ll be physically or otherwise mentally engaged. It could maybe get the conversation juices flowing? Probably not, though. Consider this a band-aid.
4) If you’re feeling feisty and carefree, unleash the semi-controlled crazy
This is really a sort-of last resort, and you should only use this if you’re like maybe leaving town soon or are just in that “nothing to lose” state of mind. So, once you’ve assessed that you want nothing to do with person again, instead of stressing out about how boring and whatever this is, just start talking, endlessly, if need be, about whatever you want. This strategy works in two majorly awesome ways: (1) At least you’ll be entertained by talking about whatever and not being stressed out about catering to anyone, and (2) This is a surefire way to prevent any possible follow up about the potential of a second date from the other party, because honestly, who the hell wants to go out with someone who just drones on and on about themselves with zero consideration for the other person? Again, employ at your own risk.
5) If all else fails, just ride the storm out and gaze at ye olde navel
This can be seen as the flip-side of the semi-controlled crazy coin. Instead of just saying whatever you want, just sit back, let the other boring person talk about whatever, and just think about whatever you want in your head. Here, I’ll give you a few topics: (1) A to-do list for the next day, (2) All the books, internet, and shows that need attending to when you get home, (3) Clothes you don’t really like anymore and should just probably just give to charity, (4) All those particularly funny and enjoyable mashups on the new Girl Talk album, (5) Speaking of mashups, play the movie mashup game in your head! For example: Big Trouble In Little Women. This should keep you occupied, albeit chuckling to yourself, for a while.