Monday, April 23, 2007

The First Date

Have you ever noticed how dating someone is very different from marrying them or living with them? It’s amazing how wonderfully perfect we can all be while we’re dating. I mean we go through this incredibly long process in the hopes that in the end the person we’re seeing will think we’re cool enough and pretty enough to pop the “big” question. Will you (fill in the blank) (move in, be exclusive, marry, go to prom, meet my parents, meet my other significant other) with me? Which makes you wonder why we spend all that time making sure that we’re nothing like our real selves.

To be fair, I’m going to start with the girl side of this. Whilst dating, women shave their legs before every date, thus giving their man the impression that women don’t actually grow any hair there. We order salads saying we’re not hungry because we made a point of eating an hour before he showed up to pick us up. We laugh at their lame jokes and feign interest in sports by watching PTI, Around the Horn, and Sports Center the night before a big date so that we don’t get caught in too many glazed over looks at the smoky sports bar. And I haven’t even touched on the clothes, make-up, hair, and other things that we always make sure are perfect for our hopeful someone.

Then there are men. To which I will say one word: farting. The entire time you date you will probably never hear your man do anything as crass as burping or farting. Day one of living together you will begin to discover the odorous music he has been careful to keep secret from you. During the dating phase, the seat will always be put down the washroom, his table manners will be impeccable, and he’ll open your car door for you on your way to your chick flick date night where he won’t notice any of the other women around him.

After the dating phase comes a part of the relationship I like to call: Reality. You’ll recognize the symptoms I’m sure; hair starts to magically grow on your legs, the seat on the toilet is never down (unless it’s because you glued it like that out of frustration), your appetite has apparently shifted from a side salad to a plate of lasagna (and no, you’re not going to share that cannoli, thank you), and it turns out that he hates Julia Roberts and thinks that Jackass: The Movie is high art. That’s right, you’ve stopped being polite and started to get real… And somehow the relationship is better.

Sure you’ve both been essentially lying to each other for months and now you have new things to learn and talk about. Besides, it’s too late: you already like each other. You’ve moved beyond six months of first dates and are ready for the second date where you find out he hates your pet name for him, and he discovers you’re allergic to his cologne. The relationship becomes stronger for revealing the truth from the lies.

So even though the farting is annoying, smelly, and is grating on your last nerve it’s OK. Because maybe reality doesn’t bite…

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