I was recently asked about foods to avoid on first dates. Now, it's been awhile since I embarked on a first date, but some things never change. First dates can be nerve wracking enough without worrying about the food on your plate (in your teeth, down your chin, over your shirt and the lingering fumes they may expel hours later.) Much better to focus on your charming conversation and witty repartee--or if things are not going as you'd hoped, a quick and clean exit strategy to cut your losses.
With that in mind, here are Grace's Guidelines on Foods to Avoid....There are three basic classifications of food that present problems on dates. They are:
1. Foods likely to stay where they shouldn't, i.e on your teeth. This class includes things like spinach, mint/parsley/cilantro, seaweed, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and even coarse black pepper. If the date is going well, you will doubtless be smiling frequently. The last thing you want in such situations is an unsightly patch of green adorning your incisor. That's why Graces always carry a small mirror and some dental floss in our handbags. To be used in the privacy of the ladies' room.
2. Foods with ill after effects. Garlic, onion, and whiffy cheese are delicious, but save them for your pals or a later date. You really don't want to emit toxic fumes as you move in for the first kiss. But sometimes it's unavoidable; if you are dining at a trattoria, garlic is going to be part of your dish. That's why Graces always carry mints in our handbags.
3. Foods that are impossible to eat without a struggle, a mess, and/or a two handed grip. Unless you are at a lobster or crab shack, try ordering something that does involve wrestling. That said, be a sport. If you are at a barbecue pit, you are going to have to tuck into the ribs. Ordering a small side of cole slaw will guarantee that the first date is the last. That's why Graces always have a packet of scented wipes in our handbags.
Sure, Drew Barrymore and Justin Long can pull off a fab first date, even with errant wing sauce. But they are the exception to the rule. And fictional, I might add.
Keeping these three simple guidelines in mind as you scan the menu will ensure that your focus remains where it ought: on your companion and the crucial assessment as to whether or not s/he will be lucky enough to snag a second date with you.