There are a lot of emotions behind getting ready for a first date. You’re nervous about spending time with someone new, unsure as to what kind of appetizers will produce the least crumb to shirt ratio, and worried you’ll hate your first date outfit. Dates are fun, though, even in their disaster. It’s probably never your intention to go out and have a bad time, but even if the evening is spinning down the drain, there’s a certain comedic enjoyment to it all. You might feel like you just landed in the middle of a sitcom episode, where no one is getting the ridiculousness but you. All of a sudden you’re Jerry Seinfeld and you can’t but help wince at the way the guy in readers across from you won’t stop going on about his cat Mabel.
What if, however, it’s not the date, but it’s you? What if you’re the one bringing the crazy in? I think we can all admit that there are moments when we give up on being social and just let the evening landslide into a beautiful disaster. What’s the fastest way to get a gal in the mood to wreck everything until it’s time to finally (blessedly) go home? If she hates her outfit.
If you're outside the comfort of your Netflix burrow and have something on that you no longer care for, your mood is likely going to go down, and fast. Below are the seven emotional stages of being on a date and coming to the realization that you hate what you’re wearing. Brace yourself.
You arrive first at the bar and find a nook open right next to the windows. Slinging your purse over the back of your seat, you get yourself situated. Curls bouncy? Check. Perfume floating like a wink? Check. No red lipstick on teeth? Double check.
Feeling satisfied, you sit down and try not to stare at the door. Maybe if you ordered a gin and tonic, that would help settle your nerves a bit. Standing up, you smooth down your dress and fight the urge to clear your throat. Trying to get a handle on your butterflies, you square your shoulders and head to the bar. You've got this.
2. Unwarranted Observation
Oh, no. This was a mistake. You’re leaning against the bar, trying to signal to the bartender that you have monies and are thirsty, when you accidentally side-eye the girl next to you. And. She. Is. Fabulous.
She’s wearing everything that you’re not, and while at home you thought your outfit was adorable, now you just feel basic. You might as well be out with furry boots and a healthy smudge of under-eye mascara. You wouldn’t know the difference.
Looking at the villain you've created for yourself, you wonder whether people really go out like this on a Wednesday. At this point, you want to go up to her and whisper, “How dare you?” but you get a handle on your cool before that happens.
Then you have a thought: What if your date walks in and sees you standing next to her? It’d be catastrophic. Feeling panic, you forget the drink and scurry back to your table.
You pull at your sleeves, not really sure what that is going to accomplish but expecting some sort of result nontheless. You cross and uncross your ankles, scanning the bar as though you could somehow MacGyver a better outfit from things around the room. Get it together woman, there will be none of that.
4. The First Tip Into The Spiral
Your date finally arrives and is all smiles and hugs, looking very excited to meet you. As they should be. But you don’t buy it. Slightly slumped in your seat, you give them a half-hearted hug and nod hello. They're just being polite. Surely they see your lazy outfit? You almost want to tell them that they don't have to pretend — the both of you could make gagging noises together.
Knowing you’re starting to head into crazy-town, you give them your best smile and try to jump into introductions.
5. The First Bathroom Break
Two cocktails in and you excuse yourself for the bathroom. You weave between laughing groups of friends and cross your fingers, hoping no one’s in there so you can have some serious one on one time with the full length mirror. Maybe it’s all in your head. Maybe your outfit is slammin’ and you just had a little blimp of insecurity. Or...
What if she’s in there? Then maybe you can convince her to switch outfits. That’s not crazy at all. Telling yourself to get it together, you go in through the swinging doors and are ready for some mirror time.
You come back to the table and decide you’re over it. Your date is great and witty and completely cute in a Disney kind of way, but your shirt is all wrong and you could never get married. Deciding you can never be anything but friends, you switch tracks and move from Date You to Normal You. As in, you'll order some beers in stead of delicate-sounding cocktails and give the eye-batting a break. You'll be back into the loving arms of your couch in no time.
7. The Second Wind
Well, this is a pleasant surprise. After you decided you could be nothing but friends, all your nerves vanished and you started to enjoy the person's company. You were only going to know them for a couple of hours anyway, and you already voyaged down to this part of the city to meet up. You might as well make the most of it.
As the hours tick away and the cocktails are replenished, however, you find yourself laughing and sharing and completely forgetting about what anyone is wearing. This was actually… a pretty good first date. Who would have thought?