By Kimberlee Brandt
You have the first date all scheduled. The outfit is bought. The shoes are shined. Your hair is all done. Now what? Don’t be nervous. Here’s a guide to help you look like a dating pro.
Top 10 things to know on a first date
1. Current events
It is important to know something that is happening in the world today. Pick up a paper the morning of the date and read it thoroughly. Celebrity gossip doesn’t count! You should be able to talk confidently about one or two hot current events.
2. Know what sport is in season and know the name of your team.
Rather than saying, “I don’t know anything about sports”, be able to speak intelligently about one sport—say baseball, for example. If he asks you about football, you can say I’m not a big football fan, but I love the Yankees. Did you see that last game against the Mets? You don’t need to know the whole team roster, just a few important players and if they are generally having a winning or losing season.
3. Be able to recite the names of three of the books on the The New York Times bestsellers list.
This makes you look intelligent and well read. Even if you haven’t read the books, you look “in the know”. You have intended to read them, but you just have been too busy. It also can start a great conversation. “I’ve never read that author; do you know much about her? What else has she written? “
4. Talk about travel.
Travel is always a big topic of conversation with people. If two people have been to the same place, there are endless things to talk about. Most people have done some type of traveling; even local day trips will promote conversation. If that person hasn’t been there, you can tell them all about it!
5. Know the difference between a Cabernet and a Chardonnay.
You do not need to be a wine connoisseur, just have a general knowledge that Chardonnay is white and Cabernet is red. Typically, red wine goes great with a steak and white complements chicken or fish. If you’re unsure, ask the waiter—which wine would compliment the dish you’re ordering, this is an easy way to look “menu smart” while letting the waiter do all the work!
6. Have at least one interesting piece of trivia to talk about.
Everyone has something interesting about their job, company, or even the town where they live. Hopefully, you won’t need to talk about trivial things because you will be so engrossed in each other. But, if there is a lull in the conversation, you can always fall back on this.
7. Know how to tell one joke.
A great joke can be a perfect icebreaker. You don’t have to be a comedian—all you need is one joke that is perfected, clean and funny. Your date will think you have a great sense of humor which everyone always says is the number one quality they are looking for in a mate.
8. Keep up on the arts in the Capital District.
Whether it is simply the latest hot movie or what is happening at Proctors or the Palace Theatre. Mention the tickets you have to an upcoming concert or the band that is coming to SPAC this summer—you’ll look cultured and educated when you talk about the arts.
9. If the restaurant menu is stumping you—just point.
Don’t try to pronounce words you don’t know. It will make you more nervous and come across as ignorant. When the waiter asks you what you would like for dinner, just point! He or she will usually repeat the order to you and you can nod in agreement.
10. Remember where you parked your car.
Even though we have all done it, nothing says “forgetful” like someone walking out of a restaurant wandering around trying to find their car. After a cocktail, meal and great conversation, you never know, it may slip your mind! Make a mental note before you go into the restaurant and use a landmark to remember where you parked.
Kimberlee Brandt is director of It’s Just Lunch located in Albany. She can be reached at 482.8400 or www.itsjustlunch.com.