NOTE: This piece of satire is by Michael Showalter. I originally posted a link to his site, but since the latter has been taken down, I’m archiving his writing here for posterity.
1. When the check comes, offer to pay the bill, take out your library card, give it to the waiter, and say, “This should just about cover it.” When the waiter brings the card back and says that it’s not a valid form of payment, apologize to him and your date, take out your Barnes & Noble discount card, give it to the waiter, say, “This oughta do the trick.” Then resume conversation with your date. When he returns again, act frustrated and ask your date if she has a valid form of payment and be very apologetic about it. She will see that you read books and will be very turned-on.
2. If you don’t want to do the library card gambit then say, “I believe in Women’s Lib and insist that we go Dutch.” After the meal, when the check comes, take out a calculator (or pen/pencil) and figure out exactly what each of you owe. Add 10% for a tip. When she says that 10% is a shitty tip, tell her that you don’t believe in tipping. She will see that you are opinionated and passionate about things.
3. When you and your date sit down to eat, briskly take the menu away from her and insist on ordering for both of you. Say, “If you don’t mind, I’ll just order for the two of us. I’m good at this. I’m a foodie.” Order the thing on the menu that you’re most certain she won’t like. Order yourself a hamburger.
4. Or, if you don’t want to do that, then order something for her and nothing for yourself. Tell her that you’re vegan and on a diet. Women love men who aren’t into eating meat or food in general. It’s very sexy and masculine to them.
5. Excuse yourself at some point and say, “Will you pardon me for a sec? I gotta take a big ol’ dump.” (don’t leave out the “ol'” that’s key. If you don’t say, “ol'” it will seem crass. By putting the “ol”‘ in it’s kinda cute.) Take a long time in the bathroom. When you return, say something like, “I just lost 30 lbs. in there!” She will find this charming and endearing.
6. When the food comes, place the napkin in your shirt like a bib. Be sure to get tons of food on it to indicate its effectiveness. Once or twice during the meal also use the napkin to blow your nose. Be certain to really dig the napkin into your nostril. She will be very impressed by this.
7. During the meal: Talk only about yourself; Brag about your achievements; Rag on people more successful than you; Come across as bitter and resentful of others; Don’t ask her questions. If you’re depressed, tell her. Tell her about all of your insecurities. Confess to all of your shortcomings – particularly as they relate to sex. If you’re unhappy or unfulfilled in your life, tell her about this. When she begins talking, interrupt her and change the subject.
8. When her meal arrives, touch her food to make sure it’s the right temperature. Do this with her water as well. Make sure it’s cold. Don’t be shy. Use your whole hand.
9. Insist on not ordering dessert. Tell her that you think ordering dessert is bullshit and phony. Tell her that you “absolutely hate” ordering dessert. She will be very intrigued by this. She will find you to be extremely uncompromising and strong.
10. After the meal, insist on not walking her home. Tell her that you “don’t believe” in walking a girl home. Tell her that you believe that “chivalry is dead” and that you’re a “modern man.” She will be blown away by this and she will think that you are extremely progressive and cool.
11. Try to leave a little bit before her. Tell her that you have “somewhere else to be.”
12. Finally, grab a very big handful of mints on your way out and stuff them in your pocket. Tell her, “You never know when these will come in handy.” She will find this to be very smart and pragmatic thinking.