default image for post

24: AMBER

December 8, 2010 | by  |  Confessions of a Lonely, Single Guy

Three days after the phone call, I met with a group of friends at the Alibi Room to discuss strategy. After all, if I was going to get to the “next level”, I needed to be fully prepared. I knew from previous experience that, while a loose date plan was conceptually solid, I didn’t want to get stuck doing the same thing over and over. I needed an injection of fresh ideas. On a bleary Wednesday evening, I sat down with Leon, Terry, DJ StrangeLove, and Brittany, Leon’s girlfriend, to brainstorm the elements of a perfect first date.

“Like we talked about ages ago, the ideal first date should encompass three seperate elements,” DJ StrangeLove said, “and the first should always be coffee.”

“Absolutely,” I agreed. “Gives us a chance to talk and get to know each other. Feel out a personal connection before moving on to the main event.”

“Right. And, I mean, fuck, this is Vancouver. You’re never more than thirty seconds from a coffee shop. So, working it into your afternoon shouldn’t be difficult.”

“Exactly.”

“The second part should be something fun and engaging, preferably with a physical component. It has to be fun. It should be something people don’t ordinarily do, and, ideally, something with an adventurous aspect to it. It doesn’t have to involve much conversation, because its purpose is to develop your physical relationship in the same way you’ve begun to develop an emotional one. You’re getting pretty good at getting her interested. The goal now is to keep her interested. And, like I said before, in order to progress a relationship of any kind — be it sexual or otherwise — the other person needs to be comfortable, physically close with you, and invested in the interaction. Dating is like fishing, man: you can’t land ‘em all, but you stand a much better chance of holding on to the catch if you set that hook.”

He passed me a folded piece of paper, his face serious.

“On this piece of paper are the top 10 date ideas I’ve ever come up with. Venues, activities, events, addresses. Have a gander when you can.”

I drained my glass and sat back in my chair.

“The third part should always involve food,” he continued. “They’ve done studies that show that the degree to which we enjoy another person’s company increases substantially if we spend time eating with them. It’s fucked but it just means that if you grab a snack, a meal or, better yet, a dessert with somebody, you’re just making your own job easier. And the added benefit of going to three seperate venues in one day is that she’ll feel like she’s known you for longer. Instant comfort.”

“Listen to this academic over here,” Terry snorted.

DJ StrangeLove peered over the edge of his beer glass.

“Way it’s gotta be, man,” he said with a condescending shrug.

Terry blinked.

“Oh, shit. Hold on. Are you the guy from Ian’s articles?”

To my surprise, DJ StrangeLove looked momentarily sheepish.

“Um. I guess I am.”

Terry chortled, giving him a knuckle-pound. “Really? I thought he just made that shit up! I didn’t know you actually existed.”

DJ StrangeLove grimaced.

“Unfortunately for everyone concerned, I do.”

“So,” I called out as my second beer arrived, “here’s where I need everybody’s help: what’s fun to do around Vancouver? We need to put our heads together. Come up with a list of things to do that I can draw on if I’m ever stuck for ideas. Who’s got something?”

Some details had already been solidified. Like with travel_gurrl, Amber and I would meet on a Sunday morning. Like with travel_gurrl, we would meet at around ten o’clock on Main Street. And, as ashamed as I was, it was nice to have a basic idea of the ins and outs of our time together. Beyond that, the afternoon was a blank slate. A tabula rasa. Anything, as they say, could happen.

And so, as the alcohol flowed, we jotted down ideas.

“Bowling!” Somebody shouted.

“Archery!” Leon called out, midway through his fourth beer. “First date archery!”

“I love that! That’s fantastic!”

“Dude. I was joking. I don’t even know where you’d do that.”

“Oh. Well, it’s still fantastic.”

“I don’t know. I don’t see what’s wrong with just meeting for coffee and talking,” Brittany remarked. “That seems like a good first date to me.”

DJ StrangeLove scoffed.

“Don’t listen to girls, man. They don’t know what they want.”

Unsurprisingly, Brittany looked offended.

“Um. Yes, we do.”

“I think she does, man,” I interjected.

“No, they don’t. They just know when they get it.”

Brittany stole a meaningful glance in my direction and then involved herself in another conversation.

“Girls will tell you to ‘just be yourself,’ or ‘just be real with her,’ and ‘do what’s in your heart.’ But, brother, that’s about the worst advice anybody can give you. Vaginas are like cars: just because you own one doesn’t mean you know how to drive it.”

I wanted to slap him on behalf of anybody who’d ever been born with homogametic sex chromosomes.

We continued to drink and scrawl down ideas, and before I could pinpoint exactly what was happening the evening had degenerated into a drunkfest of epic proportions. When I awoke the following morning, I took a quick look at what we’d come up with. The results were, in a word, unusual.

Some suggestions were excellent. Some were seasonal. Some were indescribably stupid. But not one of them seemed quite right for Amber and me. Despite all of our hard work and heavy drinking, I was not much further along than when we’d started.

I texted DJ StrangeLove.

“DUDE,” I wrote, “I’M STILL NOT CONVINCED THAT ANY OF THESE IS RIGHT. SOMETHING DOESN’T SIT PROPERLY. NEED SOMETHING ELSE.”

“OH. WELL, THERE’S THE 21ST CENTURY FLEA MARKET ON COMMERCIAL THIS WEEKEND. COULD BE OK.”

That was it, I thought.

It was timely.

It was specific.

It was perfect.

The following evening, I tried the suggestion out on Amber.

“That sounds great!” she said. “I’ve always wanted to go to that.”

We spent the entire afternoon together, talking, laughing, enjoying ourselves. It was fun. It was exciting. I was witty, charming, engaging. At the end of the afternoon, we exchanged a hug. She said she’d had a great time, and we agreed to hang out again soon. Despite several phone calls and messages, though, I never heard from her again.

Like they say: You can’t land ‘em all.

To my surprise I wasn’t particularly bothered by how things turned out. Sure, it would have been nice to see her again. But, either way, I was learning. I was growing. I was having the ride of my life.

“Don’t sweat it, man,” DJ StrangeLove said over beers that evening. “Rejections are like navels: everybody’s got at least one under their belt.”

“Dude. Just shut up.”

Ian Hannon is currently lonely, single, and a guy.

Read more by


11 Comments


  1. Probably should’ve gone with “casual bondage”. This was awesome by the way.

  2. The Flea Market is the WORST place to bring a date. That place is weird and hectic. Haggling over old star wars toys and shitty guitars isn’t romantic.

  3. New Westminster downtown…sort of a cleaner version of the DTES with just enough retro stuff and grit to be interesting. Weird wharf out back and the mighty Fraser suggests power, permanence and change. Trains go by.

    Casual bondage would, of course, be my second pick.

  4. Considering visiting Vancouver BC(i’m in Vancouver Wa) just to meet the Dependent and Strangelove. Also “Good Buddy” Jim, I disagree.

  5. good idea on new west – esp if you do it by train. buy a couple coffees to go (or pack a flask) and take the train out on a clear day.

    i like the tree climbing idea too but you gotta warn her – otherwise she’ll wear her skinny jeans *without* lycra and wont be happy…

  6. i never pictured djsl as a high-waisted kind of guy before.

  7. Archery. First date Archery. I want to go on a first date just for the Archery.

  8. This is so hard to read. Your blog is so incredibly pathetic but my friends and I love reading it and just howling with laughter. Hooking up with girls, you just make it that way. Do you have a tatoo “needy” on your forearm?

  9. Vancouver Maritime Museum would be my top pick for a date. There is a whole boat you can explore inside and outfits you can put on and interactive exhibits. Plus you can take a stroll down the beach after. It fucking rocks.

  10. People,
    You need to find out what your date is into.
    Ask questions and listen carefully.
    Are they nerdy?
    Are they into nature?
    Are they sporty?
    Are they artsy?
    Are they a foody?
    One person’s dream date is another person’s nightmare – that goes for men or women.

  11. Why do you always text in all caps?!

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

About Us

The Dependent Magazine is a Vancouver-based publication of daring and creative works of journalism and entertainment.

 

Want to get involved?

 

Send text, pictures, videos, and crude drawings to editors@thedependent.ca.

The Facebook

Copyright © 2018 · The Dependent Magazine | Vancouver | Powered by WordPress