The ideal number of drinks on a first Internet date is two. Got that? Just TWO, you boozehounds. One drink is not enough, it just doesn’t give you enough time to get to know the person and see if you might be a match. And more than two, well that can be pretty dangerous.
It is tempting, for sure, when a date is going well to order that third and fourth, spend more time with this new exciting person, see where the night leads. But HOLY CRAP can that be a bad idea. First of all, it can get really expensive, and on the first date with a lady you’re trying to impress, you know you’re picking up the whole tab, Daddy Warbucks. Gallantly and with cool nonchalance, of course. Secondly, no matter how good the chemistry seems, you don’t really know if the other person is feeling the same vibe. Things can seem delightful, but until she shows up for a second date you really have no idea where you stand. Believe me, I’ve had many first dates that seemed a lock for a second – tons of laughter, flirty glances, kiss goodnight – then when I call and ask her out again she disappears. Happens alllll the time. But then again, I do front load a lot of my dates with hardcore racial humor, so maybe that’s part of the problem. But the point is, there’s no sense spending a lot of time and money on a first date with someone that you very possibly will never see again. I know it sounds callous, but if you’re Internet dating regularly, time and money do become a factor. Also, the other problem with having more than two drinks is that you can get really truly humiliatingly drunk.
The best lesson on this topic came not from me, but a fellow Internet dater. I usually prefer my own stories, but we’ll make exceptions on the site for the truly excellent disasters – and believe me, this one qualifies. And thus we have our first Note From The Underground…
A little over a year ago I went out with a charming girl I met, of course, on the computer. She was tall and striking, with long, curly black hair. And best of all, her sense of humor was top-notch, leading to some excellent email banter. It’s best to keep your expectations in check when meeting someone online, because you have no idea how their personality or your connection will translate in person. But her I let myself get a little excited about. When we met for drinks, the optimism seemed warranted. We laughed and kidded our way through two drinks, and when the waitress appeared I ignored protocol and ordered us another round. DON’T ignore protocol; that’s why it’s called protocol.
When the third drinks arrived, something strange started to happen. She was relaxed and playful before, but now she seemed really relaxed and playful. Like…Mel-Gibson-pulled over-at-a-traffic-stop relaxed and playful. She must have been drinking before, because she went around the bend too fast for just the third drink. Of course, I had had a few drinks myself, so it took me a little bit to recognize that it wasn’t really that the date started to go incredibly well, it was just that she started to get incredibly hammered. There was swaying in the chair, some leisurely approaches to diction, and lots of laughter. Too much even for someone as deeply hilarious as myself. But hey, no harm no foul, we all have a few too many on occasion, so I flagged down the waitress to ask for the check. Unfortunately though, before I could say “bill”, Lady Tequila said “two more drinks, and a couple shots.” Which is impressive really, because that’s a lot more words. The drinks came, I suggested perhaps we shouldn’t drink them, and she looked at me the way a drunk person looks at someone who suggests such a thing. She knocks back her shot, downs mine as well, and takes a slug from her lots-of-vodka-little-bit-of-tonic. Remember that banter I was charmed by before? That had hit the road. In its place was very little talking and a fair amount of singing along to the ambient bar music. Surprise surprise, the lovely girl with the curly black hair and I were not a match.
I paid the tab (less gallantly and with more chalance than usual) and brought my little Betty Ford outside for a cab. Problem is, she either can’t…or won’t…tell me where she lives.
Me: So where should I tell the cab to bring you?
Betty Ford: I love music. Don’t you love music?
Me: Sure, music’s great. So what’s your address?
Betty Ford: You put the lime in the coconut you drink em both up…I said doctor!!
Me: Is that in the Bronx?
…And then she stopped talking altogether. People walking by us in the street looked at me with disgust, like I had forced these drinks down her throat. I tried to express “Honestly, I have a 2 drink protocol that I almost always follow to avoid just these kinds of situations” with my awkward smile, but I don’t think they were buying it. Eventually I had no choice but to hail a cab and take her back to my place. What else could I do?! At least after all that trouble I was gonna score some action…
KIDDING. Kidding. I would never do that. And believe me, at this point I – like any other reasonable person on the face of the earth – was not interested. I got her into my apartment, sat her down on the couch and brought her a glass of water. Which of course she didn’t drink. Why do the drunks never drink the glass of water? It’s exasperating. If you put a cup of gasoline in front of them they’d probably chug it down, but somehow deep inside of them they know, “avoid the water. Nothing good will come of it.” I dressed up the couch real nice for Betty, giving her plenty of sheets and blankets, and left her a t-shirt and sweatpants to sleep in. The last thing she said before I closed my bedroom door for the evening was, “I had really nice time tonight.” Or maybe it was, “I really like dogs in flight”. She was fairly hard to understand at that point.
The next morning I woke up and steeled myself for the awkward morning that lay ahead of me. She would be embarrassed, I would say it was OK, she wouldn’t really believe me – which would reasonable under the circumstances – and she would shuffle off to the subway. Imagine my relief then when I opened my door to find her nowhere in sight! She had woken up early and hit the road! It was like Christmas morning when I was ten years-old, except instead of a new Nintendo in my living room there was the absence of a viciously hungover almost-stranger. I was so delighted that when I walked into the living room I almost didn’t notice the smell. That smell where you know right away what it is but you don’t think it could possibly be that so you search for another explanation. There’s no way the sheets sitting in a bundle on the floor, and my clothes that I had given her to sleep in, and the suspicious looking dark patch on the couch, there’s no way that that’s…PEE?! Is it?! It couldn’t actually be pee, could it?
Well, sadly it could. And it was. Was it ever. Apparently at some point in the night Betty made the decision that she had gone so far down the road to humiliation and disregard for social decency that way take it all the way? She then unleashed an ocean of urine so vast that it soaked through a men’s XL t-shirt and sweatpants, two sheets, a thick blanket, and the first half-inch or so of a Jennifer’s Convertibles sofa cushion. A lot of pee, to be sure, but granted, six drinks, two shots, and a tiny sip of water will do that you.
I never heard from Betty Ford again, which is certainly for the best. I thought she might call and apologize, but really, how do say you’re sorry for peeing on someone’s stuff? And what do I say afterwards? “Don’t worry about it”? No, you should definitely worry about it. But hey, it’s kinda my fault too. That is the sort of thing that happens when you have more than two drinks.
…It’s so awesome that I almost wish it happened to me. Almost…