Disproving the 'Date Food' Hypothesis

I heard a ridiculous thing the other day, that there are foods one should and shouldn’t eat on a date (actually I was told while eating a salad that I’m totally one of those people that can pull off eating salad on a date, but I digress). I suppose I’d heard it referred to in passing and on TV shows…but I didn’t know that it was actually something people did in real life.

Call me naïve or an inexperienced dater (I am both) but the very fact that you would tailor your order at a restaurant to the company you were keeping and how you looked eating that item is insane. What ever happened to “you do you”?

Besides, are there any foods that look particularly attractive to eat? I’m not asking for a friend here; this is an honest question. Salad? Tacos? Pizza? I mean spaghetti may have been romantic in Lady and the Tramp but it sure isn’t sexy in real life.

The way I see it, if they can’t handle what you look like eating what you choose to eat then why are they even being considered for the position of a potential mate? 

I genuinely enjoy eating. Who is my potential date to judge me for the what I eat and how I eat it? Besides if it turns out we mesh well together, they are going to see a lot more of me eating so they better get used to it. Harsh, I know, I’m sorry.

Being the investigative journalist I am, I questioned a few of my friends on the subject and what they (being experienced daters as they are) thought were appropriate and inappropriate date foods. While some friends stuck to the politically correct; “it’s important for girls not be afraid to eat because guys like girls that eat” others went into much more detail;

“I would stay away from Burritos/tacos, those sushi rolls from Jina’s (have you ever seen those? they’re huge), Caesar Salad…Greek Salad because of all the onions, anything particularly saucy, oh! Curry, too. Pizza? No. I don’t know just like really dry food is a safe bet (Are we talking freeze dried here?). I think the best bet would be a broiled salmon, with some veggies on the side and some rice pilaf…you can eat all that separately and it’s good and clean” (not that we are picky or anything)

I’m sorry, all I get reading through that list is that there is virtually no cuisine that is attractive to eat on a date. And that was not even an exhaustive list by any means. Reading between the lines, there’s plenty else I can rule out as ‘date-foods’; fondue? Way too messy. Steak? Way too expensive. Ice Cream? Potential to ruin your outfit. Chicken Wings? Self-explanatory. The point is, if you really think about it, you can rule almost anything out to eat on a date, and that just isn’t okay with me.

If you do end up making a fool of yourself while you’re eating, then at least you’ve succeeded in breaking the ice with some self-deprecating comedy (my personal go to) and you’ve also shown your date that you’re not perfect, immediately diffusing the nervous atmosphere (I don’t know, does it work like that? I’m just theorizing here). 

Personally, I am an embarrassing eater. When I eat chocolate it inevitably ends up on what I’m wearing, especially if I had the foresight to wear white that day. I have inadvertently flung a well-cooked pork chop across the polished marble floor of a restaurant in Italy (when it came to a stop it was under another table and I had the unfortunate experience of trying to explain to the waiter where it went and why I needed a new one). I have dropped things, meat from fondue and deep fried vegetables, in full wine glasses that were not my own and snorted milk and other such things out of my nose in uncontrollable fits of laughter (talk about embarrassing). Finally, I have watched as a radish was launched from a bowl of salad clear across the restaurant and was subsequently chased after by the culprit who repeated the phrase ‘sorry, errant radish’ as he followed its path around the tables. And while none of these instances occurred in the presence of potential suitors, there is another common theme. That I remember each experience vividly to this day, and many are not recent experiences. Isn’t that what we want? To be remembered?

I can’t imagine that being like every girl in the world, ordering a plain salad (with no dressing because apparently there are far too many verboten flavours in that) makes you stand out very much. Maybe it makes a good first impression (a clean first impression), but I’d like to think that being able to laugh at yourself does too. I find that I may not remember every ‘perfect’ thing I’ve done, but I certainly remember every experience that went sideways, especially if I managed to find the humour in the situation.

My word may not be the most trustworthy after all, this isn’t really a scientific inquiry into the ‘date-food’ hypothesis, it’s more of a rant about one of our society’s sillier customs. And while I’m not too experienced with dinner dates, I have been to plenty of restaurants with lots of different groups of people, so you could say I’m well-versed in restaurant dining. At the end of the day, what matters is that you’re happy (and if eating makes you happy then go for it and your date should accept that). Besides, if what my one friend said about guys liking girls who eat is true then what are you worried about?

In the wise words of DJ Khaled; “Eat the food, they don’t want you to eat” and remember you do you even if that means ordering the tacos and some chocolate ice cream for dessert.