Sunday night, after driving back from Atlanta, I went over to a bar called Cheers (where, surprisingly, they do NOT know my name) for its weekly Open Mic night.
Cheers is not what I would call a warm and cozy place. It’s relatively stark and bare bones, and while everyone there is friendly, it isn’t a place that provides a hearty welcome to newcomers. The first time I was in there, it made me think of one of the fraternity houses at my undergrad, which was 98% Greek – it’s smoky and dark and has TVs and dartboards everywhere. I’m comfortable there, and I like the place, but the emphasis is definitely not on the ambience.
While I was there, doing my set, I noticed a man and a woman sitting at a table that was quite close to the microphone and speaker setup. The woman seemed completely mortified at all of the vulgar parts of my set, to the point where she was covering her face during most of my time on stage.
After my set, I walked over to them and said “I hope I didn’t scar you too badly – I could tell you were a bit embarrassed.”
She smiled and said “Well, we’re on a first date, and I didn’t think I was expecting that.”
After that, blah blah blah, we had meaningless conversation and I left them alone. What struck me, though, was the following:
Who the fuck would go on a first date to a bar like this?
It’s loud. Smoking is allowed. It’s not intimate.
I don’t get it.
Now, I know that I may be an anomaly, because every first date I’ve been on in the last year and a half has cost me at least $100-200. I usually choose high quality restaurants that provide good atmosphere and good food in addition to also making a good impression.
I’m also aware that some people out there would rather have a first date that’s less pressure or less commitment. They would prefer to go out for drinks or coffee, so they can end the date easily and escape unscathed. I think that’s a cynical way to look at dating and possibly sets the tone for the remainder of the relationship, if there is any.
But, even if someone was only interested in going out for drinks on a first date, there are high end restaurants in the area that have bars inside them, where you can relax, enjoy a drink, and talk to your date without some fat hairy idiot talking about anal bleaching in your ear.
The only conclusions I can make from my scant impression of this couple is either that the guy is high up on the scale of douchebaggery, that the girl was desperate and had absolutely zero standards, or both.
Am I completely wrong on this? If you were dating, would you want a first date in a dark, atmosphere-free, smoke-filled, loud bar?