When his attempt at a joke falls flat on a first date — or you miss it entirely — sometimes that’s a dealbreaker, ladies. A red flag that can mean no second date, especially if said joke alters your opinion of a guy and naws at your brain so much so that when/if he asks you out again, you are forced to decline his offer on principle.
(Which reminds me of that John Mayer song “My Stupid Mouth,” something Jessica Simpson knows all too well.)
Recently I went out for a drink with someone I met at a party; my first impression was of a brainy goofball with mild-yet-endearing Dad Humor (related: stuff guys with Dad Humor like: How I Met Your Mother). He works in television, and we seemed to have a lot in common.
So when we finally met up for that drink, the conversation flowed. But things took a turn for the worse: He chewed gum while drinking beer, chomping loudly like Britney Spears in a televised interview. He wore a Puka shell necklace. He said he lived in Long Island City, Queens, and I mentioned that there are some great restaurants there.
His response: “I don’t like great food.”
My thought bubble: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Instant dealbreaker. I’m not a snob by any measure, but everyone likes “great food,” right? I mean, we can’t eat melba toast and microwave dinners every day. I like guys who like try new things — food-wise, they should enjoy a good meal, and it doesn’t have to be at Charlie Trotter’s. It could be sizzling fish tacos at the whole-in-the-wall Mexican bakery on your block.
After that comment, I swiftly jumped to the conclusion that A) he is boring when B) he had just told a bad joke that flew completely over my head. (I usually recognize bad jokes when I hear them, and tell many myself too).
How do I know this? I told my perceptive coworker about the Great Food date, and he offered some insight into the male mind: “He wasn’t saying he hates good food — he was making a joke, and it wasn’t funny.”
Well, had I known that…. Still, I don’t think my opinion of him would have changed: Because I think there’s a little bit of truth in every joke. And with this guy, I envisioned a future of couch-sitting, Hot Pocket-eating and watching Everyone Loves Raymond reruns on the TV.
I realize this is an utterly wrong judgment — I do, in fact, eat Hot Pockets a la Liz Lemon — but I DO want the guy I’m dating to share my values, to get out of his comfort zone and help me get out of mine.
Oh, and it helps if he’s funny, too.