The Store-Museum-Any-Place-You-Can-Only-Look-at-Stuff Date

21 Jan

Three sefiros down and one to go. You many be wondering why I put the Store-Museum-Any-Place-You-Can-Only-Look-at-Stuff Date as the highest and thus most challenging of all sefiros. Window shopping, art observing or exhibit exploring should be the easiest of all dates. Being in such a setting gives you a topic to discuss no matter how mouthy or mousy your are. You look at a painting, share a few observations about it and then move on to the next one. That kind of activity could last for hours. Have you ever been to the Met? The place is endless! There are thousands of possibilities for discussion!

They may be true if you are with a close friend, but most people have their filters on super-sensitive mode on a first date. The best part of going to a museum of any sort , but especially those of the art variety, is mocking its contents. Sure the big black splotch on the white canvas is someone’s life work, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that I think it looks like a two-headed mole rat. And as far as the Museum of Natural History goes…don’t pretend you didn’t go to reenact the Dum-Dum scene from A Night at the Museum. We’ve all been there.

So as I was saying, as much fun as it is to poke fun at black splotches and massive stone heads, it’s a lot safer to keep the focus simple – you and your date. Mind you, the SMAPYCOLaP date can be a lot of fun, but you have to have a relatively firm comfort level with your date for it to be genuinely fun. If you are like me, you are generally cautious about what you say to people you don’t know well. Actually, I’m neurotically cautious. Only a little bit though. But let’s not talk about me, let’s talk about YOU and what you should keep in mind if you are on the above kind of date:

If it is decided that you are to go on a museum/store date, this is the key to making it fun- use your imagination. There’s plenty to comment on, but really, the true fun comes from what you make of your surroundings. Some examples are:

1) Modern Art: What could be more fun than figuring out what exactly an artist was thinking/smoking when they creating their masterpieces. With Jackson Pollock it is very easy to tell both: He was thinking, “paint is a lot more fun to throw than brush” and then second is cigarettes (he left some ashes over in this one). The modern art world is chock full of brain buzzers and open to countless interpretations.

2) The Rest of Art: Ever wonder why the socially privileged women of the 19th century put dead birds on their hats? That’s a really great question that might come up while scoping an art museum. You might not know the answer and you date might not either but it sure can be fun thinking up answers together.

3) Stores: The thing about stores is, if you aren’t going to buy it, you probably shouldn’t touch it. And when that store is the Hershey Store, that’s not just not fun, that’s agonizing! Look, no girl in her right mind expects her date who she just met to buy her a $30 Hershey Kiss, and no guy wants to spend that mind of money on a piece of chocolate he could buy for $2 at CVS. If you are going to go to a store, go somewhere that let’s you play around, like Toys R Us. Or if you are more in the mood to pick out the furniture for your future home, take a trip to Ikea or Home Dept. Nothing helps bring out the best (and worst) in people like deciding on light fixtures!

4) Aquariums: There must be a ton to say about fish. How else could they keep such places open?

5) Planetariums: Honestly I haven’t been to one of these since I was ten but I guess it’s not a terrible place to have a date. Wait… stars…cosmos…darkness…something tells me that can get a little bit awkward…next idea.

6) Amusement Parks: Have a day of fun in Hershey Park, Six Flags or Disney World! Don’t be shy when it comes to admitting fear of heights or weakness of stomach, because trust me, you don’t want your date to find out about that on the rides.

The SMAPYCOLaS date is definitely one that has to potential to make two strangers into two friends. If you are a naturally reserved person and take your time opening up to people, don’t pretend to be otherwise. Get to know the person at your speed. And between you and me shidduch searchers, you and I both know that all the the advice I have given, though as genius and witty as it might be, is meaningless when it comes to reality. The real deal is that 90% of what makes a date go well is who you are with. Maybe he took you somewhere crazy like the Bodies Museum or  upscale  like Le Marais  and you didn’t feel quite ready for that…but if the two of you click then, who cares? That “click” we are all looking for, that indication that I (you) can connect with someone else is in the Hands of G-d, not whether we went out for coffee or went mini golfing. So please fellow shidduch searchers, enjoy your dates. Enjoy getting to know new people. Most of the time there won’t be a click. Most of the time it’ll be, “nice to meet you but no.” But when you find that click, when you find yourself smiling without meaning to and wondering where time skittered off to, don’t worry so much about the details, because in reality, it’s those the simple things that are hardest to find.

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