First dates can be awkward; ridiculously painfully awkward. In my case they've been particularly awkward because not everyone involved has always known it was a first date. Yeah. It's been cringey.
One Reddit user asked:
and that sent me down this weird rabbit hole like ... how many servers were fully aware of all the cringe that happened? Did they go back into the kitchen and talk about it? How many people now know??? After I stopped spazzing I realized that situations like watching someone get shut down, stood up, awkwardly fumble their way through first dates, etc. must all be pretty commonplace for servers. These responses totally confirmed my theory, it happens a lot and sometimes it's just as awkward (and in at least one case potentially dangerous) for the servers as it is for the people on those dates. Brace for cringe in 3...2...1...
Expect The Unexpected
The biggest sign is when they order something the other doesn't expect them to get.
"I'll have a Guinness"
"Oh you like Guinness?"
One time I had a couple who were talking about what they had been doing the previous summer, indicating that they didn't know each other until recently. They ordered a bottle of 100$ red wine, and when I came back with the bottle the guy had started telling a gross story. He was bragging about how he was so hungover on vacation that his friends had to carry him inside the airport, where he had puked multiple times on various people/things etc.
The girl left the restaurant before she even finished her first glass of wine, and the guy stayed and drank the whole thing himself without ordering any food. The best/worst part was when he also chugged down her half finished glass before he left as well.
Weird lulls in the conversation that consists of information friends/partners should already know. Like how many siblings they have, desert island movies, etc.
Figure It Out
Staying way beyond being done with their meal and drinks, usually because they don't want to try to figure out if they're meant to be going home together or not.
Still Not Sure
On my first date with my now wife, our waiter figured it out for us.
We had been acquaintances for years through mutual friends and when we agreed to grab dinner that night, neither of us were sure if the other was in it for a date or just dinner with an acquaintance/friend. I guess we were being just awkward and giggly enough that our waiter (who had known us separately as regulars at this restaurant) blurted out "oh man, are you guys on a date?!?" We both just started laughing nervously while looking at each other and flop sweating. The waiter felt the awkwardness multiply and backed away like Homer Simpson into a hedge.
9 years later we're married, the restaurant went out of business, and I'm still not sure if it was a date or not.
Stop Talking About Your Ex
Not a server, but a former barback and one of my favorite things to do while working is to eavesdrop and try to figure out what the deal is between people having meals together. Here are some things that tell me that it is a first (or possibly second) date:
- "What do your parents do?" / "How many siblings do you have?" / "What do you do for work?"
- A surprising number of people (mostly male patrons where I work, no idea why) will ramble on about their past relationships. I've learned to use this as an indicator that they are on a first or second date. I notice it so frequently that I've been tempted to tell them to stop.
- If the couple gets quiet after disagreeing about something trivial like an opinion of a certain band or activity.
- Uncomfortably long pauses followed by something like: "It's been so cold out lately".
The Spilled DrinkGiphy
That giddy little laugh at jokes that aren't funny. The look of new love. The awkward trying to get close but shyness overpowers and maintains a distance. Also had a few women straight up tell me, so I'd help get them out of it. One woman paid me $50 to spill a drink on her, so she'd have to leave. Lol.
Yes, I did spill the drink on her. When he was in the bathroom she prompted me for help. I agreed and didn't ask her to pay me or anything, she came back afterward and tipped because of his behavior, but let me start at the beginning.
She ordered an iced tea and I "spilled" it when I brought it. When I did, the guy went nuts on me. Up until then he seemed like a nice, polite, and totally normal guy. He was terrifying. Had me in tears. She left even faster than she originally intended. He paid after more yelling and complaining to my manager (who was in on it) then left.
She returned and tipped me the $50. Her phone was lit up with messages from him, he was quite aggressive. Totally dodged a bullet there. She and I have since become friends. She always brings first dates to my job and we have a code worked out now. Although she hasn't needed it in a while since she is currently dating a good friend of mine. They are super cute together.
We also have a note in the woman's room that explains if you order xxxx drink (changes regularly) we will help you leave without causing a scene. We have a similar note in the men's room, with completely different appetizer instead of drink (yes, men need an out now and then too).
The Employee Discount
When he leaves before the food he ordered is made. I brought it out and she asked for the bill because he left. Brutal experience. She had to pay for his drinks and food. She didn't even want to packed his dinner up to eat later. This was not a cheap restaurant but the tables were close together so it must have been mortifying. I gave her the employee discount.
Get A Drink
The dead give-away is the conversation; it's always about mundane stuff that people would know if they were friends, colleagues or had been on a few dates before; childhood stuff like schools and towns you lived in, vacations which were cool, first date topics.
Not ordering booze whenever the person who ordered first doesn't order booze is a good one to. If you go on a date and you want a glass of wine, beer or cocktail; freaking order one. Doesn't matter he/she just ordered a sparkling water; they are nervous too. Take the lead, get a drink.
The Blind Date
When they come in and ask for tables separately, then sit across the restaurant from each other for ten minutes before realizing the other was there. (It was a blind date.)
Bartender here. I work at a cocktail bar that has a nice ambiance and gets a ton of people coming in for dates.
First dates take the longest time to order- they have the introduction/ice breaking to overcome before they even look at the menu. Then, when they get to the menu, they are often still kind of interacting with each other "what do you like? Bourbon?" And not really taking in what they're reading.
Once they finally order, I like to make their cocktails right in front of them, maybe do an extra fancy garnish, give them something to talk about!
The best dates are of course the ones who don't even notice me there, they're locked into their conversation and don't have eyes for anything else around them. They drink their drinks really slow, more likely to get another round. And they could be talking about their childhood dog or how many brothers they have. The worst trouble they got into while growing up is a topic I've heard a few times.
And then there are those dates that fizzle out. These ones drink their drinks very fast, or don't finish them. Lots of people sitting in silence, both credit cards out.
When they're sitting at the bar top playing 20 questions and both are too nervous to get more than one drink and actually eat something.
When the wasted guy went to the restroom and the girl took the opportunity to ask me to cash her out as quick as I could so she could get the fuck out.
I ended up getting her an Uber home.
It was how slow and carefully the guy ate his food. Gently wiped his mouth and chewed all the food before talking again. Also, not constantly on their phones.
I waitressed at a somewhat fancy family restaurant. Our menu was in the 15-25 dollar range for entrees, and the atmosphere was very cozy. Full bar, great appetizers, and awesome desserts... Usually, first time dates would be slightly too dressed up for the atmosphere, and generally the guy would be really nervous.
I will always remember this one time a gent came in dressed up and got a table in the quieter part of the restaurant. He was very friendly and did tell me he was on his first date with his crush of 3+ years. He only got two waters on the table and was fidgeting around. Unfortunately, he waited at least two hours with no texts or calls back. I could just tell he was super crushed. He left without saying a word, but I saw him crying as he left the building.
Its pretty easy. Their face expression is very awkward. (Most) don't have their phones out at all. If you are on a 5th or 20th date. Chances are you'll have your phone out or at least on the table. How they posture themselves is also very alert. Not a lot of comfort.
Get The Fried Pickles
I once stopped by the table while one of the parties was in the bathroom and had the girl ask me "We're on a first date, what food should I get?" And I was like whatever you want - but she was concerned about what her date would think of her food choice. she wanted fried pickles and a quesadilla but thought a salad would look better. I told her get what you want cause if a boy doesn't like that you are eating fried food he's a tool anyways.
When he eats pizza with a fork, probably, which is what I did on the first date I had with my GF of three years.
I still get sh*t for it. I was nervous.
We've all said something stupid, let's not lie to ourselves.
It's okay to say something stupid. It showcases the real person on the inside, that we're all flawed, imperfect, and made of cooky combinations of words that don't necessarily line up to make sense. Sometimes we're nervous in a situation, other times we're just hitting 'Quick Reply' in our brains and what comes out doens't work, but whatever the reason, you for sure are going to remember it, late at night, for the rest of your life.
What is the stupidest thing that ever came out of your mouth?
You may not have to change your home address because of these moments, but you should probably reconsider how many public outings you go to afterwards.
Should Probably Never Shop At That Store Again
"When the cashier said "Have a nice day", and I replied with "No, thanks".
"Background: I wasnt thinking straight that day, and thought they said "Do you want a bag"
That's. How. Twins. Work?
"Her: the twins are 3 years old"
"Me: Both of them?"
"Oh no this unearthed a memory i had buried from kindergarten lmao"
"We had a set of twins in our classroom and once on their birthday party I said "your brother got such a cool party, i hope yours is nice like this too" to one of them and he was like "yeah, this one"
"4 year old me was not a very bright kid"
That's. How. Death. Works...
"Watching the documentary 'The Last Dance' when a Kobe interview pops up -"
"Me: "Wow, they must have filmed this before Kobe died."
"My wife: "Yeah, obviously…."
The cringe comes out of nowhere, and you're not even sure how you were able to ask something so incredibly stupid, but here you are. Lounging in the stupid air.
You Should Have Asked What "Nothing" Tastes Like Next
"In my head I was wondering what one pound of water would look like in terms of volume. What I said out loud however was "How much does a pound of water weigh?"
Keep Up With Me
"A couple of months ago, I got up and drove to work as usual. Later, my girlfriend texted me from home to ask me if she had left her sunglasses in my car. I told her I wasn't sure, but she could grab my spare key and go check."
"In my car."
"Which I had driven to work."
Black Is White, White Is Black
"I don't understand why people place bets on who wins, why not just place bets on who loses?"
"Yeah took me a minute to register what I said..."
And then there's these stories, where the person is probably better off cutting off any human contact henceforth going forward. These are rough to get through, folks.
Should Probably Have A Chat With HR After This
"I was about 4 months into my current job, feeling confident being fresh off the contract-to-hire period, now moved into a coveted full time role. While walking back to my office from the morning kanban I was stopped by my boss, head peeking out of the office:"
"Boss: "Hey TheMediator, do you have a sec?"
"Me: "For you, I've got lots of secs!"
"Boss: wide-eyes, mouth dropped"
"If you're curious why this was incredibly stupid/embarrassing, try saying the phrase "lots of secs" out loud. Preferably, not to your boss though."
You Don't Need College Anymore. Go Home. Bury Your Head In The Sand.
"In my freshman year of college I was dorming next door to a couple cute girls. About a week into the first semester one girl walked from the coed showers to her dorm room in her towel still wet. We were both unlocking our doors to get in our rooms when she looks at me and says…"
"I know I look stunning…(sarcastically)"
"To which I replied, "don't flatter yourself."
"I had to slid a note under her door explaining I was tongue tied as she was beautiful and I meant to say "don't be hard on yourself, you look great." (Or something to that nature). We became good friends."
It's In The Descriptor?
"Chatting to a homeless guy on the street and he told me he was feeling unwell. I told him he should be at home, resting."
"It's been 20 years and the memory of it still brings me out in a cold sweat."
Oh Good Lord...
"Asked my friend how his mom was doing at his moms funeral."
"Jesus Christ this is the worst one on this thread. What was his response?"
"He looked at me and then the casket and kind of smirked. I awkwardly started to try and explain and just said "I'm an idiot. You know I love you. Talk to you in a bit." He makes fun of me now and I can't stop laughing. It's a positive painful memory."
Own up to your mistakes. You'll garner more respect by acknowledging the awkward things you say, however, it's perfectly fine to laugh about it in the moment. That's probably the easiest way to escape the deep, deep shame.
The advice "fake it til you make it," though often said with at least a hint of sarcasm, does carry quite a bit of wisdom.
By simply putting one foot in front of the other, weathering the chaos of not knowing what's happening as you learn as fast as possible, we can find ourselves further than we expected.
Once we're there, reaping the fruits of all our "faking," we somehow begin to take on a new identity in people's eyes They assume we've always been in control and known what was going on. They defer to us for advice.
But that couldn't be further from the truth. So we keep on faking it.
Redditor espectro11 asked:
"What's your 'I don't know, I didn't think I'd get this far' moment?"
Many Redditors discussed their experiences navigating the intimidating environment of job applications, interviews, and offers.
Oh Right, Getting Paid
"I gave my resume to fancy private school (I'm a teacher, but new to the field) and I didn't expect a call back. But they called me today to ask my expected salary and I said 'I don't know what the average is. Let me Google it.' "
"Ya girl was not prepared."
"When I went for a walk-in interview looking like crap and they hired me on the spot. I get they were hiring for a new store, but they up and said 'if you want the job it's yours, when can you start?' "
"Deada** didn't think I'd make it that far."
Outside the Box
"Years ago I was applying to a bunch of copywriting jobs and feeling frustrated because I wasnt hearing back from any of the places I was applying to."
"It was especially frustrating because I was putting in all this time on cover letters and I felt like nobody was even reading them, so I said, 'Fu** it, I'm gonna write one that is more me.' I thought it was a dumb idea and never imagined that it would work, but somehow it did."
"I applied with this cover letter and the subject line "Copywriter: Will Work for Beer" to a job that I was very underqualified for. It managed to catch the eye of the headhunter for the ad agency and was enough to get me an interview. Shortly after that I was hired and ended up working there for a few years, but I remember thinking on my first day, 'I can't believe that actually worked.' "
Just Not the Right Fit
"An interview at Google. The 20 years younger than me was describing the peer review system."
"I responded with 'Jesus, that sounds awful.' "
"I did not get the job."
Others also shared experiences that centered on their working lives. But these stories weren't about being hired or interviewed.
These were accounts of long-developing success stories that they never would have predicted.
A Winding Road
"My entire legal career"
"I have four degrees and a 10 year career in commerical litigation. I just wrapped up a $200mil trusts lawsuit."
"I started at uni doing theatre and stand up comedy. I have no fu**ing idea where I turned to get here."
"Started at a very small company doing sales straight out of college. I went about messaging big corporate players (who obviously would never do business with us since our size) and was laughed at by my new colleagues for even trying."
"2 weeks later My boss was asking me what we (a team of 6) should say on the conference call with Toshiba Buyers."
Putting Fires Out
"Me at work. I feel like every issue that comes up has me unprepared. But I am always praised for my good work."
"So, I assume I have imposter syndrome and keep doing what I am doing."
So next time you find yourself ruling a possibility out completely, maybe take just a few seconds to imagine it actually occurred and prepare.
You just never know.
I'm going to be perfectly honest––I'm a city boy. I'm not a huge fan of hiking or camping. I happen to be a huge fan of running water. Have you heard of it? It's great. Highly recommended.
I've also, on a more humorous note, watched far too many horror films over the years and don't particularly like idea of running off into the woods only to piss off some demon that was perfectly fine until I arrived. I also have immense respect for our friendly neighborhood serial killers and demonstrate this regularly by staying out of their territory.
Those who love the great outdoors had plenty to share after Redditor Your_Normal_Loser asked the online community, "
Hikers of Reddit, what is the weirdest or creepiest thing you've come across while hiking?"
"The only reason..."
"When we were exploring the Australian Outback as university students, my friend and I found an old, tightly wrapped plastic bag with five or six damaged wallets along shrubbery at the base of a cliff.
The only reason we opened it up was because we were so remote - hundreds of kilometres from any town or tourist attraction - that it was strange to see garbage out there. All the cards were in female names and birthdates placed them in their late teens to early 20s. Some lived in the Northern Territory but one was in Sydney and another from Queensland. At the time we figured rock climbers must have stored their valuables in the bag and then lost track of it. I'll never forget the strange look the police officer gave us when we handed them in."
You see... this is why I wouldn't go mess around in the Australian Outback.
I also may or may not have watched Wolf Creek one too many times.
"A recliner on a small hill with a hole dug out in the middle and water bottles all over the place."
"A trashed campsite..."
"A trashed campsite complete with the tent cut open...
...do you report these things, or what?"
Or maybe not... you might want to turn back.
"The walls were completely plastered..."
"I was walking in a thick forest and came across an opening. In the center there was a shack made of lumber, with a bench built into it that was slightly leaned back.
The walls were completely plastered in porn."
Well... that's one way to get off.
"The man stopped talking..."
"I was backpacking with a few friends. A few days in the middle of nowhere, a man approached our camp as we were cooking dinner to say hi. We talked about our routes for a few minutes. Out of nowhere, he told us that he had had a vasectomy in his 30s after his 2nd child. Then somehow his wife had gotten pregnant with his 3rd child. He didn't believe this was possible, so he demanded a DNA test to see if he was actually the father. He was. Still, he explained that he had his doubts and thought that his wife must have fixed the DNA test.
My friends and I were in our 20s and had no idea why this guy was telling us this. We all just nodded and smiled.
The man stopped talking and then just walked away into the night."
"I stepped in..."
"I stepped in and fell over a cow carcass on a night hike. It was a bright moonlit night but I didn't see it in the shadows. Thankfully it was mostly dry."
"We still have no idea..."
"I was in the woods with three friends at night. A friend's house was nearby and I was getting hungry so I went inside to find some food. Another friend came inside with me. Two friends were still outside.
Later on, one of the two who outside came in and sees the indoor friend on the couch next to me. They panic and immediately run back outside.
I poke my head out the door asking what's going on, only to hear them yell as loudly as they can, "THAT'S NOT KEVIN"
Everyone comes inside and calms down a bit, and the story comes out. They thought the friend who was indoors with me (Kevin) had been outside with them this entire time. Why? Because in the darkness of the woods they saw a silhouette about the same height walking alongside them silently, then at some point it ran away and they were chasing it thinking Kevin was running off for some reason. The reason my friend yelled, "That's not Kevin" was to stop the last outdoor friend from chasing whoever was out there deeper into the woods.
We still have no idea who that was or why they didn't even speak."
This story sent a chill running down my spine.
Who was that?!
Perhaps figuring it out would be even scarier.
"Went hiking with my dad..."
"Went hiking with my dad one day over a ridge. A girl from the group in front of us tripped and slid down one side and was just able to hold on to the tiniest branch from the only tree around. Had she slid down all the way she certainly would be dead or massively injured!"
"I was trying to make my way across..."
"I was hiking in Washington sometime in December. I was trying to make my way across a river but the bridge was out. I was walking along the shore looking for a shallow spot but couldn't find one. I saw some footprints leading down the bank, my thought was that someone was trying to do what I was doing and decided to track the prints to see if they crossed. It was not easy but I followed the prints for about a mile. As I approached what looked like a crossing I heard a loud BANG like a stick hitting a tree. I froze for a few seconds and heard no other noises. I just slowly back up keeping my eyes on the other side of the river. Could not shake the feeling that I was being watched. Got the hell out of there quick as I could."
There are few feelings creepier than the feeling of being watched. It makes you feel like you've been violated in some way.
Thankfully you got out of there!
"I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment..."
"I was hiking with some friends, and I saw a cluster of butterflies on the ground. I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment until I realized they were congregating on a pool of blood. It turns out that someone had been hiking on the bluffs above earlier that day, and had fallen off and died."
Sooo... still want to go hiking or camping? None of this changed your mind? None of it?
It was nice knowing you. I'll stick with my running water.
Have some creepy stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Have some experiences of your own? Have you also survived the hospitality industry? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!
Time is of the essence. And time is not definable. Those are lessons we learn as we get older; as times passes and fluctuates in front of us.
Time is always fleeting yet always catches up to us. I find myself shocked when I wake up on certain days and realize I'm a particular age of my parent that sticks out for me.
Like, how did that happen? I guess I should just be thankful I'm still here to witness it all.
Redditor u/TW1103 wanted to discuss the meaning... of time and all of its affects by asking:
What fact really puts the scale of time into an insane perspective?
Ok, who is watching the clock? Those seconds aren't going to count themselves. The only way to understand time is to be its witness. Although that can get depressing. Let's focus on the light and cool.
History...Calculate Figure It Out GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"If you are an 80-year-old American, you have lived through approximately 1/3 of our nation's entire history."
"The 80s were 40 years ago."
"This is what messes me up because I was born in 82 and graduated high school in 2000 so for some reason my brain is stuck on the 80's being twenty years ago. The 70's thirty years ago etc etc. I have to stop and realize sometimes that my concept of how long ago things happened is way off."
Time goes by...
"We observe that light travels at 186,000 miles a second, but given the vast size of the observable universe, that's a snail's pace. But from the point of view of a particle of light, time doesn't even exist."
"Time slows down as you approach the speed of light, and theoretically stops completely when you reach the speed of light."
Years Gone By...
"MLK Jr. and Anne Frank were born in the same year."
"Betty White was born in 1922. Automatically pre-sliced packaged bread loaves became commercially available in 1928. Betty White is six years older than sliced bread."
Long Live the Queen!queen elizabeth images GIFGiphy
"The queen and Marilyn Monroe would've been the same age."
I swear Liz is going to outlive dirt. Wait, I believe she already has. Well she won't be alone, she'll have Betty White. At least she better have Betty. Time is nothing without Queen Betty.
TV TimeSeason 2 Omg GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Happy Days was a TV show made in the 1970s-80s about teenagers in the 1950s. Similarly, That 70s Show was made in the 90s-00s about teenagers in the 70s. If a similar show were to be made today, it would be about teenagers in the 2000s."
"If a T-Rex imagined a creature as ancient as the T-Rex is to us, it would be a Stegosaurus. If that Stegosaurus imagined a creature as ancient as the Stegosaurus is to us, it would be a Crocodile. If that Crocodile imagined a creature as ancient as that Crocodile is to us, it would be a Shark."
On the Clock
"On a twenty four hour clock the amount of time that humans have been on the earth would total around five seconds."
"How about this one: If Homo Habilus first appeared at midnight, 24 hours ago, that means the first Homo Sapiens appeared at 9:25 PM, or about 2 and a half hours ago. The first human civilization, in lower Mesopotamia, appeared at 11:57 PM, or about 3 minutes ago."
"The Western Roman Empire fell at 11:59 PM, or 1 minute ago. Everything that has happened since - the Crusades, the Plague, the discovery of the New World, the world wars, all of it - has happened in the last minute of human existence."
And that's just OUR Sun...
"The span of our lives are so insignificantly small that our Sun will last another 5 billion years. That's 9 zeros people. Our eldest live to around 100 in the best places. That's 50,000,000 (50 million) times longer than any person can reasonably expect to live. And that's just OUR Sun. The universe as a whole has probably existed for magnitudes longer than that already and will continue to exist until the end of time as we know it."
Tell Me a Storywilliam shakespeare GIF by will herringGiphy
"We know what a good storyteller Shakespeare was but there were Greek playwrights who wrote shows nearly 2,000 years earlier that are pretty good, too."
I hate time. Only because I'm petty and irritated of the amount I squandered. That's neither here nor there though. Time marches on and continues to amaze. I'll keep watching.