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.
So many animals are only dangerous because of their need for survival or hunger.
Humans make the relationship with the animal kingdom worse.
Is there no way to co-exist?
One Redditor wanted to discuss aspects of the animal kingdom.
"Which animal gets undeserving hate?"
Tigers and lions. Have you seen the videos of the tigers and lions who have bonded with their human? It's possible.
Bless Youbat flying GIF by eve_agramGiphy
"Bats. They eat billions of insects. You should be thanking them."
"Vultures, eating dead bodies might seem ugly to some but other animals do the same thing but also murder them so how is just finding something that’s already dead and eating that worse, also eating a carcass removes deadly diseases like botulism from the environment."
"I always show my appreciation to the local goth turkeys."
"Blob Fish... they just get yeeted out of the water and the massive pressure difference makes them look 'strange.' Kinda rude I guess. Like if we get yeeted into space and Aliens would laugh at our disfigured forms and print T-Shirts of it."
"I think I read somewhere that the pressure change causes their cells to explode and that’s why they look so horrific after being pulled out of the water. Dunno how factual that is."
Not the Villain
"Hyenas, partially because a whole generation grew up watching them help kill Mufasa lol."
"I've seen people arguing this before but people hate hated hyenas years before the lion king came out. They were constantly used in folklore as villains and opportunist and were often considered unlucky in most african cultures."Eaglekingoftheskies
Back Upearth skunk GIF by Lil DickyGiphy
"Skunks are cute, man. Just give them space."
Skunks? Um... from afar, they're cute. But stay away...
Geniushomer simpson crow GIFGiphy
"Crows. Yes, I understand the caws can be annoying, but they're far more intelligent than a lot of people give them credit for."
"Possums! They eat pests and won't typically bother you unless rabid or provoked."
"Quick reminder then you need to specify which kind of possum, because not everyone here is from America. There a lots of possums here in Australia but they are completely different from the American kind in temperament! Only annoyance with possums here is if they get into your roof. Meanwhile in New Zealand, possums are ALWAYS a pest."
Bad Movie Vibes
"The guy who wrote Jaws ended up writing another book explaining how misunderstood sharks are. Because the movie Jaws scared everyone, and fishermen began to hunt sharks, making them endangered."
"I was gonna say this! They're not bad guys they are just doing shark stuff! It's the freakin' dolphin types you gotta watch out for. Orcas will kill for fun. A shark is just trying to eat and don't see that well."
"Black Cats.They aren't evil and they don't bring bad luck."
"It's a frequent mistake, but black cats actually bring good luck and blessings from The Void!
"Be sure to tell all your friends. If we work together to insist that black cats are good luck, we can help turn over the discrimination. Also, I have proof that they are good luck - whenever I see a black cat I become happy. Coincidence? I think not!!"
Heroesfrog michigan GIFGiphy
"Frogs. They eat the mosquitoes and other bugs you don’t like."
So many animals need some PR help.
Which ones would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Has science gotten to a point where we can make mashed potatoes by just adding water to flakes, producing a smooth and consistent texture?
Am I still going to take the extra time to wash, peel, chop, boil, and mash my own potatoes, getting zero textural consistency but maximum deliciousness?
Because sometimes the "old way" is just better, and I'm very serious about my potatoes.
Reddit user Devastator1981 asked:
"What’s one thing you still prefer to do the old-fashioned way—regardless of technology—and why?"
My seriousness about potatoes is, apparently, a passion matched by many...
Board GamesArt Design Game GIF by Scorpion DaggerGiphy
"Physical board games/card games. Most of the app versions of the games I like aren't that great. Plus, it's more fun to play with someone."
"Especially old ones. My friend has a Trivial Pursuit from the 80s. All questions are completly impossible, so we added improv/clues/charades. Funniest boardgame I have ever played."
"Yes! Family game night is a weekly occurrence for us. We have close to 100 board games."
"Great answer. Shuffling and fanning cards just feels so satisfying too"
"I have the original Cluedo board game that used to belong to my grandfather as a boy. Still one of the best board games ever made."
"I print photos and keep them in photo albums. I like to keep the special moments of life as a book and go through it page by page."
"There’s something satisfying and nostalgic about seeing the physical photos. I have my favorites displayed in frames, so I can see them every day. Makes me happy."
"I only have a few photos in a photo album but I love this idea, I need to get a camera that prints out the pictures itself"
"I agree, I took a look at my album with photos from childhood and it was so satisfying to go 15 years back and enjoy those special moments again... I like physical photos because I know they're in a safe place, they will be forever with me and can't disappear unlike the photos on my phone. Also, they look more... realistic. Or is it only my thought?"
"I back all my photos from throughout the years 3 times. One on my PC hard drive, the second on an external hard drive, and 3rd in the cloud system. I'm paranoid that if I had them in just one place, I could lose them forever"
BooksRead Beauty And The Beast GIF by DisneyGiphy
"Read. Love to have a book where I can turn the pages."
"I was the same until my eyesight started to weaken. Reading glasses are a pain. I have several bookcases full of books that I love, and love to reread, but I have rebought many of them on my Kindle. Being able to change the font size was a game changer for me."
"Books over a kindle always"
"I prefer paper, but I listen to audiobooks a lot because of how much I drive for work."
"Books, where you can turn the pages, are so much more relaxing than swiping on a screen all day, plus I love the smell of new books and the sound of the page when I turn it, but those darn paper cuts if you aren't careful."
"Drawing. I never really got the hang of digital art. It's much easier and more satisfying for me to have all of the tactile input from my work. Also, I sew, and along the same lines I prefer to hand-draft patterns."
"I think digital is easier than traditional painting. No buying paint/brushes, no mixing color, no prepping canvas, no varnish, no storing canvas and transporting when selling."
"But traditional drawing and painting also has its pro's like you said :-)"
"One of the things I love about art and artists is that no matter the medium, content, or materials, it is always art and always something to be appreciated."
"I personally use a combination of both. I can make a beautiful sketch and then I transfer it into my drawing tablet, colour and go from there."
"I've also found that I can sketch and get concepts out so much faster by hand than if using a digital medium. Something about being able to easily vary pressure while hand drawing is difficult to replicate digitally. But I do really love the ease of coloring and features available in a digital medium. Pros and cons in both!"
"I love drawing physical art but I definitely want to get into digital so I can touch up my drawings and maybe even move over to that format."
ButtonsPressing Season 3 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"Physical buttons for climate controls in a car. I refuse to buy a car that only uses a touch screen for everything. Much safer to not have to fiddle with a touch screen while driving."
"Touch screens are a great invention. They’re awesome for so many things. They open up so many possibilities for all sorts of technology."
"But not everything needs a damn touchscreen. Touchscreens on cars are typically a huge distraction and hazard. It might look pretty and shiny but yeah, I’d much rather have a knob I can twist without looking."
"And why do things like dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators need touchscreens? I feel like it just drives the price of those things up. If it doesn’t add some sort of functionality I’d rather not have the touchscreen. Touchscreens are dope but they don’t need to be on everything"
"Physical buttons on most things. I understand how touch screens and trackpads are more flexible, but I really enjoy the tactile sensation, the certainty that you definitely pressed the right button, the extra sensation that allows you to more precisely press buttons, and the ability to press buttons with things besides your bare finger (like a gloved finger or your knuckle because you're holding something), and probably a few other things I can't think of right now"
"Physical menus at restaurants. I'm with the boomers on this one"
"Wait some restaurants don't have physical menus? TIL"
"QR menus were really frustrating until I upgraded my phone. Also hate when they don’t render right away."
"same like what if your phone's dead? what do you do then??"
"Use your limited data in a brick building to spend 5 min downloading a huge pdf of the menu that’s fuzzy anyways"
Compact Disccd GIFGiphy
"Buy music. Unfortunately buying cds just isn't as easy as it used to be. But I prefer physical media, and just convert it to digital. I hate streaming music. I don't trust the stuff I love to always be available. I like having ownership of what I listen to."
"I love buying and album and find those deep tracks"
"There was a used CD store in my old neighborhood. I loved going in and buying a pile of the '10 for $20' CDs. So much fun for (comparatively, for me) not too much money: the satisfaction of choosing from the diverse selection, the nice walk there and back, listening to the CDs as I ripped them, and then hearing the 'new music' come up in my playlists!"
"Yes. Omg. Buying CDs is so difficult now!! My car has a CD player which I LOVE, I dread the day when cars no longer have CD players and all my CD are filled with dust."
"Same here. I shouldn't need to be hooked up to the Internet to listen to my tunes. That's why when I hear a song I like, I'll write it down, prowl through the library and rip the CDs that have what I'm looking for."
"Make notes on paper. I will typically use index cards because they are not as easy to "fly away" or get crumpled or lost. But hey.... that's just me!"
"IIRC there's some research that shows that writing things down on paper makes it easier to retain than if you write it down on a computer."
"Had to scroll too far to find this!"
"Index cards are powerful. Flip them, fold in half, tear them. If you keep them in a pocket card deck, the startup cost for study is even lower, in many cases, than a phone index card app, and it’s more intuitive to quickly use color-coding or underlining when making them."
"Plus, they’re easy to sort so that you’re self-quizzing harder topics more."
"I also use mine to make shopping lists. Left one-third: supermarket. Middle one-third: Stuff to get at other shops. Right one-third: Where I'm supposed to go for shopping. I list these and cut one card in thirds! Put those in my pocket and I know just where I'm supposed to go and what I'm supposed to get."
Fireepisode 19 cooking GIFGiphy
"Cooking using firewoods. It gives more aromatic flavor to your food"
"I especially love slow cooking stuff wrapped in foil / leaves / etc in the embers. Best potatoes ever. Apples stuffed with honey cinnamon butter. So many yummy things."
"For some reason, I've always wanted to try that. It seems really cool"
"I read this as fireworks and was so confused for so long."
"Charcoal, too. Not sure why, but whenever you burn straight carbon instead of a hydrocarbon, it just tastes better. That teeny little bit of oxygen makes all the difference."
"Propane is great and very efficient, but you just don’t get the flavor."
CoffeeCoffee Time GIF by Jones Brothers CoffeeGiphy
"Not sure if this counts, but I grind my coffee by hand and use a simple brewing method (either chemex or french press) to make it."
"I think having full control over the process leads to better tasting coffee than I get with any automatic machine. Also, having a ritual that I do every morning and takes a little elbow grease helps kickstart my day."
"French press coffee is good but I hate cleaning them. I just use a funnel and a filter."
"I don't use a machine but I use the sort of coffee where you get a spoonful and put it in a boiling cup of water. :)"
"Glad I'm not the only one. I own an espresso machine and electric grinder specifically for it (grinding 6 shots of espresso by hand takes forever...) but if I just want a cup of coffee French press, chemex, and aeropress (for traveling) are where it's at. The minute to weigh and grind are absolutely worth it for the quality over regular store bought pre-ground drip coffee."
Now that you know what Reddit is still kicking it old school about, it's your turn in the confessional.
What do you do the good old fashioned way?
Not everyone is a renaissance person or jack/jill of all trades.
Certain professions are suited to certain types of people.
So we don't have to bad-mouth the jobs we deem out of our depth or "beneath us."
Maybe let's give a few jobs a try and more props to the people who do them!
Redditor atomicturdburglar wanted to help out a few career paths with some positive chat.
"Which profession unfairly gets a bad rap?"
I've had so many jobs. I'm interested to see what y'all add to this list.
From BehindAwkward Lucille Ball GIFGiphy
"Gastroenterologists get a bad wrap because buttholes are gross and who would want to spend time there, but these guys save lives."
"I was a cleaner. People used to treat me like furniture and assumed all kinds of things about me. That was the best-paying job I ever held, with the best benefits, and most vacation! I went back to school for a more 'dignified' career, and my 'dignified' job sitting at a desk ended up being worse in every way."
"Plumbers. People always assume they’re gross greasy old dudes but really they’re extremely skilled professionals."
"I'm straight up so jealous of my plumber. He's really fit and like movie star handsome, nice and great at his job, an honest professional, just built himself a gorgeous dream home in a great neighborhood. Dude is just slaughtering life."
"Janitors. Give them respect, people, unless you want to empty your own trash and clean your own work or school space. Seriously, being nice to the janitor saved my tail one time when I was locked out of a room that contained some vital work material. The big boss didn't have keys to that room, but guess who did?"
"I’m a teacher and the first people I befriend at the school was the janitors. They keep that place running. I made a point to learn about them, things they like etc. and on Custodian Appreciation Day as well as Christmas I make sure to get them a little something as my way of saying thanks."
Sky PeopleShock Electrocute GIF by Dr. Paul BearerGiphy
"Meteorologists. Lotta jokes along the lines of 'must be nice to be wrong half the time and still keep your job.' Do you know how difficult it is to predict the weather 2-3 days out, let alone a week out?"
I don't understand the weather. So I'll pass.
Tip Accordingly...kitchen dancing GIF by StaatsloterijGiphy
"Was hoping someone wound say this. I miss working in restaurants. Good Pay, good people. Unlimited time off. Physically exhausting and mentally challenging but so worth it."
Full of Thanks
"Embalmers. Thankless job people think they are creepy but who else would do that."
"Embalmer here. Luckily it isn’t always thankless. Surprisingly, in my experience, families do appreciate and understand the care taken with their loved one which makes it all worth it."
The People at the End...
"Morticians. Really don't get why; they're the last ones to ever let you down."
"A lot of them are family owned enterprises passed down through the generations. If you've grown up hearing about that kind of stuff, it doesn't seem weird at all. Most people don't want to acknowledge our mortality, but it's one of those certainties in life; along with that comes job security."
"But people definitely assume we’re creepy/morbid/obsessed with death when they hear embalmer. And while it’s true sometimes, overall we’re a (relatively) normal bunch who have the unique gift of somehow being able to healthily compartmentalise the horrific things we see on a daily basis."
"My job's certainly gross, but there's usually not as much of an emotional component to it. I've got empathy for people but not enough patience to deal with them all day every day. It exhausts me. But spending hours listening to music, chatting with a coworker or two while figuring out exactly what happened, why this person died? That's rewarding to me."
"I've working in coroner/ME systems for a good while, and there's a fair amount of job switching between county morgues and funeral homes. Funeral homes can pay better and may be less busy, but you also have to deal directly with grieving family members, i.e. take money from them during their darkest days. It's a delicate and often thankless job."
"Auditors. Clients are rude to them. Bosses treat them like s**t. And Public just wants them to work like donkeys and find fraud even though it's not their primary responsibility."
"I think I'm pretty nice to the auditors that come into my company."
"Apart from that one year where I had to explain the same thing to a guy three times and then had to teach him some basic accounting principles, like how to deal with prepayments and why we were accruing certain costs. I didn't want to deal with him again after the first day."
Objection!Law Lawyer GIF by GIPHY Studios OriginalsGiphy
"Lawyers, when they're/your/lawyer they're good lol. But yeah people often like, don't understand what the job of a lawyer truly is so people are quick to demonize them."
"Yeah there's some that truly are out there abusing loopholes and being scummy, but most lawyers are just doing what they're supposed to. Making sure their client is getting charged fairly. Even if they are guilty, they still are there to ensure a just punishment and not overkill."
These all seem like reasonable jobs. Some difficult but worth the effort.
There is nothing more satisfying than gorging on a dish with the perfect variety of ingredients creating a symphony of flavors for a completely euphoric experience.
Not all culinary creations excel at this. It depends on the individual whose taste preferences may be different from that of others.
All it takes is one ingredient to spoil the party.
Curious to hear from strangers Redditor poetic__ asked:
"What ingredient automatically ruins a dish for you?"
You would never expect these as responses for the assignment.
When The Emperor Lost His Groove
"Poison. Kuzco's poison. The poison for Kuzco."
Doesn't Plate Well
"Spaghetti sauce if it's a plastic dish."
"A bit of water and lemon juice gets the stain right out of plastic."
Someone Swam In Your Soup
"Little black curly hair."
Nope To Beach Picnics
"Sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere."
Now we're getting somewhere.
Finding The Right Balance For It
"Too many cloves. I have had many tooth pains in my lifetime and the taste of clove oil lingers dreadfully in my mind. I do like curry powder and some of my favorite pickle brines include a lot of cloves. The taste just has to be balanced with the other spices and seasonings. If I get any faint hint of it I'm immediately grossed out."
Doesn't Mix Well
"That piece of spices in your stew that you thought it was meat."
"Ginger? Chomping into a piece of ginger when you thought it was meat.... 🎵You'll get the shock of your life."
"I'll never understand why people think stevia is a replacement for sugar. Doesn't taste anything like sugar. Same with Sucralose."
Let's get specific.
"Jello. I have spent FAR too much time in a hospital as a child. according to my mother jello was basically all I could eat. since I got out, it's been my only culinary hate. taste, texture, just, nope."
There's A Time And Place
"Raisins where there should not be raisins."
"Hey alright! Chocolate chip cookies! Don't mind if I do.... oh F'K YOU!!"
"I want to love Indian and Middle Eastern sweets. They look so good, but nope every time it goes in my mouth all I can taste is rose water. Like chewing on the potpourri from grandmas bathroom."
I'm not a shrimp fan, however, I can eat it when it's fried in tempura batter.
My family would periodically order fried rice–which I absolutely love–whenever we ate at Chinese restaurants.
Even though we ordered pork or chicken fried rice, I found that many of the LA Chinese restaurants we ate at threw in surprise shrimp as if to spite me.
I would pick them out and eat the rest. Now, I don't know if it was just me, but I would still taste hints of shrimp juice every time, which ultimately ruins the dish for me. Yeah, it's just me.
Stay in your lane, shrimp!