October 12, 2007

The Fine Art of Conversation

I am babysitting a cheesecake that's in the oven. Mmmmm. I guess I could be finishing up homework or getting dressed for work, but that would just be ridiculous.

Dilbert 10-9-07

I have come to realize that it's important to me to have friends that can make good conversation. I realized this years ago after experiencing the all time worst date of my life. There was a couple that decided to set me up with their out-of-town nephew. He flew in right after New Year's for a few days. We met. I drove us around Lubbock, since he didn't have a car. I tried to think of interesting sites to point out, and it took all of two hours to wrap that up and go bowling. There was zero chemistry and no conversation. The awkward part of the situation was that this guy was stuck in Lubbock for a few days with the sole purpose of wooing me. Let's rephrase that and say that I was stuck in Lubbock. I was young and nice and didn't want to offend him or his family. I hope that these days I would have the assertiveness to just say, "See ya."

After day one, I decided the best way to avoid seeing this guy for the entire following day was to invite him to breakfast and then dinner, cooked by me. We went to breakfast at Golden Corral. He gave monosyllabic answers to every question I asked and never asked me a question in return, though somehow he did manage to insert something about an ex-girlfriend he was fond of into the conversation. When he came to dinner that night, my dad tried to make conversation with him as well:
Dad: So, I hear you built your own house?
Date: Yeah, yeah.
Dad asked a few more questions and gave up as I had. I believe I was saved by starting a movie, something romantic like The Birds. The next day was his last in town. I think I rated dinner with him and his family. The family sat down for dinner and had a prayer. Everyone held hands. My fabulous date was kind of putting the moves on Kimberly during the prayer. What a winner.

There was some more to the story, but time and therapy healed most of the scars. His aunt that originally set me up did invite me to have lunch with her soon after all this transpired. She said that her nephew liked me and that we should next go visit him. I tried to be as tactful as possible in declining the offer. She fairly insisted that I go visit this guy. Upon relating the story to my dad, he said, "Kimberly, you can't just say no. You've got to say 'Hell no!'"

I've since gone out with other guys who were not much better at making conversation. I get tired of carrying the conversation or being the only one asking questions. If you're worried about your date's ability to carry on a conversation, I suggest heading to a Japanese Hibachi grill for dinner. At least the chef can entertain you. Or head to a restaurant/bar with a loud band. Or just say "Hell no!" in the first place when he asks you out.

Good lines to hear on a first date:
  • "Me, too" as in "I like that movie, book, song, too."
  • "We" as in "We should go to that new restaurant next weekend."
Bad lines to hear on a first date:
  • "Me, too" as in "I need a lot of expensive dental work, too."
  • "We" as in "We should never see each other again."
And I'm not sure what to think of this one: "You're the only girl I've ever heard of that likes Battlestar Galactica."


wendy v. said...

Haha! Oh man. I forgot about Daddy saying that. You have got to write that down somewhere for posterity. That's classic.

Porter said...

Wow! Definately doesn't sound like a Porter date, although I have been known to use monosyllabic answers. These are good suggestions for January 9th, hahahaha. Hey when are we gonna have the Dilbert marathon?

helios said...

so, the title for this piece could also be, the FINI art of losing the conversation?

Auntie said...

Whoever made the B-star Gallactica comment thought you were geeky.

I remember hearing how your cousin Heather once dumped a boyfriend soon after she traveled to attend his law firm's fancy function in Dallas. When she appeared in her party dress, he said it made her look fat.

I hope you have some cheery stories to tell us sometime soon.

KimberlyKV said...

Ouch! I remember Dad telling me a story, and I believe it was a true story. There was a guy who didn't date much, well, at all, really. Finally his friends put him up to taking a date to the school dance. They told him he needed to make polite conversation with the girl and all that. So the said guy is at the dance, dancing with the young lady, and in an attempt to make conversation, said, "You know, for a big girl, you don't sweat much."