So there I was, agreeing to my first first date. Then it hit me: what on earth do you wear?
It’s at times like these that the black suit and hat uniform begins to look desirable.
When in doubt, call older and wiser friends, right? So I did. The Flatbush friend said any nice Shobbos outfit would do, as long as it was a suit. The Monsey friend claimed it had to be a black suit. Miss Dater from Queens said a suit was overkill—this was a date, not yet the wedding. The Far Rockaway contact said a nice sweater set would be optimal. The Lakewood advisor told me the outfit doesn’t matter, it’s the heels that make a difference. I I finally threw down the phone and thought, Help me God— Oh wait, don’t. The last time God took care of the clothing for a date, both parties were naked.
Then there’s the whole business of coming down late. I’m a very prompt person, so I’m usually finishing my post-final-double check in the mirror when the doorbell rings. My parents heard that they’re supposed to chat him up for a few minutes while they wait for me to finish getting ready, but I’m usually the one ready and waiting for them to finish chatting him up. For my first date, I was going to march down and end the nonsense after 2 jittery minutes, but my younger sister insisted that it wasn’t proper – 3.5 minutes minimum. Since she was sprawled across the top of the stairs peering between the railings for the best view, I had to follow her guidance or risk a dramatic rolling entrance.
By the way, it isn’t necessary to faher the poor boy on the first date. My Neighbor-Across-the-Street married a guy who didn’t even meet her parents until date number three. Yep – neither her mother nor her father were home to open the door for the first date. It gets better, folks. The door was opened by her teenaged sister. Who was wearing a bathrobe. She said, “The couch is there. She’ll be down soon,” and padded back into the kitchen with her book and brownies. Some people just get everything wrong and yet somehow get it all right. Incredible, isn’t it?