Ladies and gentlemen, what I am about to say is profound and new, a thought that hasn’t been thought, an observation that will blow your mind away.
You shouldn’t be self-deprecating on a first or second date.
Seriously. This goes for interviews too. Or any new relationship where the other party is trying to figure out how much of a waste of space you are. It is okay to call yourself a klutz when you trip in the company of people who know you don’t usually do that. Or that, even if you do it constantly, you are great enough that nobody cares. But new acquaintances will assume that any self-deprecating joke has a firm basis somewhere, and they don’t know of any good reason to overlook it.
Don’t get me wrong, O Dates. I love listening to your tales of misadventure – like the time you almost blew up the kitchen or the time you broke the windows you were supposed to clean. They’re very entertaining. And it’s always nice to hear that I need not be ashamed to confess a ticket or two. But boy do you come off sounding like an expensive proposition.
I mean, window glass, parking tickets, and potentially remodeling the kitchen on an annual basis? Seriously, do you think I have time to mull over the latest in kitchen concepts every time you blowtorch the oven – and everything around it?
And no, I wouldn’t ban you from the kitchen. I know of women who were that easily fooled. Their husband burned dinner or jammed the dishwasher and these naïve wives sighed and told him not to bother any more. I’m sure he was laughing all the way to… wherever guys go when they’ve got time to kill.
I know these subterfuges are passed down from father to son. When a young man gets engaged, his father draws him to the side and imparts to him the wisdom of the age: “Make sure your wife gets the bed next to the door, so she has to deal with the kids who come whimpering through it in middle of the night, while you keep snoring.” Ladies, don’t fall for it.
Of course, if he’s bragging out how inept he is even before he’s had the Talk with his father, it’s a really bad sign. Seriously: chances are, I am never going to see you cook, clean, speed, or engage in any of these other activities before we marry. So please – at least try to give me a positive impression of how you perform in these areas.