Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The First Date Paradox

We've all been on those dates with someone that don't turn out like you're expecting. Maybe the restaurant is a mecca for vegetarians but all you want it is a hunk of steak, maybe your date expects you do to all the talking. Regardless, the date is awkwardly uncomfortable and the end can't come fast enough. Then there are times when the date ends and all you can think is, Where did the time go? That being said, I decided to dive into the minds and experiences of my friends and myself and uncover what it is that makes (or breaks) a first date.

Let me start by pointing out that I'm a girl. I have never asked anyone on a date nor have I had to plan one for myself. Sure, I've been incredibly forward (especially so this past year) and practically asked guys out, but luckily they've caught on before I ask and do it themselves. And, being a girl, I can only offer one view on an activity that involves two. Of course, I am only one girl so don't take my word as the end all be all (because I know you do already) and blame me later if your date goes poorly. Clear? And we're off.

The perfect first date, especially when I don't know the other guy that well, is to go somewhere casual and talk. A nice bar with good food (I promise, they exist) where I can get a beer instead of wine and be comfortable chatting. Where there might be a TV on the wall to offer some topics for conversation should it ever lag. After talking with friends, I find I might be alone in this opinion. Sure, if we continue to date I'll want you to take me somewhere nice, but not from the get go. First dates are nerve wracking enough, let's not add a super classy dinner to the list of things to think about. For me, first dates are about getting to know you and vice versa and I will never really be myself in a restaurant where appetizers cost more than I would normally spend on a meal.

I asked some guy friends why a fancy dinner has become the norm and they said they want to impress the girl. I countered with, "Sure it's nice but I'd be more impressed if you were comfortable enough with me to go to a casual place." Of course, a bar yields a potential problem - what if your date doesn't drink? A sporting event seemed to be a preferred date by the guys which raised the issue that your date might not like the sport you're watching. This led to more discussion and I began to realize that yes, planning a first date is indeed difficult. But if you don't know if you're date likes to drink or if s/he hates baseball, you should probably hang out with her more in a group setting before diving into the date. Am I alone in this opinion? Probably, but I'm the kind of person who wants to know more than your name before we're alone together.

All this post and its research did was encourage my curiosity about first dates. I can't really be the only person who wants a chill first date, right? And if I'm not, when did the fancy first date become the norm? If it's expected for guys to spend a ton of money on a girl who may or may not lead to anything, I'm surprised guys still ask girls out.

So I ask you - what is your perfect first date?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Try This Thursday

Homemade Alfredo Pizza

So my best friends and roommates in college made this pizza when I was studying abroad, introduced it (and basil and orgegano) to me when I got back, and ever since I've made this at least once a week. Because I'm cheap, I buy generic brand ingredients and still find the end result to be incredibly delicious. That being said, here's an easy/cheap/yummy recipe for Try This Thursday. Ready?

1) Preheat oven to 475. Pour pizza crust mix (Walmart brand, 47 cents) into bowl and add 1/2 cup hot water. Mix until dough forms a ball, cover with a towel and let sit for 5 minutes.

2)After spraying the pan you are going to use with some Pam or non-stick spray, throw that ball of dough on the pan and start spreading it out, Mario style. I have found that the ball of dough is pretty sticky, so I put a little vegetable oil over the top of it to make it easier (you can also use flour).

3) Once the dough is spread out to the thickness and size that you want, time to add the sauce. I use Great Value: Alfredo Sauce ($1.23). Spread around the pizza until you get as little or as much as you want, before adding the mozzarella cheese.

4) This is where it gets fun. My usual toppings consist of basil, oregano and garlic salt (so not really toppings but spices) and sometimes pieces of chicken if I'm feeling crazy. You can add whatever you want (or whatever you have) before sliding the bad boy into the oven.

5) Cook it for 8-10 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the crust to be and bazinga! You've got yourself a pretty darn easy meal that takes approximately 25 minutes to put together (including waiting/cook time).

Ingredient breakdown
- 1 package pizza crust mix
- Alfredo sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Basil
- Oregano
- Any other topping your heart desires

I highly encourage you to try making this. I'm not a big fan of cooking and if I can do this, so can you. If you make it, lemme know your thoughts!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why do guys wear their pants like this? At first I thought it was a phase, something every male felt the need to do during their prepubescent years of junior high. As if their "cool" factor in school rose for every inch their pants were down from their hips. Initially, just a little bit of the boxers (or briefs, if that's your style) peeked out from under those jeans. But, as time went on and guys began to feel even more compelled to reveal their backside, the pants got lower. And lower. And lower still.

Then, as I got older and the guys around me did too, something magical happened. The pants suddenly covered more, or they finally found shirts that didn't end at their belt buckle. I was now confronted with the challenge of guessing if you were a boxers or briefs guy and I loved every second of it. Some people would say it's a style choice. Some guys want to wear their pants around their knees and struggle to walk. And you know what? That's fine. Just don't be surprised when I, or anyone who shares this opinion, cock my head to the side and look at you through squinted, confused eyes.

I hate not wearing a belt, even if I don't need one, mainly because I hate when my pants slink down. No one wants to see the view that a trendy top (see here is made to cover. You don't want to see granny panties riding up to cover my bum and you don't want to see just what those pants are covering. So why do I have to see your underwear or suffer the experience of seeing that dividing line?

Take my advice, pull up your pants. You can be a "thug" or "teen heartthrob" (I'm looking at you, Justin Bieber) just the same with your pants up. And you know what? You'll be better for it. You can run (heck, even walk) faster or dance around that stage better. So please, do all the women of America (and the world) over the age of seventeen a favor and pull up your pants.