Love is a crazy naked little guy with a bow and arrow. Let me tell you about this date I just had. Her name was Silvia: Syllables worthy of a Muse! A proper woman in a world of petulant bimbos! Although we had previously collided socially, (her, benevolent and friendly; me, smitten but hesitant) it wasn’t until tonight that we met at a restaurant to decide whether romance or friendship or a civil parting handshake awaited us.

Half an hour before the date and there I was at the bathroom mirror with the nervous anticipation of a kid first discovering Drakkar Noir. “You’re rusty! Buck up!” I admonished my shaking reflection. “You can do this! Just let her know that the tender bloom of adoration is upon your heart, and she’ll be all yours!”

My reflection shook his noggin out of sheer embarrassment. Like I said, I was rusty, so I decided to Google for dating tips, (let it not be said that I scorn the march of progress.) And THAT’S how I happened to read Jake Cosanavo’s blog on the finer aspects of modern romance. Without much commentary, I invite you to peruse a post below:

HEY FELLAS, THIS IS JAKE COSANAVO, AND LET’S GET ONE THING OUT OF THE WAY: THE BEST FIRST DATE IS, WITHOUT A QUESTION, AT THE ZOO. THERE, YOUR LADY FRIEND WILL SEE MONKEYS AND BEARS GETTING IT ON. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN TURTLES DO IT? IT IS VERY HOT STUFF. BUT I’LL ASSUME YOU’VE DECIDED TO DO THE BORING STUFF AND HAVE DINNER. THAT’S FINE, JAKE CAN STILL GET YOU LAID WITH HIS:

PANTY-MELTING TIPS FOR A BANGIN’ FIRST DATE!!!!!!

  1. AT THE RESTAURANT, MOVE YOUR CHAIR NEXT TO HERS. YOU GOTTA GET CLOSE. YOU’RE A HUNTER, SHE’S PREY. YOU NEVER SAW A LION EAT A GAZELLE FROM ACROSS A TABLE, DID YA?
  2. AVOID INTELLECTUAL SUBJECTS, LIKE THE ELECTIONS OR FOOTBALL. THE LADIES JUST GET CONFUSED BY THINKING ABOUT THAT SMART STUFF.
  3. MAKE SURE TO TOUCH HER REPEATEDLY. FIRST, HER HAND. THEN, FIND AN EXCUSE TO TOUCH HER FACE. IF SHE’S RESPONSIVE, HEAT THINGS UP, AND GRAB SOME BOOBY. NO NEED TO BE SHY! YOU GOTTA LET HER KNOW YOU’RE THERE TO GET PHYSICAL.
  4. SECRET WORD OF THE DAY: “BABIES.” USE THAT WORD AT LEAST THREE TIMES DURING DINNER. FOR COMPLICATED MEDICAL REASONS, WOMEN LIKE BABIES. JUST TALKING ABOUT BABIES GETS THEM HORNY. I KNOW IT SEEMS COUNTERINTUITIVE, FELLAS, BUT IT’S WHAT THE SCIENTISTS CALL A SUBCRIMINAL MESSAGE.
  5. ULTIMATELY, YOU’RE GETTING THIS POINT ACROSS: YOU ARE NOT HER LITTLE BROTHER. YOU ARE NOT HER HOMO FRIEND. YOU ARE NOT A “NICE GUY”. YOU ARE A SERIOUS LADY-KILLER!”

Have you ever read such offensive, simple-minded pablum? Appalled, I turned off the computer and headed for the restaurant assured in the certainty that, Jake-Cosanavo-be-damned, the only thing a man needs for a first date is the easy-going confidence that radiates from an honest, open heart.

And that might have been enough except I forgot how beautiful Silvia was. A knock-out, a keeper, with the grace of Greek statuary and a smile out of a Da Vinci painting, (you know the one I mean.) She greeted me outside our chosen restaurant, and it was all over for me. I was down with full-blown LOVE the second the appetizers came in. Love, I tell you! A golden arrow snaking through my heart, making me all sorts of warm and fuzzy.

“Silvia,” I said gazing into her eyes while her lips parted expectantly, “Lovely name. Shakespeare wrote a poem to a Silvia. If I recall it went like this: ‘Then to Silvia let us sing/ That Silvia is excelling/ She excels each mortal thing/ Upon the dull earth dwelling.’”

Her cheeks were flushed: “That was lovely! Stop it! But go on!”

I didn’t need encouragement: “Silvia is a name for poetry, if there ever was one. It reminds me of Sylvia Plath.”

“I love Sylvia Plath,” she gasped, squeezing my arm. “‘Daddy’ is definitely in my top 50 poems of all time. I think sometimes people are quick to dismiss her work because of her suicide. And by people I mean ‘men’, who are so unfair to women in poetry.”

“Let us not talk of women in poetry,” I replied, leaning close to her. “What a redundancy! Women ARE poetry. YOU, Sylvia, YOU are a poem!”

“Listen,” she said, “I don’t feel particularly hungry. Do you want to maybe go back to my place?”

WELL. That’s kind of how it transpired in my head. The actual conversation turned out more like this:

“So, hmmm, Silvia… that’s like… the same name as that chick. You know, the writer chick. One that killed herself. Put her head in the oven. With the poem? Her Dad was a Nazi? Not literally a Nazi, but in the poem she says he’s Nazi. She hated her Dad. ‘Daddy, you’re a Nazi.’ I think that’s how the poem went.”

“Pardon me?” She squinted at me. “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand a word you said.”

“I said that you remind me of that crazy chick who killed herself!”

“Hmmm… Thanks?”

With my usual perspicacity I realized Silvia and I were having trouble communicating from across the table. Did I need a megaphone or something? That’s when I had an inspiration:

Jake Cosanavo 2

MOVE YOUR CHAIR NEXT TO HERS. YOU NEVER SAW A LION EAT A GAZELLE FROM ACROSS A TABLE, DID YA?

Of course! Maybe Jake Cosanavo was onto something after all! I stood up to drag my chair to her side and it would probably have been a smooth move. There was no way I could have predicted that a chair leg would get tangled with a table leg and the whole flimsy set-up would crash to the floor. Bye bye, garlic rolls.

Silvia, the classy thing, was an ocean of understanding: “It could happen to anyone, pay it no mind!” No great harm was done. Less than six minutes after the table collapsed there I was, sitting tantalizingly next to my date again. Close enough for a lion to spit on a gazelle’s thigh.

But the gazelle was getting restless, and the lion was not pouncing.

Silvia smiled tentatively: “So… Who do you think has a good chance in the next elections?”

AVOID INTELLECTUAL SUBJECTS, LIKE THE ELECTIONS

“Let’s not talk about intellectual subjects,” I waved a hand.

“The elections are an ‘intellectual’ subject? Very well, ball’s in your court, mister. What should we talk about?”

What a puzzling question that seemed! And I was speechless! Me! The bon-vivant, so quick to impart a merry tale at any gathering! Me who had so much to share with her, all my impressive triumphs! Surely she should have heard about the heart-breaking play I had precociously staged off-Broadway at age 19! About the exciting article on Costa Rican eco-tourism that the National Geographic had just bought for a flattering sum! About my two-year stint teaching macramé to refugees in Rwanda!

But when my lion-ish roar came out, it sounded like this:

“Let’s talk about… diseases? Maybe you can tell me what this spot on my chest is. It’s all pinkish. Weird, no? Do you think that’s gangrene? Or am I thinking about gonorrhea? Maybe I am. They both start with G, I get them mixed up!”

No good!

THE SECRET WORD OF THE DAY IS:

“BABIES!” I grabbed her hand in a transport of tenderness and said with the determination of a hypnotist: “Do you know if BABIES get gonorrhea? I hope not! I love BABIES!”

“Let go of my hand, please. You’re hurting me,” Silvia said.

THEN, FIND AN EXCUSE TO TOUCH HER FACE.

“Hold still,” I said impishly. “You’ve got a something in your eye. Could it be a little piece of magical starlight?” For reasons I cannot honestly explain in the sober afterglow of recollection, I proceeded to poke her in the eyeball.

She screamed: “AAAGGGHHH!!! What the hell is wrong with you, you fucking retard?!?”

What was the next step? What was the next step?

HEAT THINGS UP, AND GRAB SOME BOOBY.

I cupped my hand appreciatively around her right breast and said in what I hoped were seductive tones: “I’m sure BABIES love these!”

She slapped me rather soundly: “That’s it! It’s over! Waiter! The check!” Her face was a painterly shade of red as she fished a twenty-dollar bill from her purse, threw it in my face, and said in that magical musical voice of hers:

“I hope you suck Satan’s cock in hell!!! Never EVER contact me again!!! Do you hear me?!?”

Such spirit! But I wasn’t too bothered. I understand that even modern girls are expected to play hard to get from time to time. Perhaps the evening had ended a little sooner than expected, but I still had the purity of my devoted heart to place before her. I meant to say I loved her. I meant to tell her that her beauty was a storm in my head, washing all thoughts away, all propriety, all manners. I meant to tell her I wasn’t always like this, and that she would surely like me if she could look past a few minor dinner setbacks.

So I walked up to her, hugged her tight, and seductively whispered in her ear: “I AM NOT A NICE GUY! I AM A SERIAL LADY KILLER!”

She fled out the door, but her fleeing was kind of flirty, so I dunno. I’m feeling good about it! Maybe we’ll do the zoo next time!

Love is a crazy naked little guy with a bow and arrow. Thanks for everything, Jake Cosanavo!

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