Monday, May 21, 2007

Bad First Date: Putting My Worst Foot Forward

Over the past few months I’ve come to believe that any time you really look forward to something, raising your expectations and hopes on the event, it’s doomed to failure. Case and point: my date Saturday night!

Now first off, truth be told, I have little chance with this woman. We are close already, but she has decided that she is interested in another man. Still, I like her; she has so much going for her and yet doesn’t realize half of how wonderful she is. So I figured if I had the chance to show her a few of my better attributes, she might give me a real chance.

I figured my best shot would be cooking, since I’m a good cook, to say the least. But when I would invite her over at dinner time in the past, something would always come up, and we wouldn’t be able to get together. Already I had bought food to cook 3 times, without every having cooked a morsel for her. But finally, the opportunity came up, and I got the chance to cook for her Saturday.

I had a great meal planned out. I was cooking Chinese, a pineapple lemon chicken, and Szechwan vegetables, all over a bed of saffron rice. It’s probably the best meal I cook, and I knew it would come out well.

First we had some confusion on the time, which sort of messed up the timing of the meal. So now I’m hurrying a bit, trying to get this really tasty meal together before she implodes from hunger. Let me tell you, one thing you don’t want to do is hurry your cooking when you’re making Chinese food.

I started with the pineapple lemon chicken, in two parts, and then combined them and put them and set them simmering. So far so good. Now for the vegetables; I put the oil in the wok, and put in the mustard seed to pop. Once the seed stopped exploding I took the lid off the wok, and was going to add vegetables.

I was simultaneously preparing the rice, and it took a couple minutes to add the vegetables. When I turned back towards the wok, it was burning, just a bit, but some definite flames. I turned on the fan and opened the door, to let the smoke out before the alarm went off. Too late, the insidious beeping started. And then, the fan seemed to accelerate the flames, making them pop up.

Now I’m trying to keep my cool and put the fire out before I make my date panic. Well, I’m just not that smooth. I bring the wok over to the sink just as she walks in to ask if everything is alright. I put the wok under the water, and the flames leap up to the ceiling, blackening my wall and making me see spots which still aren’t going away. Meanwhile, thick smoke is billowing out of the kitchen, and she needs to leave the apartment.

I wasn’t far behind; as soon as I got the flames out, I had to leave, as it was impossible to breath in the apartment. Eventually we had to go back in to try to find my cat, as we were worried about her in the smoke, but this was a bad idea for my date, as she breathed in the smoke and wound up coughing all that night and the next day. In fact, she was so affected by the smoke she could hardly taste the food.

Well, so much for putting my best foot forward. Instead of seeing me as the great master chef who she would want to feed her on a regular basis, she sees me as the person who tried to kill her with my smoking wok. Survey says…XXX!

So anyway, I wouldn’t say it’s my worst date, but certainly not my best date at all. How about you? Ever really blown a date you really wanted to go well? Ever left the exact opposite lasting impression on someone you really cared about than you wanted to? How about sharing your stories here, and we perhaps we can work together to figure out how to put a better foot forward next time.

Posted by Scottage at 1:56 AM / | |