Dear Di

Dear Di
Love is a meal best served with a fork and knife. Image: Hailey Otten/Fulcrum
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Sardine kid

Dear Di,

I am planning on asking someone out on a date — so nerve-wracking and exciting all at once. The silver lining of putting myself out there is I get to suggest the activity. While I think grabbing a bite is a great way to get to know someone, I’m so clumsy that I fear I’ll spoil the date as soon as the food comes out. What should we order?

-Hungry For Love

Dear HFL,

As a hazard to myself and others, I, too, try to baby-proof life events. It only makes sense to pad the sharp corners of your first date by avoiding obstacles like splattering spaghetti sauce.

I think there’s a number of foods on the chopping block here. A good rule of thumb, however, is that love is a meal best served with a fork and knife. By that, I mean avoid finger foods — no ribs on a first date. 

When it comes to first impressions and first dates alike, the key is to be the most put together version of yourself. Be honest, of course, but don’t spill the beans or any other saucy substance on your shirt — or theirs, for that matter. This means that if your coordination is a menace to society, consider saving sloppy joes for anything seventh date onwards. 

If you were even considering corn on the cob, there’s nothing I can do to help you. If that was your first choice but, upon further reflection, you opt for wings as your runner-up, you’re your own arch-nemesis, HFL.

Noodles are going to be tough, too. Lots of slurping involved — could be unsightly.

If you’re chopstick-challenged, pasta is a safer bet. I’d err toward the rigatoni and farfalle in lieu of the fettuccine and spaghetti options. If angel hair crossed your mind, messiness shouldn’t be your only concern. Rather, you’ll probably send your date running, given the fact that you’re clearly unhinged.

Some foods are not just messy — they’re humiliating. While I love tuna, I know that it is my fatal flaw. I ate tuna four days in a row this week, but my potential suitors have no business knowing that. That’s for my roommates to know, for people to read about only under the safety of a pseudonym, and for my crushes to be deliberately obstructed from discovering. 

Hot dogs are rather embarrassing, too. Pungent-smelling foods pose a risk for kisses goodbye or activities of that ilk. Thus, sardines to are out of the question. There was a kid in my seventh-grade class who shamelessly ate sardines at school every day. People called him ‘sardine kid’ and my homeroom teacher would spray Febreeze in our classroom to mask the odor. I never saw him after that year and I can only presume he switched schools to assume a new and untainted identity. 

I think that leaves you with a lot to chew on before you decide where to embark on your romantic soirée, friend. Bon appetit!