Dear Di

Dear Di
Image: Hailey Otten/Fulcrum
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Drive (and listen) safely

Dear Di,

I have a date tomorrow and, while I should be excited to pick them up, I have a chronic fear of being handed the aux. With great power comes great responsibility, right? I’m afraid that I’ll play the wrong thing and ruin everything. Help!

Awkward on Aux

Dear AA,

I’d tell you not to worry, but… you probably should worry. Sorry, not sorry — I say this with love.

Music has an unrivaled capacity to be entirely too revealing of one’s character. If you’re playing “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke on the first date, there simply will not be a second.

So, if you’re worried about sending the wrong message to your date, there is a large number of songs you should avoid that go without any explanation. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back — and your date’s ears — covered. If handed the aux on the first date, do not, under any circumstances, play the following:

Anything from Chris Brown’s discography. It is far too polarizing and, frankly, it reads like a cautionary tale to whoever is in the passenger seat. They’ll be clutching their seatbelt and debating a stop, drop, and (tuck) and roll escape maneuver, I can only assume.

“Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker. “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott. “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes. “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen. “First Date” by blink-182. Do I need to explain? Imagine trying to hold a romantic conversation with these songs as the mood music of choice. Worse, imagine sitting in customary first-date awkward silence as these monopolize the auditory real estate of your car.

Similar to Chris Brown, you may want to avoid John Mayer. “Your Body is a Wonderland” need not play any time soon, date or otherwise. Otherwise, that’s a great way to send a Taylor Swift fan running for the hills.

Anything that has the “male manipulator music” connotation is something to be wary of. So, please, for your sake, leave the Smiths, Weezer, Radiohead, and Bon Iver for the ‘private listening session’ option on Spotify. Listen, I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them. The movie 500 Days of Summer ruined the Smiths for men everywhere — now it can only be associated with the manipulative and, to be honest, rather boring male archetype that is fixated on the manic pixie dream girl. Is that the image you’re looking to portray? Is it?

I think not.

In any case, proceed with caution. I don’t think much can be worse than the Italian jazz opera CD I was subjected to on one occasion. It’s not that I don’t like Italian jazz opera music — no strong feelings here — but that had to be the most pretentious music he could have played in that moment. It was very telling of character.

That being said, good luck on your date. Drive (and listen) safely!