On the Origin of Bad Movie Love

And though you might think this will be a treatise on the origin of the author’s fondness for terrible movies, that installment was last week, and you should travel back in time to find it.

For this post we’ll be discussing what not to do on your first movie date.  If you read – and re-read – this essay, you will be perfectly prepared for your first movie date and will not look like a fool or a tool or a cruel, cruel [insert gender here].

1. Don’t buy the tickets.

Buying the tickets demonstrates that you are too willing to enter into a relationship where you will be taken advantage of, eventually working sixty hours a week as a manager of a Domino’s Pizza and supporting your partner’s MMORPG addiction.  Is this what you want?  Really?  Well then, fine, go ahead, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

2. Sit near other people.

On your first movie date you don’t want to come off too strongly.  In part, this is why you wear deodorant.  In part, this is why you sit next to other people.  In part, this is because if you forgot to wear deodorant you can blame the stench on those other people.

3. Don’t make the first move.

Remember, this is your first movie date.  Sure, you know that movie dates often result in a lack of memory regarding the movie.  Make sure you do not have amnesia.  Barring amnesia, you realize that the lack of memory regarding the movie has to do with making out during the movie.  And, yes, I know, this is a movie you really, really want to see, which is why you agreed to go on this date in the first place.  Just remember, if you don’t make the first move, no one else will.  Keep your arms and legs within the confines of your seat at all times.  Minimize eye contact.  If your date places an arm around your neck, shiver violently and say, harshly, “What was that?”  Discover your anticipation for this movie was far out of proportion to what the movie deserved, and regret not making the first move.

4. Watch all the way through the end credits.

The truth is that you never know what might happen next.  Many movies hide Easter eggs after the final credits roll off the screen, and if you don’t stay glued to your seat like the victim of a seat-gluing prankster, then you never know what you might have missed.  A further resolution to the mystery.  Proof, in baby-form, that the romantic leads have succeeded in staying romantic and leads.  A preview for the next stage of your life that you just can’t wait to dive into.  If your date gets up to leave, then you will know that you’re better off alone.  If your date stays with you, then you will have to get up and leave.  You’re just not ready for that kind of commitment!  This is your first movie date, after all.

5. Give your date a goodnight kiss.

Remember, it could have always been better.  The movie.  Your date.  The car.  The night.  The temperature.  The food.  The deodorant.  Yes, it could have always been better.  But you have to face the fact: it wasn’t.  But that wasn’t your date’s fault.  It wasn’t your fault for choosing your date, or for dictating the choice of the movie.  It wasn’t even the movie’s fault.  It was simply this: Your first movie date will never be good enough.  And yet it will set the standard for all movie dates to follow, growing stronger and brighter in your memory until it glares in your past like a cop’s spotlight in your rearview mirror.  For this, and this only, kiss your date goodnight.  After this night, everything will have changed.

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