I Wanna Be Sedated

The following is an actual list I actually wrote while waiting for an actual date a few months ago. I like to think the nervous sweat I was completely drenched in while writing this was totally endearing and not at all smelly.

Before the First Date

1) Don’t die.

2) Don’t make that weird spitting noise when you laugh. You know the one. Just… never close your mouth when you’re laughing. No wait, do. Wait. Don’t laugh at all. No wait, do.

3) Maybe don’t nervous laugh every second.

4) Don’t get food in your teeth. Or on your teeth. Or around your teeth.

5) Does your breath smell like ranch dressing?! Does it?!

An image taken by me of a partially used ranch...

Why did you drink a whole bottle, Stephanie? WHY?!

6) Be decisive…?

7) Try not to do that thing where it looks like your muscles have suddenly deteriorated, if possible.

8) Your bangs go in front of your forehead vein EVERY TIME.

9) Quit making Mormon jokes. Quit it. Maybe he’s Mormon. Don’t ask him about his underwear, Stephanie. You are the worst. YOU ARE THE WORST.

10) Be yourself!

11) What does “be yourself” even mean?

12) Figure out what that means.

13) Please God, say there’s no bicycling involved.


14) Don’t… glorify war, I guess? Or genocides. Or euthanasia. Don’t espouse any causes. (Unless someone is kicking a puppy or punching their wife or something. Being opposed to that is ok.) (Except don’t get punched.)

15) Seriously. Don’t get punched.

16) Maybe you should just make lists the whole time. It’s therapeutic. Lists are like rosary beads. “One, don’t die. Two, don’t laugh. Three, don’t nervous laugh.” Oh man, wouldn’t it be funny if you spent the whole date listing things under your breath? NO. THAT WOULD NOT BE FUNNY.

17) Figure out what humor is, because clearly you have no idea.

18) Don’t say how long it’s been since you last went on a date. Don’t say it in years, don’t say it in months, and definitely don’t say it in days or hours.

19) Stop trying to figure out how many minutes it’s been since your last date. It’s been like a million, ok? Maybe like 80 million.

20) TANGENT: Is that guy over there a European businessman? Why is he here? Is his accent fake? Why is he wearing sunglasses indoors? He’s probably a total tool, isn’t he? Look at his friend. Pfft. Tools.

No, Wikipedia. The other kind of tool.

21) Don’t look over things, on account of your crazy neck. Look beside them. Look around them. Don’t look over them.

22) Try not to squeak?

23) TANGENT: The business man is not European but is definitely an incredible tool. I feel like I should design a superhero costume and become a masked vigilante against tool bags.

24) Don’t tell anyone that idea. Ever.

25) Because then everyone would know your secret identity!

26) And also because it’s stupid.

27) Putting your Wookie ringtone on silent might not be a bad idea.

28) TANGENT: What is happening on your friend’s face, fake-European businessman? There’s not enough of it to be facial hair, so I’m forced to call it a growth. Hey, man, your beard is growth. Buh-dum chh

29) Maybe hold off on the puns.

30) DON’T. DIE.


  1. shenanitim

    I went on a date once where all the girl wanted to do was list the different types of “geeks.” Little did I know that this, the recreational list making, was practically a national pastime for you lady-folk.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I don’t know if it’s exclusively a pastime of the lady-folk. There are just a few highly organized, slightly obsessive-compulsive, definitely kind of anal people out there who love lists more than life itself. Your comment immediately made me think of all the geeks I could.

    • Stephanie

      I think I’m a tool detector, but I don’t know it. If I’m attracted to them, they are probably a tool. It’s an upsetting trend that I’m frantically trying to reverse.

  2. gojulesgo

    Ooooh, is this date with THE guy?? (Maybe I should make a list, with every item: Don’t Pry. Or, Don’t Live Vicariously.)

    I’m partial to #6 and I also really hope cycling wasn’t involved. Cyclists are so annoying. They should have their own roads, where we can’t see them, and only THEN should they be free to take up the entire street, without a care in their neon-colored world.

    • Stephanie

      It was a date with THE guy. (See this week’s post, re: THE guy being a poop head.) (Follow up parentheses: I am five years old because I still use the phrase poop head.) I HATE cyclists, and I’m so glad you don’t like them either because I always feel like a jerk. It feels like the only time I ever have to drive past a cyclist is when there’s a blind curve ahead. GAH!

  3. Esperanza Writes

    LOL loved the “What does “be yourself” even mean?” part. Sadly enough I do talk that more to the profound side… “Who am I? That is a question I’ll never know!” or something like that.

    • Stephanie

      That’s exactly the kind of deep thought I will never have because I’ll get distracted by shallower questions like “Does my breath smell like ranch dressing?” Oh well.

  4. Random

    You are awesome.

    Oddly, one of my favorite parts was the “Buh-dum chh”. I’ve never seen it done that way, but I could totally hear it.

    You should patent that.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I hadn’t really thought about writing it out before, but I’ll get on the patent immediately.

      My kid brother’s favorite joke goes, “Two drums and a cymbal fell off a cliff. Buh-dum chh.” (It might be better out loud. No. I just tried it. It’s still terrible.)

  5. Snoring Dog Studio

    It’s so much easier to Simply. Not. Date. I get home at a reasonable hour, I can wear my pjs as early as I want, and I don’t have to worry about 30 rules or reminders! That’s why I have dogs, wonderful, accepting, loving dogs.

    • Stephanie

      My neck is abnormally long. It might be proportional, actually, but when I was four I did a surprisingly accurate E.T. imitation for my mom that I’ve never really recovered from. I did not tell my date about the list, and the date was very successful. …The subsequent relationship was considerably less successful. Oh well.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. Don’t worry, not too harsh. I didn’t have them posted on the main page, but they’re up now. I hope you found them! If not, just assume everything before this sucked anyway.

    • Stephanie

      …Sort of creepy.

      Just kidding. If it helps with the mental image, just imagine me typing frantically into my phone and nervously people watching while rocking back and forth in a chair. Because that’s what happened.

    • Stephanie

      I’m so happy there are people like me out there! There are so many things I care about more than bicycles and some people just DO NOT get that. I’ve lost friends over the bike issue.

  6. jahaady

    1. I love that you make lists!
    2. I thought that me and my friend who email each other a
    lot were the only weirdos who did it.
    3. See item #1

    • Stephanie

      1. Thanks!
      2. That is so cool. I’m going to change the way I write email forever. (Unless that’s too much. Is that too much listing? Is there such a thing?)
      3. Thanks!

  7. Pingback: Follow the links | east.bay.writer
  8. Pingback: I’ll Be Watching You « Listful Thinking

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