For those of us who have cursed ourselves with having cable, there is the unfortunate blessing of being forced to watch some seriously bad commercials.
But never before have these advertisements had direct impact on my life until online dating.
Everyone knows this particular E-Harmony commercial. It’s the commercial in which the couple is the last to leave the restaurant while the server switches the open sign to closed. It’s cute, cuddly and sets the ambiance for possibly getting laid that night.
But, as a server, and a server who has been the last one in the restaurant waiting for this E-Harmony style date to leave, this is beyond frustrating.
THIS STUFF NEVER HAPPENED until this commercial popped up between ESPN segments and during “Revenge.”
Now, the geniuses at the marketing department of these online dating services have now made the benchmark that during your first date it is only cool if you’re the last to leave. Almost as if, “I don’t want to leave the table because I am so in love with the person across from me.”
I am no relationship expert (commitment issues and a love for strippers), but I can say that if you’re the last to leave a restaurant, and the server is starting to flip chairs, then IT’S TIME TO LEAVE.
And to put it simply, if there was so much of a connection, then one of you shitheads should have asked the other to head somewhere a bit more private a long time ago.
Oh online dating! You took all the fun out of drunken hookups, true love stories, and, now you are ruining my opportunity as a server to make last call or to get a decent night’s sleep.
So, as a server who wants to believe in a true love story and wants to make it to the bar at a reasonable hour, I am now on a campaign to gently nudge folks from this hesitation of leaving dilemma.
I have come up with a system. Let me take you step by step with a bit of logic.
Step 1: Table Maintenance- Its crucial in every restaurant in every aspect, but for the Lovers on their First Date, I make sure the only thing left on your table is your water glass. The logic behind step 1: Dessert is over, or get it to go and lick it off each other. GET OUT
Step 2: Pretending to pick up the checkbook, when I know you haven’t even looked at it yet. I know exactly what I am doing. I come over all innocent to your table and with a stern yet quiet tone, I pick up checkbook and recite, “ Thank you so much folks.” The logic behind step 2: Break up the train of thought here. I want to stop that grotesque stare you have toward each other and bring your attention to a more physical manner, the bill. I know you don’t want to look at the horrid amount you just spent on a first date. I wouldn’t either. But it is time to pay the piper and GET OUT.
Step 3: Bare Essentials. There is literally nothing left on the table. Salt and pepper shakers are gone. The candle is gone. The centerpiece was taken away a long time ago. And water glasses are a thing of the past. The logic behind step 3: Good for you if you can hold a conversation without anything on the table. Your server has now run out of options of gently nudging you out with the possibility of immediately getting fired. Now it is your entire fault.
Step 4: Ruining the ambiance, softly. If your wondering why Metallica is playing through the speakers and the lights just got brighter, it is because I just changed the music and turned the lights up. The logic behind step 4: It is not because I love metal, it’s because you hate metal. And nothing says GET OUT more then The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse and a strobe light.
Step 6: Blame it on the Tetons — “Sorry folks, it is not me, but according to our liquor license, I need to be closed by midnight.” Blatant lie. The logic behind step 6: I hate lying, and it’s probably why I can’t find someone to love me. Being brutally honest has its perks, but sometimes a little white lie never hurt. If the guilt of the law won’t get you out, then I don’t know what to do.
Step 7: Lights Out. Literally. The logic behind step 7: These folks have decided to play your bluff, or bought into contemporary society’s first date benchmark that they are oblivious to the fact of Steps 1-6. Sure, I could get fired for turning the lights down on customers, but their sense of reality lies in the balance. Is my job worth more then their future life of anguish and despair? I feel strongly if I nip this fairy tale in the bud immediately I can save lives; or at least some sanity.
Love is for the birds.
PS. All my friends back on the East Coast have bought into the online dating thing in their respective cities. According to my sources, there is the unwritten rule that if and when the second date takes place, physical contact usually follows. Maybe I should buy in too.