Dear Uncle Mat

I finally did it. After concluding that every single guy I knew had at one time or another dated other girlfriends of mine (a common problem in San Antonio, I suspect) ... I broke down and entered the online dating pool. But that’s not what I’m writing about, that’s actually going pretty well. But now I’m going on a blind date for the first time and coming up with something to do has fallen on my shoulders. I have pushed events calendars (including the Current’s) to the limit, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to find something to do in the middle of the week in San Antonio. Surely not EVERYONE has children to watch and things to get to by 9 p.m. ... but I digress.

My point is I’d like to avoid all the following date faux pas ...

1) Going to a place with (crappy) music so loud you can merely smile and pretend to hear what the other person is saying. This gives the overall impression that you agree with everything he says and that you’re a tolerant woman who enjoys chaos, which in my case is not true, and I like to stay honest.

2) No meat markets or clubs allowed (I’ve passed the MTV age limit; I am firmly planted in VH1 territory now)

3) Although San Antonio is packed with great eateries it would be awesome if I could actually “do something” with a date instead of worrying what to pick off a menu that appropriately conveys that I have good table manners (nothing messy) but not anorexic (no salads allowed, even if I really want one).

Plus, if you go to dinner with a blind date you’re STUCK talking to a complete stranger for at least an hour or so, and there’s the whole thing of who pays for the check ... ack!

As you may be able to tell, I am a typical over-thinking woman, and on behalf of all the other neurotics out there I’m sure we’d all love to hear any suggestions for places or events (preferably ones that are re-occurring) that would be fun, involve some type of activity (since we will inevitably run out of things to say at least once), and don’t cost an arm and a leg so we can gallantly offer to pay (it’s a Generation X/Y thing — don’t ask).  And extra kudos if you find anything during the week.

And, of course, dating advice is always appreciated. I’m not even going to get into the fashion dilemmas my new predicament presents ... 

— Dating & Desperate


Dear Dating & Desperate, 

Please do not claim to be in VH1 territory. That roughly translates into “dried-up alcoholic whore who would blow any half-dead or wannabe celebrity if there is a fifth of vodka and a TV crew available to memorialize the discovery of the bottom of your self-esteem barrel.” You sound more like your feet are firmly planted in NPR land.  

Secondly, eat a fucking salad if you want a salad. If a guy thinks you’re anorexic because you ordered a salad he is a narrowminded dolt who probably wants a chaos-loving, tolerant woman. You are an adult and can eat whatever you want. Here is a tip if the guy turns out to be a cocky bore: Order something that looks like a penis and systematically cut it up into tiny pieces in a slightly aggressive manner. 

Finding a first-date activity is difficult. My favorite is an afternoon visit to a museum. There is stuff to look at and prod the conversation along when it drags. It is cheap-to-free and if the guy can’t handle an hour or two wandering around a museum he is most likely undatable. It also relieves the nighttime “my place or yours” pressure.

On this theme, if you prefer an evening date, there are always art openings happening in this town — Artpace, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and Blue Star regularly host evening receptions, talks, and other events, and the McNay’s Get Reel film series is scheduled monthly on Thursday nights, when the museum is also open late. The alcohol is often free, the people-watching is awesome, and again there is the art to talk about if all else fails. These outings can be followed up with coffee or a cocktail if you want to keep the date going.  

Try something outside of your box. How about a Spurs’ game or a local amateur sporting event (check out park, college, and community-center calendars), a trip to the top of the Tower of Americas, ice-skating, or the newly restored Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge?  

Much luck and a second date,

Your Uncle Mat 

Uncle Mat answers questions about
relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at
[email protected],
yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.

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