Thai Tom

With hopes of exuding an aura of cultured worldliness well beyond your years (and financial means) you take your lovely date to Thai Tom. Heads up: first step through the door is tantamount to what it must be like entering that wardrobe-portal to Narnia. You’re a world away from Seattle, surrounded by ceramic elephants and sizzling saucepans of noodle spice chicken. When all else fails in making conversation, at least you can fall back on how authentic the experience is.

The catch with Thai Tom as a dinner-date destination is that as a customer you really are in for an authentic Thai dining experience, in which your definition of a ‘3 star’ pad Thai is at least three scales and an eternally-vacated sinus away from your samurai chef blade-wielding, Marlboro-smoking Thai cook’s definition of a ‘3 star’ dish.

The food’s so spicy it’ll ruin any chance at establishing a comfortable, smooth-flowing conversation with the lovely lady across the table from you because you’ll be too busy wiping a napkin across your sweaty-as-a-ballsack-in-a-sauna face. Waiter, does this pad-see-ew come with a gym towel and a blueberry pomegranate Starbucks refresher?

Caffe Vitta

Taking your date to Caffe Vitta as opposed to Starbucks is like taking your dinner date to a 4-star steakhouse instead of T.G.I Friday’s: you’re telling him / her they’re worth the drawn-out wait time and snobby service, and that you’re not living paycheck-to-paycheck (even though you very well may be). You’ll walk into the intimate, darkly-lit interior only to realize there’s no chance you’ll lock down a table before Vitta runs out of coffee altogether — which would be pretty fucking confounding, considering the store’s flooded with bags of free-trade java beans, intended as hipster-chic decorations.

Maybe if we got rid of the damn java bags, Caffe Vitta, less customers would have to carry on conversations over coffee on a gum-infested sidewalk where hobos are constantly interrupting by begging for Jack in the Box.

Sounders game

The anticipation that steadily mounts leading up to a soccer match does wonders for juicing up a conversation. Fans are pregaming or hammered (because that’s the logical play), and when the game actually starts you need not worry about the faintest trace of an awkward silence with the deafening roar over ‘Clink’ field.

But I hope you’ve put away the last three paychecks. You’re a 90-minute game away from having spent $85 on medium-sized Bud Lights, $20 on a hastily-defrosted burger alongside Kidd Valley garlic fries (after eating which you should never breathe on a human again), and of course the obligatory Sounders Scarf.

The Seattle Great Wheel

The whole time you’ll be asking yourself, what’s so damn great about this? You’re on the waterfront, so the breeze blowing off the ocean is significantly colder than anywhere else in Seattle (so, marine-arctic cold), and you’re realizing now that high heights on automated metal wheels are no place for romantic dates. Plus you guys had to pit stop at the neighboring Ivar’s for a couple of under-baked bread bowls beforehand — and the chowder’s generating white caps in that stressed stomach of yours.

Bainbridge Island excursion

You’ll stroll alongside your date through impeccably-manicured sidewalks, alleyways laden with trash cans cleaner than your kitchen table, garden-paths covered with exotic plants imported from Neverland, toward boutiques and Parisian-inspired cafés comfortably outside the college student’s budget. At one point you whisper hushed promises (with crossed fingers) that this is what your future together could look like — if she’s just patient with your slow, yet steady climb up the greasy corporate ladder.

Drinks at Comet Tavern

Sometimes you’ve had a long day, and you need to fall back on the conversationally-lubricating features of a pitcher or three. Comet Tavern is pretty kickass, with its bartending crew abiding by an unwritten code to wear the man-bun at all times, and its expertly-curated playlists contain legendary rock jams.

As you stare into your date’s eyes, you’ll calmly reflect on the reality that you don’t need to carry on with unnecessary ‘conversation filler’ when the both of you would rather lose yourselves in Lynyrd Skynyrd. Maybe, just maybe, your date’s sights are set on a ‘sim-m-ple ki-i-i-nd of man’ able to chill amid the date’s comfortable moments of silence.

Zoolights (Seasonal)

It’s Christmas time. The extended family, hostile in-laws, and pampered, pesky tweens, teens, and toddlers are in town. There’s no room in the house, so, naturally, you take your date on a trip to Point Defiance Zoo to see the Christmas lights. But it’s the coldest time of year, and at the end of the night, in order to not freeze your nipples off, you consider draping a web of Christmas lights over your frozen limbs.

Then it occurs to you that your date with her lightweight sweater and Lululemon tights was at least twenty-five degrees colder — borderline hypothermic. So you put aside the well-being of your now black-market-diamond-hard nipples and give her your coat. What the fuck were you thinking coming here?

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