Honest Review: My Ex-Boyfriend

IMG_0693I don’t really do product reviews on this blog, but it seems like everybody else does, which makes me feel like I’m missing out.  So I’m starting a new feature:  LBG’s Honest Reviews.  I promise that, whatever I’m reviewing, I will give you my completely unbiased opinion, no matter how many people try to stop me.  I will also make sure I thoroughly try out what I’m reviewing, so I can tell you all about it and you’ll be able to trust my conclusions, or at least understand them.  With that in mind, I thought I would make my first review about something I’ve examined from every angle, something I’ve used multiple times and in multiple ways, something I can truly say I gave my all:  my ex-boyfriend.

I realize that there are tons of different ex-boyfriend models out there, with newer ones coming on the market every year, and not every model will have the same features mine has.  For instance, not everyone will want the cries-when-drunk version, or the optional incipient beer gut, and of course the POS-car attachment can get pretty expensive.  But for those who are tired of constantly upgrading and are ready to make a commitment, here is my honest review of my ex-boyfriend.

Pros:

My ex-boyfriend comes with attractive packaging and initially presents as very appealing.  He has an excellent marketing campaign aimed at the slightly-inebriated thirty-something female:  his introductory approach emphasizes his southern charm, complete with cowboy boots, accent, and pulling the chair out for his date (which I have to admit was completely adorable) and obscures his less appealing qualities with copious amounts of alcohol.  It’s certainly an approach that’s been taken before, but the polish and professionalism that come with experience set my ex-boyfriend apart from the frat boy crowd.

IMG_0696Once you have my ex-boyfriend back in your home and you’ve taken off the wrapper, you’ll find that he comes with several notable upgrades from the standard model.  The one that’s proven the most popular is that he comes with his own guitar, which he can actually play quite well.  Upon further exploration, his repertoire is mainly limited to country music and mullet rock, but his acoustic version of Warrant’s classic “Cherry Pie” will surprise you with its wistful acknowledgment of the fragility of innocence.  Other pre-programmed features include:  the ability to perform eerily good imitations of all the main cast members of Game of Thrones; an extensive familiarity with every film in the Saw franchise; and, for some reason, clogging.

My ex-boyfriend also comes with a self-cleaning feature that is among the most elaborate currently on the market:  he will spend hours in the bathroom with a hand mirror, three different kinds of razors and special beard scissors trying to achieve the perfect beard-to-mustache ratio.  He will then spend three minutes cutting his hair.  He does require a special cleaning formula to keep his designer vintage-look jeans in pristine condition, but while the purchase and storage of a specialty cleaning product can be a nuisance, the actual cleaning requires no effort on your part as he does not trust anyone else to wash his denim, performing the entire task himself by hand.  Note to potential consumers:  please be ready to sacrifice all other use of your clothes drying rack for up to two days at a time, as my ex-boyfriend will begin to glitch if you suggest anything like, I don’t know, using the dryer.

Cons:

Those of you with slow internet connections may want to consider a different model,  as my ex-boyfriend takes up an astonishing amount of bandwidth while interfacing with such programs as Fortnite, Overwatch, and something involving Tom Clancy, who I honestly didn’t even realize did anything other than books.  While my ex-boyfriend is engaged with these programs, you will be unable to do anything requiring an internet connection, the ability to concentrate without someone shouting “SUCK IT!!!” every few minutes, or crossing the living room.  I recommend using the time during his pre-gaming ritual to download the kind of movie he refuses to watch with you (for instance:  anything starring Melissa McCarthy) and then retiring to the kitchen with your laptop and a pair of headphones.

IMG_0694Other things to consider when my ex-boyfriend sits down next to you in a bar include:  he often makes an extremely unpleasant buzzing sound while recharging at night.  It seems to come from his nasal area and resembles a kind of erratic, intermittent jack hammering, or possibly an exceptionally winded Darth Vader.  It can be temporarily alleviated with a flailing slap on his upper arm, but it will almost inevitably start up again within ten minutes.  There does not appear to be an update or patch in the works to remedy this minor but disproportionately annoying design flaw, probably because he will never actually admit it happens (he will also never admit that komodo dragons are real, no matter how many pictures, Wikipedia entries, or actual komodo dragons you show him, but he believes every word of The Da Vinci Code.  Make of that what you will).

In addition, although initially providing a very satisfying user experience, his performance quality degraded rapidly after a few months.  He would often fail to perform tasks he deemed “stupid” until the third or fourth request, and he developed a tendency to wipe his memory after he put something down, rendering him incapable of picking it back up and putting it away again.  It’s also worth noting that his attractive packaging conceals some frankly below-average hardware and that certain basic boyfriend functions become unavailable after the consumption of alcohol.  Also, it turns out he was sexting his ex-girlfriend the entire time we were together, so f*ck him.

Conclusions:

Overall, I’m afraid I can’t recommend my ex-boyfriend.  While his design is stylistically and aesthetically pleasing, his performance is unsatisfactory and his habit of going into sleep mode at unscheduled intervals can be extremely inconvenient.  His failure to deliver on his initial promises cannot be offset by claims of future upgrades involving “hitting the gym extra hard” and “just focusing on my baby girl and making sure she’s happy.”  In such a crowded market, we can and should demand more.  Especially if he’s still sexting his ex-girlfriend.  F*ck him.  Actually, you know what?  Don’t.

[Disclaimer:  I did not receive any payment or other compensation for this review, and while I did technically receive my ex-boyfriend for free, overall he ended up costing me quite a bit of money, especially since he never paid me back for that wedding present we were supposed to go halfsies on and that was for his friends who I barely knew anyway.  There really ought to be a “My ex stiffed me on a joint wedding present” deduction for tax returns.]

 

[All images are in the public domain courtesy of pixabay.com:  Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.]

How I Got My Snark Back

Dear Weird Guy I Met At The Bar,

girl-1064666_6402I want you to know that, even though I wouldn’t give you my phone number or my real name, I’m so glad we met.  Not because you said you liked my hair; although that’s usually a solid move with a girl, I’d recommend against using the word “fetish” within the first half hour of conversation.  I appreciated the super-clear warning sign, don’t get me wrong, but maybe ease into that a little more slowly next time.  With someone other than me.  But that’s not why I’m glad we met.

It’s also not because we had a deep and meaningful conversation about the relevance of Eastern philosophies on contemporary Western living.  We might have, if you had been able to pronounce the words “Bhagavad Gita,” but even if your speech hadn’t been slurred from what you initially claimed was your third beer and eventually admitted was your seventh, I doubt we would have ended up discussing the theistic aspects of moksha.  Also, the “main dude” in the Bhagavad Gita is named Arjuna, not Arwen, and that’s still not why I’m glad we met.

I did get some entertainment out of listening to you try to convince me that you like doing yoga because you enjoy the female energy and that you never even notice the boobs of the women in your class.  It was especially amusing because, for the ten minutes before you gazed into my eyes and made that earnest declaration, you’d been addressing most of your intoxicated musings to my cleavage.  Not an original move, no, but the fact that you clearly had no idea you’d just been doing it gave it that special something so often missing from drunken ogling.  Well done, sir!  But that’s still not why I’m glad we met.

I’m glad we met because, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t just smile awkwardly while secretly snarking at you in my head.  This time my smile was one of real  enjoyment.  I don’t know whether I was responding to some quality in you or whether there was just magic in the air that night, but when I heard you talk about actualizing your inner tranquility,  I was finally able to give myself permission to snark out loud.  You can’t imagine how good it felt after denying myself for so long.  It was snark without shame, reckless and abandoned, and it was bliss.  You gave me the best night I’ve had in a long time.  You gave me my snark back.  I’m so glad we met.

And if I didn’t say it last night, thanks for buying me the drink I was nursing while I mocked you to your face.  It was delicious.

girl-1064667_640

Snarks and kisses,

The Little Blind Girl

 

[images in the public domain via pixabay.com]

 

 

The Friend Card

batman-312342_640Among any group of really good friends, you will always find some version of the Friend Card.  The Friend Card is sort of like the Bat Signal; you can only use it in an emergency, but when you do, your friends have to drop what they’re doing, get in their bat-mobiles, and come help you however they can.  They don’t have to show up in a superhero costume (although bonus points if they do), but they do have to show up.

Not all Friend Card-worthy emergencies are harrowing tales of woe, of course.  A lot of them are the kind you eventually end up laughing about. For me, the memories of times I’ve played the Friend Card have turned into some of my favorite stories to tell.  For instance, there was the time I went on a date and had to have a friend come to the restaurant to rescue me:

The Time I Went On A Date And Had To Have A Friend Come Rescue Me

It’s not that the date went badly, it’s that I’d worn an old pair of pants that split down the back seam halfway through the night. Yes, it was hilarious.  Are you done laughing yet?  Okay, how about now?  Good.  So, in the Not Great column, I was in a crowded restaurant with my “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” underwear on full display (stop judging me).  In the Could Be Worse column, I was in the ladies’ room when it happened, which I’ve always taken as proof that God is a chick.

After I got done freaking out, I called a girlfriend who was about my size, invoked the Friend Card, and skulked in a stall until she could bring me some pants that didn’t violate public decency laws.  It took a comparative eon and a few months off my life, but my friend finally got to the restaurant and headed discreetly to the bathroom, where she handed me a nice pair of her own pants to change into and then immediately left so I could continue my date.  She even snuck my ripped pants out with her so my date wouldn’t see them—star power!

The rest of the night went very well, and I’m ashamed to say that my friend’s pants got pretty badly wrinkled by the time I returned them the next day.  No, that’s not true.  I’m actually not ashamed at all.  So, under the circumstances, I think that was a solid use of the Friend Card and a fine performance by my friend.  She still makes fun of me for it, but she gets to because she came through in the clutch.  And because I wrinkled her pants.

Then, of course, there’s the time I decided it was a good idea to skip the salon and bleach my hair at home:

The Time I Decided It Was A Good Idea To Skip The Salon And Bleach My Hair At Home

I was trying to save money, and I’d thoroughly researched home hair bleaching techniques on the internet.  With what I now realize was undue faith in YouTube tutorials, I followed the instructions exactly, settled myself by an open window, and tried to ignore the way my scalp had caught fire.  When it was time to check under the hood, so to speak, I looked in the bathroom mirror and omigod my hair is orange panic panic panic ask google what to do

black-1299077_640I followed my Google search result’s instructions for mixing and applying a violet-colored toner to cancel out the (pumpkin freaking orange) brassiness, though with a little less faith than I’d had in the YouTube tutorials from the previous step.  I washed out the toner, looked in the bathroom mirror and omigod my hair is purple panic panic panic why does the internet hate me panic panic just shave it all off and buy a wig–

Before I went completely V for Vendetta, I figured I might as well try playing the Friend Card.  To set the scene, this was 5:40 on a Sunday evening and the stores all closed at 6:00.  My friend took me to the drugstore, said nothing about the three scarves I had wound around my head, and calmed me down long enough to grab some hair dye in a fetching shade of normal.  It worked thank you sweet baby jesus i’ll never bleach my own hair again and, although my hair was basically straw for the next two months, it was straw of a normal color.  I’m calling that a win.

Of course, I’ve also been the one upon whom the Friend Card was played, and I think I’ve come through pretty well when it was my turn.  I mean, not everyone would be willing to pry the nails out of a coffin-sized wooden box her friend found in the basement of her new house and open it up to see if there’s a body inside:

The Time I Pried The Nails Out Of A Coffin-Sized Wooden Box My Friend Found In Her Basement And Opened It To See If There Was A Body Inside

The problem with living in a big city is that, when you move into your new home and find a large wooden box nailed shut and stowed in a dark corner of the basement and you call the police because the box is just the right size to contain a body, they tell you to open it yourself and not to call back unless the box turns out to, in fact, contain a body.  My friend learned this the hard way.  She couldn’t bring herself to open the box, though, so she friend-carded me— and then I got to learn it the hard way, too.

My friend had tried her best to work up enough courage to open the box on her own. However, in a case of what turned out to be monumentally poor planning, we had just celebrated her last night in her old house with a horror movie marathon that included Nosferatu.  After several hours of staring at the creepy mystery box and clutching a hammer that she was more ready to use as a weapon than as a tool, my friend finally caved and called me to come over and open it for her.  By then, it was closing in on midnight.

Of course I came over, and I brought a crucifix, some garlic, a wooden stake, and my neighbor’s handgun (just in case).  The wooden stake was really just one of my mixing spoons held the wrong way round and the garlic was the kind you buy in a jar, but I hadn’t had much notice.  As I pried out the last nail, I wondered if this was the point in the movie when the entire audience starts yelling “Don’t do it!  Just run!” and then I shoved off the lid before I could chicken out.  My friend, who by this time had turned mint green, stood ready with the mixing spoon as I looked into the box to find….

potatoes-1183623_640Potatoes.  Dozens and dozens of potatoes.  Turns out the house’s previous owner liked to buy them in bulk and store them in the basement in a creepy wooden box because apparently that makes them “keep” longer.  He’d meant to take the box with him when he moved, which is why he nailed it shut, but that corner of the basement was badly lit and he didn’t see the box during his final walk-through.  Still, I didn’t know that when I looked inside, so I totally get the Friend Card win on this one.

Everyone has played the Friend Card, and everyone has had the Friend Card played on them, and I’ve never heard of someone not coming through.  In my opinion, it’s one of the better qualities of the human race, right up there with empathy, imagination, and the inability to throw out your kid’s crappy handmade presents.  It gives me hope.

And to those of you who like to store your starchy tubers in giant scary coffins in the basement:  LABEL . YOUR . BOXES!  Seriously, who does that?  Potatoes.  Good grief.

 

[all images are in the public domain via pixabay.com]

Ask a Little Blind Girl, Part 3

Old woman at desk, 1967

Old woman at desk, 1967 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t done an installment of Ask a Little Blind Girl lately, so I thought I would share a few more of the questions that my anxious public keeps begging me to address, or at least answer a few questions that random curious people who probably have no idea I keep a blog have asked me.  All right, I made up the questions.  Like Dear Abby never made up a question or two.  There can’t be that many clueless people in the world.  Regardless:  allow me to present the latest contribution to the blogosphere’s only (known) advice column from a Little Blind Girl:

1.  Dear Little Blind Girl:  If you can’t see the television and you have trouble seeing the computer screen when you go online, what do you do to pass the time?

–TV Addict in Tennessee

Dear TV Addict in Tennessee:  It’s hard to believe these days, but there was a time when people had neither television nor the internet to entertain them.  Of course, in those days, everyone was in the same boat and would meet up in their town halls to go buggy riding together, whereas today, if you’re not online, you’re out in the cold.

If, because of vision impairment, religious or ideological beliefs, or a lack of connectivity, you find yourself cut off from the online community and without a television to stare at for hours, there are still things you can do.  I like to pick a bar I’ve never been in before, take in a board game, and see how many people I can talk into playing with me.  If you’ve never had an evening of Yahtzee with a crowd of inebriated strangers, believe me, you haven’t lived.  Clue and Trivial Pursuit also work well, but take the benefit of my experience and stay away from Twister.  Someone falls on someone else the wrong way when beer is involved and things get ugly fast.

I realize that this won’t work as well for those whose religious and/or ideological beliefs also prevent them from drinking alcohol.  I don’t know what to tell you about that, except maybe to find another advice column.

2.  Dear Little Blind Girl:  I’m visually impaired and trying to navigate the tricky territory of the dating scene.  Do you have any advice to give me?

— Squinting in Savannah

Dear Squinting in Savannah:  That is an excellent question.  Being something of a dating pro myself, I would be happy to pass along my wisdom to you.

  • Rule 1:  Never be late for a date.  Rude for the blind, rude for the sighted, rude for everyone.
  • Rule 2:  Be open to the experience.  Dating is nerve-wracking and exhilarating and difficult for both parties involved, even when both parties are really trying.  If you’re not into it, say no.  If you say yes, go into the date with high hopes, low expectations, and a can of pepper spray, just in case.
  • Rule 3:  Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu on the first date.  That’s just tacky.

Notice a pattern?  Dating for the blind is pretty much like dating for anyone else.  That said, I’d avoid places with lots of stairs until you’re more comfortable clutching at your date’s arm.  Also, avoid movies with subtitles.  And mimes.  And complicated meals that involve a lot of cutting meat around bones.  There are few things more embarrassing than having to ask your date to cut up your meat.

Dear Little Blind Girl:  Be honest.  What would you do if Johnny Depp ever commented on your blog?

–Depp Fan in Dakota

English: American actor Johnny Depp The Touris...

English: American actor Johnny Depp The Tourist premiere in Tokyo, Japan 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Depp Fan in Dakota:  I sincerely doubt that I will ever know for sure, but I do have a policy of trying to respond to every comment on this blog, so I’d have to say something in reply.  I’d like to think my response would be witty, charming, insightful, and endearing.  However, having known myself practically since my birth, I think it’s more likely that I’d respond with something along the lines of “Oh my God!  Are you him?  Are you really him?  Oh my God!  Wow, you’re even cuter in your comment than you are on screen!”, probably followed with a string of inappropriate emoticons.  This would be even more embarrassing given that his comment would probably be something like, “If you don’t stop sending me marriage proposals, I will be forced to take legal action.”  But hey, live in the moment, right?

As always, feel free to leave your burning questions in the comments section, and I will address them in our next installment.  Until then, au revoir–and, Johnny?  Anytime, sweetie.  I’m just saying.

How to tell who’s winning the dating game

As many of my regular readers know, I’ve been out on a fair few dates.  Regular readers will also know that I have an unusual approach to dating.  My motto is, make every date an adventure.  It’s hard to tell how a dating adventure is going, so while getting bored waiting for various dates to pick me up, or in the back of my head while making small talk, I came up with a points system to keep track of how things are going.  In the spirit of pooling resources, I thought I would share this system with you and ask for your suggestions.  I’ve broken this down into relationship phases, for ease of perusal:

Asking someone out

  • While sober:  +10 points
  • While drunk:  -15 points
  • Face to face:  +15 points
  • Over the phone:  +5 points
  • Via text message:  0 points
  • On five minutes notice:  -15 points
  • Through poetry:  +25 points, even if it’s bad

Getting to first date location

  • Person who did the asking picks up:  +10 points
  • Person who was asked picks up:  -5 points, unless good reason
  • Meet at location:  0 points
  • Bringing flowers:  +10 points
  • Bringing flowers with vase:  +20 points
  • Overly romantic setting requiring heels:  0 points
  • Casual setting allowing flats:  +5 points
  • Unusual setting (awesome):  +25 points
  • Unusual setting (creepy):  -15 points

First Date

  • Telling date he/she looks nice:  +10 points
  • Not commenting on how late the other person was:  +5 points
  • Not being late in the first place:  +15 points
  • Ordering for the other person:  -20 points (I hate this!)
  • Asking the other person how his/her day was:  0 points
  • Asking the other person how his/her day was and actually listening:  +15 points
  • Discussing politics:  -5 points
  • Discussing religion:  -15 points
  • Discussing ex:  -30 points
  • Getting so engrossed in other person that you don’t notice the restaurant is closing:  +30 points
  • Tipping badly:  -20 points
  • Walking date safely to car/door:  +15 points

Post-date communication

  • Follow-up phone call/email/text within 1 day:  +10 points
  • Within two days:  +5 points
  • Within three days:  0 points
  • No contact until a week has gone by:  -10 points
  • More than five calls/emails/texts within 24 hours:  -5 points
  • Sending inappropriate pictures with suggestive captions after first date:  -50 points
  • Suggesting second date:  +15 points
  • Suggesting second date, then going incommunicado for three days:  -15 points
  • Using words “buddy”, “pal” or “friend” in post-date communication:  just give up

This doesn’t include second date activity or anything after, since a) this isn’t that kind of blog, and b) I rarely get to that stage.  Those of you who want to use this system should remember, as always, that no matter what the numerical result is, you have to take into account that certain inexplicable something that can’t be quantified.  I call it the Johnny Depp factor.  Feel free to rename it however suits you!

So what do you think?  Additions?  Corrections?  Suggestions?  Recriminations?  Does anyone want to do a follow-up for second dates and beyond?

With this LBG, I thee wed

Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring (Photo credit: Lucas_James)

A friend of mine is getting married.  Yay!  And you know her, if you read the blog closely, but I’m not allowed to announce it formally yet.  Cue the crying, hugging, dancing around, promising we’ll always be friends even after she’s got a live-in boy, etc.  Then comes the important discussion:

Me:  What are you thinking as far as the ceremony?

Friend:  I’m kind of torn.  Courthouse is very tempting, but my family would be really hurt if they couldn’t participate in a traditional wedding.

Me:  Courthouse all the way, baby.  Wham, bam, thank you, your honor!

Friend:  But the wedding dress!

Me:  That you wear once!

Friend:  And the reception!

Me:  That lasts for one evening and costs more than your honeymoon!

Friend:  And the presents!

Me:  Oh, yeah, the presents are pretty sweet.

Friend:  But if I had a wedding, I’d have to get my makeup done.

Me:  I can do your makeup!

Friend:  I’d have to wear heels.  I hate heels.

Me:  Ballet flats.

Friend:  I don’t have a preacher.

Me:  Internet Church of the Spaghetti God.

Friend:  Wait.  Which one of us wants a wedding?

Me:  I can’t help it.  I always have to have the last word.

Friend:  I can see it now:  “Do you, [friend’s name omitted] take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”  “I do.”  And do you, [Hot Fiance’s name omitted], take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”  “I do.”  “And do you, Little Blind Girl, give your blessing to the union of this man and this woman?”  “I do.”  And only then will we be legally married!

Me:  Better believe it!

You think that’s bad, just wait until you read the yet-to-be-written post about the Little Blind Girl and the Open-Bar Reception!

Do first dates count as near-death experiences?

Lara Croft

Image via Wikipedia

Ok, since a decision has been made on my behalf that I should start dating again, which I really think I should have had a say in, but whatever, I want to lay down some ground rules.  Dating should be fun, it should be an adventure, it should not be a nerve-wracking, ego-wrecking form of torture akin to waterboarding.  Unless you’re into that.  Which I’m not.  So I’m setting up some ground rules to try to keep the process enjoyable:

1.  Getting Ready

For me, the date starts long before either you pick me up or we meet at whatever location.  I want to Get Ready.  Guys, I realize you don’t understand the process of Getting Ready, but it’s usually the best part of the date, so just let me have this one.  I like to spend a couple of hours in the bathroom cleansing, exfoliating, maybe putting on a nice calming mask, and then piling on about a pound of makeup and hair product so that I can look exactly like I usually do, but better.  I like to fake the I Eat Right And Take Care Of Myself look, because it’s never going to happen naturally.  I put on music, light candles, consult makeup books, ponder outfits…I’m a girl.  Let me do this and we’ll start out already having a great date.

2.  Too Much Information

I guess it’s good to have some warning, but I don’t really need to know about all your health issues on the first date.  Or the second.  I mean, if you’re dying of cancer, go ahead and tell me that.  That one’s important.  But if you’ve had a life-long battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, while that is certainly not any fun at all, I don’t necessarily need to hear about it at the restaurant, by candlelight, as we’ve just finished introducing ourselves.  That’s really more of a We’re In A Relationship Now kind of conversation, not a I Haven’t Yet Gotten Into Her Pants kind of conversation.  Think to yourself:  “If I were her and I had just told me this, would I be more or less likely to sleep with me?”  If the answer is more likely, go for it.  If it’s less, hold off until you cross the finish line.  Words to live by.

3.  Facebook Isn’t For First Dates

Please, please don’t friend request me right before or after our first date.  I want to be able to post about how I’m getting ready (see #1 above) or about how the date went and about how I rate you as a potential boyfriend.  I don’t want you to see that yet.  That’s the girl equivalent of peeing with the bathroom door open–which is another thing I don’t understand, but I’ll save that for a different post.  Also, things might not work out.  If you’re a jerk to me, I want to be able to post on Facebook about how awful you are and how glad I am we’re not together.  If you’re not a jerk to me and it still doesn’t work out, I don’t want to stare at your picture when it randomly pops up on my screen and start sobbing because you’ve ripped my little blind heart to pieces.  Then there’s the awkward phase where I know things aren’t working out but you don’t yet, or vice versa, and that just makes for a crap ton of awkward.  Just wait until we both know we’re on to something.

Ah, dating.  When else can a girl dress like a hooker and demand to be treated like a lady?  This should be fun!  It should be an action movie, a thriller, with chase sequences and fight scenes and maybe some explosions.  I’ve noticed there aren’t many of these things in most of the romantic comedies I’ve watched, but then, I’ve always taken a slightly different approach to romance.  Put your affairs in order, slip on a bullet-proof vest, and let’s go on a date!