MSN UK has some advice for all you single ladies on how to act on a first date. Surprise: it's pretty ridiculous.
Dating "rules" are usually dumb, and this list is especially bad. Proving yet again that, yes, women can be sexist too, Penny Isaacs and Sarah Lockett lay down the law for having a man over to dinner. The first few rules on their list of 10 are all about the setting: don't serve him champagne, don't put on romantic music, and don't dim the lights. OK, so they think you should not act like a romcom cliche, and I suppose that makes sense - and while it does enforce stupid gender stereotypes, that is kind of a given with stuff like this. They even include a few nuggets of common sense that I can get behind, like eat as much as you want, and don't criticize his mother (why this would even be an issue on a first date is beyond me, but whatever).
However, numbers 7 and 8 really bring the stupid:
7. Don't let him help with the washing up.
WHAT?! He should help clear up if you've gone to the trouble of cooking a meal for him, right? Wrong. When you invite people for a meal, do you expect them to load the dishwasher? No. And we don't offer to do it at other people's houses either. One key objective in cooking for a date is to make you look like a capable, efficient hostess who hasn't slaved too keenly over a hot stove all day. It must look as though you have whipped up a delicious spread without skipping a beat, AND without making a massive pile of dirty pots and pans. You are not auditioning as his housekeeper! Incidentally, clear up mess and conceal the work you've put into the meal BEFORE he arrives.
First of all, I do offer to help clean up at other people's houses. If any guest really wants to help with the clean up, it is ridiculous to tell them no. As for hiding all the work that went into the meal, well, they know. But Sarah and Penny apparently see the first date as an audition to be a '50's housewife, so clean bitches, clean!
And we saved the worst for last:
8. Don't forget about current affairs.
WHAT?! You expect me to recite ten members of Barack Obama's team? Well no. But you are hardly going to be whispering sweet nothings all evening, so you're going to have to hold a conversation with your Dish, and it will help to know something about what's been going on in the world. You don't have to be fluent in the Sub Prime Mortgage Lending Crisis but scan the headlines. Check out the news on MSN. Most men want a woman they can talk to. In our experience, men absorb current events as if by osmosis. Even if you just know the latest twists and turns in the Britney saga, or who won Strictly, it would give you something to discuss if conversation wanes.
Yes, because the only reason a woman might possibly want to know about current events is to impress a man. Men don't have to worry about this, because they just somehow know about current events, but we ladies have to work hard to memorize basic facts, like who is running the country.
10 things a girl shouldn't do on a first date [MSN UK]