I finally got up the nerve to ask this really cute girl out on a date. I don’t have much time or money, though, so I told her I’d take her to Downer for a nice dinner. How can I make our first date unforgettable? – Looking for love in the lunchroomDear Looking, Desperate times call for desperate measures, so you’ll need to get creative to pull this one off. First thing’s first: talk to Hilda. Chances are, if you ask nicely, she’ll let you use one of her lovely flower arrangements as a centerpiece. If you’re really lucky, she might even fold a couple of napkins into pretty shapes, which your lady friend is bound to like. Next step: choose your dining space. The Appleton Room is convenient because you don’t have to go too far to refill your plate, but it’s almost always crowded. Unless you don’t mind your date being interrupted by the antics of the Frisbee team or rousing rounds of banana chair, avoid that room. Which brings us to the Butte des Morts option. While not the most romantic name for a dining room, it is in French, and you can probably make it sound good if you get a pronunciation lesson (FYI: The French Club meets on Thursdays at 7 in Hiett). If the French doesn’t go so well, there’s always the Chippewa Room, which is usually quiet unless the ice cream machine breaks down or all the Kohler freshmen go to dinner at the same time. If you’re especially dedicated, you might reserve Downer E, maybe by pretending you’re holding a club meeting of some kind. Magic club is usually a safe one — if anyone asks, just tell them you made everyone else disappear. Finally, the day of your date is crucial. Mexican is a no-no, pasta is bound to cause embarrassing stains, and the garbanzo bean bonanza is just an all-around terrible idea. Tater tots are usually a safe option, as is falafel — it sounds exotic and can be eaten very daintily. Before the big date, make sure you shower and wear dark clothes to hide potential stains. Then put a smile on your face, pick up your date, and swipe her in!
I’ve been in class for a few weeks now, and I have developed a little crush on this totally gorgeous guy who sits next to me. How do I hit that up without it getting awkward later? -Crushing in calculus
Dear Crushing, Well this is a tough one, especially if you’re in the calculus sequence and might end up in classes with said “gorgeous guy” for long into the foreseeable future. That said, if you’re really serious about this, start slow. Begin with the casual smile, the perfectly executed pencil drop, and the, “Oops, I forgot my book; can I look on with you?” If that seems to be getting a positive response, it’s time for the study group. Have a few close friends agree to start a group, invite him along, and finally get your friends to call you and cancel at the last minute (make sure this happens while he’s listening). Then shrug, smile shyly, and say, “Well, I guess it’s just us then.” You can take it from there. The last step, if you’re brave and can remember middle school pretty accurately, is the tell-all note. Take a piece of wide-ruled paper, preferably torn out of a spiral notebook, and invest in a brightly colored gel pen. Write in your best handwriting, “Would you like to go on a date with me? Check yes or no.” Then create two boxes, one labeled yes and one labeled no. The rest is up to him. If he passes it back with a “no,” move on. Fact: He’s just not that into you. If it’s a “yes,” go for it! Besides, if it gets to the point where you have a terrible breakup and hate each other’s guts, at least you have it on paper that he did, at one time, agree to date you.