One of the annoying things about becoming an adult is that you look back on all the advice your parents gave you (and you ignored) and realized they were 100% right.
I can't even tell you how many times over the past five-or-six years that I've had a "If I'd listened to my parents, I could have skipped all that nonsense I just put myself through" moment.
Of course, part of growing up is figuring stuff out for yourself, but I am so much more willing now to seek out my parents advice than I ever was as a teenager or university student.
There is one thing though, one piece of advice that to this day I tell my mother she is wrong about.
"Laura" she'd say to me, "when you're on a date with a man, never order anything messy. The last thing you want is for his first impression of you to be anything but ladylike."
I disagree entirely with this statement, which is why I always order the same thing on a first date:
Ordering chicken wings on a first date is a gauntlet thrown to the man I'm seeing. In suggesting the restaurant and ordering the food, I'm not trying to seem "cool" or "laid back" - this isn't a trick in manipulation, but an exercise in honesty.
I love chicken wings!
I love hot sauce, I love eating with my hands, licking my fingers clean, dipping the wings in blue cheese dressing, chasing them with beer. I love that they're messy, that you order a bunch of flavours and share them. Chicken wings are a SOCIAL food that force you to make a decision together and engage one another over the meal.
More than anything, it sends exactly the opposite message that my Mom's advice sends. If the guy I'm with isn't interested in being with me because it's not "ladylike" or polite to lick hot-n-honey wing sauce off my fingers, then he's not the guy I want to be with anyway!
I love a romantic dinner as much as the next girl. Wearing a nice dress and heels, spritzing on the perfume, navigating 3 (or more!) luxurious courses, what's not to love? But there's nothing honest about a dinner like that at the beginning of a relationship. True relationships are sweat pants, Netflix and chicken wings, and I would rather be with someone who is happy to see me like that up front.
Of course these days I'm not going on any first dates. Kris and I are coming up on 4 years together and I'm 99.99999% positive I'll never go on a first date again (unless one of the Hemsworth brothers calls me).
But here's the thing: Chicken wing date night is STILL our favourite date night!
We love nothing more than ordering a few pounds of wings, a pitcher of beer, and then going to see a movie (we'll even order popcorn and really pig out!)
We've had some of the most honest, hilarious and touching talks of our relationship over chicken wings. While we eat together every night (TV off, phones away!) there's something so relaxing for both of us about chicken-wings-and-beer-date-night that we just laugh like crazy and talk openly about whatever is on our mind.
We plan date nights for chicken wings like most people plan for fancy restaurants. We'll reserve a day a week in advance and send each other text messages the day before:
"chicken wings tomorrow!"
"yessss so excited"
"It's gonna be awesome. What movie should we see after?"
"Ehn, we'll figure something out. Chicken winnnggggsssss!"
Ordering chicken wings on a first date (or ribs, or spaghetti and meatballs, or anything else messy!) shouldn't be something we're afraid to do for fear of our lasting impression. The right man won't be turned off by a girl who orders something she actually WANTS to eat.
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