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I thought things were going quite well. We’d talked and laughed without any awkward pauses, we had some things in common, there was clearly something between us. But as the end of our time together drew near, she turned to me and said four words that shook my world completely.
“Pie isn’t a date.”
This annoyed me on two levels. One, I wasn’t even aware we were on a date; I figured this was a casual hang-out as we got to know each other – though, since it was technically my first date ever, I was under-equipped to know exactly what it was. And two, how is pie not a date? The pies of Bowland Bar (of which this had been my first) are pretty darn tasty, and anyway, surely it’s not the food that dictates the nature of an event but the people involved? Two people with a mutual attraction spending time together in a public place getting to know each other must surely be a date, even if both people are chowing down on some delicious meat and pastry?
It was pretty clear that we weren’t meant to be together – particularly when she told me we’d have to have a second date but call it our first date in case her friend’s asked how we met, because apparently pie is too weird a first date – but it got me thinking; is there anywhere on campus you could take someone for a lunch date and not have it considered weird? Obviously the bars are off-limits, because if you can’t take a love interest for pie at Bowland then a pizza in Grizedale isn’t gonna float either. So here are some places on campus you might want to consider should you want to woo that special someone over lunch.
Four words for you: All. You. Can. Eat. It’s perfect. You can take as long as you like on your date, whether you bomb out in ten minutes or stay the entire afternoon, and keep yourself fed and watered throughout for a decent price, so your mind stays focused on your partner and not your tummy. Of course, your dining buddy might not be too impressed if you decide to really take advantage and devour twelve slices in as many minutes, so it would be wise to pace yourself through the afternoon. Unless of course your Russian nesting doll collection and keen interest in spear-fishing sends them packing, in which case you can drown your sorrows in pizza! Win win!
Wibbly Wobbly Burger
Got money to burn? Go build yourself a burger! Not only is this place tasty as, but if you’ve not got much else going for you than fat stacks of cash then this is the place to show it off. Pretend you know what your potential partner would really like, and then just overload that bun with everything money can buy. Be sure to move the money slowly out of your pocket so they can see that you’re loaded. It’s way easier than boring them to death with your opinions on Paradise Lost and some Swedish math-cuddle-grindcore project you found on Bandcamp.
Let’s face it; if they don’t like Subway, then they’re not worth a minute more of your time. It’s also a great opportunity to see what kind of person you’re dealing with; nothing destroys attraction than watching someone ponder over their choice of bread for five minutes. And anyone who asks for their salad to go on before the sandwich is toasted is clearly a keeper. Seriously, you may as well propose to them right there on the spot. Just be aware that there is no sexy way to eat a meatball sub, no matter how hard you try. Trust me on this one. It never ends well.
The recession’s hitting everyone, and if my loan’s going down while my rent’s going up then I’m sure the same is happening to other people. It’s tough times, guys. Sometimes you need to bite the bullet and get a pasty. Now I know pastry-based goods have already been disregarded, but here me out; grab yourself some steak bakes, head over to that nice bit near Furness, have a sit down on the grass and enjoy a nice little picnic. Unless of course it’s chucking it down. Then you should snuggle up on the benches near the underpass, gazing at the broken Natwest cash machine as if it were some kind of metaphor for the ever-dwindling funds in your bank account.
A bit intimate for a first date, perhaps, but maybe the forwardness of the invitation will provide that spark your potential relationship needs to get going. Plus, it gives you a perfect opportunity to show off that new toastie machine your Mum bought you for your birthday. Chill out in the kitchen, introduce all your friends, and maybe head back to your room for a quiet episode of Made in Chelsea or whatever it is you kids watch these days. Just don’t forget to take down your depressing Post-its about how awful your life is before they come over. You don’t need them recommending psychiatrists straight off the bat.
Hopefully one of these places will provide you with an opportunity to get to know one another, reach a deep appreciation for each other, and make you realise that true love can be found, even with coursework deadlines looming overhead. And who knows, if you get to that fabled second date, perhaps the two of you can go get yourselves some pie? It’s not weird if it’s not your first date!
Man, I could really go for some pie right now.