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The Importance of First Dates

Kiki not only has to struggle with attempting to be famous, he has to juggle a dating life as well. In between sex and steaks, he finds out that making an impression is not as easy as it seems...

In the spirit of writing a tell-all column, it only feels appropriate to mention one of the biggest aspects about my personality. I may be a social whore, obsessed with fame and being influential in the Cairo social scene but, at the end of the day, I'm still human. My point is, even if I may try to act like a cold, heartless bitch most of the time (because, let's face it, that's the only way for you to survive in this city), I'm really not. There's a whole other side of me that very few people have had the (mis)fortune to see. Which brings us to this point; I'm just going to come out and say it. No fears, no restrictions. I mean, how bad can it be?

The truth is…I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan.

I have no shame. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm a sucker for the whole soulmate/fate/destiny institution; describe us as "star-crossed lovers" and my pants are already off. Therefore, it is only natural that I'd relate to Swift's pre-pubescent lyrics of unrequited love and high pitched screeching of how she found out he was Trouble, whoever the "he" may be. My favourite movie is Serendipity; that scene in the end where John Cusack and Kate what's-her-face reunite in the skating arena just gets to me. Every. Single. Fucking. Time.

Naturally, I always hope I'll run into my soulmate at every party I go to (those two or three bi-annual event invites I receive and that I get sadly excited about). And obviously, to no one's surprise but myself, all those unrealistic expectations I've built up about that hot stranger coming to talk to me at the bar (as I sip on a Cosmopolitan, obviously), come crashing down around me at the end of the night when I'm leaving/being kicked out for standing on the bar in a drunken haze and stripping.

The reason I'm writing this is not that I've never been on a date, but it's because I've been on one too many. It's hard enough without your bawab knowing about your date even before you do. Following this train of thought, I've noticed how many of the dates I've been on never got past the "first date" point. Is it my hair? Do I smell bad? It's my thighs: they're definitely the problem. First dates are like the Holy Grail of the dating scene: it's always a miss or hit situation. You either make a really good impression, or you leave such a bad one, you've doomed your Friday night to spending it alone, watching Friends reruns and weeping with your cat. If that isn't enough to make you feel under pressure, stressing over what you'll wear, eat and say might just send you into that frenzied, mental state.

I couldn't help but wonder, though…why is there such a huge hype surrounding the so-called "Perfect First Date"?

The thing is, though, all this cacophony is unjustified. If you think about it, no one is ever truly at ease on that first meeting. Lies, embellishments, tepidness; it's a super awkward experience. You can never truly grasp the essence of a person just from one date! Instead of just being myself, you'll find me embellishing on my job titles, so I'm not just a writer in a magazine, I am the "Head of Creative Writing at this glossy, urban and hip online publication!" I'd order a salad instead of a steak, and I'll drink red wine to seem sophisticated even though I fucking hate it. I suddenly become the modern day Bill Gates.

I have my fair share of disastrous first date stories. There was this one time (when Cupid seemed to be fond of me) that I managed to snag myself dinner at Zamalek's Blackstone. If there's one thing I like more than food, it's free food. I headed over to the posh restaurant, all decked out in my whitest tee and my tightest black pants (I have a rule: the tighter your pants are, the higher the chances this date will be a complete success), and I was relaxed. My date was perfectly nice, well spoken and completely mannered. We broke the ice with a bit of shop talk (as "Senior Operator" of Rahman Designs, I obviously know what I'm talking about), then the menus were served and I opened them with zeal. Everything looked so delicious, and as I sat there, pondering whether to order the Rib-Eye or just go for my customary, "I'm a Vegetarian" salad, my date gets a text. I don't pry; my world is that list of food in front of me.

Date: So, my friend's house is going to be free in 15 minutes...

Me: Yeah, I think I'll definitely have the rib-eye! *closes menu with zeal*

Date: What?

Me: What?

I started to slowly process my date's statement; an open invitation for sex on the first date? Did I do something that implied I was here for more than just steak? Was it my pants? It was definitely my pants, they were too tight. I KNEW I shouldn't have worn them. With all the common courtesy I could muster, I declined the invitation of carnal pleasure and walked out, trying to control my disappointment of never having the time to order that juicy rib-eye.

On the other hand, I've been on dates that have been spontaneous, ones that I truly wasn't interested enough to embellish in, and they turned out just fine. In fact, one of them resulted in a two-month long relationship (that ended in a phone call breakup). I got to order my rib-eye without having to dodge thinly veiled invitations for sex. Who'd have thought?

I've accepted the fact that not all first dates can be perfect. I've accepted that I will never meet that hot, mysterious stranger at the bar who will take a sudden interest in me and then sparks will fly and we'll burn the house down. I've accepted that Taylor Swift is a hipster-wannabe, who adds absolutely nothing of importance to my life except encouraging my general drama queen behavior (I still love her, though). We don't always have to spark, chemistry is not a pre-requisite; it's something that can be achieved much later on. The key thing is to just relax, be yourself (enough with the embellishments, Kiki) and let things flow on their own. I can't force it. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

Now, all I need to do is get myself a date so I can apply my new found Zen in real life. Tight black pants or not, though?