It was Thursday, a date night. Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”, my favorite song of all time, was blaring in the background. My extra dirty Tito’s martini threatened to spill as I attempted to twerk in sky-high stilettos. Despite a sore hammy from too many TRX pistol squats that day at Kayley Stevens’s class at The PE Club, I could still get down pretty loooow. The night was already off to a good start… and I hadn’t even left my bathroom yet.
I look forward to getting ready to go out almost as much as actually going out, but it wasn’t always that way. Balancing work and play can be super hard these days. We’re all so busy and in a hurry that there’s often a blurring of the lines between the two, and it can take a toll on our personal lives. Giving ourselves some much-needed transition time, particularly when it comes to dating, is super important.
During my first several years of work post-undergrad, I was lucky if I could escape the office by 8 pm. I was always rushing and running around, schvitzing in my 3-piece Tahari suit and pantyhose, hair pulled into a bun. I reeked of stress. The last thing I was in the mood for was something social, especially if I was hangry, tired, or if it was freezing, raining, or, in some cases, all of the above! I was never in the mood for a date. And it showed.
So, I changed. Literally AND figuratively. I wanted to get excited about dating. I wanted to want to go out. Before meeting up with anyone, I realized it was just as important to switch out of my stressed out work mode as it was to switch out of my pearls and baggy boatneck work dress, speckled with soy sauce from my rushed sashimi bento lunch.
Whether it’s thirty minutes, an hour, or more, it’s really important to take some time to yourself to get in that happy place before you go from work to play, whether it be a first date, an event, or something else social. First impressions really are important, and energy is everything. Looking your best can help you feel your best, too. You don’t want to run into a date literally wearing your stress on your wrinkled, pit-stained sleeve. Whether it’s something casual or dressy, simple or sophisticated – go with whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident, and your glow will show, baby!
No matter what happens in the hours leading up to your date, take a moment to wipe the slate clean. Also, don’t go into a date with low expectations, but don’t build it up by believing this person is totally, definitely going to be THE ONE! When I was single and dating, I went into every date thinking it was going to be one of the best nights EVER. Whether my date ended up being my beshert, my buddy, or a total bum, I was still going to have a blast. Many of y’all piped in this week to say that having a “no expectations” attitude works well, too, and I agree! Being open, going with the flow, and just enjoying the moment is awesome. Worst case, you live, you learn, you laugh, and hopefully, at the very least, you get a good story out of it. Plus, going out gives you the chance to bust out a new outfit and/or try a new favorite cocktail, food, or fun activity. SO much better than sitting at home hearing about the latest celeb involved in a sexual harassment suit, am I right?!
I so firmly believe in the importance of transition time that I actually started a “pregame” service two years ago: I meet my clients before a set-up at a chill bar a block or so away from their date. I grab a drink with them for half an hour or so, helping switch them out of work mode and get ’em pumped up for the night ahead. If my client needs a toothbrush, deodorant, or a spritz of perfume, I come prepared. So many times, I’ve met up with someone who started off our pregame complaining about something: the weather, hair/weight, work, apps, traffic, you name it. By the time we finish a drink, we’re laughing and relaxed, and I know my client is in a much better place, more confident and psyched for the date ahead. Woohoo!
At this point in my life, I have a personal pre-date routine I swear by. Firstly, I try never, ever to rush. If time permits, I roll out my four B’s, in the following order: BFX Build (workout class with the unbearably sexy Juan Hidalgo or the pretty n’ peppy Jenna Langhans), bubble bath, beautification, and booze. Budget has always been an issue for me, so no frequenting Sephora or the salon for me. I finally mastered straightening my own hair, learned how to do make-up (both for myself and others!), and discovered the discounted designer deals on eBay and at Burlington Coat Factory. Who needs $50 spray tans when there’s Jergens Natural Glow daily moisturizer for $8/bottle instead?! Of course, during my gettin’-ready routine, I always make sure to put on some Oldies or turn my TV to TWC Channel 1926’s nonstop “Y2K Hits” (Britney and Backstreet, baby!). Going into a date, I also make sure I’m not hangry and that everything I’ve eaten that day was healthy and not too heavy or salty. (Naruto rolls, anyone?!)
I also try to give myself time to take an Uberpool and make new friends along the way to either a bar I love or a spot I’ve been wanting to try near wherever I’m meeting my date. With about half an hour to spare before my meet-up, I put my phone away, sit down (save the feet in those heels!) and order either a super spicy Bloody Mary or an extra dirty Tito’s martini. I savor every second and every sip. BOOM.
Many of y’all have mastered your own routines, too, and have pre-date products, songs, or styles you swear by. There’s totally a theme here – y’all are so fresh n’ so clean! Check it all below (my comments in pink), and scroll down to the bottom to see the #1 most submitted response… gotta go out and get this stuff ASAP!
And… the #1 most submitted response is…. LE LABO fragrance line!!!
Thank you all for your submissions!!! Now go have fun gettin’ ready!!!