Sammy Westfall

The Principal Problem with today’s women is refusing marriage. Sweetie, your diamond-less finger is not a temple, and even if it was, the bricks would already be falling apart by now. “Not looking for anything serious” is a whore’s proclamation. Good news: it might still be acceptable for you to wear a veil in the next few weeks. Drop your hourly price tag and get on the bridal market. Upon mastering a few P words, your first date will definitely be your last — as a spinster, that is.

Practice! A first date is like a recital. Strategy separates the brides-to-be from cat cafe ladies. However, going on too many dates can backfire. Faux gentlemen like Wickham won’t care, but the Mr. Darcys will certainly rate your reputation. Avoid defamation by assuming a new identity each date: Angelic Andie, Kissable Katie, Jaunty Josie. Acting may seem ludicrous at first, but all of us need to learn how to fake it eventually. Use guys you don’t like as simulators for evolving your allure. Start from the desperate ones, then odd twos. Then move onto inexperienced fours or divorced fives. In between, work on your charms in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a mirror. Beware: we are not striving to fall in love with ourselves here. Seducing your reflection multiple times a day builds narcissistic attachment. Stay humble by diluting your flirting with momentary insults. Ask the mirror if it comes here often. Smile. Then comment on its unfuckable horse face. Smile again.

Preparation! Fix as many of your flaws as possible. If you’re struggling to detect any, pay special attention to Spanx or watch a few Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows. But it’s not really about you. To take your Preparation to the next level, focus solely on the effect it has on your date. An elaborate makeup look will demonstrate your financial security and increase the chances of him offering to split the bill. This will show his immediate readiness for family life with you. Wearing uncomfortable stilettos will grant you an offer to be carried. His dedication will be even more apparent if he offers to trade shoes. On first dates, weather is irrelevant. There is nothing he’ll appreciate more than being stripped of his coat. You want to make a lasting impression. He’ll leave with a sickness to remember you by. Cute!

Don’t forget to get your besties involved. As future bridesmaids, they need their share of practice. Escape call duty doesn’t make them feel important. Try to get them directly on the scene to make yourself comfortable. Get the photographer friend to subtly stalk you and take candid pictures for your future family photo album. Get the workaholic friend to switch careers from Goldman Sachs to the Olive Garden where your date is scheduled. Get the single hot friend in your car, drive out of state and leave her on the side of the road.

Process! Perform your Perfect Plan. Here, nervousness is your enemy. Make sure to utilize all props in your reach to avoid resembling a frozen mannequin. Making origami out of napkins or using utensils as drumsticks can come across as childish. But liquids are universally helpful. Feeling shy? Drink. Feeling confused? Drink. Feeling insecure? Drink. Feeling? Drink. If you want to connect with him on an extraterrestrial level, do it in Morse code.

“Where are you from?” – Gulp guuulp gulp. Guuulp.

“I’m from New York. Have you been?” – Gulp. Gulp. Guuulp.

“Your drink’s good, yeah? Same.” – Gulp gulp gulp guuulp. Gulp.

Pace yourself. Puking is the P you want to avoid, unless the reason is Pregnancy.

When you can no longer drink, you’ll still be glad you did because it’s time to talk. The deeper the conversation — the better. The key is to make him feel something — and if he isn’t into your lack of an eating disorder, Pity is always a safe bet. You’ve done it before. If your GPA isn’t good enough for Harvard, an ornate story of personal struggle might strike a chord with Cornell. Apprehensive about showing vulnerability as a strong and independent woman? See it as a free therapy session with some hallucinogenic lounge music in the background. Now, instead of counting the times your Psychologist’s brows go up you can count Pepperonis on your Pizza. There’s a chance you will be gifted a square of white batiste with his initials if a few stray tears grace your powdered cheeks. Destroy any trace of hesitancy by getting lip fillers — the ultimate tool to keep him distracted from what you’re actually saying. At the end of the night, you are guaranteed a pat on the back or even a kiss on the forehead if you Practice your storytelling enough.

If you are struggling to come up with topics, you have never encountered any difficulties in your life. How can you even call yourself a woman? Leave immediately. You don’t deserve any more love. Consider your eternal loneliness Payback for years of Privilege.

You just teared up over your dad leaving and your dog dying. Damn, he’s still yawning? Use the classic Powder-your-nose excuse to change your dress to one with a deeper neckline. He will notice, but he won’t question it. If you neglected to bring a spare, there is a different way to entertain. Provide him with a task by being a mystery to solve. You have to put a grain of surprise in everything you execute. For example, if your date brings you flowers, you can eat the flowers. How Playful! If he asks to explain, the most important part is to coherently formulate an argument in favor of your behavior.

“It’s the latest diet from Ireland, Balbh.” (Irish for “dumb”.)

“When I studied abroad in Provence, this was the aperitif of choice.”

Just make sure not to say, “This is my act of protest against sexism in the global fragrance market.” Unless he’s a self-proclaimed woke-trust-fund-hippie. Then you’re good to go.

A telltale sign of success is if he asks for a flower to chew on himself. Now he is dependent on you to make his life better. “She has a certain… je ne sais quoi,” he’ll definitely tell his buddies later. All men crave a Prismatic rainbow after years of monotonous monochromatic women expressing the same trivialities: honesty, intelligence, ambition, god knows what else. Just imagine telling this story to your grandchildren in 17 or so years!

It is important to showcase your positive qualities, such as sympathy, care, and helpfulness. You’ve got to remember that men are really just Plants. Proof: it may not look like it, but tending to his Penis might make it grow. Similarly, if your date happens to be shorter than you expected, pour a glass of water on his head. Be patient. He might not reach David Beckham’s height in the two minutes that it takes for him to vacate the establishment. But he’ll recognize your effort once he does succeed in growing. For superior effects, sprinkle him with fertilizer and learn exorcism chants specific to the demons of shortness. If you lack a witch in your lineage, learn a lesson or two from fairytales. You have to display your dedication. Cinderella’s stepsisters merely cut off their big toes and heels to fit into the slipper. To fit your Prince’s Petite Proportions, feel free to take a second bathroom break to amputate your ankles. Sharpen your nail file beforehand to minimize pain.

On first dates you tend to pay attention to details. Several red flags might pop out right away. Sometimes a person would be Perfect if not for that one or ten things that just Piss you off. As we’ve established, involvement in your date’s cultivation is essential. Feel free to bring scissors and cut off the things that you just aren’t into. Start with something physical, like his moustache, and later move into something like arrogance or income instability. With a bit of faith, trust and pixie dust, you can exorcise his soul entirely. This exchange establishes a sense of physical and emotional intimacy, and for first dates, that is a must.

Sometimes it is hard to figure out when the date is actually over. Explicit goodbyes don’t constitute closure. That’s when the one-hour rule comes in. If your date leaves for the bathroom and does not come back in an hour, the date is probably over. If your date talks to your waitress friend for an hour, the date and friendship are probably over. If your date rushes out the door while whispering “Psycho bitch,” regardless of the hour, the date is probably over. Run after him to make sure.

The best date lasts until wedding bells chime. Subtle hints are key. Organize daily Netflix and Chills to Say Yes To The Dress. Pick up a part-time job as a florist or cake decorator. Leave your browser open on Tiffany’s, Price: High to Low. Improvise the rest. Before you know it, you’re standing at the altar in an ivory — white is so last century — dress. The church man’s blurbs lead up to your moment of self-actualization. Your first kiss as a wife is cool, but focus on savoring the weight of several karats on your finger instead. Tap it with your manicured nail. It’s real.

Now, you can die happy.

Aya Hall | aya.hall@yale.edu .