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Once upon a time, a postgrad girl decided to pretend she had her life together and cook for the man she wanted to trick into dating her. This sticky conundrum has happened to more than one desperate girl, though, including me. Here’s how this timeline goes down.
Three Days Before: You send the invitation text, all too casually. He responds right away, because what male says no to a loving meal that has been home-cooked by his beautiful, classy lady? Just kidding, he said yes because he wants a free meal and to get laid all in one place.
Two Days Before: You find yourself planning the perfect evening in your head while Pinteresting several recipes. Don’t worry, the pictures look way better than the actual food will taste or turn out. How the hell does one buy a “Japanese blended shrimp sauce”? The ingredients are nowhere to be found at your local grocery store and the prep time is six hours–this causes six panic attacks. You realize cooking more than one course is just silly.
One Day Before: You completely forget about your plan to charm your man and focus on whatever dumpster fire your life became overnight. You decide to table the idea of cooking for a hot minute while you IV liquor into your system like a hobo.
The Morning Of: SHIT. You remember your plans and dash off to the grocery store. The updated game plan? You’re going to speed race through the aisles and hope you can spin some gold out of shit. Grab a few pre-made chicken breasts and some pasta. Do not attempt seafood. Do not attempt anything you have to “season to taste.” Do not forget to add a huge bottle of wine to the cart on your way out.
Two Hours Before: You’ve somehow Betty Crockered yourself a homemade meal, complete with actual silverware and plates that you washed for the first time in a week about an hour ago. It’s okay though, because you look adorable in the apron you bought at Anthropologie, and you’ve only worn it one other time. The meal is set out and the doorbell should ring at any moment. (If you actually have a doorbell, you’re way ahead of me. A loud, obnoxious knock on the door is more my speed.)
During: Don’t stare at him during the first bite, even though you want to overanalyze his reaction. Just keep both eyes on your glass of wine the whole night. Encourage him to drink excessively, too, because burnt dinner tastes pretty good when you’re drunk. Don’t ask him how he likes it. Don’t ask him if everything tastes delicious. In fact, don’t even acknowledge that you’re eating.
Even if you’re actually a good cook, you’ve built up the evening in your mind entirely too high. Blame it on Pinterest and your own self-doubt, but it’ll be one huge disappointment to both of you. Well, the meal will. Desert is always a happy ending for me.