Dating can be difficult.

It’s a science that requires you to test the hypothesis, “If I put myself out there, then I will attract a mate.” Unless you can find someone who is blind or who has little-to-no standards, the results are brutal. Especially if you’re a fat guy with an entry-level job, a massive head and a comfy bedroom in your grandmother’s house.

But eventually you will find someone. You’ll get an enthusiastic “fine” text response to your first date request and before you know it, you’re lying about your hobbies (hiking, running, reading).

The first date is almost always dinner. Some people choose to go to nice restaurants and others choose to say, “to hell with it,” and go to Olive Garden, the Italian-style Denny’s.

When I meet women on dating apps, I always want to know if I can take them to the Olive Garden, my treat. It’s a solid opener; a way to know if we’re compatible. If they’re the right kind of woman for me, they’ll respond with an enthusiastic yes.

Who is enthusiastic about going to Olive Garden other than high schoolers with the lamest pre-homecoming plans? I’d rather eat Chef Boyardee in a Quik Trip bathroom then eat at Olive Garden because I know for a fact the bathrooms at Quik Trip are cleaner to eat off of.

The right kind of woman for me is someone who won’t give me a hard time about the things I like. The kind of woman who will let me pocket all the leftover breadsticks and doesn’t care if we only discuss our favorite sexual positions and what kind of appetizers look best off the limited-time-only menu.

What better way to seduce your first-date than by cramming breadsticks into your pocket and discussing sex positions in an public restaurant while looking to save $2 on OG’s famous wet noodles and ketchup?

We’re at Olive Garden because it’s kitschy and cute.

You’re at Olive Garden because you’re cheap. You literally just admitted to pocketing bread sticks.

Many people don’t know that Olive Garden began in 1982 as an independent restaurant in the Greater Orlando area. 

Okay, now she’s just listing stuff from Olive Garden’s Wiki page now.

As a local who’s obsessed with talking and writing about Florida, I guess it makes sense that it’s a restaurant I’d frequent. The one I go to isn’t actually the original, but they’re all very much the same kinda place: same menu, same ’90s-style carpets, same matching uniforms on the waitstaff.

They’re all the same because that’s what a chain restaurant is.

…Would you like some wine, I ask. I always want wine. What kind of wine do you like, she’ll ask, and I’ll smile and tell her I can’t tell the difference. All wines taste the same to me.

This I can agree with. Wine is like soda. Apples to apples, it’s all the same. I took a wine class a few weeks ago and tried about six different wines. I kept repeating the Michael Scott line, “This is a white.” I was the only one laughing as I was drunk off my red wine.

But if we don’t tell our server that, we’ll get unlimited free samples. And I am all about unlimited free samples. Oh look, here come the breadsticks! Also free.

Two people eating means you get three sticks total. I like to think Olive Garden did that on purpose, so that you’re forced to break bread with your date. You must share with each other, touch hands. It’s all very romantic, if romance is deciding who gets to take the bigger share of the carbs. Also, if I eat my first breadstick quick enough, I can pick up the second one before my date even notices it’s missing.

Based on how much bread this woman is eating I would estimate she hasn’t pooped in months. Why bother going on a date? Just steal a basket of bread on your way home from work.

I pay the check. It’s the least I can do.

They filled up on free bread and wine samples. The check can’t be more than $12.

Author’s note: The Olive Garden advocate is, Kristen Barnett. She’s an award-winning writer and author. You can find her website and a list of her work here.

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