Spring is a time to shake off the winter blues and emerge from your four... five... six-month hibernation?
The days are longer, the temperature is on the rise and you suddenly have the urge to grab drinks after work with anyone who’s willing.
Rooftop bar season is back, people. This is not a drill.
Another part of winter finally releasing its icy grip is your temporary excuse for turning down every guy or girl who asks you out or every blind date your well-intentioned friends try to set you up on is now expired.
No longer can you use the Arctic temps and mounds of snow as excuses to stay single another minute.
Not intentionally, anyway.
But, there’s no need to have your annual spring freakout. There’s a foolproof idea to ensure you can actually survive and enjoy (or easily abort) the dreaded awkward first date.
Batter up, kids.
Here are 10 reasons why a baseball game is the best first date you could go on.
The ballpark is open enough so you don’t feel smothered, but it's quiet enough so you can hear each other talk.
It’s a first date, so there’s a good chance you’re going to be dealing with sweaty palms, a pounding chest and a knot in your stomach -- at least for the walk to the stadium.
Whereas a first date at a bar or a restaurant could leave you at a disadvantage from the start -- what with the loud noise and tight space -- a baseball game provides the perfect blend of openness and distraction.
It could be overwhelming to go on a first date at another sporting event, like football, basketball or hockey, but a baseball game is easygoing and the action on the field rarely gets the crowd raucous enough so a conversation can’t be had in the stands.
Pregaming the game can be a great icebreaker (or a chance to make an early exit).
One of the best parts about a baseball game, or any sporting event, really, is the boozing. But, baseball’s leisurely pace fosters a solid drinking environment.
While it’s fun to drink at the game, the increasingly high prices of alcohol at professional sporting events should make you inclined to imbibe a bit before heading to the ballpark.
Take the initiative and invite your date to grab a few drinks at a local bar near the stadium.
This will also give you an opportunity to figure out if you’re all of the sudden not feeling too well or if you forgot to turn your stove off.
If you both said "yes" to a baseball game, odds are you already share one common interest.
A first date at any old bar or restaurant leaves you with no significant edge in terms of trying to find a way to get the conversation started; Facebook stalking has to be eased into, remember that.
But if you both agreed to go to a baseball game together, there’s your conversation starter right there.
Oh, you like this team? How did you first get into them?
Thank me later.
Plant the seed of baseball, and let the afternoon grow into the last first date of your life.
It’s pretty much guaranteed neither of you will be the drunkest person in attendance.
There are a few things guaranteed to happen at a baseball game: 1. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” will be played in the seventh inning; 2. Hot dogs will be consumed; 3. At least one dude will pass out in a pile of sweat, beer and sauerkraut.
Luckily, that will (probably) not be you.
As drunk as you think you are/are on your way to getting, there will always be that guy who looks like he consumed enough beer to flood a small village in Asia.
You could easily end up being the drunkest guy or girl at the bar, and that’s not a good look. There’s pretty much no chance of that happening with 35,000 other folks around.
Major League parks have areas where you can walk around and still catch the action on the field.
Four hours is a long time to be sitting in one place (bathrooms breaks and beer runs not included).
Most parks -- screw baseball in a dome -- are outdoors and have a variety of walkways and areas for you to stretch your legs and switch up the date’s scenery.
This will also give you an opportunity for a little private time away from the rest of the crowd. Maybe a trip to first base is even in the cards? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
And, if you’re both still interested in the game itself, there are televisions in pretty much every area of the stadium.
Not much thought has to go into your wardrobe for the day.
You’re already nervous about a multitude of things going into a first date, and another perk of choosing a baseball game is what you wear doesn’t have to be something you sweat over.
It’s a baseball game, guys. Let’s make this real simple: shorts/jeans and a t-shirt/sweatshirt are all you need.
If you should feel so inclined to wear a shirt representing one of the teams actually playing, go for the gold.
If things get awkward or the conversation stalls, you can always talk about the game.
Even if things are going well on a first date, or if you literally can’t keep track of everything you’ve said and want to say, the occasional awkward gaps in conversation are still inevitable.
It doesn’t mean things aren’t going great, it just means you two aren’t robots.
This is where the fact that you are indeed at an actual event comes into play.
When that natural silence occurs, simply turn the conversation toward the 18 dudes playing on the field in front of you.
Regardless of what aspects of the game you talk about, this is a surefire way to make sure an innocent pause in conversation doesn’t lead to 10 minutes of, "What the hell happened to the person I was thinking about letting touch me later?"
If it’s not going well, the seventh-inning stretch is an ideal time not to sit back down.
Let’s be honest, there’s always a chance a first date just won’t work out.
No matter how many times you fake laugh at each other’s jokes or pretend like you’re the least bit interested in what you each do for a living, you can’t force it.
While you can obviously walk out at any interval you like, the seventh-inning stretch provides a really great opportunity to pull the eject handle with minimal backfire.
Everyone’s already getting up out of their seats. You just plan on taking it one step further.
A baseball game is pretty much an outdoor bar with live entertainment.
That doesn’t sound like any fun… said no one ever.
There’s just something about drinking outdoors that lightens the mood and brings good vibes. And who couldn’t use some of that on a first date?
And while concerts and other sporting events can come with a high price tag, this is not the case for a baseball game.
The average price for a ticket in 2014 ranged from about $16-$50, but you can do even better than that.
You can buy the cheapest seats available, and it’s more than likely you’ll be able to move down if you’re looking to get closer to the action.
You can eat whatever you want and not feel guilty.
Hallelujah! Neither of you has to order a salad and pretend like you’re enjoying it.
One of the best parts about baseball is grabbing a hot dog or hamburger -- or any of the other glutinous creations that seem to be increasingly popping up at ballparks nationwide -- and not feeling bad about it after.
Fact: There can be absolutely no judgement about eating a Ball Park Frank and sipping an ice cold beer in section 300.
Feel free to share some peanuts or Cracker Jacks later in the game, too; it’ll only strengthen the bond you’ve forged over the beer and hot dogs.