Rating: 4 stars
"DateGirl" Judy McGuire has been on so many bad dates that she gets paid to write about them. As the advice columnist behind "Ask DateGirl", she's heard about even more. Whether it's nebbishy blind dates wearing horrid plaid pants, or arrogant chauvinists who think the price of dinner includes hot sex, almost every dating faux pas you can imagine has crossed McGuire's desk or bed. So McGuire did the natural thing after her "collection" reached insane proportions: she wrote a how-to book.
McGuire has taken it upon herself to catalog dozens of bad date stories from friends, acquaintances, column readers and her own life. She has categorized them using a tiered system based on the Terrorism Threat Level color-coding scheme used by the U.S. federal government. She's even been so kind as to provide helpful pointers on what to expect if you continue a relationship with some of these bad dates, how to wiggle out of second date, and how not to end up in a book about bad dates!
Filled with the sordid details of nearly every conceivable bad date scenario known to modern man, How Not To Date is a humorous foray into schadenfreude. It's hard not to laugh at the tales of drunken alcoholics demanding that their would-be paramours support their habits on the first date, or teenage boys who show up in exotic sports cars but are too broke to put gas in the tank. Take pleasure in knowing it was another person who was subjected to the closet drag queen with some interesting fetishes, and that you aren't the only person in the world who has gone home with someone only to find they spoke with (and for) their many cats.
How Not To Date is a fun book that is easy to read and perfectly appropriate for an afternoon on the beach. It's also a good gift for that newly-single friend who is convinced that the entirety of the dating world has leprosy. For some people, it may even be viable as a way of telling a prior bad date the error of their ways, if given in a lighthearted manner (your mileage may vary). For those so inclined who have a tremendous history of bad dates and relationships, this book will lend itself well to being the foundation of a new drinking game. (Go to party with other single friends. Take turns reading passages. Take a drink for each passage in which you recognize one of your exes. Keep Tylenol on hand for the next day.)
Just remember that it's also a cautionary tale, and for the love of Pete, quit being a bad date!
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Sasquatch Books