If she does come over to your place, make sure you have enough toilet paper. Hang a hand towel in the bathroom and the kitchen. Clean cat hair off the couch. She doesn’t want to go home with cat hair stuck to her butt. And clean the cat box. If you have a dog, make sure the yard is clear of poo and the dog has been washed. Even if you can’t smell it, she can. Unless she owns a dog herself, she will be less than impressed if your dog (1) slobbers on her clothes, (2) sniffs her crotch, (3) jumps up on her or (4) barks for more than two seconds.
If you asked her, you pay for both of you. If she asked you, pay your half. You can offer to pay for her but don’t feel you have to if she’s the one who did the asking out. I know, it’s a bit of a double standard. But your female equivalent in the work world gets paid 70 cents for every dollar you make doing identical work, so quit bitching. And don’t use coupons/gift certificates on a date. Do you really need to save that five dollars?
Do not answer your cell phone during a social situation. Don’t recognize the number? Don’t answer. It’s your mom? Let her leave a voicemail.
Swallow your food before talking. Tucking it in your cheek like a squirrel is not the same as swallowing.
Again, I know I’m repeating myself, but geeks can be very (overly) opinionated: Be careful about criticizing the food, movies, books that other people like. Okay, some food (raw oysters), movies (“Schindler’s List”) and books (“The Da Vinci Code”) are just so awful that I would not tell you to hold back. But most of the time taste is a matter of opinion. Don’t be a fascist. People are allowed to like Frankie and Annette beach movies.
Up on Tuesday: Basic tips on what *not* to do if you want to be an interesting conversationalist.