Editor's Note: Mandy is working with PlentyofFish and writing about her dating life in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day. She is receiving compensation for the project. This is the second of three posts she'll write about the experience for xoJane.
Did you see Gone Girl? I won't tell you a single thing about the movie except there is a scavenger hunt that the woman creates for the guy in it, and ever since, I've thought: That's a hilarious first-date idea.
Lo and behold, I finally found a guy who was willing to try it out with me, an awesome bass player named Chris I met online. He knew ahead of time that I would be creating clues for him to find me, and he also knew I'd be doing it in Chelsea, a neighborhood he was familiar with. I tried to make my clues not too hard and not too easy.
In order to make sure he was up for the game (and familiar enough with Chelsea), I texted him the first clue over the phone.
"Check your phone," I said, and within seconds he was reading back the clue to me (which I highly recommend as a first-date aphrodisiac).
"So that's going to be . . . oh Mickey you're so . . . Ricky's. Is it Ricky's? That's my first destination?"
"Yes," I said.
"Where inside Ricky's? Do I just look around the whole shop?" he asked.
So many questions. It wasn't like this in Gone Girl. Then again I suppose that movie is not the best romantic trajectory to mimic, so perhaps that's a good thing.
"I can't say any more," I said. "Just show up there at noon."
I have several friends who live in the neighborhood who were eager to play this scavenger hunt game with me, thankfully, so I got one of my friends Sharon (who is always shopping at Ricky's anyways) to be on watch for Chris and I sent her a bunch of pictures of him from online.
I got a text the next day from Sharon around 12:15 p.m. Mission accomplished. She had delivered the first clue successfully to Chris who she said "looked mildly perplexed in the best way possible." I have no idea what that means. I'm just glad the first clue was delivered. Sharon then gave Chris . . .
I had given Chris my cell if there was any issues (I mean, I'm not a sadist), but instead of a text asking for help he just sent me a text that was of the Citipups pet store. Bingo.
Inside Citipups I had stationed my friend Michael who didn't mind taking a lunch break to play with puppies in order to do some freaky dating thing that made no sense whatsoever but I wanted to do anyway.
At 12:24 p.m. I got a text from Michael who wrote me to say that Chris had been given . . .
I got call around 12:45 p.m. from Chris.
"Hello?" I answered, half-afraid he had met some hot rival scavenger hunt creating chick on the path I had set out for him.
"I have no idea what this clue means," he said.
"Raines Law Room," I said.
"Still no idea," he said.
"I'll text you," I said.
I had actually left a note taped onto the door of the fake speakeasy joint (which is a really good first date if you're ever looking for one in the area — although it can be kind of annoying when you can't get in) with . . .
When 1 p.m. came and went, I started to get worried that I had maybe overshot it. My note could have fallen off the door of the shuttered-during-the-day speakeasy? Or he could have gotten fed up and just taken off? Or the worst possibility yet: He couldn't figure out the final clue, which I really felt was my crowning achievement as a scavenger hunt note writer.
At 1:15 p.m. I saw him arrive outside of Cafeteria, as cute as he was in his pictures.
"Cafeteria," he said, nodding as he walked up.
"Yeah," I said, smiling.
"I like it," he said. "Good choices."
We grabbed a table inside and we shared the mac and cheese with Gouda on top and an iceberg wedge.
Chris was, honestly, awesome. The idea to put him through something like this, though? I would say that was the opposite of awesome.
"Why did you want to do this again?" he asked me when we were sharing a brownie for dessert.
"Well, isn't making a dude go on a scavenger hunt like playing the ultimate hard to get?" I asked. "Also, dating is boring."
"I don't think 'boring' is anything you have to worry about," he said, smiling.
That was my first clue I wanted to see him again.
Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.