I went on a date the other day. Hold on... it’s not that surprising! I’m handsome -- just ask my mom. Anyway, I went on this date and it was pretty good, but like most one-on-one social interactions, there’s always a weird lull when one person gets an email from their boss, or a call from someone they have to take. This pulls them away from the conversation and the other person just has to sit there like a goon twiddling their thumbs.
And these pauses are ever so brief. Certainly not long enough to start your own call, and not really long enough even to run through Echofon and check out the last few hours of tweets you missed. While you could sit there patiently waiting, I have no time for that. I’m a man of action. So I whip out my iPhone and head to a go-to folder of apps that I know I can jump into for a minute if need be. Anything to pretend I’m as important as someone whose boss is on their case after hours.
And sure, the usual suspects are in there. I’ll always go quickly to Angry Birds to kill some time. Because playing Angry Birds on a date lull is like listening to Top 40 music on your iPod and making sure everyone sees. It says, “Hey, I like games and can appreciate the universal appeal of Angry Birds, so I’m not going to snob you to death.” And a lot of people appreciate that. It is the safe choice.
But you have to be careful, too. Say you hit the lull and you bust out Snuggle Truck for a quick race, except your date asks you about it with an expression that suggests she’s not sure whether to be worried or disturbed that you’re playing a game where you smuggle snuffed bears across a finish line. I’m not sure it would help your case if you explained the game was supposed to be called Smuggle Truck. No matter how fun the app is, that might be a tough hurdle to overcome.
This particular night I went with SuperRope. It’s cartoony, but in a much more Angry Birds way. And if your date notices you playing it, moving your fingers quickly all over the screen to keep your character on the ropes, chances are she’ll want to try it out, too. Suddenly you’re bonding over an app game and passing your iPhone back and forth over beers.
And as long as you don’t have another girl texting you on the side, that’s a pretty good way to beat the date lull, even if I do say so myself.