How to Make Your Car into a First Date Love Mobile
Just to be clear, by "love mobile" we mean "not a gross piece of crap." Filling your car with 500 roses and a baby polar bear wearing a romper might work for a third date, but it shouldn't be deployed straight out of the gate. Keep it simple. Here's how to not ruin your first date before you've even left the driveway:
Take your car down to neutral. Meaning, make it look as close as possible to the way it did the day you got it, unless you won it in a card game with a hoarding sea captain. Remove any ancient wrappers, receipts, melted candy, discarded jackets, feral possums that have been living in your trunk—anything that might gross out your date.
Set the mood with music. This is not the time for Sousa, even if it makes you feel victorious. But overt love songs, or, worse, overtly sexy songs can get weird fast. "Sexual Healing" makes a very awkward soundtrack to your halting first-date conversation about whether or not the high school cafeteria should bring back hot pretzels. An hour-long NPR exposé on butt disease is also not the best choice. Go with something everyone likes, like the Beatles, or play college radio, which 80 percent of the time plays music so unbearable it at least makes a good conversation starter.
Entice your date's senses. Non-terrible music? Check. Not swimming in car garbage? Also check. Now attend to your date's other sensory needs! Open all your car windows and drive around for a while, until the stench of the cheese fries that dripped under the gearshift two months ago dissipates, then hang one of those little fragrance trees from your rearview. We recommend the blue one. Vacuum your date's seat, so they won't feel like Funyun crumbs are crawling on their skin. And make sure to take the scenic route: only the classiest of your suburb's Long John Silver's shall be beheld by your date's eyes tonight.
Wrap your date in a warm illusion of road safety. Stop pumping the brake, don't borrow your parents' stick shift if you can't really drive it, and avoid parallel parking if at all possible. And please stop doing that cool "driving with one finger while leaning way back" thing. You look like you're unconscious, and it's terrifying.
AND REMEMBER: ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT! How do you prep your car for a perfect first date?