Dear L.A.Plume,
I recently was introduced to a man who is single, works in the engineering field, and seems relatively socially adept.

After some conversations and email exchanges, he called and invited me to have dinner with him. I accepted the invitation. He then asked me to meet him at a fast food, drive-thru restaurant for our date.
     I don’t care if the restaurant is expensive, or particularly care what kind of food it has, but somehow, a drive-thru restaurant is not my idea of a date. A little bit of ambiance, perhaps a glass of wine, these are things that are nice on a date, particularly a first one. Actually, the glass of wine may be essential. Can I take a bottle of wine to one of those places? Or should I just buy a nice bottle, put a napkin around it and drink it at home, alone, after canceling the date? And # 2 – how would I politely cancel? Is it appropriate to ask where you are being invited to before you answer?
Chardie Naie

Dear Chardie,
Well, he is packing a punch for a first impression, so be aware of that; it isn’t likely to get any better. Personally I don’t see how it could get much worse. The only exception to that would be if this is the best he can afford and then you may want to be alert to that also. You may have to wash your hair, or have a headache that night, because it seems like you may already have a headache just worrying about this.
     You could, also, show up with your bottle of wine and see if maybe he has a sense of humor and it is just a joke. Either way, have wine handy, I think you’re going to want it.
And just for the record, there are those people for whom polite is like a foreign language, they just don’t speak it.
     Upon reflection, I decided that perhaps a man’s opinion on this might be interesting. I questioned one of my roving etiquette consultants in New York City, Richard, who is a connoisseur of the dating scene. His first response was that you should go and have a nice time – that the restaurant isn’t what the date is all about, it’s the company. When I gave him that cross-eyed, are you out of your mind look, he laughed and replied that if the man asked you to a fast food, drive-thru restaurant that is all he thinks you’re worth. Or he is so inept that he doesn’t know any better. Either way, Richard said, it’s bad news.
L.A. Plume

Dear L.A.,
I love your column and need your help!
     I recently moved to a small town outside of Beaufort where I have found a local bar that I like to hang out in. I met a very nice man who told me he would introduce me to his friend who was sure to “like my type.” I finally met his friend and am very interested in him. When I go to this bar, he buys my drinks and talks to me, but before the end of the evening he disappears through the back door. This has happened a few times and I don’t know why. As far as I know he is single. He is very nice looking and I would like the relationship to progress; how can I ask him to explain his sudden disappearances?
May B.
Dear May,
Read on.

Dear Ms. Plume,
I like to go to my neighborhood bar in the evenings and on weekends. There is this woman who keeps appearing and sitting next to me at the bar. I don’t mind talking to her and buying her some drinks, but I really go there just to hang out with my friends and have a few beers.
     Early in the evening she is fun and friendly but as the drinks are poured, she makes aggressive suggestions. To make matters worse, after she has had a few drinks she takes her teeth out and puts them on the bar. This is not only weird but highly unattractive. I eventually just leave by the back door because I don’t know how to tell her I’m not interested and so far she hasn’t gotten the hint. What can I do?
Rusty on the Dating Scene
Dear Rusty,
Since you and May both read my column, I suggest you leave a copy on the bar and see what happens – I sort of, kind of, get the feeling you two might know each other. Let me know how it turns out.