Blind Dates Are For The Birdson Nov 21 in Dating Dilemmas, Front Page by No Ring On This Thing
When married people come across the unattached, they often feel the overwhelming urge to begin scheming, constructing, and devising a way to set you up with someone…anyone, really. Usually, they don’t even have a specific person in mind. You watch their face as they stare into the emptiness, mentally scrolling through their Facebook friends. Eventually, they land on one they can’t remember having a profile pic containing babies, or couples hugging on a beach at sunset. Sometimes, they even just grab random passers-by and ask…Hey, do you have a girlfriend? I often wonder if it’s the love or the misery they feel in their relationship they want to impose upon you. Who knows? But, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? So I agreed to go on a blind date with some guy who used to work with a co-worker’s husband several years ago who could be cute or not, fat or thin, Player or Homebody.
I wondered what kind of guy this one would be and crossed my fingers he wouldn’t give me the Creepy Tingles. (You know, the ones you get when you watch those kids perform on Glee.) Actually, if you look up the word “date” online, it describes how to find the best one…
When selecting dates, look for plump, evenly colored specimens. All dates have a single long seed, but they can range in shape from oblong to round. The date should not look dry or withered, and no crystals should appear on the exterior of the date.
Ok, so he should be fat, tall or just plain squatty, infertile, not old, and should not do crystal meth. Got it. That’s doable. I realize this definition refers to dried fruit, but none of my own guidelines have served me well thus far, so I’ll try anything. However, even after taking the previous description into consideration, I still wanted to know if he had the most important quality to a gal like me.
“Is he funny?” I asked.
“Humor was never really his strong point.”
“He did go to Harvard. So he’s super smart.”
Ok, so that means anytime his parents have to listen to their annoying friends talk about their kids, all they have to say is…”Well, our son went to Harvard.” Endless years of bragging rights for them. But for me, intelligent people just make me break out in hives. What the hell am I supposed to talk about? I did recently try and up my exposure to smart people stuff by listening to podcasts of This American Life. I was feeling good about that, until one day on my drive to work the subject matter was about how someone came up with the formula to accurately predict prime numbers. I found myself miming the jerkoff motion in my car. Do people with high IQ’s do that? Probably not.
My date called me to arrange a meeting place so I chose a restaurant/bar that was within walking distance of my home. Looking back at my most recent dating history, it was a solid plan seeing that I could make a run for it if it took a turn for the worse.
I arrived early and ordered wine wondering what my night would entail. Would he still be in love with his ex-wife? About to have a baby in 2 weeks? Or perhaps a serial dater/manwhore who was just looking to “hang out?” These scenarios have happened to me. And you wonder why I am skeptical?
Thankfully, he was none of the above because when he greeted me, I was pleasantly surprised. He seemed polite, soft spoken and had kind eyes. I thought he somewhat resembled Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Hey, I liked his last movie 50/50. Cancer is depressing, but he found love in the final scene. And everyone loves happy endings. (Yeah. Go ahead. I know you’re thinking it.)
I tried to remember all the advice people have given me about how to conduct myself on a date. However, it usually just ended up with them saying…”Just be yourself.” I always wanted to respond with…”Have you met me?” But, they have. And while they thought I was generally likeable, they’ve also never been on a first date with me. So here’s me just “being myself.”
He was so mild mannered that he was ok with waiting 20 minutes for someone to get him his first beer. I, on the other hand, stuck my hand up in the air, got the bartender’s attention, and questioned why we ever stopped using this gesture post college. It does seem rather efficient and it’s way better than snapping or saying “Hey lady,” or whatever creative nickname you think will get you quicker service. I was already acting like a dude. Oops. I didn’t order for him though, but I did harass the servers for my amusement.
I poked fun at the waitress’ disappointment in her lack of knowledge concerning the restaurant’s charcuterie plate. Even though I can’t even pronounce that word and prefer to call it like it is…a plate of cheese. I told her not to worry and essentially they were all a bunch of flavored mold anyway. She said she wouldn’t be losing sleep over it.
Also, when another waiter mentioned he was from France, I challenged my date’s aforementioned knowledge of being fluent in French and made him converse with said waiter. He spoke with ease and passed the test. I told him I could speak Russian. Or at least I had a Russian handyman grope me earlier in the day. Just as impressive. Overall, he may have found that humorous, but a tad innappropriate. My date, not the waiter. He found me icky because he was clearly gay.
Then, when sassy Asian cocktail waitress started throwing furniture covers over the chairs to signal it was closing time, I threw my hands over my head in a teepee-like formation and told her to just “Go for it.” She rolled her eyes and said…”Oh yeah. You’re a real funny one.” My date mentioned that he didn’t think she had much of a sense of humor. I thought she seemed like she would be horrible in bed and would probably just ask you to “Get it over with.” On second thought, encouraging your date to imagine what another woman’s bedroom skills would be like is probably not the best idea.
The night came to an end and overall I would say:
Fun conversation. Loved the hard cheeses, the soft ones made me gag. He didn’t use his phone, which for me would’ve suggested he was possibly texting his friends to meet him for another drink to help erase the evening from his memory. (Or at least he didn’t in front of me.) He paid, which puts him in the 20% of guys who actually do that on a first date these days. And, since the bar was within walking distance of my apartment, I wasn’t forced to experience that awkward ride home, which usually ends up with a premature and questionable make-out session while I wonder if my dog is whining and staring at the door because he thinks I am about to come home for the night.
Yes, I write about bad dates. But this time, he was a good guy. A really, solid guy. Albeit, he wasn’t the right guy for me. If I were to guess, I was a little too “wacky” for him. He seems like he would date the kind of girl who would never say the word fuck, and I think my count is somewhere near six…and that was before lunch.
All my friends just love my dating recaps and try and ease my disappointment regarding another dis-connection with…”It’s ok. You just haven’t met the right one yet.” Really? That’s pretty obvious. So, thanks? And hey…You are a person. Now take that advice and see where that gets you.
Shockingly, I felt really good after that date even though I never heard from him because it’s almost like I reached the end of a relay race. I usually have a lot of fun on first dates. Second dates are the biggest challenge. Mostly, I guess because being funny and a tad wacky may be a little too much for most dudes to handle. So I finally cancelled my Match.com account, stopped looking with envy at the photos of smiling couples on Facebook, and returned to writing my book. Most importantly, I again reminded myself that a life with No Ring On This Thing® is an amazing one. I don’t have to go see Yo Gabba Gabba Live! Or have to argue over why I don’t want to go to my man’s hot, ex-girlfriend’s BBQ. Or even have to sit across the table from my boyfriend’s mother this holiday season as she scowls at me because my Mac N’ Cheese kicks her version’s ass.
I have plans for my life and the possibilities are endless. Dating takes up so much of your time and now I can actually just start having fun. To those of you who are reading this and saying…Hell yeah! Hold up those naked ring fingers with pride and be thankful for the freedom you have. And seeing that the time is especially right. Happy Thanksgiving to all you single people!