I read a recent article about a woman’s blind date fiasco and found it, of all things, comforting. Seems she and a couple of her friends met a man for a blind date at a restaurant. The man offered to pay for everyone’s meals, but apparently excused himself to make a phone call and disappeared without paying for anything. A dine and dash of the absurd kind.
I’ve been on my share of blind dates back in my dating years, some good, some not so good. But since I trusted my friends who set me up, knowing they only had good intentions, and being the adventurous gal that I am, I was usually game.
In the 80s when I lived in the Washington, DC area, my boss said he had a friend who was perfect for me, “tall, dark and handsome,” was how Gary described him. “If I was gay, I’d go out with him,” he added. I was single and said sure. My blind date called me up; I refer to him as ‘my blind date’ not because I am protecting his identity, but rather because I don’t remember his name.
The phone call was cordial, friendly and came with an offer to see a concert at the Kennedy Center; The Four Tops and Temptations. Now this was getting good. We decided to meet at a restaurant for dinner first. When I asked how I would recognize him, his response was “I will be the one with the rose in my teeth.” A great concert, and he’s a comic, I couldn’t wait.
When I walked into the restaurant, there he was sitting at the bar facing the door with a red rose sideways between his teeth. He stood up, opened his arms for a hug, removed the rose and said, “Jennifer!” Pleasant yes, but not my type.
The concert was one of the best I’ve ever been to. The bands played to a sold out house, and people were literally dancing in the aisles. Some of us stayed in our rows while we danced, but we were all on our feet singing songs we knew by heart all night long. The date was memorable, but unfortunately the man wasn’t.
A blind date I had in Los Angeles has to be my favorite story. I was working for UNICEF at the time and living in the cutest carriage house apartment in West LA. Tucked behind the bougainvillea bushes, it had hardwood floors, beamed ceiling and was right off of Santa Monica Blvd.
During a Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s home in Bel Air, an elderly lady said she had the perfect man for me. He was a producer (everyone’s a producer in LA, I thought), and had just broken up with another Jennifer, the daughter of a famous acting couple. With all of her coaxing and endorsing, I figured why not. I was in my late 20s, too thin and at the top of my game. When you’re single and living on a nonprofit salary, you sometimes have to choose that is more important; a cool apartment or food. The apartment, of course.
We spoke on the phone and decided on dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s latest culinary haunt, the one where all the beautiful people would surely be.
I got all dolled up in my best California casual and opened
the door with great anticipation. But instead of seeing a nice smile and a gracious
greeting, I actually watched this guy’s chin drop…in disappointment. What? Was
he kidding? What was this man whose head was disproportionately small for his
body thinking? Sure this guy dated famous starlets, was supposedly a big time
television producer, but c’mon, what was there to be disappointed about?
We forced ourselves to go to dinner and I was back home inside of an hour and a half. OK, he was a little short and had a really small head, but I could overlook that. I just couldn’t overlook the boring Hollywood, name dropping conversation. Give me a Midwestern boy any day.
Blind dates are like taking trips to new places; you aren’t sure what to expect, but are game for the adventure; roses, thorns and all.
Quote of the Week: “You picked a lemon, throw it away, lemonade is overrated. Freaks should remain at the circus, not in your apartment. Make a space in your life for the glorious things you deserve. Have faith.” ― Greg Behrendt, He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys.