I don’t go on blind dates. Don’t believe in them really. Something about them insults my basic need to believe in fate and soulmates. For me it’s about the moment you first lock eyes with someone and just know you have to talk to them. It’s not some manufactured encounter. “You should really date this person I work with. She’d be perfect for you.” It speaks as much to how little we end up being known even by those who have access to our most secret parts that most of the time our friends are just wrong. Bumbling and well intentioned.
I’ve been on one blind date in my entire life, and when I spotted the girl walking up to me I knew my friend had fucked up. He’d picked a girl he could fall in love with, completely forsaking the fact that we tended towards different types of women. She was refined and well put together. Beautiful and sharply dressed. Undeniably attractive. But I like angles. A bit of mess. Some form of rebellion. If she’d had a nose ring amidst all the right weaponry, like a holstered weapon hid in a bulge under a shirt, she was stacked and packed, ready for love and war.
If she’d added a nose ring to all this studied perfection, maybe we would have had something.
“Do me a favor,” I told my friend the following day, “next time, try and remember the kind of girl I’ve dated. I don’t need to date the girls you’d want if you were single.” That was the one and only blind date I’ve ever been on.
There has been an e-mail passed around some friends of mine. It comes with many forwards attached, comments from the people who send it along. It’s taken on it’s own life. And so, since at times I think we could use a little humor up in this space (I’m not this damn earnest all the time, really, I’m not) I thought I’d pass along the nightmare that was this poor girl’s blind date experience. She lists them out as rules, a guide if you will. So if you are brave enough to let your friends set you up with someone who could very well be the exact opposite of what you are looking for, perhaps remember her tips. They could prove handy. And if you ignore them… just remember that everyone has e-mail these days. These things get around. Enjoy.
Blind Dating Tips, by Some Poor, but Damn Feisty, Girl
1. Don't show up an hour late and tell me it's because you had to have a second work out in the gym, and didn't want to hit traffic. I didn't want to hit traffic either. I left the office at 5:30 thinking he was coming at 7. He called at 7 to say he was leaving the office because he went to work out. Then don't try to cover up the fact that you're going to be an hour late by saying what great abs you have. I have good ones too, and I am on time.
2. On a first date, never ring the bell and walk right in; wait for the girl to get the door. Walking right in is simply disrespectful, especially when you're an hour late. It is also just unnerving, as I didn't even have shoes on. While I certainly can't compete with you in all your glorious Italian wool, I would at least like to pretend that I am somewhat put together.
3. Don't scream at my dog and think it's cute that she ran away from you and went to hide. Also, don't go walking upstairs to find her. She ran away from you. And, by the way, why are you going up the stairs of my house?
4. As per # 3, don't take yourself on a tour of my house. Again, very rude and very brazen. Also, it makes a girl very uncomfortable as she is probably not prepared for a house tour. I started wondering if I had laundry piled up on the washing machine and if the beds were made, which made me nervous. You don't know me that well; so don't be taking yourself on a tour.
5. Don't be annoyed when all I have to drink is water, Pepsi, seltzer and wine. If you are annoyed anyway, don't tell me you can't believe I don't have an Italian sparkling orange beverage. Yes, I think he was serious. I had Pellegrino in the fridge but instead I said "seltzer” Now I know the error of my ways.
6. Don't become visibly annoyed when I accidentally had you make a wrong turn going to the restaurant. You picked the restaurant. You should know how to get there.
7. Don't walk into the restaurant that you picked, and then mock it for being a total whole in the wall. I thought the reason why we were going there was because it was a whole in the wall with good Italian food. The arrogance is lost on someone like me, as I just don't see the need for it. Also, don't make a comment that you are slumming it and call it "white trash Italian.” Am I a white trash Italian, certainly now not good enough to be out with you? Not exactly the kind of feeling you want your first date to have at the end of the night.
8. Please don't ask your first date to feel your "cut biceps" in public. Never.
9. Please don't ask a first date to check your shirt label to see that it has been sewn upside down by your personal Roman tailor. Don't then tell her you "order 20 at a pop", and now have to go home and check the other 19. Don't ask if I can see your ribbed wife-beater on underneath the fine Italian stitch. Equally horrifying.
10. When I get the name wrong of the judge you clerked for, don't make me feel like a bumbling idiot for not having memorized every NJ district court judge.
11. At least pretend to be remotely interested in what I have to say, when I am finally allowed to speak. When you start looking into space, I realize that I must be boring you, and then I stop talking. I literally just decided it was easier to stop talking.
12. Instead of telling me about how fabulous your life is, which includes your house and boat in LBI, Thanksgiving in Florence and skiing in Cortina, Perhaps just ask me one question about myself so I know this is all not a bad dream. I am not jealous, and find I am pretty blessed, but you don't see me yapping all about it, do you?
13. Don't tell me you had your college friends locate a yearbook to find my picture. And don't tell me they told you that I am your "perfect girl" or prototype of one. They know nothing about me and you should make your own decisions based on being out with me. What, you needed to get approval from the college crew? Also, isn't that just a tad bit stalkerish?
14. Don't tell me you carry 50s in your wallet because it makes you look like a "heavy
hitter." It just makes you look totally insecure about how others perceive you.
15. Don't look at my car and tell me that it is not good enough for you, and that you actually are considering getting an E-class (as opposed to my lowly C class). Seriously, what do you think is running thru my head when you're staring at my car and telling me this? What a great catch – the man of my dreams!
16. If you're having that terrible of a time with me, just walk me to the door and say good night. Don't come in and prolong your own misery. Now I am wondering what the hell is going on. And don't lie to me and tell me you had a really good time and leave 2 minutes after your cell rings—which was before 11PM.
17. DO NOT walk into a girl's house and say, "so you're really adult and shit". Yes, that's a quote. Where do I go from there? How exactly am I supposed to respond to that?
18. If I have the decency to actually call you the next day after this fiasco to thank you for dinner, do not be so rude that you make me feel like the dirt under your shoe is more important than your conversation with me. There actually is more... I came away learning nothing about the guy other than what his father owns (cars boats homes, etc), and that he wants to be a federal court judge some day. Oh, and that he just go a hair cut but he actually looked exactly like Andy Garcia with his old hair. Of course you did sweetie. But of course you did.
[NOTE: I changed or excluded a few of the details to mask the identities of the people involved. I don’t know what’s worse, this poor girl’s horrible blind date, or the fact that this fine Italian shirt wearing Don Juan is probably going to be on the Supreme Court some day. Consider yourself warned. Now get your date on!]