I had my first blind date at the age of 30. At the time, I was not interested in this form of dating but I got blindsided (pun intended) by an aggressive female co-worker at my brother’s office party.
For me, it was one of those months at work when you’re so busy, you skip lunch and forget to go to the bathroom. Long hours were a given on the project I had been given. My brother had just started at a law firm and they were having a welcome party for the new associates and their families. Since my brother was young and single he only had his twin brother, my mom and sisters and me. His twin got out of the party pretty quickly and I begged out due to work overload. My married sister and mom were going to represent his “family”. Since we were very close he called me and begged me to come to the party – he needed another single person there to balance out my mom and sister. I agreed to go. I timed my arrival so that my mom and sister will be there when I arrive. I left work early and drove the 40 minutes to his office across town. I was completely stressed from work. I walked into the crowded lobby looking for one of my family members. Luckily, I spotted my brother talking to the rest of my family and made my way towards them. My brother had disappeared. I barely get out a “hello” to my mom and sister when this peppy little blonde comes rushing up to me, grabs my arm and starts…
“Hi, you’re Jon’s sister, you’re 30, you’re single, my brother’s 30, he’s single, I want to set you up with him…bita abitta, bitta blab blab heet a heet a bitttta babble boo” My God, woman! She was talking so fast I thought she was a chipmunk.
In the meantime, I’m looking at my mom and sister who were just riveted at what this woman is saying. I could almost read their thoughts. “This is exactly what she needs, it will be so fun. Oh yes, a lovely wedding. I’ll help pick out the bridesmaids dresses. What will I wear? They will have such beautiful children”
This was NOT what I was hoping for at the end of a stressful day.
I glared at my brother, giving him that look that said both “Are you kidding me?!” and “Why do you hate me?!” My brother, in turn, had such an apologetic look on his face and a glass of wine for me in his hand. I pulled him aside and accused “is this why you wanted me to come to this? I thought you loved me! Are you mad at me for some reason?! Couldn’t we have just talked it out a little? Why this?”
He explained that during the course of the day he had been telling this woman about the members of his family that were attending the party. She asked if I was single and when the answer came, apparently, her wheels started spinning. My brother told her I would not be interested, but it was clear to him that she wasn’t going to back down. She moved in so quickly, he never got a chance to warn me.
I spent the rest of the night trying to avoid this woman, but my mom and sister were peppering me with questions about the possibility of this date. Finally, just to get them to move onto another topic, I had to follow my own advice and follow my nothing ventured, nothing gained rule.
Now, I had agreed to go on a blind date with someone that no one knew or had even met. This guy’s sister worked with my brother and he didn’t really enjoy this woman’s company. After meeting her for a brief time, I didn’t particularly like her either so I could only imagine what the brother was like.
The brother, “Tom”, called me and seemed relatively nice on the phone. Being an inexperienced blind dater, I gave him my address and he was to pick me up at my house for our scheduled date. This was before the era of cell phones. Too late, I realized this total stranger now had both my home phone number and address. Jeez, I hoped he wasn’t a serial killer.
The night of the date arrived and I found myself nervously questioning my decision to do this – “what was I thinking” – while simultaneously reminding myself that “it’s just a couple hours, one night of your life”.
None of my housemates were home when Tom arrived for our date. He politely walked up to the door to escort me to the car. Tom was not tall. At 5’5”, I am not considered a tall woman, but I was to Tom. Afraid my non-poker face would give away some of my more shallow thoughts, I quickly turned to lock my house door while I chatted the usual first time meeting greetings. After I had recovered my normal facial expression, we walked to the car. Tom opened my door and I got in the car. This is where the first problem began. Tom stepped into the car and pulled the bench seat up so he could drive in a comfortable position. Since the majority of my height comes from my legs, I was forced up far enough to notice I had developed a new freckle on my left knee. I was pretty sure if we crashed, my own kneecaps would knock me out before the windshield ever hit me. “Okay”, I was thinking, “be nice, nice thoughts, be open minded”.
We arrived at the restaurant right on time for our reservation. Tom was obviously thoughtful enough to have a plan; he picked a nice mid-level restaurant and made a reservation, this earned him a couple of points.
We began by making the usual small talk. We talked about our siblings, where we each had grown up, schooling and basic interests. Tom talked about his new interest in a healthier lifestyle, which included running, eating well and cutting out alcohol and all desserts. The more he talked, the more I panicked about what to order. He certainly didn’t seem open to the possibility of chocolate.
This was at a time in my life when I ate vegetables maybe once a month and I still don’t manage to eat fruit on a daily basis. Cookies on top of ice cream was a regular dinner option for me. My housemate and I made a weekly pan of brownies which served as both an after dinner snack and delicious breakfast option. She and I were also in a book club
that met monthly and consisted of dinner and a movie with wine. Needless to say, I realized there would be no dessert at dinner and I probably shouldn’t order a second glass of wine. Luckily, I did like to exercise, but I found myself wondering if he would scrutinize my exercise routine.
The date was moving slowly. During a little lull in the conversation, Tom said to me “so, did my sister tell you I was married”? Cough, choke, spit, “well” I reply, “um, no, she didn’t mention it.” Of course, she could have mentioned it, but no one in my family was able to translate the fast speaking language of chipmunk that she used the night of my brother’s office party. Even my mom and sister would not approve of me dating a married man!
Tom was still living with is wife but talking about a separation. Tom had just given me a nice way to end our short-lived relationship. My response was easy, “I’m sorry, Tom, I can’t date a man who is still married and living with his wife”… He dropped me off, I thanked him, and that was it.
There are many more blind dating stories with different situations but similar endings. There are also some with good and happy endings. Please feel free to share your experiences.