I like to think that my first and only blind date happened to be the last blind date of all time. You hear horror stories of blind dates all of the time. I can’t say that my blind date was horrible since nobody was bodily harmed. I made a clumsy mistake during the introductory portion of the date, and there was no looking back from there.
The year of the date was 2005 and the internet was getting past the horrific dial-up phase of AOL and moving into the fast life of smartphones, wi-fi, social media, and Google.
Even in 2015, I am sure there could still be blind dates in the far reaches of Siberia or with indigenous tribes in Australia, but I can’t see them being possible anymore in the social media age of the United States.
Of course, there could be new relationships set up by friends or family. People meet all of the time off of sites like Match.Com, EHarmony, or the hundreds of other “single and wanting to mingle” sites, and go on dates without ever officially meeting each other in person.
The dictionary defines a blind date as, “a social engagement between two persons who have not previously met, usually arranged by a mutual acquaintance.” I personally don’t think it can be considered “blind” if you have ever seen the other person, even in a photograph.
In 2005, I just bought my first condominium, started my first year coaching college soccer, and I was teaching school. My student’s mother told me she had somebody she really wanted me to meet who was new to Winston-Salem. I agreed after the second or third time she asked me and she set everything up.
I didn’t look my age of twenty-five. I could have easily passed as fifteen. Until recently, I always looked a lot younger than my actual age. I didn’t lose all of my baby teeth until I was in ninth grade. I didn’t start growing until tenth grade.
At various points in my life I questioned if my parents lied to me about my age. I felt similar to when William Miller asks his mom, Elaine, how old he really is in the backseat of their station wagon in the movie, Almost Famous. Elaine, played by Frances McDormand, turns around and confesses that she skipped William two grades without telling him and he was really two years younger than he thought. When his mom finally tells him how old he really is, he puts his head back against the seat and says, “this explains so much!” (Click for link to scene).
My blind date and I decided to meet at an eating establishment on Fourth Street. It was probably in both of our minds that we wanted to have our cars with us just in case.
I was worried about being late, so I got there way too early. I had no idea if I was supposed to wait out front or get a table. I mistakenly picked the second option and got a table. The hostess, perhaps sensing my nervousness, decided to put the table right in the middle of the entire restaurant.
I was sitting there at the table for close to fifteen minutes, and with each passing second, I became more and more nervous. The waiter decided to make it worse by constantly coming back to check on me. He was one of “those” waiters.
Finally, my blind date arrived. She was attractive, but more of a Jennifer Aniston in Camp Cuckamonga than Jennifer Aniston in We’re the Millers (I am not insinuating that I could go on a date of any kind with Jennifer Aniston, just a difference of her attractiveness levels). I won’t get into much detail about my date, because I really don’t remember much about her.
This date was pretty much over before it began. Sitting there, palms sweating, I really had no idea what to do as she recognized that I was obviously the fifteen-year-old looking guy she was meeting, considering that I was sitting there by myself and looking very nervous.
For some reason my feet were underneath the spindle bar that goes across the bottom of some chairs. I decided to stand up and shake her hand when she got to the table. In what felt like slow motion, the spindle was under my heels and as I stood up the chair flipped over and crashed emphatically to the ground.
The restaurant was packed. I vividly remember a table of middle-aged women that watched the whole event happen. I heard some “ah’s” and some chuckles from around the restaurant. Not knowing what to do, I tried to shake her hand while still bending over to pick up the chair with my left hand. This plan did not work as I somehow let go of the chair and, once again, it went crashing to the ground.
By then the whole restaurant was watching. I am sure I was as red as a a matador’s cape as I finally picked the chair up. By this point I hadn’t shaken her hand yet and I don’t think we ever did. We sat down as we both probably just wanted people to stop looking at our table.
At some point I must have redeemed myself during the rest of the dinner, because she suggested going to a movie. She also asked me to call her again after the movie, but I could never get the chair drops out of my mind.
It would make a fitting end if the last blind date ever ended up being Katie, my wife (who I do think is more attractive than Jennifer Aniston). That is not the case. After we each got in our own cars, I never saw my only blind date again. I am sure she remembers me as that guy that never shook her hand on our blind date.