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Blind Dating…




You know the drill, one boy and one girl, both completely foreign to each other, and one free meal. We hook it up (courtesy of the Establishment and a 200 dollar meal at their fine restaurant), step right out and let love take its course… etcetera. And by love we actually mean subtle character observations and never getting it on. The catch? You both owe us 400 words. To take part in future blind dating email editor@salient.org.nz with some details about yo’ self.

My blind dating experience all began over a quiet beer on a Friday afternoon after a long week at the VUW School of Law. My two friends and I (who for present purposes I will call ‘Ben’ and ‘Pete’) were sitting in the Occidental taking a survey of the upstanding young women who had graced us with their presence this term. (For present purposes I will call this process ‘perving’.)
While the ‘perving’ identified plenty of fine specimens it wasn’t long before Ben sadly brought to our attention that while OGB appeared to be a Garden of Eden, it was in fact Fools’ Paradise. After he had explained the difference between a Fools’ Paradise and a Gangsters’ Paradise to Pete, it was concluded that the best chance any of us stood was to turn up to the law ball, get on the ran tan and hope that our mesmerising dance moves struck a chord in the heart of some lucky lady.
“Kiwi culture is soundly against young men ‘cold calling’ women!” Pete exclaimed “It’s not like you can just wander up to a prospective young lass after class and say hello – it’s just not done.”
With that I decided to take matters into my own hands. Blind Dating had to be the answer. It had all the elements of the exciting cold call after class’, but this person was putting themselves up to be called upon – how bad could it be?
As per usual I was running late, was shown to the table where the woman I was to enjoy dinner with was waiting.
The one thing that struck me as being particularly odd was her insistence to tell me almost instantly that she was by nature a pessimist (seriously). Now I’m no missile engineer but I never really thought that pessimism and blind dating were terribly congruent concepts. I did have to ask myself how this reflected on me and wondered for the rest of the night if she remained pessimistic on the topic of blind dating.
Nonetheless I enjoyed her company. We talked about high schools, families, writing music, a women’s erotic literature competition and of course how one ends up on a blind date. I think it would be fair to say that we weren’t really the others type, but we courteously exchanged numbers and parted ways.
In conclusion what have I learned from my experience? Blind dating is not to be interpreted literally – dress for the occasion. Try some today.
By the time I got to The Establishment, wet bedraggled and with sore feet (early buses are the bane of my life), I was already planning cutting ways to trash the loser PHIL 101 student I expected to turn up. I mean really. It’s a Salient blind date… However, I’m sorry to thwart the comedic potential but the guy that showed was six years older and ten times more attractive than I anticipated. What I hadn’t taken into account was that he actually might be feeling nervous about the whole deal. After he stumbled through the first couple of minutes I was ironically feeling a lot more amicable as I found his nerves strangely charming. He’d obviously invested a bit of emotional energy into this, and was wearing nice shoes. I like that. On the other hand the poor guy hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so I’m not sure how much jittering to put down to low blood sugar.
Dinner was nice. I explained I was poor and would probably take a meal away. He didn’t seem to mind. The entrée wasn’t exactly as described and my whitebait fritter was really a white-bait-ish omelette but we weren’t paying. The waitress was very pleasant.
Apart from our majors my date and I didn’t have a lot in common; he’s a liberal, I’m a socialist; he’s an optimist, I swing glass-halfempty; he likes endurance sports, I like cakes. Despite this we managed to pass a good four hours talking. It helped that he’s an awfully intelligent, funny person. There is something quite nice about meeting a stranger in a contrived, contained context with no agenda, as it gives you the perfect opportunity to talk freely without the usual involvements or preconceptions.
He gave me some very good advice re degrees and papers; we ordered a bottle of wine and I got not-so-quietly trollied. Overall he seemed like a principled, genuine, clean-living kind of guy, so probably not my type (I’m really not a very good feminist….). I’m loathe to admit it but I had a truly lovely time. I’d be happy to have him come to one of my next soirées and make my friends’ acquaintance.
I forgot all about my doggy bag. Damn it.