Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And Then I Went on a Blind Date

Being a 26-year-old dating novice is scary. Not that I had never been on a date before, but I had been in a relationship since college, meaning that the majority of my previous dating experience included watching a girl from across a bar full of underage coeds, waiting until about 3:45 and then finally offering to buy her a shot immediately before last call. Ah, the romance.

Then I graduated and spent the next four years in a relationship. Suddenly single after all this time, I was reluctant to go on any date at all, let alone a blind date. I mean, there was no such thing as text messaging the last time I went on a date. When a friend laid it out to me like that, it was like my father asking me where you put the postage on an email. Clearly I hadn’t thought this through.

But due to factors like peer pressure and getting drunk beforehand, I decided to do it. I won’t recount the story of how the whole thing came about (it involves a convoluted series of Cyrano de Bergerac–style emails and a lot of Googling), but come date-day I met “Brooke” (not her real name*) at a dimly lit bar downtown. I got there first, sat at a table and watched as a seemingly endless line of solo girls poured into the bar, each more uninviting than the next. It was like Russian roulette, the click of the front door opening signaling my possible death (yes, death) every five minutes. It’s not that I am shallow, it’s just that these girls were unattractive, and being on a blind date with an unattractive person isn’t like judging a book by its cover it’s more like judging a painting by its cover. Because for the ten crucial seconds it takes for the person to get from the door to your table, looks are all you’ve got. If they don’t grab you right away, there’s nothing to fall back on. If you like the coloring and composition, though, you’ll stand a bit longer, and then you’ll really start to see the painting, and become interested in its depth, its history, etc., and then you’ll read the book . . . about the painting? I don’t know, I lost the metaphor. But basically I’m shallow, whatever.

Luckily, Brooke was attractive. And sane. So halfway through the night, I, while in the bathroom, texted my friend John (who was my “out” should things have gone poorly): “it’s cool, she’s hot.” The night went better than expected (better than a solid 98% of all blind dates not conducted on a sound stage). And I learned a very important lesson in the process: Despite social, technological or geopolitical advances, dating will always be the same as long as scotch exists. Maybe it’s not catchy enough for a t-shirt, but it’s about as comforting as it gets.

* I figured I’d call her Brooke because when I was young my older sister would trick me into playing “Sweet Valley High” with her and her friends by telling me that we were playing “The Hardy Boys.” I should have caught on when all the crimes we investigated involved cheerleading and Tiffany’s new party dress, but regardless, I was always “Chad” and my make believe girlfriend was “Brooke.” And just remembering this now leaves me amazed not only that I can get a date at all, but that I can survive without a daily regimen of prescription medications.

Coming soon:
“And Then Things Got Back to Normal”
“And Then I Stole My Friend’s Xanax From Her Purse When She Wasn’t Looking”


Blogger greener said...

Ahhh, Sweet Valley...
I know what you went through though, and I share, because sometimes its nice to know you werent the only one..

I was in college; having fun, graduated and boom..relationship. almost 4 years later; single. I'm 26 now and its been... welll..thats rough to state.. really its been just over a year. And I"m great now. So it gets better.

But I dated, dated, dated or rather; rebounded rebounded rebounded for 9 months and then just finished a hiatus. Now I'm about to 'get on the horse again'.

Kinda exciting now

November 22, 2006 at 3:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger karla said...

Oh, my God! I think I know the girl you went on the date with! You gave several clues that lead me to believe this is a friend of mine, and I have to tell you, she's a GREAT girl. I'm happy you two found each other. Really, congratulations.

She has syphillis, but just use condoms and you'll probably be fine.

November 22, 2006 at 3:30:00 PM EST  
Anonymous JR said...

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Sweet Valley High! Thanks to the Company Bitch blog for referring me to this one. Welcome back, even though I didn't know you'd gone anywhere.

November 22, 2006 at 3:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

Blind dates are torture. The other person is usually trying to size you up to figure out what's wrong with you that would explain your singlehood. Actually, a girl once asked me flat out what was wrong with me (I think her flaw was that she didn't have an internal filter in her head).

girl: I'm still trying to figure out what's wrong with you.

Me: huh?

girl: You seem normal, but there's obviously something wrong with you otherwise you wouldn't be on a blind date.

Me: so if if you go on a blind date, it means something's wrong with you?

Girl: Basically...yes.

Me: You're on a blind date too.

Girl: Asshole!

November 22, 2006 at 3:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

I'm with greener - welcome to the world of dating after serial monogomy. This is what I blog about. Except I don't actually date much, so I have to come up with other stuff so as not to bore people. Re-reading this it's no wonder I don't date much.

November 22, 2006 at 3:51:00 PM EST  
Anonymous shawna said...

Oh Dan, Sweet Valley High had everything!! Intrigue, passion, humor...why wouldnt you want to be Chad... HAHAHAHA. Ok, I think I've got the laughter under control long enough to tell you I actually agree with your painting analogy. You have to like what the cake looks like first before you actually taste it, wait...that doesnt sound right either.

November 22, 2006 at 4:07:00 PM EST  
Blogger [Cherry] Ride said...

Please don't ever mention Sweet Valley High in a blog posting ever again, ya puss.

Although I complement you on your "painting" simile.

November 22, 2006 at 4:11:00 PM EST  
Blogger Matt said...

Having come back to the singles life after 6 years, I'm right there with you, a lot has changed.

You'll meet a lot of strange and scary women, but I'm sure somewhere out there exists a women with no baggage, issues, personality disorders, violent ex's....

Good luck!

November 22, 2006 at 4:17:00 PM EST  
Blogger Redacted in Camera said...

Two things: Firstly, you have a very good friend if s/he set you up with someone hot. You lucky bastard.

Secondly, trying to date after being in a relationship for so long sucks. Congrats on being able to get back in the game so quickly!

November 22, 2006 at 4:30:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like that "Brooke" girl has really great hair.

November 22, 2006 at 4:47:00 PM EST  
Blogger undercover celebrity said...

Man! I wish I had a brother to make play Sweet Valley High. I promise you, tomorrow when I'm driving four hours to visit my parents for Thanksgiving, I will be really bored. And then I will think of this story -- and that alone will provide me with 12.6 seconds of unbridled laughter.

I can't wait for that moment.

November 22, 2006 at 4:49:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're funny. If girls breaking up with you is what you need to keep producing this witty 'angsty' material that has me laughing with / at you.... then I hope you stay single forever.

your newest reader

November 22, 2006 at 5:17:00 PM EST  
Blogger White Dade said...

Hey dan -

Welcome back. I am required to saythat, right? Glad to see you've lost the bitch. I tinhk this wil lgreatly improve your content. Now that Larry has gone and become Mr. Happy there is a void left and maybe this new, darker Dan can fill it. Kind of like when Spiderman came back in the all-black. Anyway, I like you and all, but can I ask you a favor? can I be your designated hater? Like the guy who rips you foreveything you say? If it helps, I can comment anonymously but since everyone in this comemnts box seems to suck you off all the time, I tinhk you need a little adversity to spice things up. And, betwen you and me, I tihnk I'm al ittle more intellgient than Anonymous. NOt that I dislike you, but I tihnk your new format needs something like that. Let me know, pal.

November 22, 2006 at 5:37:00 PM EST  
Blogger The Boob Lady said...

Wow.. I think I'm in love. Seriously, this is hilarious. I'm glad I found this.

November 22, 2006 at 7:25:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Neil said...

I may be wrong, but I think texting friends as an "out" is something the girl does. The guy usually just says he is going to the bathroom and just disappears. But you haven't dated for a while, so it is natural that you didn't know that.

November 22, 2006 at 7:37:00 PM EST  
Blogger Bex said...

welcome back! i know your adventures in dating will provide you with some excellent material.

November 22, 2006 at 8:18:00 PM EST  
Blogger NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Neil, that's not true. Girls say they're going to the bathroom and then disappear too. Maybe that's just when they're on dates with me . . .

Dan: Rumor has it you have risen out of the ashes of The Belig. Intellectual. If so, welcome back!

November 22, 2006 at 8:20:00 PM EST  
Blogger Cath said...

I love finding other people who can admit they're a little shallow.

November 22, 2006 at 8:52:00 PM EST  
Blogger Rebecca said...

That metaphor was entirely too long and convoluted. I am hoping you didn't embark upon any such metaphors on your date. If you did and she didn't run screaming, or fall asleep immediatly, or hit you, marry her soon.

November 22, 2006 at 8:53:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kate said...

My worst blind date was a guy (from New Jersey) who didn't know New York was near the ocean.

November 22, 2006 at 10:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger All I Got said...

My worst blind date (Kate inspired me) involved a karaoke bar and his singing, "I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends," alone, while everyone booed and I sat at the bar sipping my drink and pretending not to be with him. Why did I agree to meet at a karaoke bar in the first place? Got me.

Blog is great. I look forward to reading more.

November 22, 2006 at 11:34:00 PM EST  
Blogger Laura B. said...

Oh how I wish I had a younger brother I could have played Sweet Valley High with! Instead I was dragged around by an older brother who made me crash bikes and mopeds and tricked me into drinking things spiked with Tobasco sauce. Anyway...

Love your blog! Welcome back! (Although, I am a new reader, so I never knew you went anywhere. I am so glad Company Bitch linked to you.)

November 22, 2006 at 11:38:00 PM EST  
Blogger Alejandra said...

Hmm I recently went on a blind date too, and while he was cute(ish) he was definitely not sane...

I wish I'd thought of that Sweet Vally Twins game. I used to build forts in my living room with my brother. We'd pretend we were camping and make a ridiculous mess. Then, to avoid having to help clean, I'd develop something called "Oak Disease," which can only be cured by laying on the couch eating microwaved popcorn while little brother cleans the massive mess. The sad part is that it took him over a year to catch on. I love being the big sister...

BTW, love the blog...

November 23, 2006 at 1:12:00 AM EST  
Blogger srchngformystry said...

after my five year relationship ended, i forced myself to date.

damn, it sucked.

good luck to you.

and by the way, youre hot.

November 23, 2006 at 2:04:00 AM EST  
Blogger mm said...

My worst blind date was drunk and took me to a strip club with his friends. Only we were both under 21 and couldn't get in. We spent our time waiting in the car for his friends to finish oogling boobies. Oh yeah, here's the best part. He basically urinated in front of me, telling me to watch out for cops. I don't know why I never called Casanova back.fu

November 23, 2006 at 10:51:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah being single. so exciting yet so terrifying. (i think i spelled that wrong. whatever.)

at least you live in a city with thousands of other single people so your prospects are greatly increased.

xanex is a livesaver, i'll tell you. it really is.

November 23, 2006 at 11:26:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alejandra- i made forts with dan when we were younger too!! being the younger sister, i dragged him (somewhow) into helping me arrange couch cushions and blankets, etc. he would then flip me upside down and throw me face down into the couch afterwards... but hey, we all turned out alright!

November 23, 2006 at 12:36:00 PM EST  
Blogger Crankyputz said...

I Can see why so many women have internet related crushes on you.

November 23, 2006 at 1:40:00 PM EST  
Blogger The Single Girl said...

Ah the blind date ... I hope the second date is as good as the first. Have fun enjoy playing the field

November 23, 2006 at 5:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kate said...

My worst blind date had manboobs.

November 24, 2006 at 12:53:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back Dan!
Don't be discouraged by your new status, just consider every date a new adventure. Do all those things you always wanted to do with whats-her-face but never did for fear she would think you were weird/twisted/sadistic/gay/came from the shallow end of the gene pool (ie - paintball/base jumping/handcuffs/facials/bowling). And if your date tells you you're weird/twisted/sadistic/gay/came from the shallow end of the gene pool - WHO CARES! You got to do something you always wanted to do with a chick (which made it a great date for you) and you never have to see her again if you don't want to!
Welcome back to the single life.

November 24, 2006 at 6:28:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan? Would you mind if I nominate you for the People Magazine's "Sexy Man" competition?

November 24, 2006 at 7:11:00 AM EST  
Blogger Sparkmonkey said...

Well, all I can say is...I remember all too well the date I went on this summer...After several hysterical (as in funny) phone calls we planned lunch. When I turned the corner there he was. Short, with a comb-over, a minute right arm and long, dirty fingernails. There is no rebound from that. It was a very long lunch. He might have been a *very* nice legs would not uncross the entire time. I was lucky I could walk to the car. Such was the fright.

Still single, I keep trying. *le sigh*

November 24, 2006 at 10:04:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should date The Company Bitch and you should both blog about it. The bloggy world would be so entertained for about a week or so.

November 24, 2006 at 11:33:00 AM EST  
Blogger Brutal Honesty said...

Welcome back to the blogging world, Dan!

November 24, 2006 at 12:40:00 PM EST  
Blogger treespotter said...

hold on Dan, i'm sure you said something about finding Jesus before, BEFORE the Xanax. this isn't some create your own adventure thingy, is it?

November 24, 2006 at 5:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger la commissioner said...

if i didn't know better, i'd say that dan's inner publicist had staged his disappearance in order to up his blog cred.

well, it worked. having you back in a new format put a smile on my face.

by the way dan - judging from the fawning posts (this one included) i have a feeling you won't be single for long....

November 24, 2006 at 6:18:00 PM EST  
Blogger Vegas Princess said...

Found your blog through Company Bitch's amazing gush about how wonderful you are. And she is right! I love your writing style and how witty you make even the most heart-wrenching depression seem. I will definately be back for more.

November 25, 2006 at 12:10:00 AM EST  
Blogger LoudMouthBitch said...

You are a very natural writer - I enjoyed your blog.
Blind dates, though?
I'd rather remove my own kidney's with a dull butter knife!

November 25, 2006 at 12:21:00 AM EST  
Blogger stephanie said...

Dan, I just found your post through another site I read and wanted to say that I love your blog. I started my blog after a long, painful break-up that forced me to move out of a sweet Brooklyn Heights apartment and into my parents' house...also having to ask to take the pillows with me. Now, two and a half years later, I live on the beach in Jacksonville, FL with my fiance. I was 28 when the break-up happened and dated blindly, seeingly, and everything in between. Good luck, it gets better than it is! I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts!

One other thing -- be careful of dating other people with blogs, they just might post all about you and then, when you stumble upon it, it is really creepy. Especially when they talk about sex. Yuck.

November 25, 2006 at 3:41:00 PM EST  
Blogger Renaissance Diva said...

Welcome back! Really missed your wit. Sorry to hear about all the crap that's been going on for you... but at least you have a nice apt now. & dating gets easier as you go along - I left my long-term boyfriend 6 months ago & the whole dating thing got easier after about 2 months. Good luck with "Brooke"!

November 30, 2006 at 4:27:00 PM EST  

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