Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blind Dates

            So the thing about blind dates is…well come to think of it there are many things about blind dates. But the main thing is that I hate them. I’m 30, single, and living in Utah County, which means I’ve been on like a bazillion blind dates. (Side note: for those fact checking, a bazillion is a made up number. I’ve probably only been on like 50 or something. But it’s a lot). This means I’ve spent an inordinate amount of my personal time (and money) doing something that I hate. Lucky me.

            Why, Karl, you ask, do you hate blind dates so much? Let me explain:

            First, the person or people who try to set me up are almost exclusively married/in a serious relationship. I’ve observed over the years that some strange things happen to people that are married/in a serious relationship. They forget what it was like to be single. I’ve seen it over and over again. Take for example any of my former friends and roommates who are now married. A few weeks ago they could have been sitting on the couch (un-showered and wearing sweat pants) with me, eating fast food and complaining to me about women and how they’ll never understand them and how dating is the worst, and then BOOM! They meet someone and get married and the next day they have magically transformed into some kind of dating expert. They have now unlocked the secrets of the universe and if you would only do exactly what they did, you will be married too in no time at all!

            The problem I have with this is that no two stories about how people met are alike, and almost all of them involve a good deal of dumb luck. And then there’s that irrational and unpredictable factor that always seems to come in to play. Some people refer to it as love I think? And it seems like once that factor is introduced, any type of method or plan that a ‘dating expert’ could potentially give me goes out the window anyway, right?

            Anyway, the point is that, even with all their expertise now that they’ve mastered dating and moved on, the best way they have come up with to help others get married is to blindly throw two single people together and hope that they stick!

            It’s like the only criteria they are looking for when setting me up is that the other person is also single. Not age, attractiveness, intelligence level, (gender) or any other quality that might indicate compatibility. Just the single-ness of the other person.

            I can’t tell you how many blind dates I’ve been on (dates where I was set up by someone close to me, someone who I may have even spent hours and hours discussing how I felt about women and my preferences, someone I trusted) where I finally meet the person they’ve set me up with and it makes me wonder if they even know anything about me at all!

            (Side note: to those of you reading this who may or may not have tried setting me up in the past, just know that I’m still grateful for your efforts. I know you’re just trying to help).

            Second thing I hate: Why do you assume that because I’m single I either need or want you forcing me to date strangers?

            Hey I know I look pathetic and unable to talk to women or decide who I want to date on my own (ok, so there may be some slight truth to that in my case). But I do live in Utah County. I’m surrounded by eligible bachlorettes! I actually know quite a few girls and believe it or not a lot of them are pretty in to me! Some have even proposed marriage (false). The point being here is that I have a hard enough time asking out the girls I know and that I know I like. So why in the world would I want to go out with someone I don’t know at all? 

            There are many other reasons I dislike blind dates (including that it’s a form of normal dating, which I also hate). But, mainly, to me it just seems like such an ineffective and awkward way to meet someone. You’re meeting each other for the first time in a situation where you both know the other person is weighing and measuring you, how you look, how you talk, what your job is. And then passing some sort of judgment based on these surface/superficial qualities. And yes I realize that’s what dating is in general (part of why I hate it). But on blind dates I think that judgment happens almost instantaneously, at which point, no matter what judgment was made (most of the time it’s that neither of you are really interested in the other person), you then force yourselves to spend the next few hours together (which will feel like 3 days). One of you (me) also gets to pay.
            So, about 3 or 4 years ago (maybe longer) I just started dodging any and all attempts by people to set me up. I had just had enough. ‘I know how much you like talking on the phone to strangers so here’s a strangers phone number so you can call them and see if they’ll have an awkward lunch with you’ is all I hear when people try to set me up. So I’ve been dodging. But people are persistent. They must REALLY want me to meet all these single women they know in an awkward date setting! And so they persist.

            Well, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings anymore. So I’ve come up with some guidelines for setting me up. If you follow the guidelines I’m about to post, I will go out with the girl you think is single enough for me to fall in love with.

  1. It has to be a double date with the person setting me up. Look, if it goes bad (which it will) at least I can talk to you. And if you want to set me up badly enough to also accompany me on a possible train-wreck of a date, then you must be pretty confident in who you’re setting me up with. (This rule applies to you to Mom!)
  2. I don’t want to do any work. If you just give me the phone number of a girl I have never seen nor met and tell me to call her, I can promise you one thing: I will not call her…ever. I want the date to be planned and arrangements made for me to pick up the girl without me having to talk to her. Better yet, I just want to show up somewhere and she’s already there with you (you, the people I’m doubling with because you chose to set me up).
  3. She has to have seen a picture of me, preferably a bad picture of me, and still agree to go on a date with me. The last thing I need is for someone to go into shock upon seeing me for the first time (take that how you want). I don’t care as much about seeing a picture of them, because, you know, I’m not into all the superficial stuff like how someone looks. Because…what’s on the inside, right? (Actually it’s because I’m just going on this date as a favor to you and do not expect it to actually go anywhere so it doesn’t matter what they look like).

            That’s really it. Not to bad, right? I’ll even pay and everything! (For me and my date at least. Don’t get greedy now!). So let the set-ups begin!!!

            Actually, they have begun already. Thursday night, I had some friends meet all of the qualifications, and I went on a blind date…

            And in perhaps the most shocking turn of events in my short time here on this Earth, my friends who set me up, knocked it out of the park! And I’m not just talking one of those dinky home runs that barely clears the fence…I’m talking a Grand Slam, hit by Mark McGuire while he was on steroids in the late 90’s (side note: I do not like baseball). If you would have told me there was a person out there who loves going to BYU football and basketball games, but also enjoys watching a Lord of the Rings marathon with her family, and also I would be attracted to this person’s looks and personality, and also that this person was female, I would have spat directly in your face…ok I would not have spat but I would have at least laughed.

            At this point I’m assuming that you (the thousands upon thousands of readers of this blog) are assuming that this date went really well. If you’re assuming that, then your assumption, unfortunately, is WRONG!

            To back this up a bit, before the date as I got ready, I was also wrongly assuming that this was going to be a normal blind date, and was praying that it could end swiftly and painlessly (just like my own life will one day end…hopefully). But nevertheless, I prepared.

            Another reason I hate dating: I get anxious. Like borderline 'I need professional help' anxious. I’ve tried to explain to people that I don’t have an anxiety problem. I have an anxiety avoidance problem. My life is built around staying out of any situation that could potentially cause me to feel anxiety. Hence, the main reason I don’t usually date is to avoid feeling anxiety. But I prepared to fight the onslaught of anxiety by taking an antacid and a bunch of pepto-bismol. Which probably would have been fine by itself.
            But a couple of weeks earlier, word of my anxiety (avoidance) problem had begun circulating throughout my extended family. And a well-meaning relative had given me a couple of little yellow anxiety pills to try to help me out. I have no idea what they are and never intended to take them. Because you see, the problem with anxiety avoidance is that since I’m always just avoiding situations that cause anxiety, I don’t feel the need for any type of medication. Make sense? Good.

            Well, on this night, I just thought, ‘Why not? What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks. This is just some dumb blind date anyway’, and I took the mystery medicine.

            15 minutes later at dinner, my world began spinning. I was light-headed and dizzy and a bit sleepy for most of the evening. I definitely tried to use my best ‘game’ (of which I have very little already) because my friends had set me up with potentially the PERFECT WOMAN!  But I don’t think my ‘game’ mixed to well with the medicine. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I think my best ‘game’ became just kind of staring at her stupidly (most likely with my mouth hanging open) hoping she’d ask me a question or something (which she never did). I do know that I felt really weird, I lost a game of miniature croquet, and I had absolutely no anxiety… that is until the point of the date when I was supposed to ask her for her number or some type of information for future use in contacting her (again, this was maybe the perfect women…but also maybe just the drugs? Either way I blew it).

            I’ve now written close to 2000 words in this entry, without one mention of Mallory Everton, and it’s all been leading up to this one question, for you (the avid and massive readership of this blog). I’m sure I made a terrible impression, and I’m sure she wasn’t too interested in me on this date, due to a number a factors. But, I would really like to know if she is the perfect woman. What do I do? Good luck.


  1. Karl, I'm sure you already know what you must do: ask this girl out on another date, perhaps with the same friends along to cushion your falls, but on the next one try to avoid drugs, if at all possible. For subsequent dates, with or without friend-cushions, also avoid drugs, whenever possible. I expect to hear about this second date when I come to Utah for Christmas.