BLIND DATE   Leave a comment

Have you ever been on a blind date?  I’ve heard stories of people meeting on a blind date and ending up being happily married.

This is not one of those stories.

It happened way back when I had not yet trained all my family and friends to please, no thank fix me up with people.  I got a call one night from a good friend of mine.  She had a sister-in-law who had a friend who was lonely and wanted to date someone around his age.  Reluctantly, I was persuaded to give up my phone number to this guy.  Let’s call him “Lance”.

Lance called me and we talked and got to know each other a bit.  We talked on the phone a few times.  He was an apartment manager, never married, around my age.  He told me about a lady friend who he sometimes did things with, but they were just friends.  She was divorced with a small girl, and they all got along but were not in a dating relationship.

We decided on a Saturday night movie date.  I was pretty unsure about him, but I believe in giving people chances, and thought I needed to meet him in person before deciding.  And after all – once he met me he might decide I wasn’t what he was looking for, right?

Lance showed up promptly, and when I opened the door I noticed two things: He was about an inch and a half shorter than I (and I’m short) and his balding head was shining through his thin hair on the top of the head from the porch light.  Neither of those things are deal breakers for me – it just provided me a few moments of quiet amusement.

I invited him in and he was shy and nervous.  He wanted me to know that on a date he paid for everything and he drove, “That’s just the way I operate.”  Since I had no expectations of anything different, I just smiled and said that was fine with me.

We went out to his car and on the ride to the theater (he had picked a multi-plex about 30 minutes away) we talked about what movie to see.  “I like to see films that deal with issues, that make me think, that we can discuss afterwards”, he told me.  Uh oh I thought.  I HATE films like that.  I watch movies to be entertained, not so I can use my brain cells thinking.  Movies are an escape, and are firmly in the entertainment category for me.

I said something along the lines of “Oh – I usually go see a movie to be entertained.”  We got to the theater and looked at the queue and I picked out “Harry and the Hendersons”.  I don’t remember the name of the film he picked out, but it was a sub-titled film.  Ick.  Lance was a gentleman and agreed we should see “Harry”, adding “I think that film may bring up issues we can talk about.”  “I hope not!” I thought to myself.

He reiterated that he would pay for everything, and was all prepared to buy me candy, soda, and popcorn.  Now, whenever I see a movie in a theater I rarely buy anything to eat or drink.  No reason, really, I just don’t.  Besides – everything is so expensive.   He was visibly dismayed that I didn’t want anything to eat and drink, and I thought perhaps he was one of those folks who always had something to eat and drink while watching a movie.  I encouraged him to get something for himself, and he actually scuffed a foot on the carpet while looking down, mumbling, “No – that’s ok.”

So we watched the movie and he drove me back home.  And if you have ever seen that movie you know there were NO issues raised in it that we could discuss and pick apart at length on the ride home.  Nope – pure brain candy.  No synapses needed at all in watching that movie.

Lance parked the car and turned the engine off.  We chatted for a few minutes, and I invited him inside for a cup of coffee or tea, but he refused.  During our conversation he proudly told me that no drugs or alcohol had ever touched his lips (he was in his early 40’s).  He thought this recommended and commended himself to me, but it did the opposite.  I don’t have much use for people who are sanctimonious and proud of the fact that they have never drank alcohol or taken drugs.  If he was humble and thankful about it, I would have more attracted to him.  But to boast about it?  No, that was another red flag for him.

He then proceeded to tell me in detail about the friendship he had with his lady friend and her young girl.  He called the lady his “running buddy” because they would do errands together, or she and the girl would tag along when he did errands, and sometimes they would stop and get something to eat, or an ice cream cone.  “She’s not my girlfriend!” he must have said a dozen times in the course of the … monologue I guess you could call it.

Truthfully, at first I didn’t know where he was going with all of this.  I wasn’t sure what point he was making, so I politely listened.  And listened.  Several times I suggested we go inside where it was warmer and we could relax, but he refused.  As I listened, my puzzlement grew.  After about 45 minutes I finally understood.  Lance had been seeing this woman, and let’s face it – he was dating her, no matter how he tried to characterize it differently – for two years and she was starting to pressure him into a more permanent arrangement, or at least an acknowledgement that they were exclusive and dating.  And he wasn’t having it.

When he kept going on and on about it and repeating himself, while ignoring my attempts to end the conversation and go inside by myself, I finally abruptly interrupted him, thanked him (again) and opened the car door and got out.  He trailed behind me to my front door, I said a short goodnight, and closed the door behind me.

“Never again,” I told myself.  “Never again am I going on a blind date.”  We had several phone conversations after that, and I did attempt to explain to him, from a women’s perspective, how his “running buddy” could view their relationship and that it was not unreasonable for her to expect more from him after two years.  He kept resisting the whole relationship idea with this lady.  At one point I invited him to church and lunch afterwards with a group of friends and he hurriedly said, “Oh!  No – I couldn’t do that.  My mom fixes me lunch after church every Sunday afternoon.”  Yeah.  Oooohhhhh Kaaaaayyyyy  He also told me couldn’t go on a camping weekend with a big group of singles I invited him to because he couldn’t possibly leave the apartment building he managed, in case someone had a problem and needed him.

What I came to understand about him was that he had gradually slid into a relationship with this woman and her little girl, telling himself it was nothing, it was just a friendship.  When he was forced to face that it was more than that – he panicked.  He decided to go out on a date with some other woman, to prove to everyone (and himself) that he wasn’t in a relationship with this “running buddy”.  I believe Lance was very well off, as I found out he was a manager of several apartment buildings that he owned, and he just did not want to share that with anyone.  His whole life was his mom and his job.

Which was fine, if that made him happy.  Lance was not anyone I could be happy with, nor was I attracted to him.  When it was clear I wasn’t going to agree to be his “proof” that he wasn’t in a relationship with his “running buddy”, the phone calls dropped off.

That’s my first blind date story.  I did go on one more blind date in my life… but that’s another story for another time.  Do you have any blind date stories to share?

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Posted June 27, 2014 by Maureen in Memories, Randomness

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