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Blind Date
by Walt Giersbach

This isn’t your typical blind date. Dating in the dark takes the experience to a new level. The guys are one side and the girls on the other. They can hear each other, they can learn about the other participants, but they never see each other. Visually impaired guys who deal with this situation every day lead the participants through the event. (CNN feature, Nov. 23, 2009)

I’ve been doing the online dating thing for awhile—Match, Nerve, Jdate, OkCupid, you name it. But the most horrifying experience came from my buddy’s invitation to join him at a real blind date. Meeting chicks with the lights off. I was ushered into a room by a guy with a white cane who told me my “date” was on the other side of the table.

“Hi, my name’s Julie,” a voice said. “I’m 23, a 5-foot ten blonde, wealthy and a doctor in neurology—that thing with the nerves and all.”

“Wait a minute,” I exclaimed, “what ‘thing’ with the nerves?” Although not expressly forbidden, I reached across in the dark to find her hand. I came up with a paw instead.

“Okay,” she said,” I’m sorry. You know that bit about no one really knows you’re a dog when you’re online? I thought it would apply here too. I’m really a greyhound trapped in a German shepherd’s body.”

Next date! I heard someone sit down as the chair squeaked. Then a second and third chair squeaked. A plummy voice said “I’m Ingrid and men say I’m full of life. My misfortune is being a slow vehicle in the fast lane.” I detected a note of Weltschmerz tinged with angst.

“That’s okay. There are plenty of slow vehicles in the tunnel of love. Where are the other two girls I heard?”

“That’s just me. All of me. I’ve been trying to lose a pound or two, but my problem’s glandular.”

Oh my God, I thought. She meant her salivary glands, and the F word escaped my lips.

“Well,” she huffed. “I expected a more articulate comment! You could have said obese, corpulent, oleaginous, stout, plump. You could have called me Gargantuan, a King Kong among queens, Godzilla suffering a snack attack. A whopper, a thumper, a hippopotamus, a whale, leviathan. I’m leaving!”

I slid into a third chair of opportunity as the facilitator shouted a three-minute warning. A melodious voice welcomed me. I sensed the turgid excitement coursing from her lips. She offhandedly confessed she acted like a lady in the living room, a mother in the kitchen and a hooker in the bedroom. As the seconds flew by, I was on the verge of jumping over the barrier and gripping her in my hungry arms.

Then the lights came up and I was facing my ex girlfriend—the one who had proven to be a mother in the bedroom, a lady in the kitchen and a hooker in the living room.

I don’t do blind dates anymore.