Saturday, March 5, 2011
Tales From the Blind Dating Crypt
When you think about it, blind dating has its similarities to crypts. Most of the time, the dates end on a less than desired note and you have to bury the memories in a place as far out and away of your head as possible. If you can't kill the brain cells that cling to those thoughts with liquor, an underground vault to hold them all is probably your next best option.
Setting me up on blind dates can go in a multitude of directions. I either get really:
a) Dry and deadpan, with a sense of neurotic verbal dialogue that makes it sound like I'm mocking you when in fact I may not be. Or I might just be. My wordplay will veer on the side of sardonic every now and then. It happens.
b) Stiff and too much like Miss Manners. My body language is very telling. I generally sit ramrod straight, cross my legs, and clasp my hands together, nails digging into the skin. I ask questions and keep the tone very cordial with a slight hint of interest. I don't say a whole lot in this situation unless asked. Several years of anal-retentive childhood behavior contributed to this.
c) Distracted by the guy in the next booth. Or the menu in front of me. Or someone's shoes or dangling earrings. But usually it's the guy at the next table making eyes that does it.
d) Relaxed and normal to be myself, enough to graciously accept compliments, make some off-color joke about the latest celebrity scandal, and just get the other person. This is once in a blue moon stuff, folks, and it's when you know you're with someone good.
e) Tipsy which leads to me getting too friendly, if you catch my drift. No further comments necessary.
I'm going to tell you about my best and worst (so far) blind date experiences. The good one was set up by one of my very best girlfriends in the entire world, whom I consider to be my sister in many ways. The other one was set up by my ex-roommate who I had a series of unfortunate events and issues with.
On with the show!
Terrible Tom Cruise Movies Bring Everyone Together
The utter irony of this story is that while this guy's face will be permanently etched within my memory bank, his name was not. The other day, I texted my good friend, Randi, who was the one who set us up on that fateful date and would undoubtedly know the guy's name. She replied she didn't remember it either. Go, memory banks, go!
In any case, I'm going to refer to him by his most distinctive trait: Mormon Guy. Not a bad thing either.
At the time, I was a junior in college and quite close with Randi, whom I met when getting lunch one afternoon after a costume class I had let me out early. Both of us were getting our meals to go, but decided to sit and eat together and get to know one another. This worked out so well we went on another lunch date the day after, and the day after, and again and again for the next two years. She's very funny and bright, like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. That's very punny of me, I know, but finding friends who instantly perk you up upon seeing them is hard to do. We had, and still have, a high policy of working hard for what we want, lots of trust between us on keeping certain matters quiet, and no judgment for anything the other has to say on taboo topics.
We also had a constant need to go out dancing on the weekends. Even though at the time she had a boyfriend and I was working two jobs and an internship, this did not stop us from going to our favorite dance club with our other girlfriends and partying the night away and escaping the creepers in the process.
One afternoon, Randi suggested we all go on a double date. Me, her, her boyfriend, and a mystery guy friend of her boyfriend's. I agreed, my anxiety quelled when she proclaimed the guy was "really cute because I wouldn't set you up with anything less." And her taste in guys is most excellent. She did mention he was Mormon briefly, but religion doesn't matter to me. If anything, I found it to be very intriguing and distinguishing in setting him apart from most guys I knew at the time.
The only snag in the situation was that the boys wanted to see this movie, Valkyrie. Remember that Tom Cruise Nazi war film? I'd like not to remember it, but if seeing a bad movie is what it takes to be with a cute guy, I'll make the sacrifice.
The night arrived and as per usual, I'm wearing white and black and red lipstick with heels from head to toe. The boys picked us up and I got to meet Mormon Guy in all of his hottie glory. Taller than me, dark hair, blue eyes, nicely dressed, and polite. He was the male version of myself. He reminded me of James Marsden (the other guy in The Notebook apart from Ryan Gosling that Rachel McAdams is torn between). Whatever they're doing in Utah is working out. Which is where he is originally from, fyi.
Conversation comes easy about work, school, all that jazz. He pays for the movie ticket (plus sign) and offers me overpriced concession food (thumbs up once more). But it isn't until we're all sitting together that the real magic starts. The magic of saying awesomely snarky and witty things about the terrible movie trailers and opening scenes of the film. My guard is slowly dropping and I mention something that pokes fun at Tom Cruise and Mormon Guy catches it and comes back at me with a nice spot-on remark. Before you know it, our banter is flinging back and forth between each other as naturally as a fight with family during Thanksgiving dinner. It's twenty different types of perfect and feels just right.
Behavior for the night: at an e) on the grid established above.
Of course the beauty of this night is that it's one night only. Neither one of us thinks to get the others number, especially since he is a missionary (Mormon missionary, who knew they existed?), but the moral of the story is that we had a great time and Randi knows how to hook a lady up with the very best. She should seriously replace that Millionaire Matchmaker host.
The "Wigger" Incident at Blue
If I could Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind remove a memory from my memory bank, this one would be the first to go. Going back in my head to remember this blows, but for the blog I'm willing to go the extra mile.
The guy in this one does have a name that I remember all too well (hint: the kid in the wheelchair from South Park) but won't write here because like Mormon Guy, he was distinctive in another different way. He was a Wigger, defined at Urban Dictionary to a T: "A male caucasion, usually born and raised in the suburbs that displays a strong desire to emulate African American Hip Hop culture and style through "Bling" fashion and generally accepted "thug life" guiding principles."
Of course, I didn't know this. My ex-roommate at the time "A" didn't fill me on it either. At the time, she and I were on rocky ground because she had this constant desire to go out and be "social" whereupon I was a year older than her and worked literally nonstop so when I got home all I wanted to do was watch Malcolm in the Middle and eat something of questionable healthiness.
At the time, she wanted to hook up with this guy "S". S was one of your typical frat-boy asshats minus the frat with the added community college and overtime dedicated to working his biceps at the gym. Everyone knows an S, he's king of the beer pong table, but has trouble doing basic division problems. In the line of guys I would later come to see file in and out of our dorm room for A, S would surprisingly not be the more idiotic of them all. He would come close, but not quite. You have to give him credit in giving this his one-night all and nothing more.
So the four of us would be going out. Me, her, S, and S's friend. We were going to this club in the area, Blue, that briefly went through a surge of college-student popularity in the spring and summer of '09. I took the night with a grain of salt. Neutral was the only way to feel. Nothing would happen, nor would I allow it to.
When the guys came over to our dorm room, I met him. He, resplendent in a wifebeater, jeans falling off his ass, chains (chains, really now?), and oh yes, a hat that bore no purpose except to be slanted to the side, in a straight-up "yo dawg" fashion. Wigger Guy had arrived and with his arrival came his inability to impress me.
"I've seen that movie!" He enthusiastically pointed to a poster of Bertolucci's The Dreamers on my wall, the French film notorious for its NC-17 rating I loved.
"Really?" I was part skeptical and part amused, "What did you like about it?"
He couldn't tell me. At one point I had to remind him it was in French with subtitles which was a definite sign that this night had a sour beginning already. He also went around and touched my things on my desk which pissed me off. I don't like guys to touch my things without asking and I certainly don't like for them to pick up important objects without my permission. Like my framed photo of Derek Zoolander my Dad made me as a present when I was in high school. It's okay for people to touch it with permission but when guys pick it up without my go-ahead, I feel like it taints the memory that lies within the photo. It's as if they're trying to pull out the innocence from that time by touching the frame and it just makes me close myself off further when I see it happen. That's just how I think of it.
We leave and go to Blue. The car ride is awful and once I'm at the club, I'm subjected to him telling me about his future hip-hop career. Yay? It's good to have dreams, young Wigger Guy. I leave the three of them multiple times and go watch a pole dancer perform on a pole in front of a group of people. She's very flexible. I applaud and she comes up to me after and gives me a card for pole dancing lessons I should sign up for because "you would be good at this!" That will never happen, but I keep the card anyway, as a souvenir of the night.
I get back to the trio who are all pissed at me for wandering off and amusing myself. During this time, it should also be noted that I fired off a rapid round of text messages to the majority of my address book and am in the process of replying back to the many people I haven't spoken to in ages. This used to be my fallback plan when trapped with people I don't like or know very well. So I just look to my phone and stay busy with that, all the while aware of the storm rising from S who is now drinking, as we all are.
After Blue, we go to someone's house party which makes me want to turn around and run out of and not stop running until I'm home. Everyone in the house is tanned and has popped collars and is blasting hip-hop. There are no books on the shelves and everyone is playing a noisy game of beer pong. I sit on the couch and pray for a plane to crash into the roof. Nothing happens. Wigger Guy disappears and I see a girl from one of my Communications classes across the room. Neither one of us expected to see the other here. It's the most awkward nod of recognition ever. I carefully watch A to see if she's getting her "socializing" out of the way and as per usual, she doesn't talk to anyone and winds up sitting next to me on the couch with S hanging all over her and avoiding me.
We get ready to leave and go outside where suddenly S turns to me and shouts, "Why did you have to be so mean to [Wigger Guy]?"
"Excuse me?" I replied.
"He was trying to be nice to you and you were mean to him!" S slurred.
"I wasn't mean." I shrugged, "And he wasn't nice."
We get in the car and go back to the dorms. I went directly to my shared room with A and closed the door, leaving her to neck with S out in the living room. At this point, I had no intention of leaving the room and would even sleep in my contact lenses if need be and climb out the window and use a public bathroom as opposed to opening that door. I looked at my photograph in its frame and felt a sense of sadness overwhelm me. Wouldn't it be easier to be the girl without standards, who would make out with a sign post if it breathed and called you "sexy." Wouldn't it be easier to pretend to care, when you really didn't. Sure it would. If it was though, this post wouldn't exist! So I'll take my chances with being my semi-judgmental and taking cues from Woody Allen in the humor department self. I like it that way!
Behavior for the night: being a) for the entire night until the moment I'm in bed, hashing out the night where I land at d) where I continue to stay until this moment.
Love to you all,