The Blind Date

My new friend Kimba has gotten over her shock about being linked to a “fetish” blog, and has resumed posting her interesting stories of dating life. In response to a challenge from her, I’m going to post one of my own. Um, sorry, Kimba, but it’s a vanilla dating story. No fetish here. Hope you don’t mind.

A young man used to work for me, and over the course of several years I had gotten to meet much of his family, and then his girlfriend, and then his girlfriend’s family. I was having dinner there one day, when her mother said “You’re such a nice guy. Why aren’t you married?”
“I tried it once, and it didn’t work out very well.”
She suggested – insisted might be a better word – that I meet her niece, the girlfriend’s cousin. Since the girlfriend was very cute, I was hoping for a family resemblance.

So I agreed to be fixed up for a blind date.

Now, now, don’t roll your eyes. I’ve actually been on several blind dates, and I’ve always had a great time. The secret is to lower your expectations so that you can’t be disappointed.

So, one Saturday evening, I show up at the house, showered, shaved, and dressed nicely. The aunt greets me, and I go into the kitchen to meet Maria.

She was about 5’4″, 115 lbs, and well proportioned. A dark complexion, brown eyes, brown hair, and pearly white teeth. A very attractive young woman, indeed. She had on a light cotton, summery dress that accentuated her curves, a hint of cleavage, and just a little bit too much makeup (but after all, it was the 80s). I learned that she had a degree in Biology, and had been a teacher until moving to the area a few months earlier. And her family was concerned that she wasn’t social enough, and so was not meeting the “right” sort. We chatted for a few minutes in view of the family, and we soon left so I could take her to dinner at a restaurant I was fond of.

I know. You’re thinking that this is the antithesis of all those blind date stories. It’s not fair, is it? I’m supposed to have been set up with someone I’d have been embarrassed to be seen in public with, right? Three eyes, bad manners, chain-smoking, etc., right? Hah! No, indeed. I was rather pleased to walk her to the car, open the door for her (her aunt almost swooned at this), and drive off into the sunset. We chatted all the way to the bistro, getting to know each other. I lived in the next town, so the neighborhood was new to her, and I took the scenic route so she could enjoy the New England countryside.

We arrived at the restaurant, where we were fashionably late for our reservations (which means, just in time to be seated). The waitress knew me, and smiled as she handed us the menus and rattled off the specials of the day. And in true continental fashion, I ended up ordering for her. I suggested that she try a local favorite, and I had some fish of the day plate. I picked a nice wine (white, because she didn’t drink red – one strike there). We talked all during the appetizers, through dinner, and afterwards. It must have been fascinating to others sitting nearby, because the conversations touched on all sort of topics.

But eventually we had to call it an evening, so I took her home. We’d only planned on dinner, and she had some concerns that her old-fashioned aunt would flip if I kept her out past midnight, so I took her home. I offered to let her use my car phone to call her aunt so we could maybe go dancing, but she claimed to be too embarrassed. I let it drop; she was obviously shy and from a nice family, and the evening had been very pleasant up until then. I dropped her off (her aunt was waiting up), declined the offer of coffee, we hugged and traded a very chaste cheek peck and I drove back.

I stopped back at the same restaurant and went to have a stiff drink at the bar area, where they knew me. The bartender cocked an eyebrow. “You’re back pretty early,” she said, “what’s the matter, could get her to put out?”
“I, uh, didn’t even try,” I admitted to a few smirks and guffaws.
“Why not? She seemed really pretty. A bit shy, though, huh?”
“Yeah, some of it was shyness.” I took a sip of my Jack Daniels and water.
“Losing your touch?” the bartender asked.
I explained about the blind date setup, and said “No, it was more of a communication problem.”
“What? It looked like the two of you were doing a lot of communicating.”
“No,” I replied, “we were making a lot of effort, but the communication was much more of an issue than I’d thought it would be.”
“Why was that?” several people around the bar wanted to know.
“Because the one thing her aunt neglected to mention, was that she spoke almost no English at all!”

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in Communication, Dating. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Blind Date

  1. kimba says:

    Tom -that was even more vanilla than me in my vanilla moments.. Not even a pash.. Nice story.. she sounds cute – shame you couldn’t have made her night out a little more interesting.. 😉

    I hope people aren’t rolling their eyes at all my blind date stories..

  2. elise says:

    haha! Oh how funny. I went on a date with a guy from Venezuala who spoke almost no English. I guess that didn’t matter at all to him because he was all over me. I had to push him off of me at the end of the night when I agreed to one little kiss. Then he called me and told me, in Spanish, that he loved me. It was a real challenge to convey to him that while I thought he was really nice he was going a bit fast. I think the only thing I got across was, “mucho rapido!”

  3. Tom Allen says:

    Actually, the date was amusing. Her command of English was about that of a well-traveled tourist. My command of Spanish at the time was similar, although not quite as good. So, we were able to get some simple ideas out of the way – it was other stuff that became comical.

    For instance, she could not read the menu because it listed items according to the house name with lots of flowery descriptions. So I assked her what she thought she would like and tried to figure that out in order to pick a suitable meal.

    Her aunt spoke to her in Spanish, and it didn’t occur to her that her niece wasn’t up to speed with the language. After a year or so, she ended up moving back home because she could not get a teaching job. I certainly hope it was because I gave her such a bad impression of the men up here.

  4. Crash says:

    We live fairly close to a military base, and languages are an issue. In any one place you’re just as apt as not to hear English, Spanish, Korean, and/or German … or English inflected with any of the above. It can make something as simple as going to McDonald’s a challenge.

    I marvel at the children I see. The children are able to weave in and out of languages so seamlessly. You’ll see a nine year old speaking Korean to her grandparents and switch to English (with a hint of Southern drawl) to speak to her friends.

    I’ve lived here my entire life. This is a fascinating place to be a people watcher.

    So I can definitely see where you’re coming from, Tom. In fact, you handled it much better than I could have. My Spanish would have to get better to be classified as ‘bad’.

  5. Cat says:

    That was great, very funny. I have had the same experience but not because the date didn’t speak english. But because the date spoke a very abused southern drawl version which is almost as impossible to understand.

  6. Tom Allen says:

    The weird thing was that I didn’t expect it! The aunt assumed that her niece spoke English as well as she, the aunt, did. The girl assumed that her aunt would fix her up with a nice guy who’d be fluent in Spanish. And I never even gave it a thought.

    Actually, I was embarrassed because I’d forgotten so much Spanish since college. I used to be able to read at a higher level than I could speak, but that wasn’t much help on a date.

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