Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Blind Date & Preconceived Misconceptions

It was about eight months into living in a new city when I went on my first blind date.  I was newly 22 years old, in my sophomore year of college for the third time, and completely by accident finally at my goal weight for the first time in my life.  Working at my student internship in finance for a national company whose headquarters were local, I casually walked up to our department secretary (whom I hardly knew at the time) and asked if she knew any young, fun, single guys interested in dating.  I had kissed A LOT of frogs lately and my last date seemed way more interested in our busboy than into me.  (Not unusual for men from the NW I later discovered.)

"Well.." Suzy said, "I have a guy who is single and fun, but he isn't very young."

"How many times has he been married and how many kids does he have?" I asked politely looking for an easy way out of this disaster waiting to happen.  I considered myself still too young to be a step-mom or even a second wife for that matter.

"Zero and zero!" Suzy smirked, "...but he is forty."

Oh!  What the hell, I thought.  I had been with men older than that before, and I was only looking to have fun - not get married!  So I gave Suzy my phone number and told her to tell him to give me a call.  She assured me he had a good job in education and didn't rely on "some kind of family business" or "doing well as a mime" to make it in life.  He had a car, a job, and owned a home - already three times better than my last serious relationship.

Later that evening Suzy's husband's best friend Ken calls me up and the conversation goes something like this:

"Tell me about yourself, Ken" I inquired, "You know, what kind of music do you like?  What television shows do you watch?  What are your hobbies?"  At this point I was willing to roll with any response and kept telling myself to "stay open to possibilities" - which was the line from my last date when he toasted to us while staring at said restaurant employee's backside.

"My stereo is currently playing a little BTO and I am a really big Star Trek fan."  Ken replied quite confidently.

Now I am a huge music fan of all types from punk rock to blue grass to classical to you name it, but I had never heard the acronym BTO - or at least paid attention enough to remember it.  As for Star Trek - not a fan.

"What is BTO?" I asked completely puzzled and convinced it must have something to do with Gene Roddenberry.  I have always refused to believe that I was actually born in 1974 because my birth year feels so much more like 1954 - at least.  I know too much about the world before I got here and reading up on pop history just doesn't do justice to the random information floating around in my brain.

"You don't know Bachman-Turner Overdrive...?" he exclaimed, "Taking Care of Business and You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet?  They're classics!"

Stripper music.  This forty year old, unmarried, nerd rocks out at home alone to stripper music.  So sad.

The next part is the best.  Ken says to me, "I am 6'1", 200 pounds, blond hair, blue eyes and I model part-time.  So, how tall are you and how much do you weigh?"  Forty year old, unmarried, nerd actually has the audacity to ask a woman what she weighs!  The nerve of this guy is completely blowing my mind and I just can't help myself but to respond.

"Well, I'm 5'8" with green eyes and auburn hair - how much money do you make and how big is your dick?" I asserted with confident directness.

"Okay, okay, I guess I shouldn't have asked that one" he chuckled "but really - how much do you weigh?" he pressed.

"Well, depending on the time of the month I can weigh anywhere between 140 and 145 pounds," I lied, undercutting it by only five pounds but considering I was down 25 pounds from my top weight two years ago, I was feeling pretty good.  "Now you probably think I am fat," I commanded knowing how men and measurements are as inaccurate as natural family planning and population control.   I was used to the type of man who only knew a female's dimensions as defined on her Playboy centerfold information sheet written in bubble letters and hearts used to dot the 'i's.  Anything over 120 pounds on a woman - even if she was six feet tall made her a total cow.  I, however, was actually really hot with athletic long legs and a very nice rack.

"No, no - I don't think you are fat at all...do you work-out much?" he asked, "because I work-out everyday."

This guy doesn't need a date - he needs a clone to snuggle up with every night and to spot his weightlifting by day.

After an hour of phone conversation, Ken finally asked me out.  I already had dates lined up for the weekend because I didn't know I would be meeting Ken, so we agreed to meet for drinks on Thursday evening.  At this point agreeing to go out with this guy was strictly an anthropological encounter to find out what made this megalomaniac tick.  I asked him to pick a place because this was the city he spent his whole life in and I could barely find my way out of my driveway without making a wrong turn.  Of all the fabulous, unique, fashionable, and wildly delicious restaurants in our fair city - Ken picks TGIFs by the mall.  Seriously.

So I showed up in my tight red dress, wiggling past the baby strollers and high schoolers as I entered the very noisy restaurant and made my way directly to the bar.  As I sat on the bar stool anxiously waiting to order a very strong drink, a short, bald, poorly dressed man, with halitosis approached me from my left ready to make his move.  Ugh! I thought - this isn't going to be so fun after all.

Immediately I felt a strong arm on my right shoulder from behind and turned around to see the most charming smile and sparkling blue eyes I have ever seen.  "You must be Carrie," Ken said - like any hero who doesn't come 'til the nick of time.

"Oh thank God!" I heard myself murmur as Ken led me to his two-top bar table which I later found out he had been sitting at and drinking Hefeweizens for the past hour to calm his nerves.  So cute, and now it is almost fifteen years later and Ken lies asleep in our marital bed down the hall cuddling our two preschoolers and getting his rest so he can be the best husband and father despite being the absolute worst first impression of all time.

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