Three of my friends recently went on a triple date. That by itself is an ordeal, as it means having to convince three different women all to be ready at the same time, but there was another factor that made it even worse: It was a blind date.
We don’t like to call it a blind date anymore. We don’t even call it a vision-impaired date. We refer to it as “getting set up.” Some person who either pities you (“You can’t get a date by yourself, so I’ll get one for you”) or is absurdly presumptuous (“I know someone who’s perfect for you!”) sets you up on the date. The phraseology alone should tip us off that the idea is destined for failure: The way you normally hear people talk about being “set up” is as a synonym for being framed. They say it in movies all the time, as the police are dragging them away. “You swear word, you set me up! I’ll get you for this, you son of a swear word! Salazaaaaarrrrr!” Being set up is a bad thing in movies, and I’ve seen little evidence that movies are any different from real life.
No one likes blind dates. No one. Not a single person. Anywhere. (Note to people who are about to e-mail me and say they like blind dates: Don’t bother; I don’t care.) (Note to people who are about to e-mail me and say they met their spouse on a blind date: Your marriage will fail.) Yet we not only continue to go on them, but continue to arrange them for our friends, too.
In the case of my friends, they were set up to go with three girls to a church dance. (If you do not have the benefit of living in Provo, you are missing out on some totally raging weekend events.) Upon arriving at the dance, two of my friends were promptly ditched by their dates, whom they saw again briefly at the end of the night. The third friend later bemoaned the fact that his date apparently liked him quite a bit, as she kept dancing very close to him throughout the evening. He must have the patience of Job, this friend of mine, to be able to put up with the hell-spawned torment of having a girl find him attractive.
If you think I’m leading up to a blind-date horror story of my own, you’re so wrong that it makes me laugh at you. I’ve been on only a few in my day, only one of which I can remember with any clarity. (We went to Johnny B’s Comedy Club, and it was Funny Hypnotist night, and I thought the show was more creepy than funny.) To be honest, dates with people I already know have been far more disastrous, like the time a girl named Lucy and I were supposed to go ice-skating with another couple and Lucy announced just moments beforehand that she had a paralyzing fear of ice-skating, so instead we rented a movie and spent the evening resenting each other. (I don’t remember why she resented me, but I’m sure I gave her a reason.)
It’s more the idea of blind dates that makes me uneasy. We all fear the unknown, and any girl going on a blind date with me has a lot of unknown to fear. Should I tell her about The Incident? Is it even possible to bring up The Incident in polite conversation? Hey, who ate all the rolls? These are the questions that bedevil me as I try to enjoy ANY date, let alone a blind one.
So to all my well-meaning friends who for some reason think that even though they all hate blind dates, they should arrange one for me: Relax. I’ll get married on my own someday (well, not entirely on my own; I hope to have a woman involved, at least peripherally). And to the ladies: The Incident wasn’t even my fault. I was set up. Salazaaaaarrrrr!
The three friends mentioned here are Dave, Dan and Leif. It's possible I've mentioned one or more of them before, though I really can't remember right now and don't feel like looking it up.
At the time, this column was meant as a not-so-subtle reminder to friends and well-wishers that no matter how many times they asked, I would never, ever agree to a blind date. How glad I am to be past the point in my life when all anyone ever thinks about is dating and marriage! And by "the point in my life," I mean "going to BYU."