Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How To Date Like A Superstar

I had a date with John last night. I think everyone (and by that I mean the 2.4 people who read my blog) knows this by now. What you don’t know is how it went.

The problem with blind dates, particularly blind dates who can write somewhat charming emails or sound somewhat charming on the phone, is that you start picturing the man (or the woman) at the other end of the modem as the smartest, wittiest, sexiest thing alive and needless to say, totally head over heels for you. This has some natural pitfalls. Typically reality comes hot on the heels of such fantasies in the form of someone too young/too old, too hairy/too bald, too gay/not enough gay, too kooky/not kooky yada yada and you realize the love of your life isn’t coming. Not tonight anyway.

I am nothing if not self-aware. I may project my fantasies onto some guy I have never met but I do this fully conscious that I am doing it. This, however, creates a slight little problem as a sense of impending doom seems to invariably settle over me just before any actual meeting (part of the reason I avoid blind dates as a rule.) And to compound my woes this time there is also the fact that my last official first date was with my now ex boyfriend more than 4 years ago. To say I have been out of the loop and a little out of practice is to put it mildly.

So, naturally, when I step out of the car last night outside the charming Italian bistro we had picked for our rendezvous I take a little longer straightening my skirt and adjusting my blouse than is strictly necessary. Finally, unable to delay the inevitable any longer and partly out of a sense of fatalistic resignation I spur myself into action and find myself standing in a dimly lit bar.

Right off the bat, I decide to start things off on the right foot. I do this by introducing myself to the wrong guy. As a bonus I do this within earshot of the right guy. Then after I finally locate John I realize to my utter shock and dismay (this kind of thing isn’t supposed to happen on a blind date) that he's drop dead gorgeous. Tall, lanky, beautiful. This is quite unheard of. In The Blind Dating Rules From Hell, chapter 2 verse 3, it is clearly stated that blind dates should not be gorgeous. In fact, if possible they should all wear one eye patch, have a few teeth noticeably missing and freely spit food on their dates while chewing with their mouths open. Shaken to the core by this anomaly (and the fact that my date is actually prettier than me) I proceed to salvage my lost composure the best I can by telling him he is pretty and then asking if he is smart too.

Not sure what I was going for there. Some kind of breezy careless elegance or brazen humor perhaps. Unfortunately, it doesn't come out either way.

After we recover from this brief sitcom-pilot-gone-horribly-wrong intro we both manage to make it to our table without any further mishaps. And then I sit down and decide it would be hilarious to regale him with a joke I had just heard. It involves dead people. (dead people = funny)

It is very funny until he gently mentions that his grandmother died last month.

At this point, flustered by this series of missteps I reach for my wine glass for a bracing sip and promptly knock it over. Now there’s an art to knocking your wine glass over in a restaurant on a first date. a) You have to make sure it’s red wine, b) You have to make sure the tablecloth's pristine white (better to see you with, my love) and c) For triple points you should also try to make sure it’s all happening in an über-sophisticated, the Queen lunches here on her days off kinda place where people never ever do anything like this.

Luckily I manage to hit the holy trifecta. (Yes, I am a chronic overachiever.)

When the main course arrives I find myself oddly subdued, partly struck dumb by my date’s irrepressible good manners in the face of this continued hilarity and partly struck dumb by my own sudden social ineptitude. But not for long.

Halfway through dinner I notice him gently gesturing towards my hair. Now I have pretty hair even if I do say so myself. It is soft and shiny and immensely touchable. (I should know. I keep touching it) As a special treat for this day I had worn it sleekly styled, straight, parted on the side and falling in a sweeping curtain, a waterfall, framing my face.

I cheer up a little thinking he is complimenting my hair only to look down and realize that the tips of my hair had been happily swirling around in one sauce-y corner of my plate.

I freeze in horror. (By this point I had given up all pretenses of sophistication. It’s a little hard to pull off with alfredo sauce in your hair anyway.) I stare at my hair morosely until he brings me out of my funk with a proffered napkin which I accept with a mumbled word of thanks that could have been in Swahili for all you could tell and become utterly engrossed in the act of cleaning. (Cleanliness is next to Godliness!)

I cheer up again when the dessert comes. I figure, this could be the last time a guy voluntarily buys me food.

And then, as a grand finale, because nothing up until then had been quite exciting enough, when he walks me to my car and gallantly reaches for the door handle I decide to intercept him with a swift ninja move of mine and proceed to jam the corner of the car door squarely in his chin. Only I don't notice this because I am too wrapped up in my own head. So while he is bleeding on his beautiful blue shirt I get into the car, adjust the mirror, pull the seat forward and shift into drive. He continues to stand and bleed onto the pavement unbeknownst to me. I finally look over ready to say goodbye. And scream. There is a two inch gaping hole where his chin used to be. I quickly shift back to park, tap into my inner healer, jump out of the car, realize halfway out that it must have been the car door that hit him and jerk it back to avoid hitting him again, hit myself in the forehead in the process, fall back with a cry, reach up with a trembling hand and realize that now I too am bleeding from a cut on my forehead.

The nurse at the emergency room looks us up & down and asks, “What have you two kids been up to?”

We tell her, "A date." But I don't think she quite believes us.


Anonymous Robb said...

Ha! That is one of the greatest first date stories I have ever heard! The only way it could have been any would be if you had spilled your glass of wine into his cream-panted lap. That would have been class.
Also if you'd knocked him out instead of just a tap on the chin, but it goes without saying that it's a date to remember and good luck for the next one!

2/02/2006 3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is way too funny. poor guy! poor you!

2/02/2006 10:30 AM  
Blogger beefdrop said...

I'm surprised I didn't get kicked out of the library for laughing so loudly. However, I was laughing out of sympathy. Oh dear.

2/02/2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger beefdrop said...

I'm surprised I didn't get kicked out of the library for laughing so loudly. However, I was laughing out of sympathy. Oh dear.

2/02/2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger Coloratura said...

is this for real? what hell! and yes, aren't men who are prettier than you are disarming...? they fluster me completely...

2/03/2006 12:07 AM  

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