The Silliness of Expectation

I’ve had a good laugh over the number of times people tell me that they know somebody they would like to set me up with and how often that really plays out. Meaning, everyone has good intentions to set me up but not very often does it actually materialize. I’ve had great dates in my head with these individuals (sadly, or not so, I am a habitual daydreamer).

I’ve learned to not expect too much when it comes to the “setup”. And here’s why: most of the people who provide references on potential dates for me seem to line me up with guys that make me wonder “Seriously, do you even know me?? How could I possibly like this guy?” But I still say yes, I never turn a blind date down (well, I did once and that was just on principle – he was too short! More on that later…) and the reason why I don’t is that my parents met on a blind date. And so did several of my friends parents so I know that sometimes it works out well for both parties. Sometimes…

I usually ask friends who want to set me up three things: 1) How tall is he? 2) Would you date him? 3) What happened with his last relationship? Yes, these are the first round of “qualifiers” when it comes to dating someone new. No offense to short guys but when you are 5’10”, it’s so nice to be able to look UP to a guy instead of the top of his head. Plus, I don’t want to be the one having to bend down to kiss somebody! Ugh – shudder! The perfect way to make me feel like the Jolly Green Giant.

Classic blind date stories (the names have been changed to protect the ignorant):

Joe Millionaire – first blind date that I had at 17 and I was set up by a VERY good friend, somebody who I trust completely. Er, not so much after this date. First thing he said when he picked me up, “You know, I make a lot of money so we can go eat wherever you want.” NICE, what a great impression. it’s so good to know money just drips from your fingertips, pal. We go out to eat and the entire evening is spent listening to him espouse on how he planned to be a millionaire by 25, why making a really good living gives you power over others, and would I possibly consider marrying a guy who didn’t go on a mission? Après dîner, we ended up at one of his friends house where I was completely ignored so he and his best buddy could play Nintendo. Yep, anytime Mario & Luigi make me take a second seat on a date night – um, keeeyyyeeeech (motion of knife across the deck).

Marty McBore-Me-to-Death – sigh…this one came from an aunt who told me when I was younger that I should definitely date men who wanted to become professionals. I was intrigued (at the young age of 12) what she meant by “professionals”: professional football player? professional hairdresser? professional tax accountant? Well, apparently in her mind (and the minds of so many other people that I know), “professional” means somebody who has one of three professions: doctor, banker, lawyer. So this guy she set me up with was 1/2 way through medical school, had never seen a barber apparently in his life, maaaaaybe been on two dates before me, and had an extreme case of halitosis. I was so glad we had agreed to do a lunch date (p.s. girls – lunch dates can be extremely beneficial for blind dates; a much shorter time period you have to commit to) and yet, it was an afternoon that would never end. The classic line he gave on the date? “I want to marry a woman that really sets me off, you know, a nice piece of arm candy when I’m an orthopedic surgeon. I’ll have the money to show her off and it’s important to me she looks good.” Eyes narrow, mouth twitches, and I have to bite my tongue from saying, “Listen buddy, looked in a mirror lately? You’re not exactly all that and a bag of chips. You’re going to need A LOT of money to attract the kind of honey you’re envisioning.” Sheesh!

Gary the Giggler – okay, if any individuals of the male persuasion happen to read this, please do not take offense. I like guys that laugh, that have an ease about the way they can express themselves in a humorous situation. But a guy that bubbles over into a high pitched fit of the giggles, well…it’s not exactly a turn on for me. Gary G came highly recommended by a friend up at Weber State and admittedly, she almost got it right. He was tall (check), she had been great friends with him for quite sometime (check), and he was extremely handsome (double check). We had a great date – we went to a barn for a big dinner that he and several of his friends had put together, spaghetti a la paper plate, and then afterwards we went to a paint gun arena for a showdown – guys against girls. Guess who won? C’est moi.  Then he took me back to his house where we did a paint-by-number kit (so original! I loved this idea and it meant a lot to me that he knew what my interests were to make the date fun). This doesn’t sound bad at all, does it? It was all pretty much perfect except for one thing: he laughed at nearly everything I said (and I do mean everything) and his laugh was not endearing, sad to say. When I can best describe his laugh as a triple fast “heeeeheeeeheeeeheeeeheeee”, that is not a good sign. By the end of the date I was trying to be as solemn as possible just to not hear that laugh. I was my own version of Debbie Downer – “Doesn’t it make you sad to think that people without arms can’t paint like this? Even kids in third world countries don’t have something as simple as a paint-by-number kit.” Alas, he took it as an attempt at black humor. I did go out with him again but just once more…ai yi yi that laugh!

Anyway, I’m not writing off blind dates just yet. But I’ve tried to not expect too much and just really try and get to know a person…if I can get past their mouth breathing, nail-clicking, lip-smacking, nose blowing idiosyncrasies. And their laugh…

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