Blind Dates

If you’ve never seen the 1987 movie Blind Date, starring Bruce Willis, Kim Basinger, and John Larroquette, you should. Walter (Willis) and Nadia (Basinger) start their night innocently enough: attending a business dinner for his company at a nice restaurant. Walter’s been warned that Nadia goes “wild” when she drinks, but he pours her a glass of champagne anyway. Sure enough, that little drink…and then another few…will spark a series of unfortunate events that soon include Nadia’s ex-boyfriend and resident stalker, David. Just when we think it can’t get any worse for Walter, it does. It’s a funny movie, well-acted throughout.

I’ve been on exactly two blind dates. I can remember exactly half of those. And the extent to which I remember that date is limited to these two facts: my mother set us up, and we ate in a booth at a TGI Friday’s or Bennigan’s. I don’t remember his name, what he looked like, what I ate, what we talked about…nothing. Total blank. I wouldn’t be surprised if I left as forgettable an impression on What’s-His-Name as well. No biggie. It was fine, if not bland.

My favorite story of a blind date, however, involves my parents, Dot and Ed, circa 1957. Ed was set up with Dot’s friend Nancy. Nancy didn’t want  to go alone, so she brought Dot along and Ed brought his friend, Dave. Dot and Dave knew each other slightly so the foursome-thing worked out quite nicely. Nancy confided in Dot that she had a hat pin (women wore hats back then – picture Jackie Kennedy) just in case Ed “got fresh” with her at all (he didn’t – Ed was the perfect gentleman).

The group had a good time, but afterward, Ed confessed to Dave that, while Nancy was all right, he wanted to know if Dot was single. She was. They married the following year and were a week shy of their 42nd anniversary when cancer took Ed away. Eleven years later, Dot still wears his ring, he visits her in her dreams, and when the time comes, she’ll be buried beside him. Happily ever after.

But before we get too melancholy here, let’s get back to the subject of blind dates. Most of us, I think, will experience at least one blind date in our lives. Who’s the most reliable at setting these up for us? Mothers? Friends? Co-workers? Who do we trust to set us up on a blind date? I love to fancy myself a good matchmaker, but if I mention some ideal pairing of two people my husband also knows, more often than not, he’ll completely disagree. I guess that’s because I’m the romantic and he’s the realist. I focus on the giddy first-date-ness of it all; he sees the bigger picture of unmatched political or religious beliefs, personality styles, educational background, etc.  I’ll always concede that he’s right (because in these cases he is) and simply sigh about the “what ifs” of that first date that will never be.


So, my questions for you this week:

1. What kind of blind dates have you been on?

2. Who set up the best/worst blind date for you?

3. Have you set up a blind date – and if so, how did it go? (Are they still speaking to you?)

4. If you’re good at setting up blind dates, what’s your secret for success?


Next Week: Second Chances

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9 Responses to Blind Dates

  1. Great topic and I love how your parents met. My sister met her husband in a simliar way–she and a friend went speed dating and the friend went out with John afterwards but they didn’t hit it off, so my sister and John went out and now they’re married!

    I went on one blind date where I wondered what the heck my friend was thinking by choosing THAT guy as my potential date. It didn’t turn out well. But I appreciate my friends setting me up (my parents have never set me up) and I usually tell them if it doesn’t work out then I won’t hold it against them. It’s really hard to predict chemistry.

  2. Yes, I was set up on a blind date, by my mom. (Aren’t we lucky?) The guy and I dated for a while. The good news is that almost every villain I write has at least one of this guy’s qualities. He was a jerk. I set up a couple and they are still married 11 years later with two kids!

  3. My husband and I met on a blind date! It was arranged by the doctor I was a research assistant for at the time. Kevin was the brother of his close friend. We went to lunch on our first date and we never went out with anyone else after that. We were married for twelve years before he died of pancreatic cancer. Our time together seems too short, but I would rather have a short marriage as wonderful as ours was than a 50 year marriage full of emotional ups and downs and conflicts. Kevin and I were best friends and lovers and we have three amazing children to prove it 🙂

    • Wow, Linda, what a special story to share. And you’re right — if I had to choose, I’d prefer quality of relationship over quantity of years. How wonderful that your memories have been and always will be good ones.

  4. Haha, your parents’ meeting reminds me of the double date in When Harry Met Sally. So cute. I’ve actually never been on a blind date—but I USED to play matchmaker w/ my friends…until too many failures…soooo many failures…

  5. Barbie Paterson

    I am reluctant to share as my “blind date” story is an utter bore. Well, here it is … At the time I was newly single and my brother-in-law thought that it would be cool to fix me up with a guy that he worked with. The older I get the more I realize that physical features are less important than the REAL person, although I have to say that the memory of this poor man remains in my memory vividly. He was shorter than I, had terrible hair (kind of thin and stringy), his face was unremarkable except for the huge buck teeth that kind of slapped you in the face when you looked at him. So, from the moment of meeting, it was not only a huge disappointment however I felt bad that I not only didn’t like him, I was also embarassed to be seen with him! A love match it was not, his name I don’t recall but those teeth, I can only shudder! Then I couldn’t help but think, what did my then brother-in-law think of me? I hope that the guy got braces later in life and found someone who could love him truly for the probably great guy he was.

    • Your story was far from boring — you made me laugh! Loved your “buck teeth that kind of slapped you in the face” description. Poor guy. Like you, I hope he eventually found true love.

  6. Dot and Eds and your parents story is so sweet. **sigh**

    I’ve been on two blind dates in my life. One when I was a teen and one after I got divorced. Both were set up by the same friend. I know, you’d think I would have known better the second time around, but enough years had gone by for me to think it might be better. Both times the guys turned out to be losers. I try not to let my experiences taint my opinion of blind dates. It’s stories like you’ve told that make me know sometimes it does work out. Not that I would ever go on another blind date if I were single.

    • I know what you mean! I’m not sure I’d be game for a blind date either, even though my other two were obviously fine (the guys were just “meh” but not jerks). And technically, my parents’ blind date story was a failure since it didn’t work out for the intended parties — Ed and Nancy. It was just perfect circumstances that Dot (my mom) was invited to tag along.

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