I am looking at this young lad in front of me, who’s trying so hard not to look nervous on what seemed to be his first time to a blind date. He kept gulping tons of iced tea. I’m not sure if it’s because he ordered bottomless iced tea or he just wants to fill in the awkward silences with something else other than folding the table napkin, unfolding it and then folding it again. And then touching the backof his head with his left hand while the fingers of his right hand, played with the table as if it’s the grand piano.
This is my hundred- and first-blind date. If there is something called professional blind-dater, I bet I’m one. I can probably start up a Blind Date Academy or start writing a book and call it Blind Dating for Dummies or Blind Dating 101.
I’ve been single for the last five years and I am now in my thirties. To be honest, I am in love with this lifestyle but my friends and aunties never stopped setting up blind dates for me, as if the world will end if I don’t find a partner.
When I started blind dating, I was this shy, honest and naïve girl trying to impress the men I met with my academic and career achievements. It either bored them to death or shun them away. After meeting about twenty men, I realized that telling the truth is boring and nobody is interested with my honesty. So, I started creating a persona, none of them real. None of my blind dates ever made it to a real relationship anyway. Most of them don’t even call back again after the first meeting so why bother telling them my real-life story. I thought, why not make the most out of the evening and just have fun. And that’s the reason I kept going on blind dates. Not to find a partner. I just want to have fun.
My thirty first blind date was with a devout Christian and he started asking me out for Bible Studies every Wednesday and Saturdays. He invited me to attend the mass on Sunday morning. I told him I was a professional pole dancer and my midnight alias is Mary Magdalene. I invited him to visit the club and see me on the pole. He immediately paid the bill and left the restaurant. Said he had an emergency call from the Church that he had to attend to.
My fiftieth blind date was with an obnoxious lawyer who only spoke about politics and his good looks. I took a pen from my bag and started tallying my yawns on the paper napkins of the restaurant until he got tired of talking. When he was done talking, I asked him if in this modern time he still believes in sorcery. I told him I am practicing witchcraft and I am in search for a new victim to try my new spell on. He excused himself and said he needed to use the washroom. I saw him sneaking out of the restaurant. I pretended not to see him but I was happy to be able to escape that dull conversation and although he ran away, he was kind enough to settle the bill. Or maybe he was scared enough thinking I might cast a spell on him if he didn’t.
My seventy seventh blind date was with a bartender who started crying over his ex-girlfriend after having just a glass of vodka orange. He said his girlfriend worked with him in the same bar and left him for a regular customer who owns a red Ferrari. That bar lost a waitress and a regular customer. He kept crying. I asked him if he believes in superheroes and if knows Cat Woman. He said yes. I told him I need to leave soon because I need to save some cats and also the world.
Since I’ve been blind dating for almost two years already, I’ve met a lot of men but none of their names stuck in my head. I took note of their strangeness and the character I made up during the date night and wrote it on my Blind Date Diary so I can look at it and have a good laugh whenever I am bored.
And here’s my hundred- and first-blind date. Someone who looked fresh out from the university. A newbie in blind dating or maybe dating in general. His shy eyes hid inside those big, square, black-rimmed eye glasses. His baby blue shirt, buttoned until his neck. I wonder if he can breathe with that. His black skinny jeans ended where his white Chucks started. I never thought Marie will ask his nephew to date me. Does she want me to start baby-sitting too? I will give her a beating the next time I meet her.
So, is this your first blind date? I asked.
Umm, yes, he said before sipping almost half the glass of the iced tea. This lad is a man of few words and only answers yes or no to most of my questions.
He said he is a Graphic Designer, he only had been in a relationship once, not interested in blind dating but could not refuse his Aunt Marie that's why he showed up.
Our main course came. He ordered Pork Tonkatsu while I ordered Ramen. We both indulged in our meals quietly and I sort of liked it. I usually never get to enjoy my meals during blind dates. I had to listen to their stories and pretend that I’m interested and then I need to start thinking about the persona I had to invent for the night, depending on the stories they’ve just told me. A lot of older men have a lot of things to say. A lot of achievements to boast about. A lot of exes to cry about. A lot of boring lives to moan about.
For once, I’ve been able to properly enjoy the flavor of my meal. There was silence amidst the crowded restaurant. For the first time ever on a blind date, I was not required to attend to the noise. I was not required to listen to someone else’s story. And for the first time in a long while, I don’t have to think about what mask shall I put on for the night, I don’t have to say I’m a superhero or a witch.
And finally, he asked his first question.
Umm, is...is this also your first blind date?
The lad must be very nervous. He’s stuttering. I smiled and said, my hundred and first date.
For the love of God! I almost had a heart attack when she said I am her hundred- and first-blind date. I mean, what’s wrong with her? Is she bored with her life? Or is she some psycho serial killer? Wait! Was there any serial killing of men for the last year? Umm, what do I do?
E..e...e...excuse me, I, I just need to go to the bathroom. I almost choked myself. She raised her two eyebrows and nodded. I ran to the washroom quickly. The beat of my heart was as fast as a running cheetah. My hands were shaking as I took my phone from my pocket, it almost fell down. I opened Google and searched for Female Serial Killers. What the hell did I put myself into?
This came on top.
10 Most Notorious Female Killers.
I clicked on it hoping I won’t find her name. I don’t want to die tonight. Scroll down. Scroll down. And down again. Her name isn’t there. Whew! What a relief. I took a deep breath. Held my left chest with my right hand as my heart still beat faster than I could count. Breath in, breath out. I should stop overthinking.
I waited for my nerves to calm down before heading back to our table. I smiled nervously as I sat down. I looked at her, enjoying the Ramen as if nothing else is happening around her. She acknowledged my return and her hand gestured for me to continue eating as she chewed her food.
I wanted to erase my thoughts about her being a serial killer so I asked her what she do on her free time.
I read books, she said. Lots of books except Romance Novels.
Whew! That was a relief. At least she doesn’t roam around at night and kill men.
And as you can see, I spend a lot of time on blind dates. She said as she laughed. My friends and my five single aunts don’t want me to be an old maid. So, they try their best to setup dates for me. But I have rules for blind dating. I’ll only go out on Tuesdays.
My thoughts wandered off again. Why only Tuesdays? Is this the best day for her to murder her dates?
Tuesday is my least busy day in the office so I can leave early. My weekends are pretty busy. My evenings are spent for my younger brother. His band plays at Rocky’s on weekends and I don’t miss any of his gigs. It’s his dream to be a musician and this is my only way to support him. So, no blind dates on weekends, she said as she gleamed while she held her chopsticks on the air, making hand gestures with it as if it’s part of her hands. She looked at her almost empty bowl or ramen, put down her chopsticks on the table, took the bowl into her two hands and sipped the remaining broth.
Aaaah, she said as she put down the ramen bowl. It’s as if that’s the best meal she’s ever eaten in her life. We both broke out into a laughter.
I stopped thinking about my silly serial killer thoughts. It’s probably the product of binge-watching crime series. I came into this date expecting to meet someone similar to my aunt since she said, she wants me to date a close friend of hers. I thought I’m about to date an aunty who is loud, talkative and bossy and a bit, old fashioned. I thought she’d come in a flowery pastel blouse matched with slacks, clog sandals and a Bottega Veneta handbag, just like my Aunt Marie. But here she is in a plain black shirt, faded skinny jeans, white Chucks and a black messenger bag. Her hair in a messy bun. Hey eyeglasses, huge, round and red-rimmed. She reminded me of my college crush, that girl from the College of Arts who always wore black, as if she is coming from a metal concert. That girl was quite out of reach, this one’s right in front of me.
I thought this night would be dreadful but, whew! I’m pleasantly surprised. Luckily, I won’t get killed by a female serial killer tonight. What a relief!
I was almost done with my Green Tea ice cream when I realized I haven’t made up a fake persona yet. It’s been a while since I’ve been honest to a guy during a blind date and it’s been a long time since someone showed interest in what I had to say.
I guess I’ll have to stop creating personas. For now. Because I’ll start going to my brother’s gig from this weekend onward accompanied by this young lad who created his own persona of me on our blind date.