I’d rather go blind…

Etta James famously sang that she would rather go blind.

And last year I discovered that I agree with her…though. I’m not talking about going physically blind.

As you may (or may not) know from one of my earlier posts Thirty…is the magic number! during the late Summer of 2016 I embarked on writing and completing a 30 before 30 list.

And today my friends I will reveal another of the items on the list.

To go on a blind date…

And when I say blind date I mean…no seeing pictures, no having any say over who I went on the date with and no getting to know each other through messaging prior to the date.

I added this item to the list as I’d always been intrigued by how a date set up by someone else might go…and I’ll be completely honest I didn’t really put much thought into how out of my depth this could make me feel. My biggest worry at the time was that no one I knew would be able to set me up on a date.

Aside from being notoriously fussy, of my single friends I figured if they knew anyone decent enough to date they would have set themselves up with said eligible bachelor already and of my coupled up friends, I wasn’t convinced that any of their partners friends would match my tastes…

So I resorted to asking practical strangers…

Well not strangers exactly but as my worry increased that no one I knew would be able to find me a date, I started to tell my wider circle (such as work acquaintances and individuals I met through networking events). I even asked my Auntie, wondering if any of the teachers at her school might suit.

And then one day I’d been to get my hair done and hadn’t been able to check my phone for a couple of hours.

Normally when I set my phone down for some time I pick it up to see bugger all messages staring back at me, so when I glanced at the screen and saw the following message from my Auntie…

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…I panicked…

And then I proceeded to look for a decent enough picture that I would want a stranger to see as well as being a recent one that wasn’t too posey or too silly. But it didn’t matter anyway as I had taken too long to respond apparently “erm, yeah I was getting my hair done” and my Auntie had already sent her friend (the blind dates Dad) a couple of my Facebook pictures.

And then I didn’t hear anything for weeks so I assumed that the potential blind date had fallen through. Until one day I was with my Auntie and I mentioned that I had managed to tick another item off of the list (Cirque Du Soleil) and she practically screamed…

“I forgot to tell you the guy wants to go on the date!!!”

…And then I panicked again and became increasingly more nervous as she asked me when I wanted to meet and what I wanted to do. The only thing I could think was I don’t bloody know” and after taking a few deep breaths I managed to summon enough chill to say that I would text her my free dates, and see which of those worked for him.

After a week of a little to-ing and a little fro-ing my Auntie and his Dad managed to agree that we would meet on a Sunday at lunchtime. And then a week later I received a call to say that actually the date was being moved to Saturday night (this was due to a slight difference of opinion, between my Auntie and his Dad, of what constituted a good date activity). I then agreed that I would meet him on Saturday at 7pm at a cocktail bar in Shoreditch…After hanging up the phone I couldn’t help but think “shit, now I have one less day to mentally prepare.”

Saturday rolled around incredibly swiftly and the nerves progressively built. When I started to get ready for my date I’m not ashamed to admit that they may have gotten a little out of control. My cousin, bless her, knowing me inside out and being aware of my fragile state of mind text me saying “stop panicking, you’re hot and funny” I then repeated this mantra to myself for the hour it took me to curl my hair and adorn my lashes with mascara (as well as get dressed).

I actually received a message from him to let me know that he would be a little bit late due to a delayed train which pleased me for 2 reasons. First of all it showed that he is incredibly considerate unlike Jordan who was my previous terrible near miss of a date. The second reason was that it gave me an extra 15 minutes to sort myself out! Here’s where I admit I was extremely tempted to peek at his Whatsapp picture but knowing I’d only be cheating myself out of ticking blind date off of the list I resisted the urge.

As I was leaving my humble abode I felt as though butterflies had taken up residence in my stomach and were performing their own trapeze act inside me. It’s probably important to note that since moving to London I have been on quite a few dates and generally I do not feel the fear, but most of my dating experience has been via online platforms and in those instances you will usually chat for a period of time before embarking on a meeting. Even in some cases where pre-date chat has been minimal I will at least know what the person looks like and have enough of an inkling as to whether we’ll get on.

Obviously not in this instance… solidifying my knowledge that I have quite a concrete fear of the unknown and also I’m not 100% comfortable in situations outside of my control. Having said all of that it was refreshing not to have any pre-knowledge of my date as I hoped that would at least mean we’d have quite a lot to talk about, as with dates when you do talk beforehand the concern tends to be that you may not be able to find anything new to discuss.

I arrived a little before he did to be told that the bar we were planning to go to was full and that they weren’t letting in at the moment. Not wanting to throw up a problem before we even met I wandered around frantically googling bars nearby to go to when I received a message from him saying he was inside. I was a little perturbed that I’d been turned away but it turned out that as I hadn’t actually told him I wasn’t there he’d told the bouncer on the door he was meeting someone inside and they let him in. Not that they decided they didn’t like the look of me (I hope) either way I seriously need to learn the art of the blag! We were fortunate as a couple were just leaving as we arrived so we were able to snag a window seat.

As dates go I would happily state that this one went well (in my opinion) I had fun and he was very easy to talk to and get along with. Turned out he’d been on a few blind dates before (although admittedly not as blind as mine) so was a seasoned pro which is probably why, by his own admission he wasn’t nervous at all before meeting me. Although he at least had the advantage of seeing a picture of me beforehand. And we discovered we have a shared love of pizza although we differ somewhat in our opinion of what constitutes the best topping.

Aside from the pre-game jitters and the having to wait around to find out if / when / where the date was happening I enjoyed the whole blind date experience. And I would go on the record here and state that I would prefer being set up on a blind date than having to online date, although if I had my ultimate fantasy meet cute…

I would be in a sparkly off the shoulder ball gown, with my hair styled in an elegant side braid wearing 5 inch high heeled shoes adorned with circa one thousand swarovski crystals to complete the outfit. My make up would be flawless and I would be toned to perfection. I’d be daintily sipping a glass of champagne smiling and joking with my associates, when I look up and notice the most handsome man I have ever had the pleasure to witness across the room. As is custom when I notice a handsome man I would immediately look away and blush deep within, but when ultimately my eyes raised themselves again to catch another cheeky glimpse of this drop of sunshine fallen to earth, he would be watching me with a look of pure joy lifting his features. Someone would be trying to capture his attention by talking directly into his ear but his eyes would never leave mine. He’d hand the attempted interrupter of our moment his glass and as if we were in a dream everyone else in the room would disappear as he makes his way over to me. Once he steps boldly in front of me we wouldn’t speak any words but my soul would innately know that THIS is my person.

But as my life is in no way reminiscent of a rom-com or a Disney movie, that is highly unlikely. So until that day comes if you do meet any single eligible bachelors and don’t want them for yourselves….please pass them my way 😉

Until next time dear friends….

xoxo

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