Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In the Shallow End

It has been a very long time since I went on a classic blind date.  In theory my Internet dating counts as a blind date because no matter how many times I look at the photos of the men I have made a date with, they never appear as advertised.  But in the true sense of a blind date, a date set up by  a mutual friend in which neither party knows each other, I have not succumbed, I mean agreed to go on one in a couple of years.  My previous blind date, documented here, left a very bad taste in my mouth.  But when I got a call from a friend who knows me fairly well and said he had someone for me, I was intrigued.  My friend said this was the first single guy he met that he believed 'could keep up with me'.  I wasn't sure whether I should be insulted  or flattered by that comment.  Am I so difficult to set up?  And what did he have to keep up with?  My wit, my intelligence, my sparkling personality?  These are assets, not something to prevent me from dating, right?  Whatever.  I'll go out with this guy.  I asked my friend to describe my potential new boyfriend.  My friend says my date, Sam (not his real name of course), was funny, smart and a good man.  And then he threw in that Sam was not a swimsuit model.

What does that mean?  Most of the people I know are not swimsuit models.  In fact none of the people I know are swimsuit models.  So that statement left me curious.  But I am not going to judge based on physical appearances.  I am going to judge based on the important factors; intelligence and a sense of humor.  Sam called and we spoke on the phone.  He was funny, nice, easy to talk to and we seemed to have a lot in common.  We set a date.  And then I googled him.

There are a lot of things that are nice surprises in life, but not knowing what your blind date looks like, is not one of them.  But I couldn't find Sam anywhere.  I  mean I found a lot of info, boring info, but no pictures.  How is that possible?  What hideous physical deformity is he hiding?  I searched eight pages deep and still no photos.  Fine.  I will rise above my shallow need to have some sort of physical attraction to Sam.  I will be attracted to his personality and sense of humor.  I will be mature.

On the night of our date, my superficial need to know what I was walking into, started to take over.  So I texted Sam and told him I had long brown hair, dark eyes and a captivating smile, so he would know how to recognize me at the restaurant.  I got an 'ok' in reply.  That was not what I was hoping for.  I was hoping he would write back 'And I have a giant hump on my back' or 'I have a glass eye' or even 'I have hair growing out of my ears and nose'.  But I got nothing.  I was truly going on a blind date.

I arrived at the restaurant, shockingly on time, and there was Sam waiting out front.  Now let me just say, I am 5' 3" tall.  I had on the cutest green sandals (ok many of you don't care but.... they are cute) and they have an inch high heel.  I got out of my car and approached Sam.  As I got closer he seemed to shrink.  Until I was standing right next to him, looking at the top of his head.  He was shorter than me.  A lot shorter than me.  Strikingly shorter than me.  Shallow.  I was being very shallow.  This poor man is probably always shorter than the women he dates.  He may be a really nice man.  But geez, he was so much shorter than me.  And did I mention he was wearing cargo shorts and a t-shirt.  Stop judging the book, I keep saying in my head, but I can't.

We sit down to dinner and the conversation flows.  Sam is easy to talk to, albeit a little goofy.  But I am twisting in my seat wondering if we were to kiss standing up would I have to lean down or would he stand on his tiptoes.  If we were to walk down the street, would he be able to put his arm over my shoulders?  Does he shop in the kids department and save a ton of money on clothing?  Am I really this mean?  Yes, I am.  No, I will not be this shallow.  I will note that he is kind, he loves his kids, he makes stupid jokes, and he is clearly fascinated by the multitude of stories I have told about myself.  We have scarfed down lots of sushi, I have convinced him to give me the leftovers to take home and we stand to leave.  And there it is again.

As we walk to the cars, I start to panic.  I am not going to kiss this man.  I am not attracted to him and I am pretty sure I have fish eggs in my teeth.  But mainly I am not going to kiss him because it all feels physically wrong.  I have for my entire life been the shortest in the room.  And now as I stand clutching the leftover sushi, I am uncomfortable. I feel awkward.  I don't know where to look, the bald spot on the top of his head that I can clearly see or down into his eyes.  This alternate universe is throwing me.  I feel dizzy.  I hug Sam, thank him for dinner and hurl myself into my car.  I need to find people taller than me to stand near for a while.  I wish I could say I wasn't this shallow.  I wish I could figure out why my friend who set me up didn't say 'Oh by the way, Sam is really short, like smurf short'.  I wish it was tomorrow so I could eat the rest of this sushi and not feel guilty.  Oh blind date, you have let me down once again.  But as usual I will answer when you call again, because after all I am 43 and single.

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