In addition to a Lonely Hearts Club Bop (fingers crossed it’s less Beatles, more Marina & The Diamonds) and a Rose Delivery Service that will probably make most people feel more Gretchen Wieners than Glen Coco, college is ensuring that we are all painfully aware of Cupid’s Birthday with a Blind Date exchange with another college.
I actually don’t think it’s the worst idea in the world. Blind dates aren’t inherently awful, though the few that I’ve been on have lacked any frisson (partly because blind dates forego the anticipation element; partly because the guys I went out with were dull as hermit crabs).
But I won’t be signing up for this college event, for a few reasons:
1) February 14th is for eating cake alone. Duh.
2) Any first meeting on V-Day is doomed to failure. If it goes poorly, the crushing loneliness of your single existence is compounded. If it goes well, you can’t be sure that it’s not just the desperation talking. If it goes super well, your anniversary becomes conflated with the one other day of the year you might expect floral tributes.
3) I fear it’s only a matter of time before I have one of those Horrific Blind Date Experiences. Friends’ anecdotes have ranged from:
– A guy making a huge scene by pulling out his wallet, sighing melodramatically and saying, “I can pay if you want me to” [Note: I don’t think a guy should feel obligated to pay. But just suggest going Dutch. Not a big deal!]
– A guy socking my friend in the stomach, yelling ‘Bladder Punch!’ and running off from the restaurant whooping gleefully.
– A guy insisting that they walk through an underpass late at night (despite my friend’s repeated protests), antagonising a gang, ending up in hospital and leaving my friend to file a police report.
4) I find it difficult enough to meet boys in real life who fit the bill. I know I shouldn’t have a checklist, but things like ‘funny but not in a toilet humour/slapstick/reliant on racial stereotypes kind of way’, ‘intelligent but not intellectually combative’ and ‘kind’ are theoretically non-demanding (I’m not so persnickety that I have personality-irrelevant criteria like ‘must be tall/built/of chiselled jaw’…hey, I’m no stunner myself). But that said, I get the sense that the Oxford students who’d sign up for this Blind Date would be either (a) quite desperate, (b) taking the piss or (c) socially oblivious. None of which enhances my chances of meeting someone I like.
There seems to be consensus on these points among my friends.
So, like me in the dating world, I’m afraid this Blind Date call out will be greeted with minimal interest.