ADV. #12: What the Blind Saw

I’m at this sweet spot in the adventure continuum where everything is really beautiful and nothing hurts.  That’s to say, I’m optimistic and adventure-hungry and ready to say yes to anything.  This is good at week 13.  While still antsy, I’ve built up enough adventure momentum to keep me going.  Enough to say yes to Rebecca when she told tale of her last date with a man she met online.

It went a little something like this: Ms. Rebecca meets up with said man, at 8 a.m., for coffee.  It’s a bit unorthodox, but I appreciate a punctual, no-nonsense meet and greet so I applaud their setup.  The date goes seemingly well until the topic of religion is broached.  Rebecca practices Religion A.  Mr. Date practices no religion.  Mr. Date goes one step further in declaring that he couldn’t wisely date someone of faith because… well, the reasons why are still foggy to me, but it’s known by both parties that this date is going no where.

Rebecca isn’t certain if she should feel snubbed by his dismissal of her as a viable date because of her faith, or if she should be relieved that someone was so raw and honest.  Rebecca also referred to this date as handsome and successful.  He, she mused, would be perfect for me.

That got her and our friend Jane thinking that maybe I should be set up with the dismissed date.I initially took silent issue.  Doesn’t that just reek of sloppy seconds?  Also it sounds a lot to me like Rebecca just thought up her one token god-less friend.  I felt like a heathen.

But then, she sweetened the pot.  Apparently this guy started his own business, does well for himself – well, well enough to take time to do charitable works.

I melt.

Then Rebecca does me one more.

“Let’s make it an adventure date.”

And that’s enough for me.
“I’m in.”

This was certainly a first.  While I’ve tried my hand at online dating before that always afforded me some preview of the dude in question.  I was able to vet, as best I could.  Regarding Religion-less: I knew nothing of him.  But that was my request.  I told Rebecca she could tell him anything she’d like about me.  I only requested that I go into this blind.  That way, it would be more of an adventure.

Because they had an awkward parting there was no promise that he’d sign on to a social experiment in adventure dating, but Rebecca made the call.  And wouldn’t you know, not only did he agree, but he also made his own mandate.  He said that Rebecca could tell me anything I’d like to know about him, but that he wanted to know nothing about me.  Those were his conditions.

Sound familiar?  This seemed to take the shape of something pretty impressive.

We set a date for a week or so following.  Rebecca and Jane had additional tricks up their sleeves that I wasn’t privy to.  I only knew to be available at 7 p.m. on a Saturday and that I would receive further instruction on the day of.

Queue, then, the day of.  I return home to a stuffed manila envelope taped to my door.  The larger envelope contains 5 separate sealed envelopes.  One envelope oversized and contains something large and soft.  The respective envelopes are numbered, with the first envelope directing me to a specific location at the agreed upon time.  I’m to go to Post 360, a trendy restaurant in the downtown district of Boston, and sit at the bar.  I’m to order a drink (thank God), place the envelope before me and wait.  I guess this envelope is what will differentiate me from the other single ladies on adventure dates that night.  Once my date arrives, we’re to have a drink and open the envelope when we’re prepared to move.  While I was pumped Rebecca had sage words,

“If you don’t like him, don’t feel like you need to continue on the date.  You won’t hurt our feelings.  Just feel it out.”

But I knew that wouldn’t be the case.  There was no way I wouldn’t labor through it, even if he was the WORST, if it meant losing the contents of those letters.  It was too mysterious and I am extremely anxious.

So anxious, that I forgot that this was, in fact, a date.  It wasn’t until I got off the subway that I cased the place and thought through the situation.  I started getting nervous.  I assumed bad posture and really, really wanted to go home.  But, I had those letters burning a hole in my purse so I stood tall, breathed in and walked into the restaurant bar.

Trouble was, there was no space to sit!  Post 390 was a madcap scene of overdone professionals perched on bar stools with colored liquors in martini glasses in paw.  I ordered a glass of wine and drank a little too quickly.  He was late.  I hate late arrivals.  And my irritation must have shown because when he did arrive (only a few minutes late) he quickly apologized and offered excuse.

Then we made introductions.

His name was Jacob and he had a way with plugging silences in conversations.  It was easy enough at the onset: we asked questions.  I asked after his bizarre date with Rebecca.  The conversation was relatively seamless.  But something irked me.  I have never before oscillated my opinion of someone so much.  I’d be listening to him and think to myself how much I could like him, and then the next moment he’d say something disagreeable, or curt and I’d think him absolutely detestable.  I know, I know, I know it didn’t help that I keep consuming wine.  If anything it excuses the fogginess in judgment.

But, the night was exciting in the sense that we had no notion of where we’d go next.  So when ready, I opened the next envelope, which whisked us away to a bowling alley.  In the envelope, two pairs of socks (awkward knee length style, and I in hose and a heels), but I was thrilled.  I hadn’t bowled in some time and was really anxious to see it all played out.  Well, it didn’t play out.  The line was long and Jacob made an independent, strongly spoken decision.  He said he didn’t want to wait and that we would play pool.

It was while he was saying this that I was saying, in tandem; “I hate pool”, but that didn’t sway him any.  We started to play and I lost interest entirely.

I sound like a bitch and I was.  It’s just — Jacob spoke over me.  Had way, way, way too much bravado in everything he said.  All I could think to do was push the poker cue haphazardly and lean against a nearby table, looking elsewhere, totally disinterested.

To his credit he picked up on it right away and changed tactics.  He became immediately engaged, asked me about myself, seemed genuinely interested.  Again, the pendulum swing between liking him and not, and he was at a full upswing.

So we left there to go to another jazz bar that promised live music and dance.  In each envelope Rebecca and Jane thoughtfully included Google maps with highlighted directions, little limericks regarding where we were at in the date and helpful instructions to see us through.

Wine dazed and pleased that my pals could be so kind I fell on the side of liking Mr. Jacob.  Enough to kiss him goodnight.  Enough for him to walk away happy and for me to have something to look forward to.  One could call this a success.

But that would be too easy.  In the morning hours I thought back to the night and realized my judgment had been clouded by booze and whimsy.  Mr. Jacob irritated me beyond belief.  He, himself, wasn’t a bad guy, but he was certainly not the one for me.  And I’m certain I must have driven him to near crazy.  We were too contentious forces, forced upon one another in the name of adventure.  Had I asked his zodiac symbol and if I understood zodiac symbols I’m sure we would be adverse personalities.

That’s okay though.  I didn’t call Jacob.  He didn’t make a play to call me (he sent an email), but we’ll always have our five adventure envelopes.  And I can rest easy in knowing that I play a mean game of embittered pool.  And that I gave it a go.