Dating disasters, revisited

"Would you take offense if I had the gall...

I was out on the town not too long ago, which for me usually means something like “I think I’ll swing by the bookstore on my way back from picking up light bulbs,” when I ran into an attractive young man.  I had this nagging feeling that I knew him from somewhere, but I didn’t want to admit my ignorance, so I just cast flirtatious looks while racking my brain.  Finally I had to admit defeat, and I said, “Forgive me, you seem familiar.  Have we met?”  There was an especially awkward pause, and then he said, “We used to date.”

There’s really no coming back from that one.  I made some polite excuse and extricated myself as quickly as I could.  I swear, I’m starting a chart of Guys I Have Dated and carrying it around for quick reference on future occasions.  It’ll have categories like “Pretended to like him but never called him back,”  “Mommy Issues,” and “Psycho Ex-Girlfriend”.  In fact, I may patent the idea and start marketing it.  I can make an iphone app where you can upload photographs of guys and list when you went out, where you went, and why it didn’t work out.  I’ll be the savior of perennial singletons the world wide.

I feel like a total drip.  Man, I wish I could remember why it didn’t work out with that guy.  Probably because I couldn’t remember we were dating.

(Image via Wikipedia Commons)

Ask A Little Blind Girl

Old woman at desk, 1967

Image via Wikipedia

Every so often, I’ll get people who ask me questions about what they should do in certain situations.  Why they think I’ll know is a question I’ve never gotten around to asking, because anyone who knows me knows that I’ll take any excuse to talk about anything at all, whether or not I know anything about it.  To that end, I’m launching what I hope will become a regular feature, Ask A Little Blind Girl.  Leave your question in the comments section of any post, and I’ll answer it in a future entry.  I’m starting out with some of the most common:

Dear Little Blind Girl:  I have the worst memory for faces.  Do you have any tips on how to have a conversation with someone who obviously recognizes you when you have no idea who they are?

–Clear Vision But Hazy Memory

Dear CVBHM:  I have this problem all the time, not because I can’t remember their faces, but because I can’t see them in the first place.  Over time, I’ll learn to recognize voices and other indicators, but in the meantime I’ve learned a few tips for carrying on a conversation with an apparantly close friend you can’t remember at all.

First, remember that people love to talk about themselves.  We so rarely get the chance to go on and on about ourselves that a simple “How are things going for you?” will get the person started on a long and hopefully rambling response that will give you more clues about who they are and, with luck, how they know you.

Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Бесе...

If you still haven’t placed the person by the time you’re called upon for a response, take the last thing the person said, reword it, and agree with it.  “That’s so true, a warm spell does always follow a cold snap.”  This will keep things going without actually requiring any substantive input from you.  Phrases like, “Tell me more about that,” and “I never knew that–how interesting” can keep the conversation going for a long time.

If they ask you about yourself, try to pick up on the phrasing of the question for clues on the connection you supposedly have.  “How is the meth lab disposal business going?” indicates that the person knows you through work.  “Did your nephews survive the separation surgery?” shows that the person knows you through your family.  If all else fails, just ask them what was going on the last time the two of you talked.  “Gosh, I’m not sure, were you around for the quadruple bypass?”  I’ve had successful lengthy conversations with people I still can’t place, and I’ve developed a reputation as a witty conversationalist to boot.

No matter what, if you say it with a smile, you’ll probably be fine.

Dear Little Blind Girl:  I’m interested in asking a member of the sex to which I’m attracted on a date.  Problem is, this person can’t see very well.  What should I do to make him/her/them more comfortable?  Does this mean they won’t notice if I don’t wear a tie/pantyhose/uncomfortable shoes?

–Short-Sighted Would-Be Suitor

Dear SSWBS:  First of all, it’s always a positive step that you’ve asked.  One of the best things you can do is simply be aware of the situation and pay attention.  If your date has bad vision and is about to walk into a glass door, you’ll score major points by heading off a major injury.  Don’t assume your blind date knows there are steps coming up if she’s actually blind.  Among other things, doing so will put a quick end to the date, and to any chance of future dates, especially if it’s a lengthy set of stairs.

English: A bunch of flowers Français : Un bouq...

I recommend not taking a date with vision problems on the traditional dinner and a movie.  That translates to dinner and a migraine, which means that you will forever be associated in your date’s mind with a headache–not something that’s going to play well for you later on down the line.  Try an outdoor concert or a wine tasting.  If you insist on a movie, art gallery, or other visually oriented date activity, be prepared to provide two to three hours of descriptive analysis mixed with insightful commentary and stand-up comedy.  I recommend the outdoor concert; it’s much less work.

Also, your date will know if you don’t put effort into your appearance.  That uncomfortable, stilted speech that you find in the beginning of a relationship comes from a tie you’re not used to wearing, heels that are a little higher than you’re used to, and so on.  It’s not fun, but it shows you care, and if you’re wearing your pajamas to a dinner date, your date will be able to tell even if he or she can’t see it, I promise you.

Always remember, just because your date is blind doesn’t mean all his or her senses are on the fritz:  flowers still smell pretty, chocolates still taste wonderful, wine still gets us drunk.  Happy hunting!  Er, dating.

Dear Little Blind Girl:  If you can’t see, how come you think Johnny Depp is hot?

–Skeptical In Schenectady

Dear SIS:  There is a hotness that transcends the merely visual.  It emanates from his being.  It is the aura of an aura, the glow of greatness, the sense that this person has been kissed by the gods.  Also, when I was younger and I could see, I fell instantly in love and then was blinded by his glory so that no rival could ever take his place.  My love for Johnny Depp is true and eternal.  Mock it at your peril.

Français : Johnny Depp à l'avant-première de P...

How to break up with a potential boyfriend

The Dating Game

Image via Wikipedia

The Potential Boyfriend, or PBF as I’ve been calling him, is taking a job in another city.  Why would he be starting to date someone when he knows he’s looking for work elsewhere?  Well, that’s another post for another blog.  Here’s how it went down:

Potential Boyfriend: I’m taking another job.

Little Blind Girl:  Really?  That’s great!  Isn’t it?  (Thinks:  Really?  That’s great!  Isn’t it?  Wait, he’s not taking a job in the porn industry or something, is he?)

PBF:  It’s a big promotion, supervising a major project.

LBG:  Oh, wow, that’s awesome!  That’s what you’ve been looking for, right?  (Thinks:  Oh, thank God, not porn.)

PBF:  It’s in a different city.

LBG:  Oh.  Oh, okay.  Um, how far away? (Thinks:  It can’t be too far away.  He just moved here, he doesn’t want to move again so quickly.)

PBF:  It’s pretty far away.  I’m going to have to move.

LBG:  Oh.  Man, that sucks.  (Thinks:  Crap.  Crap crap crap.  Why couldn’t it have been porn?  I bet there are loads of local porn jobs.)

PBF:  I know this isn’t fair on you, but I really like you.  I didn’t know if you wanted to maybe try something long distance?

LBG:  Long distance?  Like, talk during the week and see each other on weekends?  (Thinks:  Actually, that sounds really good.  I never feel up to being a good girlfriend after I’ve been working all day.  Could be nice.)

PBF:  Um, actually, it would be more like talk on the phone and see each other maybe once a month.

LBG:  Once a month?  (Thinks:  Sh*t!)

PBF:  Yeah, I’m pretty sure I could swing once a month.

LBG:  You’re pretty sure about maybe once a month?  (Thinks:  I could make it work!  Long distance relationships are totally possible!  We’ve got such a great connection.  It’s all about connecting on an emotional level, right?  I mean, I talk with my friends on the phone all the time and it’s great!  Of course, there are things I want to do with PBF that I don’t want to do with my friends…at least, not most of them…)

PBF:  And we could talk online or on the phone all the time.  I’m not sure what hours I’ll be working, probably pretty crazy at first, but you keep your phone with you all the time, right?

LBG:  Yeah… (Thinks:  Seriously?  You want me to wait by the phone all day every day just in case you call, which you might not, and then when you do all you’ll say is “I’m so tired, I’ve had such a long day, I just wanted to say hello before I crashed.  Good night”?)

PBF:  And you could come and stay with me every so often.  Just take a week every couple of months or something.

LBG:  Maybe.  (Thinks:  You know I have a job, right?  Actually a pretty good one, and I work really hard at it and can’t just leave it for days at a time?)

PBF:  So what do you think?

LBG:  (Thinks:  God, he’s cute.   I really, really like him, even though he’s kind of ticking me off at the moment.  How often do you find someone who’s cute and smart and funny all at the same time?  Long distance could totally work!)  I just don’t think long distance ever really works, even when you haven’t just started dating.  (Thinks:  D*mmit!)

PBF:  Yeah, I know, I just thought I’d ask.

LBG:  But we can still talk on the phone and online.  You know, as friends. (Thinks:  Thanks a lot, Gloria Steinem.  I’m sure you’ll be a great comfort to me when I’m curled up at home alone for the third week in a row, eating ice cream and watching movies.)

PBF:  I don’t think that’s a good idea.

LBG:  Why not?  (Thinks:  Oh, my God, he hates me, he was going to break up with me anyway, he’s just too nice to want to hurt my feelings…)

PBF:  Because I want to do things with you that I don’t want to do with my friends.

LBG:  (Thinks:  Oh, that’s just not fair.)  Oh, that’s just not fair.

PBF:  Yeah, I know.  Sometimes life sucks.

LBG:  Yeah. (Thinks:  Yes, yes it does.)

English:

Image via Wikipedia

So much for how it actually went down.  This is how I like to comfort myself by thinking it went for him:

Really Hot Guy: I’m taking another job.  (Thinks:  God, she’s hot.)

Potential Girl Friend:  Really?  That’s great!  Isn’t it?

RHG:  It’s a big promotion, supervising a major project. (Thinks:  She’s totally going to freak out when she finds out I’m moving away.)

PGF:  Oh, wow, that’s awesome!  That’s what you’ve been looking for, right?

RHG:  It’s in a different city.  (Thinks:  She’s fantastic.  If only I could take her with me.  But she’s such a brilliant, independent, fantastic woman that she’d never just up and leave for a guy, especially not one who so clearly doesn’t deserve such an amazing woman.)

[I told you, this is how it goes in my head.  Just go with it!]

PGF:  Oh.  Oh, okay.  Um, how far away?

RHG:  It’s pretty far away.  I’m going to have to move.  (Thinks:  Here it comes.  She’s totally going to call me on starting to see her when I knew I might be leaving soon.  I know I shouldn’t have, but she’s so hot!)

PGF:  Oh.  Man, that sucks.

RHG:  I know this isn’t fair on you, but I really like you.  I didn’t know if you wanted to maybe try something long distance?  (Please, please, please?  I swear I’ll make it work.  I definitely won’t start flirting with my cute colleague and thinking about what she’d look like without her clothes)

PGF:  Long distance?  Like, talk during the week and see each other on weekends?

RHG:  Um, actually, it would be more like talk on the phone and see each other maybe once a month.  (Thinks:  I’d really like to make out with her right now.)

PGF:  Once a month?

RHG:  Yeah, I’m pretty sure I could swing once a month.  (Thinks:  Liar.)

PGF:  You’re pretty sure about maybe once a month?

RHG:  And we could talk online or on the phone all the time.  I’m not sure what hours I’ll be working, probably pretty crazy at first, but you keep your phone with you all the time, right? (Thinks:  Am I seriously asking her to wait by the phone for me and I’ll just call whenever?  I’m such a jerk.  God, she’s got great [censored])

PGF:  Yeah…

RHG:  And you could come and stay with me every so often.  Just take a week every couple of months or something.  (Thinks:  Yeah, because she doesn’t have a job and a life or anything.  She’s never going to go for this.)

PGF:  Maybe.

RHG:  So what do you think?  (Thinks:  Come on, come on, I know long distance never really works and we’re just starting out anyway, but I really like you!)

PGF:   I just don’t think long distance ever really works, even when you haven’t just started dating.

RHG:  Yeah, I know, I just thought I’d ask.  (Thinks:  D*mmit!)

PGF:  But we can still talk on the phone and online.  You know, as friends.

RHG:  I don’t think that’s a good idea.  (Friends is so not what I was going for with her.)

PGF:  Why not?

RHG:  Because I want to do things with you that I don’t want to do with my friends.  (Thinks: A lot of which I’m not going to admit to.)

PGF:  Oh, that’s just not fair.

RHG:  Yeah, I know.  Sometimes life sucks.  (Thinks:  How much do I really want that job?)

PGF:  Yeah.

Yeah.  Sometimes life sucks.  But hey, at least I got a post out of it.  New year’s resolution:  find another guy who thinks it’s adorable when I wear two different shoes at the same time.  Bets on how long that’s going to take?

Little blind girl goes to the art gallery

CC Image courtesy of iambents on Flickr

Remember that post where I said that if you’re taking me on a date, don’t take me to an art gallery because I’m legally blind and I won’t be able to see anything?  I take it back.  I went with Potential Boy Friend to a college art exhibit and found that art has changed quite a bit even since the last time I attempted to appreciate it, or at least I think it has:

 

LBG:  I’m really not sure about this.  I can’t see any of the paintings.

PBF:  That’s OK, I’ll describe them to you.  And some of them aren’t paintings.

LBG:  Photographs?

PBF:  Modern art exhibits.  There’s one that’s a collage of old heating bills in the shape of Paris Hilton.  It’s titled, “That’s Hot!”

LBG:  Very funny!  You are kidding, right?

PBF:  All the yellow highlighted bits that say “This bill is overdue” form her hair extensions.  There’s another that’s just an empty frame, entitled “Occupy This Space.”

LBG:  That I might actually believe.

PBF:  It’s listed for $7500.00.

LBG:  Not buying it in so many ways.

PBF:  Over here is a portrait of a young man in cap and gown who appears to be signing a student loan contract, while a man in a business suit stands over him holding a baby.  Let’s see what the title is–

LBG:  This should be good–

PBF:  Ah, Sale of a First-Born Child.  A striking commentary on a post-modern society.

LBG:  It speaks to me.

PBF:  And here we have a sculpture of a woman in a pose of agony, clutching a large group of children to her while staring at an envelope.

LBG:  Let me guess:  “Final Welfare Check”?

PBF:  Close:  “Niobe’s Child Care Bill Arrives.”

LBG:  I like mine better.  (Peers more closely at card with title of work)  Oh, my God!

PBF:  You totally thought I was making that up.

LBG:  Oh, my God.

PBF:  And I haven’t even told you about the woman sitting in a harness hanging from the ceiling.

LBG:  Don’t tell me.

PBF:  Her harness rises and falls with the current level of the stock market.

LBG:  Oh, my God, get me out of here!

And thus ends the latest installment in the adventures of the Little Blind Girl.  Stay tuned for the next exciting episode, Little Blind Girl goes to the Firing Range!

The results of fashion hubris

Where'd I Leave My Sunglasses

CC Image courtesy of Thomas Hawk on Flickr

This is what happens when blind girls try to be cool:

I recently went on a second date with a guy, my first second date in quite a while.  He’s tall, and I picture him as dark and handsome, and he has a great voice, so all is well thus far.  He asked where I wanted to go, and I said “Anywhere where I can wear flats,” so he took me to a meditation seminar.  Promisinger and promisinger.  Then, after the meditation seminar, we went out for extremely unhealthy food and mocked the seminar presenter mercilessly.  Could it get any better?  Yes, yes it could.

He dropped me off–at my door, after leading me up the steps because he knows I’m legally blind (I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I walk those steps every day of my life and could walk them if I were completely blind).  It wasn’t until then, at the end of the date, that I realized that I was actually wearing two different kinds of shoes!  And I’d been going on and on about what a relief it was to wear flats!  All afternoon!  I tempted the wrath of the fashion gods with my hubristic desire for comfort, and this was the result.

I exclaimed in dismay.  He, bless him, laughed and said…well, on second thought, I’m not going to tell you what he said.  Or what he did, because this isn’t that kind of blog.  But it made up for the blind equivalent of realizing I had spinach on my teeth all evening.  And there will be a third date because, let me tell you, he’s looking very good to me right now.

Blind dating

Applying cosmetics

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been going on a long string of first dates recently, and I’ve noticed that there are a lot of dating pitfalls for the blind.  First of all, the obvious:  whenever I tell people I have a date, they ask “Is this a blind date” and snicker.  Cause, you know, I’ve never heard that one before, ever.

But if that were all, I’d take it and be grateful.  The bigger problems come before the date even starts.  Imagine trying to curl your hair blind.  Go ahead, blindfold yourself and try.  I usually end up throwing the curling iron across the room and screaming “I’m shaving my head, I swear to God!”  Then, of course, there’s the makeup application.  I’m good at foundation, blush, powder, and lip color.  It’s the eyes that get me.  There’s the eyeliner–no way am I ever going to get a straight line right by my lashes.  It will always be crooked and leave space between my lashes and the eyeliner.  Mascara, you ask?  It is for to laugh.  I usually just put on some dark eyeshadow and hope he doesn’t notice.

Then there’s the beginning of the date.  Either the guy picks me up in my parking lot or I meet him wherever we’re having our date.  Either way, I’ll be squinting and peering around, trying to recognize my date, and that posture is just so attractive!  Gotta love that first impression, a bleary-eyed hunchback.  It does accentuate the cleavage, though.  Then, since most first dates involve dinner, we reach the adventures in silverware.  Fork, knife, spoon, and no depth perception.  Fabulous!  The napkin is my friend.  I usually have to ask for extra napkins, actually, which makes me feel super-smooth.  I like this part of the date, though, because I get to sit down.  It’s hard, though not impossible, to bump into things while you’re sitting down.  My dates always laugh when I tell them that if I’m about to walk into a streetlamp, they shouldn’t assume I’m aware of it.  That Chris, she’s so funny!  Oh, my God, who knew a head wound could bleed so much?

If any guy who is preparing for a date with me is reading this, please do the following, and I will guarantee a second date:  1.  Ask me to wear flats.  2.  Warn me when there’s a step up or down.  3.  Don’t, for the love of God, take me to an art gallery.  For Christ’s sake, I’m blind!  4.  Talk to me.  I can’t see a thing, but I’m a world-class listener.  How often does that come around?  Not too much to ask, I think.  Oh, and try not to laugh too loudly when I accidentally spill the mushrooms.  It’s endearing, right?