Almost everyone I know has a hideous blind date story. I am not an exception. Typically, I shy away from these things—they give me anxiety—but my girl friend was doing me a “favor,” so I agreed.
The incident occurred six months ago; regrettably I remember it all too well. I was waiting outside Ra Sushi for him. I hadn’t been on a blind date in over a year, this was only my second. Normally I would try to have an open-mind, but I knew from the get-go this guy wasn’t my type. My friend told me he was a massage therapist which I interpreted as an innocent, gentle, and placid guy. The polar opposite of what I like.
Our painful first phone call confirmed my instincts. Somewhere in between the stories of his favorite videogames and his mom yelling about dinner in the background, I learned he was thirty-one. I was struggling between having pity or disgust for him. From that point on, we communicated via text, which was a bad call. After two weeks of texting, I noticed all of his messages were littered with exclamation points, “Hey there! Hope you’re having a good day! Can’t wait to meet you tonight for sushi!” I dubbed my blind date: Mr. Exclamation.
Although his childlike behavior had already turned me off, I thought there might be a chance he could reel me in with some stunning good looks. I was wrong. I was sitting on a bench outside the sushi bar, waiting for Mr. Exclamation when a stocky, balding, pigeon-toed man approached me. It was him. I’ll admit I was disappointed by him physically, but even more so by what he was wearing. It was our first date, so naturally I expected Mr. Exclamation to put some of his expressive personality into his wardrobe. He didn’t. He was wearing jeans, a white Adidas t-shirt, and black shoes that could have passed for stilts.
Ordering, especially drinks, on a first date can be awkward. I usually take my cue from my date. It was a Tuesday night, but I really could have used a dirty martini. I waited for Mr. Exclamation, “Do you have cranberry juice?”
Yes! He’s going to order a cranberry vodka, I thought. I forgave his ignorance (we were at a bar; of course they have cranberry juice).
“Yes sir; we do.” The waitress answered.
“I’ll take a cranberry juice with Sprite.” He ordered.
My heart sunk as I pictured some other lucky girl swirling an olive in my dirty martini. “I’ll have water with lemon.”
At least Mr. Exclamation wasn’t stingy with the sushi. He ordered enough to feed a sumo wrestler and disgustingly enough, we ate it all. After about the fourth quail egg he insisted I eat, I was ready to call it a night. The check came, which is another uncomfortable moment. I clumsily shuffled through my clutch, searching for my debit card, hoping Mr. Exclamation would find his first. He did. “You can get it next time. How’s that?”
“Okay.” I answered, without thinking. I wondered if this was how he secured all of his second dates.
The guilt ate at me, so I took Mr. Exclamation out for coffee. I learned a lot about him as we sipped our lattes: He’s Mormon, doesn’t drink alcohol, and wants at least eight kids—now. So even if he was cultured, didn’t excessively use exclamation points, and moved out of his mom’s, we never would have made it. I don’t believe in organized religion, enjoy the occasional cocktail, and haven’t yet mastered how to properly nurture a plant.