I hate blind dates. I have never been on one but I have seen people who have tried them and failed miserably. However, I wasn’t in a position to say no. My mother – yes, my mother – had recently reconnected with one of her old friends and she happened to have a son who was around my age. So, she set us up on a date and came to tell me afterwards.
My protests were in vain.
“It’s already done.” She said, “Besides, you’ve been single for five years. I had to intervene.”
My mother was right. My love life was pretty much nonexistent at this point as I had put all my focus on my work after my last relationship. So, if I was being completely honest with myself, I wasn’t mad that she had arranged a blind date for me.
“You’ll love him. He’s just your type.”
“How do you know my type, mum?” I asked, laughing and trying not to choke on my spit.
“I’m your mother. I know everything about you.”
I trusted her judgment. She wanted the best for me so she definitely chose the best date. I also knew that the date couldn’t go that badly. He was the child of someone my mother knew and he had to behave himself. I, on the other hand, had completely forgotten how to be a graceful date. I had been on a few dates after my last relationship but for the past three years, I hadn’t had an intimate moment with any man. It was nerve-wracking to think of going on a date after all those years.
Later that week, my date called me for the first time.
“Hi, Betty. This is Ian.”
Ian? What kind of a name is Ian? I thought to myself trying to look for the smallest excuse to back out of the date.
“Oh, hi,” I replied bluntly.
“It’s so lovely to hear your voice.”
He sounded like a really clean-cut guy. That wasn’t exactly my type but after my horrible past relationships, it was time to try new things.
“Are you ready to meet this Saturday?”
“Where do you want to go?”
“How about the trampoline park at Village Market?”
Okay. I’ll be there at 11.”
I figured the trampoline park would be a great place for a blind date since it was fun. We wouldn’t feel too much pressure to have a conversation in case we had nothing to talk about. Additionally, I could show up in a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers and he could show up in something casual. That was my favourite part.
I got dressed and made my way to Village Market. Honestly, I was having a bad feeling about the date, and once again, I almost backed out. However, I remembered that my mother had gone out of her way to set up the date and I didn’t want to disappoint her. She had also reassured me that Ian was my type.
I got there before him so I had so time to settle down and calm my nerves. As I was walking up to go check on the price list, a man wearing a full suit and tie walked in. At first, I thought he was either the security, a parent or lost. However, he kept walking towards me with the biggest smile.
“You must be Betty.” He said shaking my hand.
I nodded yes.
“You look just like your mother.”
I couldn’t stop eyeing him from top to bottom. This guy actually showed up in a suit to a trampoline park. I was in disbelief.
“So, how are you going to jump with a suit?” Those were my first words to him.
“Oh, are we staying here? I thought you just wanted to meet here so we could go for lunch.”
I actually wanted to stay. However, that wasn’t possible and I didn’t want embarrassment.
“We can go for lunch.”
It was 11.30 am. The rest of the people at the restaurant were having coffee, toast, and sausages yet he ordered rice with chicken curry. I ordered a milkshake which I barely drank. He tried to make conversation but I was already checked out. Even at the restaurant, his full suit was out of place for a Saturday. He looked like a banker and reminded me of an old boyfriend who always wore a suit.
I spent two hours with him trying to look for any excuse to leave. Finally, my mum called to check how the date was going. We talked briefly then I told Ian that I had to leave.
“I have a family emergency,” I said.
He tried to hug me goodbye but I turned around and left before he could.
After the disastrous date, Ian still had the audacity to ask if she should look for another blind date. He texted:
“I feel like you didn’t enjoy the date. Can I take you on another one? We can go to the trampoline park as we had planned.”
I read that text about ten times trying to figure out how he got the confidence to ask me out again. He didn’t apologize nor did he even ask if I was okay. I had dealt with such men before and it was a mess after the second date so I wasn’t planning on giving him another chance.
My mother felt bad that she had set me up on the date. However, I appreciated that she cared enough about me to arrange a blind date for me. The experience drew me closer to her and we’ve become more of friends. Sometimes, she jokes that one of her friend’s sons is single and I immediately go into panic mode.
“You’ve done enough, mum. I can handle my own love life.”
The disastrous blind date confirmed to me that I wasn’t ready to go back to the dating scene. I didn’t want to start training a man on how he should behave in a relationship. I had done it before and it didn’t end well. Ian seemed so clueless which was an instant red flag for me. I’d rather go back to my “lonely life” than settle.
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