Blind Dates and Stormy Nights
I was never the type to go on blind dates. In order to go out I had to know them.
Either we were friends growing up, we worked together or we knew each other in school. In most cases we had the same friends and we were always running in to one another. Sometimes literally.
When it came to meeting my wife it was in college in the same dorm. Her cousin was my best friend. As you can see my dating life was safe. There was no walking on egg shells. There was no mystery. The waters were calm with no storm in the horizon.
But on an early summer day, a month shy of my 20th birthday, a storm rolled in. The storm had a name but for the life of me I can’t remember his name.
He was around my age. We sat next to one another at our local community college struggling with life and algebra. He was a nice guy, that I do remember, and our math struggles created a nice bond.
I remember the day my name-less friend arrived at my house It was a sunny June morning. Or was it a cloudy June afternoon? Some things remain a mystery.
He was in full panic mode. The girl of his dreams, who looked just like Pat Benatar, agreed to date him provided he found a date for her friend. His sad eyes and desperate plea gave me no choice and just like that a storm was born.
I arrived early on the evening of our date. I was the organizing type. Naturally a game plan was in the works. What was my mystery date like? Did we have anything in common? What music did she listen to?
These were questions I should have asked the moment he begged. It would be a mistake that would haunt me for the rest of the evening.
We were knee deep in the 1980’s and she had lots of hair. So much that I couldn’t stop staring. It was dyed white and defied gravity. For the longest time I’m pretty sure I never saw her face.
Being on a budget – in other words, broke – we took our dates to the nearest burger palace. Our goal, according to my name-less friend, was to test the waters and look for waves. To this day I have zero clue what waves we were looking for but at the time I pretended I knew and agreed.
Our plan was to eat light. Have a friendly conversation, maybe a laugh or two, while my friend’s date sang Pat Benatar songs. Not really but I secretly hoped.
But I had a bad feeling. My date was as silent as an oyster and my name-less friend was nervous. The combination of the two put me on edge. To add misery to company we were in a diner that went by of Hal’s and the H was flickering. I have this thing with flickering lights.
With my faceless date on mute and my name-less friend nearing a nervous breakdown I decided this was an excellent time to order Hal’s world famous double cheeseburger and monster milkshake.
My plan worked. My name-less friend ordered the same and soon the three of us were engaged in a somewhat coherent conversation.
Sadly, my faceless date refused to join in. All she seemed to care about was the monster milkshake. Not just mine, I might add, but Pat Benatar’s as well. In a moment that I am positive broke several world records, my faceless date chugged both of our shakes empty. I’m pretty sure I fell in love for at least a minute.
It was a surprisingly cool night as we exited to my car. With love in the air, thanks to the milkshake chugging, I turned the heat on, looked her way and smiled.
In a moment played out in the finest of romantic literature I watched as she parted her hair and revealed her face. Her eyes twinkled under the moonlight capturing her eyes for the first time.
I never knew their color but I pretended they were green. Noticing the smile on my face I watched with anticipation as she parted her lips and tilted her head. In an instant my mind raced in all directions.
An evening stroll, I pondered. Maybe a late night talk and endless stares into those lovely greens. Pat Benatar would sing her favorites. Album two side one to be exact and without warning John Cusack, the 80’s version that is, would whisper advice.
Sadly my fantasy was interrupted as portions of Hal’s monster milkshake, mine and Pat’s for those scoring at home, landed on my dashboard, the window, the steering wheel, the ceiling and me.
I will not repeat what my name-less friend and Pat Benatar said but I promise you it rhymed with luck. For those hockey fans out there puck is probably a better word.
Speaking of luck, my faceless date and Pat Benatar lived a mile away. In an instant our dates disappeared into the night leaving behind me, my name-less friend and the memories of Hal’s monster milkshake.
I never saw our dates again. And my name-less friend? Well, he and I parted ways soon after. As for me my days of blind dates ended that night but I can assure you the memory never will. Trust me, I’ve tried.
To this very day whenever I smell vanilla and hairspray a sense of doom races down my spine.
Happy Friday Everyone!!!!!