It would have been ‘tacky’ to ask, wouldn’t it?
I swung my car into the Mid-Town garage at 6:30PM, relieved that I was going to be on time. I found a parking spot, about five floors up. My little red convertible, my “mid-life mobile” slid between a silver BMW and a white Volvo station wagon. This “blind date” had been the object of my intense anticipation for a week now. The thrill brought a flush to my face. I sat in my car for a moment, thinking of the women that I’ve met “on-line” in the past few months. Some were fascinating, and some not so fascinating. Each one, though, was an adventure in anticipation.
After my first couple of experiences, I learned to always ask for a photo, a current photo. It seems that I have a tendency to overlay my fantasies on a woman’s description of herself. “Need to lose a few pounds” is a very subjective statement that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. A whole lot of room.
Next it became apparent that “asking for exactly what you want” is another key, although the ad titled “Wanted: Gorgeous, Brilliant, Blonde” inspired some indignant responses. In fact, I was “flamed” by what seemed like hundreds of angry brunettes and redheads and mocked by a few for the oxymoron “Brilliant Blonde.”
Tonight, I was meeting a woman who answered to “Gorgeous, Brilliant, and Confident.” Her picture, admittedly a few years old, looked like a vision from a model’s portfolio. Her conversation was inspiring in its depth and intelligence. We spent hours talking on the phone. We imagined each other to be just what we’ve been looking for. It was perfect. It was fated. The moment was here. I stepped from my car and stretched. I listened, for a moment, to the background whisper “maybe this is the one…” that I had been hearing all day. The accompanying “Sure, where have I heard that before!” immediately followed it. The two did battle wielding weapons like expectation, disappointment, anticipation, doubt, and skepticism. I shook my head to clear the noise and headed toward the Sans Souci Bar and Restaurant on Newbury Street, Boston to meet the self-proclaimed gorgeous, brilliant, blonde-haired Deborah.
I walked through the door a few minutes early. The place was dark, noisy and crowded. Even though I had seen her picture, people sometimes look so different in person. I scanned the crowd hoping I would recognize her. Suddenly, there by the bar, a woman stood looking at me with a question in her eyes. She was about 5’6″, a few inches shorter than I, and shoulder-length hair that was quite a bit darker than I expected. Perhaps it was the dim lighting. She wore a low cut, white silk blouse covered by a dark blazer. The short red skirt exposed shapely legs in elegant, textured black stockings. Low, black heels said, “Sexy but refined.” She was very pretty with a warm, innocent-but-adventurous smile and a slim, well-proportioned body. I looked at her, smiled and nodded.
“YESSS!” I thought, relieved that she was neither “Rubenesque”, “Young at heart”, nor “Attractive to some.” What’s more, I saw the same relief mixed with excitement in her eyes. This was going to be delicious!
I walked up, reached out my hands for hers, and gave her a brief hug in greeting. Then I looked in her eyes and said “Nice to meet you” with a gaze that spoke “I think you’re pretty.” She cast a brief downward glance to signify that she understood. A slight flush reddened her chest. Clearly, she felt the same.
The hostess found us a seat by the street so we could watch people walk by. It was quieter there, too, so we could talk. She looked at me, smiled, and said, “I didn’t expect you to be wearing a suit and tie on a Friday.” There was a slightly confused undertone to statement but her eyes and smile said that I looked good, better than she had expected. She was glad I was dressed in a suit.
I leaned back, obviously enjoying the compliment “Well, actually, I had to go see a client before this and I find I sell more when I dress up.”
Strangely then, a puzzled look crossed her face. “But Stuart said that Friday was a dress-down day at your office.”
Now it was my turn to be confused, I don’t know anybody named Stuart and I don’t have a dress-down day at my office. The next thought occurred simultaneously. Our eyes widened with a subtle mix of disbelief, trepidation, questioning, fear, laughter, disappointment, and surprise.
“I’m Mark. You’re not Deborah, are you?” I said slowly.
She shook her head, “Annie. And You’re not Al.”
“OhMyGod!” one of us said. I’m not sure which one. Our dates would never find us if we were together. We stood up and headed for the bar awkwardly. The hostess saw us and asked “Is everything OK?” I mumbled an explanation about blind dates. The hostess, laughing, headed back to the kitchen, most likely to tell the rest of the staff. We looked around in search of our dates and moved apart. I saw my blonde in the corner and went to her. Annie moved off into the crowd.
Dinner was good and the conversation was stimulating. Deborah was every bit the gorgeous, intelligent, blonde I had hoped for. Unfortunately, there was no “chemistry” at all.
Except for a wistful wave as we both left the restaurant with our mildly disappointing dates, Annie has not been seen since.