May 15 2011
Greetings, Cool Peeps:
As many of my regular readers know, in addition to my job as features reporter, I write obituaries for the Swansea Herald. Writing obituaries is a very sad thing to do. I have always believed that one of our greatest common fears, as human beings, is losing those we love and having to go on without them. There’s no joy in hearing sad news or having to write about it, but it is satisfying to pay tribute to those who have departed.
Writing obituaries is also preferable to being the paper’s society reporter and having to write about other people’s weddings.
In this week’s blog, however, I take great pleasure in the obituary I am about to write – the obituary of the blind date.
The blind date has died. It succumbed to a slow death from natural causes that were years in the making. The blind date is survived by its brother, Online Dating, who appears to be thriving.
The blind date was at the height of its popularity before I ever knew what a detestable thing it was, back in the prehistoric, pre-personal-computer age. Usually, one person, who knew two parties who didn’t know each other, decided that said parties should meet. Quite often, the person/matchmaker/she-devil who set up these often ghastly (but yes, sometimes successful) hook-ups, would be brimming with confidence about the potential for lifelong happiness between the two not-so-certain parties.
Let me put it this way: just because I like a certain type of music and said man likes it, too, that does NOT mean we are compatible. Money does not make me fall for a man, nor does the matchmaker’s perception of his good looks. But, nobody ever wants to hear the “loads of personality” line. You just know that anyone described as having “loads of personality” is never going to be a match.
Blind dates were just that: blind. Often, you would simply double date with the matchmaker and meet the unknown person in the presence of others. As if such a meeting weren’t awkward enough, both parties would have to contend with such nonsense such as: “Biff, did you know Buffy wants to learn to ski?” “Buffy, Biff is an excellent skier.” (*hint hint*) Did you know you both have really stupid names?
The blind date was born in an era where photos could not be emailed. If anything, you had no more to go on than the voice on the other end of the phone. You were often coerced into these dates, or at best, accepted an offer for one out of desperation. Ugh, what a ghastly notion.
Physical chemistry is huge. Not everyone wants the standard calendar pin-up person, but we want our version of him or her. ABC’s now-defunct summer series, “Dating in The Dark,” was very much based on this premise. Three men and three women met in the dark, dated, then chose who they wanted to see “revealed.” It was quite interesting to see how each contestant’s interest waned or increased once seeing their love interest in the light.
The blind date will be remembered by all of the people who pore over the profiles of others online, exchanging emails, hoping that there will be enough of a connection to make their own date. While the traditional blind date is dead, the shock and horror of meeting a person who is nothing like you expected is very much alive. “Your profile photo was taken when? 1996? Oh, I see.” “Well, we all gain sixty pounds over time.” “Oh, so that wasn’t your photo? Whatever made you think I wouldn’t like the real you?” “Oh, so you need a green card to stay in the country?” “How long have you been into taxidermy?” “No, to the contrary, I loved hearing about your ex.”
There will be no services for the blind date because too many reasonable facsimiles of it still exist.
Tell me, cool peeps, what do you think of blind and online dating?
See you next week.
Yours in pickiness,