The Light Touch / Blinded by his imperfections: the little fixer-upper
Updated 12:00 pm, Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I have never been a blind-date enthusiast. Neither is my friend, Lynn, who vowed never to do it again.
"What went wrong?" I asked.
"He took me to a lovely restaurant, drank too much, and then proceeded to fall asleep at the table. Right there in the middle of his dirty martini, he put down his head and took a little nap."
I, too, have fallen prey to the phenomenon of blind dating. They have never served me well. I accept them only because I don't want to let my friends down.
"There's this guy you must meet," my friend, Jen, tells me, with emphasis on the must. "You two have so much in common."
So I less than enthusiastically accepted and met the man only to discover that the only thing we had in common was that we were both single. When I reported back, Jen's excitement was hard to quell.
"That's a very good start," she said. "Did you accept a second date?"
And here's where it gets a little sticky, because what I wanted to say, which was "never again," instead came out as "I'm thinking about it."
Jen seemed pleased and considered her job done. The truth is, it wasn't that the guy wasn't a perfect gentleman or accommodating. He was well-spoken, good looking and intelligent enough, but he had one killer trait that was a deal-breaker: He was a bore. I finally confessed this to Jen, who looked appalled and told me I had a poor dating attitude.
I can handle imperfections and frailties. Certainly, I am not immune. I can put up with less-than-perfect because who is? I can even excuse the occasional glaring faux pas like the guy who once whipped out a toothpick to dislodge a chunk of lobster caught between an upper bicuspid and incisor. But what I can't tolerate is boring.
But, I did go out again with Jen's fixer-upper, and it was just as bad the second go around.
"So?" Jen pressed, "was it better this time?"
"He's a very nice person," I said, code for if you ever try and inflict another date on me again, there will be hell to pay.
" `Very nice' sounds hopeful," Jen, the eternal optimist said. "But what exactly are you saying?"
And that's when I decided to come clean. "It was sheer ennui," I said. "He wasn't quick with the repartee, there's no joie de vivre, and he's lacking je ne sais quoi."
"Maybe you need to date a Frenchman. If you're going to be that picky, no man will ever be suitable."
Jen was right. I am selective because why shouldn't I be? Why can't I expect that the person who is going to occupy my time be someone with qualities that I find personally appealing -- someone with whom I share some level of compatibility? I like men -- some more than others -- and while I have a satisfying gallery of both male and female friends, I am quite content until the real thing comes along.
I tell this to Jen over dinner the following week, and for a while I even thought she understood. Until she finally looked at me and said: "You're never going to meet a man."
And she might be right, although I don't agree.
Last week I received a phone call from the second cousin of a friend of a friend named Seth, who informed me that his ex-wife's best friend, Joan, gave him my number. I wasn't even sure who Joan was.
"What would you like to know about me?" Seth inquired.
"Are you boring?" I asked.
"Very boring," he said.
"Great," I told him. "I'm free on Friday evening."
And while I am quite certain that Seth and I won't hit it off, based on my "poor dating attitude," boring probably won't be the reason why.