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September 25, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Blind Dating

You know the drill, one boy and one girl, both completely foreign to each other, and one free meal. We hook it up (courtesy of The Establishment and a 200 dollar meal at their fine restaurant), step right out and let love take it’s course… et cetera. And by love we actually mean subtle character observations and never getting it on. The catch? You both owe us 400 words. To take part in future blind dating editor@salient.org.nz with some details about yo’ self.

HIM

Being completely useless I arrived early. This did grant an advantage though, to get comfortable, and fortify myself with alcohol. Sipping at a frosty Margarita I examined the restaurant upstairs of The Establishment, deciding that I preferred it to the hideous Courtenay Place concrete bar below. The waitress promised not to read Salient next week and muttered something about one of the previous write-ups mentioning “bad service”. Interpreting this as a veiled threat, I put on my best ‘rabbit in the headlights’ face and grinned broadly. Glancing at the TV on the wall, there was a rugby match playing, the team called ‘Manly’ seemed to be winning; which made sense.

My date arrived on time, wearing a dress. I was in a t-shirt and jeans since I only ever dress-up to take the piss. She didn’t immediately cringe in revulsion at seeing me, and vice-versa. We were off to a good start! She jumped right in and started pumping me for information. I was forced to confess my ridiculous part-time job and inability to finish my BA even after five years of fucking around. Having the gentleman’s sense not to ask her age, I deduced she was a couple of years older, having graduated from University and Teachers’ College, and being now employed at a High School. It transpired that we had mutual acquaintances. Any plans of acting bizarre for amusement went out the window. There could be consequences! Luckily she was also a drinker, we split a bottle of wine and being a lightweight lately, I started babbling uncontrollably.

High School seemed to dominate the conversation, but not uncomfortably so. We were both fairly tipsy throughout the meal. Gazes wandering a little out of nervousness more than disinterest (I hope). We touched on music, I was obsessed with it, she had decent taste. A little more time was spent on books, ad I think I acquitted myself well enough considering that she was an English teacher.

We skipped dessert for more drinks. The bartender couldn’t remember how to make an Old Fashioned. It was getting late and my date had to catch a train back home, so I offered the rest of our tab to the cute waitress as a tip but apparently she couldn’t accept it. So after an evening of great food and good conversation, we parted with a peck on the cheek, but not exchanging details. I’m sure we’ll probably run into each other again at some point. I’m fatalistic like that.

HER

After being in a relationship for five years, the past few months of singledom have been an interesting novelty for me. So why not complete the single cliché and go on a blind-date? (Well this was my thinking anyway.) I really did not expect much more than a good meal and free wine; I considered some half-decent conversation as a bonus.

I turned up to the Establishment a few minutes late (much to my chagrin, as I hate being late) and approached the bar to let myself be known. I was greeted with ‘ah yes, we have just been talking about you’ by the guy behind the bar, which worried my otherwiseat- lease mind a little.

I was led past a large merry group to our table where my date was already seated with a half-empty margarita. We greeted each other with a handshake and sat down, then kind of just looked at each other with tentative smiles. Where exactly do you start? So I asked the highly original question, “what do you study?”, and we went from there. He told me straight away that he was in fact the poor sod at Salient office who volunteered to partake in this blinddate. Apparently very few males are interested in going on dates with strange girls with no information about their appearance…I wonder why….

Thus, James had to turn to his staff to fill the gap. This made me feel somewhat uncomfortable, almost like a charity case. However as the wine flowed so did the conversation.

We found that we were friends with one half of a couple each, not too surprising for people of the same age in Wellington I guess. We covered many things over dinner: study, work, drinking, teenage years, family, music, books, religion, hair, etc. My date was a very intelligent, philosophy studying, music guru, and despite my lack of knowledge in both music and philosophy, we were able to sustain interesting conversation and share a few laughs. Three and a half hours later we had drunk our tab and it was time to leave, despite the melodic voices floating up to us from the karaoke below.

It is an odd experience to talk to a complete stranger for that long and learn a fair amount about them. But it was nice, and I enjoyed my evening. I know it would make for better reading if I were able to relay an embarrassing or horrific moment but unfortunately, all in all, it was a pleasant night out.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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