Hello all—it’s Monday, and Gizzy and I have a special treat for you little minions (yeah, I saw Megamind last weekend). One of our favorite bloggers, JustMarriedGirl, wrote us a guest blog! I can’t tell you just how excited I was when my Blackberry ringle-dingled with delight Thursday evening with an e-mail from said blogger, with an attached blog—and a good one at that!
JustMarriedGirl, or Gina, kindly offers her advice to Gizzy and I. And it’s good advice, too. She’s the married girl I want to be (me too, my hero!) Sigh. But anyway, after Gizzy posted her political post on promo girls, this conversation happened:
JustMarriedGirl: I have a blind date story, but maybe it’s too long to type here. I’ll find a way to incorporate it somehow in one of the needless tales of my boring life.
Gizzy: Hahaha I’m so happy you have a scary long memory because now I don’t have to google it, which I was beginning to contemplate. If you want to tell us your blind date story email it to us firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post it as a guest blog, we’re trying to get out of blogging this week because we don’t think people want to hear us ramble about how fast our fingernails grow so we’re looking for some guest bloggers
First of all, thanks Gizzy, for making us look like worthless little shits. But it’s ok, we’re all friends here. Lesson to learn—become friends with Gizzy and she’ll ask you to do her homework for her. (It’s true, but you know what, I spent like 6 hours working on that CAT vs DDM post last week so I’m patting myself on the back since no one else can or will.)
But thank all that is holy, because the post is effing-amazing-beautiful-educational-pretty-awesome! Take it away, G—
When I graduated from college with my undergraduate degree, I moved back home to New Jersey and eventually got a job as a loan coordinator at a commercial mortgage company. It was nowhere near a dream job, but I needed the experience and the steady paycheck, so I decided to suck it up and get to work.
The job was one I loathed. My immediate supervisor was a woman with a passion for wearing short skirts, piling on heavy make-up and getting wasted on her lunch hour. But who am I to judge her life choices? What I really despised was the way she treated me around the office. She thought I was a life-sized turd with the intelligence of a hairbrush, and she took every opportunity to remind me of my lack of importance in the office. There wasn’t a lot of work for me to do, and I was not given access to the internet or the ability to email anyone outside of the office, so my days were spent staring at the computer screen, counting the minutes until lunch break and then until the end of the work day.
On occasion, my supervisor would call me up to her desk.
“Would you hand this to Fat-Disgusting-Boss-Man?” She’d be pinching a piece of paper between her fingers and holding it away from her body and out towards me in disgust. I wasn’t sure if it was actual scorn in her eyes or if she was just dead on the inside, but her glare always gave me the creeps.
“Sure,” I’d say in my most pleasant voice, and then I’d walk the three feet to Fat-Disgusting-Boss-Man’s desk and lay the paper there before turning back to my supervisor.
“That will be all,” she’d shoo me off to my desk where I’d sit for another hour or two before I was buzzed to photocopy or fax something.
It was miserable.
There were six other employees at the office, most of whom I liked to varying degrees. The other loan coordinator was an older woman who seemed to be an expert in loan coordinating (read: sitting around and doing nothing with authority) and who liked to talk to me in the ladies room while she was on the toilet. I tried to avoid her as much as possible.
The person I detested as much as if not more than my supervisor was the aforementioned Fat-Disgusting-Boss-Man. He ran our branch, and his slimy personality was matched by his gross physical appearance. It wasn’t just that he was overweight or short or that he looked like a garden gnome, that’s no reason not to like someone. It was that his lips were always wet and greasy, and he always sounded as though he was choking down his breaths, especially while he shoved bagels down his throat during meetings, as if he couldn’t get food and air in at the same time. He would rock back and forth in his chair while other people spoke, and when it was his turn to engage the group; he was always self-congratulatory and arrogant. His ideas and his mission were of the utmost importance, and acted as though the rest of us should bow down and thank God every day for being in the presence of such greatness. Even worse than this, he liked to flirt with my supervisor in the most vomit-producing ways, and she would cackle and tease back, making everyone sick.
So, needless to say, things were rough. And when my college boyfriend of two years broke up with me soon after I got the job, I thought I would just crumble into pieces or just perish right there at my desk from too much sadness. All I could do all day was think about my broken heart and about how I would probably spend the next fifty years stuck in a crappy job that I hated.
In an attempt to cheer me up, a well-meaning friend decided to set me up with a single friend of hers. I agreed because I thought that meeting someone might help me forget work and the pain of my break-up. I even went so far as to get a haircut and a new outfit, which worked to my advantage later, but not in the way I imagined.
My friend and her husband were planning to join me and my mystery suitor for a double date, hoping this would ease any awkwardness. Immediately upon arriving at my friend’s house and meeting my date, let’s call him No Way, I knew I’d made a terrible decision. I did not find my date physically appealing for several reasons. He was balding on top but kept the remaining hair on the sides and back of his head long and flowy to overcompensate. He was a bit overweight, and decided to highlight this by wearing an ill-fitting shirt tucked into tight brown jeans. It might sound shallow, but I was only twenty-one years old, and I was hoping for someone young and fun and cute, and No Way was, well, not any of those things.
No Way and I had exchanged exactly zero words during the car ride to the restaurant or over the entire dinner. While he chatted with my friend’s husband, I suppressed the desire to cry and made small talk with my friend. There is nothing that makes a person feel worse about a break up than being set up with someone awful. If I could have crawled under the table and disappeared, I would have done just that.
At one point, I excused myself from the table and called one of my close friends, we’ll call her Mary, to tell her about the train wreck that was my night.
“Bail,” she said.
“Yes, bail on that date and come out with me to New York tonight.”
In desperation, I agreed and told her I’d call her once the dinner was over. In normal circumstances, I don’t know that I would have the guts to skip out on a lame blind date, but every moment I spent in the company this guy made me feel worse and worse about myself, and I needed to escape before I suffocated. The friend who set us up and came along for the evening wanted to rent a movie and go back to her house, but I knew that I just couldn’t do it. Why sit through a movie if I knew this date was leading nowhere?
I feigned illness and told the group I was going home; in hindsight, it must have been so obvious that I was making a weak excuse, but at the time, I felt pretty clever. Actually, I didn’t really care. I just needed to feel better about my broken heart and to convince myself that the only available men left in the world weren’t all like No Way.
In those days, we didn’t use cell phones, so I stopped at a gas station to call Mary from a payphone to let her know that I escaped. I met her at her parent’s home, and we drove to New Brunswick to meet up with some other friends from high school. Even though my nemesis, we’ll call her Horrible Human Being, was there, I wasn’t going to let it ruin the night even further.
Two of the guys in our group rented the apartment where we met. They were two grades older than us in high school, and though I knew who they were, I never spent much time with them during my younger years. One of them, we’ll call him Unexpected, was pretty cute, and even though we’d never uttered a word to one another before that night, we seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time chatting.
After a while, we took the PATH to New York with no real plan or destination. Horrible Human Being wanted to go to some club, but by the time we found the place and got inside, most of us were tired and ready to get back to the apartment where the night was much more mellow and fun.
Horrible wanted to set Unexpected up with someone she worked with at The Gap. So, when Unexpected and I were spending a lot of time together, it really angered Horrible Human Being. To stop what she believed to be an atrocity, she told me that I was way underdressed for a club in NYC. But I’d just bailed from a lame blind date, so what did she want? Unexpected was standing next to me when Horrible Human Being spewed her venom, but luckily, he was immune. I wasn’t sure if it was in my imagination, but I began to realize that I rather liked Unexpected, and I thought maybe he might (might) be interested, too. I never like to let myself think these kind of things, but we did spend the entire night laughing together and ignoring everyone else, so there was that.
By the time I got home, the memories of No Way and the lame blind date were almost completely erased. In fact, I was so infatuated with Unexpected, that I hadn’t even thought of my ex-boyfriend—the source of much of my recent distress—all night. It turns out Unexpected was interested in me, and we ended up dating for several months. But because I never fully recuperated from College Boyfriend, I ended things with Unexpected even though he did things like: send me flowers, buy tickets to the movies I liked in advance to make sure it wouldn’t get sold out, call me every day, leave me really sweet voice messages at work to make the day a little happier and just generally treat me with respect and kindness.
In case you are wondering, this is not typical for a twenty-something guy, and in case you’re wondering, I realized that I was an idiot for ruining such a relationship after getting back together with College Boyfriend and re-living all the same crap that lead us to break up in the first place.
Luckily, I met Husband Sitting Right Next to Me almost a decade later, and everything worked according to plan. Even better than that, actually.
When people talk about the horrors of blind dates, I totally relate. They can be self-esteem crushing and horrifying, but they’re not always a bad idea. If I never accepted the lame blind date with No Way, I might not have called Mary in desperation that night, which means I might not have bonded with Unexpected, a really great guy, the anti-No Way if you will.
This experience taught me that I should always accept a date in my single days because (a) hey, free dinner and (b) if the date is bad, I can bail and go on to have a really great adventure, or at least a have a story to tell later.
Now, go out into the world and start accepting those blind dates. You just never know where they’ll take you.