An Actually-Blind Blind Date

by Amelia Diamond
April 17, 2014
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I mean, he could see. I can’t really see though. But blind as in, no Googling!

thomas-giddingsblinddate

My dad once brought up the mind-blowing question, “Can you imagine what it must be like to see ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and not know how it ends?” I honestly cannot. By the time we reach 4th grade we’ve all heard some version of the two “star-crossed lovers” who can’t bear the thought of being alive without the other. By age 25 we’ve analyzed their deaths to death in a multitude of classrooms, seen every movie version (including the one with Leo at least five times), and memorized certain lines.

Dating in our digital age has become just like that story of Juliet and her Romeo: we have so much access to personal information (hellooo creative investigation) that by the time we actually sit down for date number one we can practically predict the outcome. Or at the very least, we create self-fulfilling prophecies based on too much information at hand; we either like the person prematurely due to facts we dug up that sounded appealing — He saves orphan seals!! – or conversely, we accidentally sabotage the whole thing due to facts we dug up that sounded unappealing (for instance, maybe you hate seals).

The interview format of a typical first date has become an unnecessary formality too. As with Romeo & Juliet, we’ve memorized the lines before meeting:

“Oh, you’re in advertising! How interesting! I absolutely did not know that because I 100% did not stalk your LinkedIn account via my friend’s LinkedIn account so that you wouldn’t know that I was looking at your profile.”

God help you if you’re one of those people who can’t help but mouth along with the dialogue.

I’ve often wondered, much like my dad did about the Shakespeare classic, what it would be like to go into a date knowing nothing. No premeditated expectations, no bullshit reasons for why “I already know it’s not going to work,” per my most frequently uttered line. I wanted to experience a true blind date, like the kind before Facebook and Google. So I did what any other investigative journalist would do: asked around and got myself set up.

Securing the date was the easy part. Not resorting to my usual researching techniques, however, took more restraint than I’ve ever had to exercise. I felt like one of those poor dogs with a treat sitting on my nose; all the information I could want was right there and I wasn’t allowed to consume it.

Considering that I’d have no real “story” if I cheated, I stayed strong.

When it came time for the date I realized I’d done such a good job at my own assignment, I had absolutely no clue what he looked like. (Fun fact: if one my contacts fell out, which it almost did, it would have been a literal blind date!) Cue me sending one of those awkward texts like, “Hey…what do you look like?” He provided an adequate description, I located him in the restaurant, and from there we fell madly, deeply, head over heels in balcony climbing, I-would-die-if-you-died love.

Kidding.

But I did have a fun time, and I spent the evening learning new things about someone who I’d never met before. It was refreshing to walk into a situation without prejudgement, to be able to ask genuine questions without fear that I’d let some research-accrued fact slip. Was it as revolutionary as my dad’s concept about Romeo and Juliet without the spoiler alert? No. But it was nice not knowing the ending.

Photograph by Thomas Giddings
REPLIES
  • lavieenliz

    such a good idea! more people should do this

    http://hashtagliz.com

  • Quinn Halman

    Proud of you

  • Aubrey Green

    This is great. I also think more people should do this. I would never want to know too much and I definitely wouldn’t want someone knowing, or assuming too much about me. I once had a guy ask to be my friend on FB (I don’t have FB now, not because of that instance though) and I said I had a rule about being friends on FB before we were more acquainted, he stopped calling me. There was another guy who admitted to trying to google me, etc and I can’t really be found, he seemed bothered by that, that he wasn’t warned with any details about me.

    • http://suddengenesis.blogspot.com/ Adam’s Eye

      Excuse me for joining the fray
      I’ll put in two cents if I may
      He could have been shy
      Not cunning or sly
      Just searching for something to say

      I’ll add that you’re probably right
      He shouldn’t have stayed up all night
      On Google or Bing
      Or that Yahoo thing
      To find out your shoe size and height

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    I actually hadn’t thought of this before – the end of blind dating because of the digital/facebook era… I haven’t needed to date in such a long time. BUT if I did I probably would at least try to have a look for the person on FB….
    X
    Kiri
    http://www.fashionblender.com.au
    http://www.facebook.com/FashionBlender

  • JIM THE BOSS

    I DNOT GET IT THIS GUYT WASNNT REELY BLIND MY SISSTER IS UGGLY I TOLD HER TO HIT ON BLINND GUYS NOW SHEE MARRIIED TO ONE HE THINK SHE GOD LOOKIG HAHAHAHAHAH

    • Fatman

      Ladies and Gentlemen,

      On behalf of the Computer World Shark Tank community, I must apologize for the intrusion of one of our most esteemed demented commentators, one who some how jumped out of the Tank, and tried to inflict on you infect you with his wisdom.

      Jim is a management manglement wanna-be who suffers from a serious case of rectal-cranial inversion, and his posts often reflect that unfortunate medical condition.

      Once again, we apologize, and we will make an attempt to corral him in the future, so he is unable to spread his wisdom elsewhere.

      • http://suddengenesis.blogspot.com/ Adam’s Eye

        Nobody expects the Shark Tank Inquisition haiku!

        A foreign Disqus
        What does JIM THE BOSS find there?
        Hostile takover

    • http://www.irememberjfk.com Trappp

      I don’t get it either, JIM. Perhaps the author of the article can’t see so well either? Good news about your unattractive sister, however, that’s outside-the-box thinking!

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoQb8vb4blA Jim but not THE Jim
      • http://suddengenesis.blogspot.com/ Adam’s Eye

        Roses are red
        Daisies are white
        I think that our JIM
        Isn’t so bright

    • http://suddengenesis.blogspot.com/ Adam’s Eye

      The truth I will help you to find
      I’m sure that you’re not one to mind
      So here are the facts
      Your mind somehow lacks
      The date thing was all that was blind

  • http://thenouvelliste.com kate

    this is brilliant. good for you amelia for doing what the rest of us are afraid to do!

    thenouvelliste.com

  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    This happened to me once! Except I had met him before but was too drunk to remember so I just had some random number texting me to go on a date and I went. He ended up being a creep, but I still had no info other than a first name and a last name that was actually the bar we met at in my phone. 22 was a cute age for me.

  • http://suddengenesis.blogspot.com/ Adam’s Eye

    A date in the land of the blind!
    We wonder just what we may find
    When push comes to shove
    Will we fall in love
    Or simply get stabbed from behind?

  • Masood Saadi

    this is brilliant….
    http://juststylo.com

  • MargaretInArabia

    Brilliant! Bravo! I hope you start a trend.

  • Adrianna Grężak

    I don’t think Googling somebody before a date is a bad thing, because LinkedIn and even Facebook profiles do not reveal somebody’s personality. The more I dated, the more I realized that sharing similar interests or life experiences does not determine whether or not you’ll have a successful relationship or date

  • Julie

    Just wanted to say this post has the oddest comments…

    • JIM THE BOSS

      LOSTS OF WEERD PEEPEL ON THE INTNERTNET

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoQb8vb4blA Jim but not THE Jim

      They seem normal to me. ;-)

  • http://www.o2birish.com O2BIrish

    I’d advise before you tried advancin’
    To a blind date with dinner and dancin':
    Check a site out or three
    Just to find out if he
    Got surprised in some house by Chris Hansen.

    • Mohrorless

      NICE O2B!