THE BLIND DATE CHALLENGE- Friendly persuasion: Being pushed into the Challenge

The background

Matchmaker understands that taking the initiative to sign up for the Blind Date Challenge can be, well, challenging. That's why she is so appreciative of the friends of the challengers, the pushers and the shovers who provide their single friends with enough encouragement to step up to bat in the game of love.

After all, if their friends hadn't gotten the ball rolling, Matchmaker would never have even heard of Pat and Marc,* two 20-something BDC-ers.

"This girl's too cool to spend the winter by herself," wrote in Dave, an old friend of Pat's. "Also, she nominated me for The Bachelor last year, so in the spirit of full disclosure there's a little bit of a payback element here."

Whatever the reasons behind the requests, Matchmaker's heart was warmed by their friends' efforts to find Pat and Marc a match. But would Pat and Marc be grateful by the end of their evening out? Or would it be their turn to wreak revenge on their meddling pals?

*names have been changed. Friends can do just so much to overcome shyness.

The date

Pat and Marc dined at Jaberwoke on The Corner.

Did you do anything out of the ordinary before the date, to plan for it?

Pat: I emailed all my friends and told them I was going to be doing the Blind Date Challenge this week and that they should read about it in the paper. Then I immediately regretted having done so when the possibility occurred to me that my date would say I was boring and had body odor or something. Oh, well, you take your chances.

Marc: Nothing out of the ordinary. Probably sprayed on a little more cologne than I normally do, but that's about it. Oh, all right, I can't hold it in anymore. I plucked two nose hairs.

Were you first or second to arrive?

Pat: First.

Marc: Numero due.

What did you do while you were waiting?

Pat: I just sat at the bar and had a glass of water.

Were you nervous?

Pat: More curious than anything. I had been told that he was "into the outdoors" and "works in the music industry," and I was just keeping my fingers crossed that that didn't translate into "lives in a hollow tree stump" and "has a part-time job mopping up body fluids at Ozzfest."

Marc: I was a little anxious to find out what my blind date looked like, but no butterflies were in my stomach this time. I've been on quite a few dates in the past month, so it was all routine for me.

First impression?

Pat: It took me about 10 minutes to recover from the shock of how hot he is. Seriously, he is really freakishly good-looking. I nearly fell off the barstool.

Marc: She looked and dressed nice. Her behavior was polite and energetic. She laughed a lot, which I suppose was a good thing– unless she was laughing at me and not with me.

Would you say this person was your type?

Pat: Tragically, my type has generally been shorter and/or funnier-looking.

Marc: Although the date went well, I don't think she was what I was looking for.

What did you order?

Pat: We ordered cheese fries as an appetizer, then for entrees I had cheese ravioli and he had a steak.

How was the food?

Pat: My ravioli was tasty and was accompanied by some really yummy garlic bread, but I took only one bite before I had a flashback about garlic bread being on the "10 worst date foods" list in some magazine. The cheese fries tasted good.

Marc: I was impressed. Jaberwoke can cook a decent steak.

How was the service in the restaurant?

Pat: Great. I felt bad for our waitress because she had to keep coming back to get our orders; we were talking, so it took us a really long time to decide. The whole staff was very attentive and friendly.

Marc: Service was pretty good. I checked out my waitress several times. Oops, did I just say that?

–Something tells Matchmaker that Marc's recent dating streak might soon hit a dry spell.

What did you talk about?

Pat: We both sing and are really into music, so the conversation centered mostly on that.

Marc: Conversation flow was very good, I thought.

Did you have a lot in common?

Pat: A mutual fear of large hairy spiders. Nothing builds consensus like arachnophobia.

What did you find out that was interesting about this person?

Pat: He had a lot of great stories. The one that sticks out in my mind the most is that he had been a contestant on "Elimidate" a while ago. Apparently he was elimidated pretty early in the game. Clearly, he wasn't particularly scarred by the experience.

Marc: She sang opera in her first years at college, but quickly decided to pursue a career that was more realistic and capable of achieving success.

Was there anything you really disliked?

Pat: No, he seemed like a really cool person all around.

Marc: No.

Did your date do anything that impressed you?

Pat: He went to college on a trumpet scholarship, which I don't think I have ever heard of anyone else doing.

Marc: There was nothing outstanding that pricked my ears. Maybe she just decided not to tell.

Was there "chemistry" between you?

Pat: I can't say I noticed a lot of chemistry. That's not abnormal for me with people I've known for less than two hours, though.

Marc: There was more chemistry in our conversation than in anything else.

How did dinner end?

Pat: It was pushing 10 o'clock, so I said I needed to start driving home (I live out in the boonies about an hour from town). We exchanged cell phone numbers.

Walk each other to the car?

Pat: We thought we were parked in the same parking lot, but it turned out we weren't, so he walked me halfway there.

A hug? A kiss?

Pat: Hug yes, kiss no.

Would you see this person again?

Pat: I would totally see him again. It's sort of hard to say without knowing somebody better, but there's no question he would be a fun person to hang out with as friends.

Marc: I think I would, friends only though. She's a pretty cool girl.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the date?

Pat: As completely random blind dates go, I think I'd give it a 10. And probably at least an 11 compared to what I was expecting.

Marc: I give it an extremely high 6.