Crystal gazing: Having a ball with the Blind Date Challenge
Back by popular demand, it's the Blind Date Challenge, now more extreme than ever! Instead of your basic dinner-and-a-drink date, we'll be adding a twist, sending people out on fun, unusual– sometimes daring– adventures (as if taking the Blind Date Challenge itself isn't enough of a daring adventure).
Our first couple: Tim and Shannon. He's a 24-year-old financial analyst who takes monthly trips to the Big Apple; she's a 24-year-old Francophile who moonlights as a hostess at a ritzy downtown restaurant. Both professed an open-minded attitude toward dating and an enthusiasm for new experiences. We decided to put that one to the test by sending them to a psychic.
What happens when you cross A blind date with ESP. A "bang up" good time! If you don't have clairvoyance yourself, you'll just have to read on to find out.
Shannon and Tim met at Psychic Readings by Catherine, in that house with the red hand out front on 29N across from the GE/Fanuc headquarters. After having their palms read, they headed a few miles south to the brand spanking new Rivanna Grill.
SHANNON: I got there early because I was afraid I would get lost and be late. Tim showed up at 7 on the dot.
TIM: I was second to arrive, but I think I still arrived on time. Phew.
SHANNON While I was waiting for Tim, I got to talk to Catherine, the palm reader, and find out a little about her. Apparently she comes from a long line of people with psychic powers. I was sooooo nervous. I had to keep wiping my clammy palms on my skirt. My hands were shaking a little bit, too, and I was afraid the palm reader would say something. She was really nice and told me I had nothing to be nervous about.
TIM Surprisingly, I was not nervous. I thought it was going to be fun. Since I didn't have a lot of time to primp because of work, I didn't have time to get nervous!
SHANNON When Tim arrived, I thought, "Oh good– he's cute." He was wearing a red polo tucked into pants and shiny shoes. He wore glasses and looked a little preppy. But that's a good thing. He came in a shiny Beamer, so that got extra points. I was so relieved that he didn't have a third eye or anything that I was happy.
TIM There wasn't really time to get a first impression! We started the evening at a psychic for a palm reading. Once I walked into the room and Shannon was there, we said hello, and the psychic took over. The best readings, apparently, are done individually with a psychic so other spirits do not "interfere" with the reading. First impression, for what it's worth: attractive girl with a nice smile and long blonde hair.
SHANNON I'm really cynical, but she did say some things that I wanted to hear, and it was fun hearing about when I'd meet my soulmate and how many kids I would have. [Any of them named Timmy Jr.?] It's too bad she didn't tell me that I was going to get in an accident as soon as I left her house.
TIM She said I was a kind-hearted soul who does not hurt people. I am also a very private person who does not easily open up to others (only semi-accurate because it's a huge generality). The other parts were hit and miss. She said marriage and children will come to me, but not for a long time because my career will always come first.
SHANNON When I pulled out of the psychic's house to cross 29, I went straight across to turn left and this minivan came across, too, and turned left right into me. Bam! She said she "didn't see me"! I said, "I'm supposed to be somewhere!!!! Give me your info quick!" and sped off. I was shaking, and when I got to the restaurant, Tim was already there. He was oblivious to what had happened. I had to order a glass of wine to calm me down. So, now my driver's side door is crushed and doesn't open, and I have to Dukes of Hazzard it out my window.
TIM I must say Shannon was an extremely good sport about it. Some people would probably want to go home and cry, but she completely forgot about it and decided to have a good time. I was actually really impressed that she didn't freak out about it, because if I were in that position I probably would have! We did have drinks (it's almost necessary if your car gets sideswiped like that!)– white wine for her and a beer for me.
SHANNON: We shared three appetizers– tuna sushi rolls, shrimp quesadilla, and coconut shrimp. Everything was incredible.
TIM: The quality of the food was a pretty good signal dessert would be great. We shared raspberry créme brulee.
SHANNON: We found out we had a lot in common. We both love MTV reality shows like Real World and Road Rules; we've both road-tripped to New Orleans, we both love musicals, we're both left-handed, we both were confused by The Matrix Reloaded.
TIM: I'm a runner, and she's in a running club in town. Her running club goes for a few miles and stops at mandatory checkpoints to chug a beer or take a shot of liquor. How badass is that?
Any rough moments?
SHANNON: He told me he had a tape of himself singing All for One's "I Swear." I was embarrassed for him.
TIM: Considering that I put my foot in my mouth from time to time, I surprised myself and was pretty smooth (though I guess I'll find out when I read the column). All conversation was pretty darn good.
SHANNON: We weren't done gabbing after dinner, so we went downtown to Oxo so I could get a chocolate martini. We hung out there for awhile then went to South Street Brewery.
TIM: We left South Street around 1 or so, and I dropped her off at her apartment. I took her number and hope that her car isn't too badly damaged.
So there was no smoochy-smoochy?
SHANNON: No, wasn't a romance vibe going on. Or maybe I wasn't drunk enough.
Would you go out again?
TIM: I sure would. It would be fun to hang out again.
ON a scale of 1-10...
How would you rate the date ("1" being "needs improvement," and 10 being "perfection")?
TIM: I'd call it an 8, I think. The conversation was good and we both took the time to just hang out and have a good time (i.e. nobody bolted right after dinner!). It turned into a pretty long date, which was cool with me.
SHANNON: 7. We had a lot in common and made good conversation. You can never have too many drinking buddies, either.
Quote of the night:
So there was no smoochy-smoochy?
No, wasn't a romance vibe going on. Or maybe I wasn't drunk enough.
The Challenge appears every two weeks in The Hook. Are you up for the Challenge? Call 295-8700 ext. 236 to enter, or email firstname.lastname@example.org