Deja phew! Blind date not so blind

The Background

 A while back, Matchmaker put out a call for men over 35. Tall men, short men, rich men, and poor men replied. Among them was a man Matchmaker will call Keith because that's what he called himself. Keith said he was a 36-year-old reservist who'd spent some time in Iraq last year. At a self-described 5'8" and 205 pounds of "all muscle, and you know it," Keith said that he enjoys weight-lifting a claim that didn't seem far-fetched...

Michele, 34, works at UVA and said she is attracted to men in law enforcement. Since there weren't any detectives on the BDC roster, Keith's military background seemed a good match. And at 5'3 and 95 pounds, Michele met Keith's requirement of someone "who tries to take it easy on the Oreos."

Both Michele and Keith were excited about meeting someone new, but things weren't quite as they seemed; someone had been dishonest, and the result of that deceit was a twist worthy of any reality TV show...


The Date

 Michele and Keith met at La Cucina on Water Street.


Keith: I was first to arrive. I was there approximately 15 minutes– or 3/4 of a glass of water– before she got there. I had faith that it was going to work out well. I figured I could handle an hour or so of torture if it wasn't working out.

Michele: I arrived second, and I was very nervous!


As Michele made her way through the narrow restaurant, her eyes met Keith's– and the truth came out... Keith wasn't Keith at all he was Seth* (also an alias), a man Michele has known for years! Seth, afraid of his real name being used in the column, had told Matchmaker his name was Keith, ignorant of the most basic law of the Blind Date Challenge: You have to be honest with the Matchmaker. When Matchmaker told Michele her date's name, of course no bells went off. But now, face to face with Seth, bells are ding-a-ling-ing. Will she storm out, or can romance blossom?


 Michele: When I got to the table, I realized that Keith and I already knew each other. I was very relieved, and I knew it was going to be an easygoing night.

Phew! Sounds like Keith is forgiven...

 Seth (formerly Keith): I knew Michele from years before. It was a relief to see a familiar face and friendly smile when she came walking over with the hostess.


The two hadn't seen each other in several years, and had never been romantically involved. But what did they think now?


 Michele: I would say he's my type.

Seth: She's the same cute, attractive girl she's always been.


Michele: He was wearing a dark blue button-down shirt with a tan and blue stripped sweater and tan dress pants.

Seth: What I liked the most about her outfit was her black jacket. She was also wearing a black shirt and brown pants.


Did you order drinks to get over the shock?

 Michele: I ordered a sea breeze.

Seth: I had two beers and water.


How about food?

 Michele: I ordered a fabulous penne pasta dish with veggies and alfredo sauce. We both ordered cheesecake.

Seth: I had a very tasty steak and pasta dish. I regret not trying the bread that was placed on her side of the table. She didn't have any bread either.


Michele: The hostess and wait staff couldn't have been more friendly. They came by the table several times to check on us and see if we needed anything. I was very impressed that the head chef/owner of the restaurant came by our table to ask how our meal was.

Seth: I was impressed with the food. The steak was cooked well, the way I like it, and the pasta and marinara sauce was very tasty. I enjoyed the salad before the meal as well. It was a perfect size and was a nice starter while we talked.


How was the conversation after all those years?

 Michele: We spent a lot of time catching up on what had been going on in each other's lives over the past several years, who of our old friends we still keep in touch with.

Seth: We talked a little about old times and what we'd been up to lately. We also talked about sports, the war in Iraq, our jobs, families, and old friends we hadn't seen in years, etc.


Michele: We like a lot of the same sports teams, which made conversation very easy.

Seth: I thought it was interesting that she's such a groupie of her favorite band– kinda like a Dead Head of this band... just cleaner and one with a job.


Anything you didn't like?

 Michele: No.

Seth: She has cats, and I'm not a big cat lover, but that's not really a big deal.


Did you go anywhere after La Cucina?

 Seth: We went to Rapture to relax and talk some more. It was quiet there, and I enjoyed talking with her. While we were there, we noticed a group of guys walking around in their bathrobes. I went to investigate and found a play was going on in the back room that required it.

Michele: After we left, we walked back to his car.


Seth: It was cold as we walked from Rapture to my car. We walked by a guy urinating against a wall on one of the side streets, and I said, "Oh that's nice to see after a meal."


Michele: He drove me back to my car. We hugged and made plans to go out again the following week.

Seth: She still has the same license plate she had when I knew her almost 15 years ago. Brought back old memories.


Did you have fun?

Michele: Yes

Seth: I had fun. It was a very nice time.


Would you see this person again?

 Michele: Yes

Seth: We've already talked about going out again. We've both got funny schedules, so we're going to have to coordinate with those.


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

 Michele: 8. It was a very enjoyable evening.

Seth: It was a 10 and couldn't have gone better, as far as I'm concerned.


From the sounds of it, Keith, er Seth, er whoever he is, got off pretty lightly for what could have been a major disaster. (Picture finding your ex waiting at the table, perhaps?) At any rate, the lesson to be learned is this: Be honest with the Matchmaker and let confidentiality come later, lest you discover that Mother Nature's not the only one it's not nice to fool.