I hate blind dates. I also hate dating/ meeting celebrities. I hate blind dates because I do not know what to expect. I hate dating/meeting celebrities because I think most of them are full of themselves (unless I knew you pre-stardom). Let me put a disclaimer at this point and say that I never out-rightly condemn a situation. I believe I will try everything once (within reason, of course). That said, allow me to paint a picture for you.
It’s a nice balmy Friday afternoon, around four o’clock. I am nervous because in two and a half short hours I’m supposed to meet Fred, the guy who according to some girls of mine, will change my perspective on (blind) dating. I must admit, a part of me is excited because of the infinite possibilities of the night. Anyway, at this point in time I am contemplating what to wear: too sexy and he’ll think I’m easy, too proper and he’ll think I’m boring. To add to this, he had already mentioned that we would meet at the Jockey Pub at the Hilton. I had never been there so I did not know whether going in jeans would make me under-dressed. I finally settled on wearing my (trademark) stiletto open toes, a knee-length black skirt and a nice blouse. Smart casual. Win-win situation either way.
I get to the Jockey Pub at 6.20pm (Truth be told, I was early on purpose so that I could get a discreet table and watch the people walking in and see who was trying to call me. Who says you can’t learn a thing or two from the movies?) He was on time. At 6.30pm in walks this guy. Dressed in a gray suit and a tie-less baby blue shirt, that man knew his body frame and what flatters him. As he came closer I glanced at his shoes (I don’t care how hot you are or even if you are dressed like a male model, I will not have any romantic inclinations towards you if your shoes are whack. No thank you!), and they were nice black loafers. Mmmm I liked already!!!! He was not your typical pretty boy but he definitely exuded confidence, which in turn made him ooze sexiness. I gave my girls a mental high five and promised myself that the next time we went out it was all on me.
Fred sits down and we proceed to introduce ourselves to each other. Before long, he has taken the liberty of asking for a food menu and ordering for both of us (assertive and in command: you know what they say about men like that). He asks me what I would like to drink and I ask for a glass of wine (Simonsig white – those South Africans know what they are doing; I don’t care if people beg to differ). So the small talk is out of the way. I have established that Fred is writer/producer with a major media house in the country and that he lives in Lavington. Actually he gave me his life history in some form of checklist that went some what like this:
* Financial stability: check. I make roughly 90,000 after deductions and tax.
* Accommodation: check. It’s a four bed-roomed house. I converted one into a study so that when I carry work from home I can work in peace.
* Schooling: You know Manchester is really cold in the winter. I remember this time when we were going for this symposium in Central London on the Ethical Issues Governing the Fourth Estate and it…
* Business: Oh, sorry to interrupt you, but now that you mention it my friend and I are planning to start a media advisory company. It should do well in this market considering…
* Family: You like the wine? My dad knows the guy who is on the board of the company that owns the vineyard.
* Cars: I just sold my Mark X after two months of use. I bought it straight from the showroom and I barely used it. I generally prefer the Sport.
* Friends: My friends are like the wildest pack ever! One time we went to this house party…
* Travels: In fact next time I go to SA I will bring you several casks of Simonsig.
* Career: You think your job gets tiring? Imagine having to travel four times every week to some country and…
* Sports: Why do you support Man U? Wait, why does a woman watch football in the first place? Effeminate women are very attractive and sports fanatics are the opposite of that.
* Politics: I think that this country, despite its problems, is pretty well run…
Notice any trend here? Not only did I disagree (and sometimes take offense) at what he said, the fact that it was all about him made me want to inhale my dinner and run. No amount of wining and dining would make that experience worthwhile. He would, for example, ask me what I thought of the current political temperature and I would begin by responding that I thought we as a country still had a long way. At that point he would interrupt me to deliver his monologue on current topic. By the way I kid you not, this is a true story. Celebrity plus blind date, and real name withheld for obvious reasons.
So I suppose I was supposed to be star-struck and in awe and fawn over his every word, gesture or signal. I thought him to be one of the most shallow and self-centered individuals I had ever met.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines conversation as an oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions or ideas. Exchange. Trade between two. Really this was not going on. Then to boot, he had the air of an individual speaking authoritatively because of his job. I mean, please. Just because you work in the media doesn’t make you more knowledgeable than me. After all that was said and done, I ended up leaving by 7.45 pm (and that was an eternity to me) as opposed to the ten o’clock I had planned on.
Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to share your experiences in blind dating with the Diaspora. Was it good? Bad? Plain ugly? Like me, have you sworn off random hook up plans? What’s your take on celebrities? Do share.
Authored by COCO MALAIKA