Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Blind Date

It's a familiar scene to me, by now. Guy walks into the bar, about 5 minutes until 7:00. Looks uncomfortable, not at all chatty, orders a stiff drink. In tonight's case, a Manhattan, after asking about and agreeing to one of our finest bourbons.

She arrives to join him, late and with excuses, at about 7:20. I look at her as if it's the first time she's set (well-manicured) foot in the place. She's never asked this favor of me, mind you, but I offer it out of professional courtesy.

It seems our restaurant is her favorite place to bring her blind internet dates. Tonight was #6 by my count.

"Do you have a wine list?" she asks, knowing perfectly well that we do. I hand it to her and smile. "What kind of Pinot Noirs do you have?" my inner voice says, right before she says it out loud.

"We have a house Pinot Noir by the glass or bottle, and we have many other bottle selections, I'd be pleased to tell you more about them," I say, in rote.

"I'll just have a glass of the house," her shadow tells me, right before she actually does. It's funny to me, the way her voice sounds inside my head. I probably began pouring before her lips moved.

It's a little like Groundhog Day.

#6 was a good sport. Sucked down two Manhattans before she arrived, and settled into her constant babbling rather easily. I'm no therapist, but for my money, the reason she's on blind date #6 is because she seriously cannot shut the fuck up about herself for one second.

The guy's drink is empty and I can't get a word in to ask him if he'd like another. He's completely silent while she talks endlessly about her cat being alone on Memorial Day and other such amateur, kill-our-first-date nonsense. They move to a table after I serve her obligatory glass of red, and I'm free of them.

In the kitchen, we gossip, and all agree that #4 was our favorite. That fella wasn't vibing her from the beginning, and when they finished eating and the server offered a dessert menu, he literally swung his legs out from the booth, clutched his car keys and said, calmly, "No."

"Not even a coffee?," his date asked.


If only she'd let him talk, just listen for a moment. She's a sweet girl, young, attractive, bright. Most people don't realize the level of excruciating boredom they subject others to, but it is a correctable behavior. You know it's hard out here for a blind dater, but I wish she'd arrive a little early for #7 so I could tell her how to avoid a #8.

In the spirit of the "blind love" motif, this song's for Travis, who's guilty (by suggestion) of implanting it in my brain for, say, the last month.

If you could only see the way she loves me
Maybe you would understand
Why I feel this way about our love, and what I must do
If you could only see how blue her eyes can be when she says
When she says she loves me

- Tonic, "If You Could Only See"