Storytelling: Blind date might open one's eyes in surprising way
Ever clean out your basement? Definitely not on my summer's top 10 list, but recently I discovered some great memories hiding under the dust of those endless cardboard boxes.
Barbie dolls: keep.
First grade math papers: throw away.
Baby clothes: donate.
Record albums: The Monkees ... the Grassroots ... keep. Gary Lewis and the Playboys ... hmm.
I remember threatening to burn the latter in 1984. And it all started with a blind date.
Ever go on a blind date? "Oh, come on -- it will be so much fun!"
Well, that's what one of my best friends in college said to me about 37 years ago. One day, somewhere between the salad bar and ice cream bar at the college cafeteria, my friend announced, "I found a great date for you for the formal!"
"Uh, I'm not going to the formal, remember?" I say.
"But it's my cousin, and Mark and I will be there. It will be so much fun!!"
"Thanks, but no thanks, I don't do blind dates," I emphatically say.
"Because, I just don't."
"Please!" my friend persists.
Then as my stomach begins to churn like a cement mixer, I unenthusiastically say, "Oh, alright."
Big note to self: Never, ever go on a blind date! I won't bore you with the details, but that one date was eternally etched, engraved, embossed and plastered into my memory as something never to repeat. At least not in this lifetime.
So fast forward eight years later. I am out of college, working, enjoying life and really just minding my own business, when one day my older brother calls.
"Hi Mary Lynn! Hey, I was wondering ... (Here it comes, I know it.) ... There's a really nice guy that I worked with that I think you should meet."
"No, no, no, no!"
"What? Why?" my bewildered brother asks.
"Because I don't do blind dates, remember?" I adamantly say.
"Not even if he looked a little like Robert Redford?" my sister-in-law chimes in from another phone.
"Not even!" I obstinately say (wavering maybe just a smidgen).
No fair! I hate it when they ambush me with perfection. Robert Redford!
"Just think about it," he says. "Our team is celebrating the end of the United Way campaign, and Carol and I will be there, and it will be so much fun!"
Right! Where have I heard that line before?
A week later my brother calls again.
"So did you give it some thought?"
"Give what some thought?"
"The blind -- er, I mean, the Robert Redford date!" my brother cleverly says.
"Yes, but I have tickets to the Gary Lewis and the Playboys concert that day."
"That concert just got canceled," he delicately replies.
"Is this a joke?" I dreadfully say, as all the blood runs out of my body.
"So you can go now, right? Call you later with the details."
That does it, I think -- I'm burning all my Gary Lewis and the Playboys albums!
Finally the big day came and I got dressed in record time. Why fuss? I mean, we all know how this story ends.
I meet my brother and sister-in-law at a coworker's house before dinner. My brother says, "Come on, I'll introduce you to him."
"Whatever," I mutter under my breath. As we walk downstairs, my eyes are wildly perusing the room for "him." Nope ... too old ... too young ... oh please, not him!
"Hi Bob, I'd like you to meet my sister, Mary Lynn."
"Oh crap," I repeat over and over in my mind. Why did I get ready in 15 minutes? Did I even put on makeup? Why did I wear this dress? I brushed my teeth, didn't I? Crap! He does look a little like Redford!
"Nice to meet you," I finally utter.
That first meeting led to a first date at a hockey game, which then led to numerous dates, which ultimately led to our 24th wedding anniversary this year.
Yes, I know. Never say never to a blind date, because who knows, it just might be so much fun. Or as Mae West once said, "Look your best -- who said love is blind?"
As for Gary Lewis and the Playboys ... definitely keep.
First Published August 8, 2012 12:19 am