Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Training Camp

I couldn't believe I was actually going on a blind date. Is this what my social life had come to? Going to meet up with virtually a perfect stranger? Ok, so it wasn't a totally blind date as we had met once before and exchanged a few texts here and there, but my general knowledge of the guy was pretty vague. He came with a decent amount of references through mutual acquaintances of ours, but some part of me still remained skeptical. You can’t believe everything you here, and people wear different “hats” when it comes to the way they behave around friends versus potential romantic interest. And how much can you really gauge someone during a first date anyway? After all, first dates are kinda like training camp: both parties bust their ass to prove they're better than the rest, survive the cuts, hope they fit the system and live to see another date.

So I went into this meeting like I would the trenches, preparing for every scenario possible. I even brought a deck of cards along, just in case his company completely sucked.
While I generally find random dates to be complete disasters in the making, one shouldn't discount their usefulness. They may not be Mr. Right but they were definitely good practice in case I happened to run into him at some point. It had been months since I had been on a date, so I had nearly forgotten how I was supposed to act on one.

Snaring a boy had not been an issue for me since my sophomore year of college. While I’m not the type to just hook up, I’m a shameless flirt, and take pride in my ability to work a room, and catch whomever’s attention it is that I'm seeking without being overly obnoxious or fake. In short, I just pride myself in being personable and genuine. It’s what happens next that always throws me for a loop. As it turns out, I’m the Terrell Owens of dating. I was more likely to bobble, or drop the pass than I was to catch it. I remember one first date that began with the tail of my dress getting caught in his car door, and ending in sheer embarrassment. Or another time, when I brought dinner over to a guy’s place. I had laid out this amazing spread from one of my favorite restaurants, “717” to surprise him. Then, my usual klutzy self attempted to sexily lean on the edge of the table. Turns out my lean was more Fat Joe than it was sexy. I soon discovered the importance of using all the screws in the IKEA box, and that the top of his table wasn't properly secured to the legs. The entire spread of food came crashing into my ass and all over his floor. Or there was the time I ate it on a slick floor in a pair of 4 in heels I had insisted on wearing, in front of an entire restaurant full of people. And in perhaps my worst scenario, I knocked the specials menu into an open flame at the table sending it into a small inferno before my date’s very eyes. He must have still found my Julia Robertsesque dinner manners endearing though, because I still got a second date. Needless to say, when it came to actually carrying out the deeds of dating, the perfect pass catch was usually just beyond my fingertips.

But then there were those beautiful moments, those one handed grabs right in the far corner of the end zone that remind me why I still play this game in the first place.

I spent what seemed like an entire week planning the perfectly crafted date. A cool place for dinner, a fun social event for afterwards (no not that you perverts), and an appropriate yet stunning outfit to match. My typical fashion ensemble consisted of a ball cap blue jeans and a beat up pair of cowboy boots. But thanks to the help of my manager Phil and my newly appointed stylist, Orly Shani, I was beginning to look more like a grown up, and less like one of those porn styled Abercrombie and Fitch catalogs.

So I had the outfit, the plans, now all I needed was a date. But apparently JetBlue had other plans. To prove my life is the true definition of Murphy’s Law, my date’s flight never left its gate. All flights.. Cancelled. Which left me all dressed up with no date “to go.” (Thanks a lot JetScrew.)

The funny thing is.. I really wasn't even mad. Sure, I had wasted a perfectly good outfit, had to cancel reservations, and had spent hours getting dolled up. At least, I still had an amazing time out with good people I’ve come to call my “New York family.” Somehow all that effort still seemed worth it. Maybe because for the first time, I felt great about myself and nothing else. I had spent so much time worrying about fitting into someone else’s system, and “making the cut” that I forgot that I was still a pretty awesome commodity myself. So me and my previous “Tony Romos” hadn’t meshed well. So what?.. Maybe I had just been playing for the wrong team (and not like that). Certainly, there has to be someone, somewhere looking for the talent and everything else I have to offer, that is willing to have me come workout, and give me a chance to prove myself. Hopefully for the sake of this Florida girl it’s not Buffalo.

The point is I had “suited up” and met my challenge head on. And that was really all that mattered. So maybe my game got called on account of weather? Who's to say we couldn't reschedule for another day? At least I knew I was ready for whatever this crazy dating game would throw at me. That’s what dating is for anyway… PRACTICE. After all, practice is everything. It may not make perfect, but it definitely works out the kinks. Who knows? Maybe I would find a team worthy enough to call my own. Besides, its only July and we’ve got a long season ahead of us. No excuses. Play like a champion today.

Oh, and I bet you're wondering if I ever got that date?? Well, some things are just better left a mystery.


Dave Hogg said...

You suited up, and that's the important part! Now it is just practice, practice, practice.

Mike said...

I love the football references! Just one question though...if you normally wear a baseball hat, jeans and cowboy boots, why get all dolled up for a blind date? To relate it like you have been, both players are stepping onto the field for the first time in their life trying to impress everyone watching. Sure those situations sometimes provide shinning stars, but most of the time the players fail and get sent to the arena leagues. I'd rather see a girl relaxed and being herself on a blind date, but maybe that's just me. You'll find the guy of your dreams someday if you haven't already!

MrBaller said...

Date me.

Fern said...

Make sure to double check that "flight" story or I will personally hunt down the guy who would dare stand you up...

Blind dates to me don't make sense, it must be part of my extreme left-sided brain that wants everything to be logical. Its hard enough for me to have a topic of interest with people I already know; I can't imagine walking into a room with a stranger and hope to impress her. Granted she just *might* be into structural analysis and geotechnical surveying... but I wouldn't bet dinner on it, thus me not taking part in blind dating.

I'm slightly baffled though, you sound confident, and are obviously stunningly beautiful, I can't imagine you being in an "awkward" situation in a blind date. It would seem to me that the guy that walks into the restaurant to meet you would be speechless and more likely to make s doofus out of himself than you.

Well, if the date did go through, lets hope it all went well, if it didn't... lets hope for another attempt to swing by your way.

SACK-U said...

You are Vinny Testaverde :P.... kidding

Jeff said...

Any guy you couldn't snare is probably a complete retard, or gay. Any normal guy that takes one look at you is going to want to jump your bones and play with the girls you bought, so are you really that surprised at how easy it's been since you were a sophomore?

The guy doesn't even have to be that interested in you as a person and they will play along just to get with you, so you better step your mental game up.

Veritas said...

Left a mystery?! I'll go on a long shoot and say that you did.
Why do I say that?! Your not the only one that likes mysteries.
Now here we are again, the relationship theme again.
It was bad luck the bad things that happened to you, but believe me you're not the only one that gets your plans screwed up because life likes to throw this bad jokes on us once in a while.
And like always nothing get us down, we keep on moving forward, we keep on trying to make more of ourselves and the people around us, that's what we are and no one can change that (except ourselves).
From all of this text only one thing caught my absolute atention.
The fact that you are starting to feel good on your own shoes, that the fact that you don't have no one special to share your life with in this moment, is not making you feel so bad like in the past.
You're really evolving in many ways and that is without a doubt great news for me to now.
Practice is without a doubt a good thing but like everything in life it also has its down sides; you see has we practice more and more a problem might occur "what problem?" you may ask, the problem of starting to enter in a state of mind where we start to think that no matter how much you practice you'll never find The One.
Your mind starts to get so disapointed from so many failed relationships or even relationships attempts that you start to see no light at the end of the tunnel.
I understand your search, and I really hope you find what you are searching for, but the thing I fear the most about you is that one day you'll start to see all of those failures has your fault.
With this I leave you with this citations, all of each I believe may sheed some light on your doubts:

"What really matters in life its the lives of those that failed, because that means that they tried to go beyond their possibilities" -Georges Clemenceau-

"Failure is the oportunity to start everything all over again, but this time with more intelligence and more willpower" -Henry Ford-