Sunday, August 27, 2006

Blind Date

Yesterday I had a date. A blind date. I'm not speaking figuratively; my date, K, is blind and has been since birth. I've known K for a few months (through my job) but never really thought of him beyond work. Last week I found out from a mutual acquaintance that he is "interested in me". The next day he called me at work and asked me out. When I asked what day and time, he said Saturday at eight. I thought, eight is a little late for a date, but okay, and I said okay. Then he said something to made me realize he might mean eight A.M. so I clarified the time and he confirmed that it was eight in the morning. I wondered what we would be doing that early in the morning, but I had already said okay, so I didn't say anything. Quite honestly, I wondered what we would be doing anyway; I've never known a blind person.

I arrived at K's apartment right on time and knocked. No one came to the door. I stood there, knocking every so often, for about 10 minutes. Those ten minutes seemed to last much, much longer. It was so awkward!! I finally left and treated myself to breakfast at IHOP - I was already up and ready, so why not? I didn't feel bitter about being "stood up"; I figured he probably had just slept in or maybe he didn't make it home from Salt Lake the night before. After breakfast I went home, climbed into bed (I haven't been getting much sleep lately), and read. A bit after 10am my roommate peeked in, after knocking, and asked if I had gone to K's. I told her what had happened and she told me that K had called her cell phone (it would take too long to tell why he called her phone, so I'm not going to) and had asked her to call him with my phone number. Instead, I entered his phone number into my cell, thanked my roommate, and went back to reading. I only had a few pages left of a really long book, and I really wanted to finish it. I called K a little before 11am and left a message. Shortly after he called back. I explained what had happened, he apologized and surmized that he had probably been in the shower, and I apologized that he had thought I had stood him up. We ended up talking for over an hour. He is really easy to talk to. After awhile he asked if I wanted to go to lunch and I said yes. I drove to his apartment once again and we went to lunch. After lunch we walked from his apartment to the college campus and I helped him navigate from one class to another. One route was especially challenging so we went over it a few times. It was hot, so we stopped a few times to rest and cool down. During those times we talked and talked. Really, we had the most interesting conversations! You all know how much I enjoy talking! Finally, we went back to his apartment and he asked if I would mind running him to the store. We went to Smith's and picked up the couple items he needed, then returned to his apartment. By this time it was just before 6pm. He asked what my plans for the evening were, implying that he wanted me to stay longer, but I was tired and just wanted to go home and rest and hang out with my friends. He asked me out for Tuesday night, but I already had plans, so we tentatively set Wednesday night as the next time to see each other, then I left.

I've got to say that this had to be the most interesting date I've ever had. Guiding him around was challenging but rewarding. When we first left his apartment to go to lunch, there was a moment when he needed to turn into the parking lot, but he didn't. I didn't know what to do! Was I suppose to say something or would he get offended? I ended up telling him he needed to turn right, then took his arm to lead him to the car. It felt so awkward, and I didn't want it to be that way the whole day, so I worked up some courage and told him that I had no experience with blind people and didn't know the proper etiquette. He was very gracious and said I had done just fine. Throughout the day I felt very comfortable about asking him questions about being blind and what I should do to help him. As we were going back to his apartment from the campus, he said that I had done really well and that I should consider being trained as a Guide for the Blind. I felt pleased that I had been helpful. Really, it had been very interesting trying to show him with my words, his walking stick, and the surrounding landscape how to get to his classes. There were times I felt quite ingenious; other times it was stressful trying to come up with a way for him to know what direction/sidewalk/turn he needed to take. He told me of training in Lousiana and the "tricks" he used to help him. One example: he uses the sun to tell which direction he's going. One time he turned the right way without my help and I asked how he knew to do so. He said that he knew he had to go north and he could feel the sun to the west, so he turned accordingly. I was amazed at his courage and his good cheer. He never became frustrated, even when I felt so for him.

I had a good time. K seems like a very good man, and I'm not opposed to getting to know him better. He openly admitted to thinking that I'm someone he could see being in a relationship with. It surprised me, since I feel like we hardly know each other, so I asked him what made him think that. He was very complimentary. He worried about scaring me away, but I assured him he hadn't. In the spirit of complete honesty, though, I told him that I'm not really looking for a relationship. Not that one is impossible, just that it isn't at the top of my priorities right now. I explained that I also have serious commitment phobias and trust issues. I jokingly asked if I had scared him off. He very seriously said no. It made me smile. After that moment he would occassionally allude to us seeing more of each other.

So, I had a date! It's always nice to say that my last date was recent, instead of months ago. And, if nothing else, K could end up being a new friend. All in all, I enjoyed myself immensely. Though there were a couple awkward moments, there weren't any bad moments and a lot of really nice moments. What more could you ask for in a date?

27 comments:

booklogged said...

Sounds like an interesting and unusual date. Did you ever find out what he had planned for 8 am? What book did you just finish reading?

Cassie said...

That sounds very interesting. It sounds like you handled yourself very well. I don't know if I could. Though it is nice to have a date. I can't wait for the time when I can say my last date was recently instead of 2 years ago. AAAhhhh!

Cardine said...

Action.

So, anyway, I think your date sounded fun and interesting. I am jealous. I saw a blind guy the other day, and I sort of wanted to find out if it was your date. But, I didn't.

tearese said...

that was very interesting. Yes, what were his original morning plans? Is he around your age or much older? I would have been very uncomfortable, I think. Sounds like you did great.

ReveryWings said...

Very nice reading about your date Julie. The experience sounds great. I apprecitate your sharing it with us. About your enjoying talking. Thats a two way street. I know I always enjoy talking with you. And so its fun to finally get into reading these blogs and getting a sense of whats going on in your life. Thanks for sharing. This post was an inlfj of sorts for me.

Framed said...

I've had very few first dates that didn'y have awkward moments. One of those, I ended up marrying the guy, so I say cherish awkwardness. If nothing else, you'll have something to look back on and laugh. My last date was in 1985, so Cassie, two years isn't bad.

Alyson said...

Sounds like a wonderful date. I'll be interested to hear any updates. My last date was in 1998. Even while Mike & I were "dating", he would never call it a date. I guess we just hung out a lot. Actually, I think I got him to take me on a "date" in 2004, so maybe I'm over exaggerating.

sarah said...

Wow... your roommate sounds so helpful (ha, ha). Okay, seriously... what a cool experience. I'm glad you had it.

julie said...

No, I never found out what he had originally planned.

I just finished reading The Stone of Tears. It's the second book in the Sword of Truth series. A friend of mine introduced me to this 11-book fantasy series. They are really good, long, interesting books (at least the first two have been).

K is 26, so he manages to make my cutoff point (25). There were a couple times, at first especially, when I was uncomfortable. It was such a new experience! I decided early on that when awkward moments came up I would be open about it and ask K what to do instead of pretending everything was normal. That helped a lot.

Reverywings, who are you? I know I could try to figure it out by looking at your profile/blog/etc. but I'm feeling lazy. Also, welcome to my blog and thanks for the comment. I also appreciate the compliment. Finally, what does inlfj stand for? Maybe I should know, but I don't. :)

So, awkward = potential keeper?

Yes, my roommate played an important part in the day. I should thank her for it. Maybe I will this evening.

Wow, this is a long! Thanks everyone for your comments!

julie said...

Does anyone else wish there was a button that allowed for comment editing after the comment is published?! I make the silliest mistakes and sometimes miss them when I proofread my comment. Of course, I catch it after I publish. Sigh.

Myke said...

I have a blind friend and thought, when we first met, that it'd be awkward, but he, also, put me at ease. Have you let K touch your face so he can see what you look like? He's blind, after all, only to the extent that we keep him in the dark.

I have a blind spot in the lower left quadrant of my right eye. I always thought blindness meant you saw darkness or black. Oh contraire, you don't see anything.

I love describing things to my friend and he loves hearing about things I can see.

Revery Wings is your Uncle S.

You always amaze my Jewels. I so admire you.

tearese said...

yes, I hate how you have to delete your whole comment or leave it.
I had a month of dates in 2003, followed by four months of hanging out. Before that, I hadn't had a date since...2001? Another one of those I really didn't want to go on.

julie said...

Myke, thanks for letting me know who Reverywings is! I'm delighted! Also, K hasn't asked to feel my face yet. I'm kind of glad because it seems so intimate. That said, I'll probably let him when he asks - hopefully it won't be really soon.

My perspective has changed a little since spending time with K. I find myself looking at things and trying to think how would I describe them to him.

We're getting together again tonight.

Cardine said...

Myke: I am totally blown away by the comment that you don't see anything. I can't comprehend that.

My new process for when I make mistakes is to copy the comment to a new one, fix the mistake and post it. Then I go back and delete the comment. If you're the administrator, you can go back and delete the deleted comments so they don't even show up anymore in the comments. So, if you make a blunder on my blog and want to go back and fix it and in so doing have deleted some previous comments, don't you worry, I will delete the deletions if I notice them.

Framed said...

I say, if you make a mistake on your comments, leave it. Some of the funnest comments I've read revolve around those silly mistakes. What did you say wrong in your comment? You really have to read Reverywings to figure out those weird words he keeps using.

Framed said...

I say, if you make a mistake on your comments, leave it. Some of the funnest comments I've read revolve around those silly mistakes. What did you say wrong in your comment? You really have to read Reverywings to figure out those weird words he keeps using.

tearese said...

so was that last one posted twice on purpose?
Let us know how wednesday night goes!

tearese said...

is not seeing anything kind of like the blindspot in the side mirrors on the car?

Cardine said...

Yes, so how did it go?

julie said...

I've decided not to see K again. Details won't be forthcoming; all I will say is that he's not the guy for me.

Framed said...

Sorry about K. Apparently it was not awkward enough. Also don't know why my last comment posted twice. I guess if it's worth saying once . . . . .

booklogged said...

Talk about blunders! Myke, you should go back and read the last line on your comments. Too, too funny!

Julie, sorry it didn't work out, but nice to know early on so you don't waste any more time than necessary. Now you can get back to that fantasy series.

Love you. And say HI to your mom.

Cardine said...

Um... yeah, I didn't want to say anything about Myke's last line, but since you did, I will mention that I'm laughing.

Framed said...

I was trying to overlook Myke's last comment also and it was soooo hard. Thanks, Book, for pointing it out.

c jane said...

I LOVED reading this post! I LOVE you. SO MUCH!

ReveryWings said...

Julie... its me!

Cardine said...

Sweet new colors!