Believe it or not, in B.C. (Before Computers) there used to be a time when people used to have to listen to their girlfriends or homeboys talk about how such a good match somebody else was for them.
They used to brag about how “foine” the person was; how “perfect” and “funloving” somebody was. Heck, they’d even say “If I was single, I’d go out with him/her.”
And what could you do? You had absolutely no way of finding out the truth about this person. You had to take somebody’s word for it.
Much anticipation was built into finally setting up the place and time to meet that special someone.
Such was the process of a blind date.
But its usefulness seems to have run its course, unless of course, you live in the backwoods near the ravine, in the log cabin down yonder in Sweetwater, Mississippi or some place.
Computer access has changed the game.
Nowadays there’s no excuse for you not to have – not one – but several pictures of a person before you even let him sniff the cellphone digits, much less meet in person.
Online dating sites have made it possible to see what a person’s hobbies are, how many kids they have, their state, ethnicity, religion, Zodiac sign, etc.
In other words, unless you can’t read you will know something about them.
Now, don’t get it twisted, people will lie in a minute.
People upload pictures of themselves from 1991; Women check the “thick” box when they should be checking the “obese” box.
And the dudes?
Dudes lie about everything, from their age to their occupation.
When you finally hook up with them, it’s not by definition a blind date, but it’s very much a near-sighted one.
But technology has allowed the pre-dating process to go one step further: Sisters will pull a criminal history of your butt quick. Even pay money online for it.
Numerous online sites have databases that allow a person to check a name in mere seconds.
“John Jones?” she types. “Is he on the sex offender list?” “Prior convictions?” “Bad credit?” “Wanted for an outstanding warrant?” Sisters turn into Sherlockietha Holmes when they’re trying to check a brother out these days.
And you know what?
Some brothers have nine lives like a cat, carefully concealing one while the other is on the prowl.
Sisters fake the funk, too.
The pic that they usually upload on a dating site is usually very flattering and almost always not anything like she looks on a daily basis. Even worse, some post pics of body parts and wonder why they’re so popular online. (Twitter is soooo good for this; sisters who haven’t even filled out their bios have, like, fiftyleven followers and – oh, her avatar is a boob. MmmmKay?)
Still, you can catch just an elusive glimpse of a person’s personality by following their updates, but nothing beats one on one communication.
Still, a little online peaking is better than going out with a person sight unseen, right?
With the blind date you had stark surprises: Folks with one tooth; brothers with “halfros” (you know, where they’re bald in the middle, but got a bush around the sides?); sisters with prosthetic limbs and stuff.
None of that is bad IF the person is told or knows ahead of time, but to spring that on somebody?
Another advantage today is when you went on a blind date back in the day you literally had no idea what you were walking into. There were feelings of nervousness, anxiety, straight fear.
Today there’s a much calmer mood because you basically know the other person’s resume. Back then if the person was hideous you actually ran the risk of just standing up and walking out during the date.
The disappointment was just that bad.
In today’s world you can simply stop emailing a person, stop flirting or stop following them. No harm no foul. Feelings wouldn’t get hurt and there wouldn’t have to be an awkward moment of explaining yourself.
Will the blind date come back? If it does people will have to shut off their Iphones and laptops and get back to a more organic vibe about life. There’s something liberating about true, sincere discovery. In worst case scenarios, if it doesn’t work out you can agree to simply be friends. Today, if it doesn’t work out, it’s over. You’re out of my life. Deleted. Bye.
Things weren’t so harsh back then. But I guess that was before we were so “advanced,” right?
Either way, technology will never overcome our ability to slant the truth and exaggerate things. We all do it. Telling stories is just in our nature.
And since that’s the case we can say with certainty that while the blind date is obsolete now, the bi-focal date may be here to stay.