The other day I was thinking about the times I went on what is called "Blind Dates". For the uninitiated a "Blind Date" isn't about going on a social outing with an unseeing person, rather it is about going out with a person you've never met before because a friend of yours is going out with someone he or she knows that has someone that for one reason or another can't, at the moment, get a date of their own and has to be fixed up with a person of the opposite or same sex to experience a social evening. The hope of those who arrange such things are varied. The person who already has a date and is asked to fix up a date's friend wants to be in a position that makes his date vulnerable to their desires, be it sexual or sexually connected. The person who accepts this offer to go out with someone they have never met before also has varied reasons but is treading upon very dangerous grounds. There have been times when "Blind Dates" have been good and even developed into lasting relationships. However the chances of something not so good happening is far greater. Many times the one who accepts this invitation ends up asking themselves, "What the hell was I thinking? I swear to God I thought the evening would never end!".
I was sixteen when my friend Jimmie told me he asked a girl out from our class but she had a sister who was a couple of years younger that had to accompany her by the requests of their parents. I figured what the hell, I knew Jimmies date and if her sister was as nice as she was what could go wrong, so I said OK, even though I felt uncomfortable about the whole thing since this was my first real date. We went to the movies. Since we didn't have a driver's license we took a bus. After the movie we went to Jahn's an ice-cream shoppe and had Sundaes. We took them home and didn't even get a kiss goodnight which I can understand since after we left their house we didn't say a word to each other other than would you like to stop at Jahn's(?). The four of us barely uttered a word the whole night. Funny but in school there was no feeling of being up-tight but on this Friday night the four of us were tongue tied. I can only speak for me but I imagine we all felt a great relief when the evening finally came to an end. I swore I would never do this again.
The next year my best friend Wuzzy, first name Eddie but no one ever called him that, was madly in love with this girl we had met at Kissena Park. He was granted his first date only if he could provide her friend with a date. What could I do? I put aside my first inclination to tell Wuzzy to shove it and said OK. After all, he was my best friend, wasn't he? So we went to a movie in Jamaica called The Valencia, a great old movie house which was showing the hit horror movie, "The Thing", with James Arness in the starring role. It was crowded and we sat in the second or third row in the orchestra which had us real up close for all the scary scenes. Before I go any further I should tell you I was surprised when I picked my date up. This was the first time we met. This was the first time, and I believe the only time I ever went out with an Albino. She had, I don't know, ash blond hair, blue eyes, the whitest skin I ever saw and the lips that were pink and luscious. Today I think girls pay to have lips like that. I was tempted to ask questions like, "What do you do when you get sunburned?", but I managed to contain myself and not stare. The four of us seemed to be having a good time. Anyhow, back to the movie. The picture was getting scary and Wuzzy was making out. I kept thinking of her luscious lips while at the same time afraid to make a move for fear of bruising her. She kept moving closer so I put my arm around her which prompted her to turn her head to me and her lips were parted and luscious so I did what I felt I must do, kissed her and made out. I remember very little about the movie, "The Thing". However, Wuzzy didn't need my presence anymore for he and his girl to get comfortable so I never saw my Albino with the luscious lips again.
A few years later my friend Jimmie entered my life again. He once more needed someone to go out with his date's sister. We were going to see "The House of Wax" at the Meadows, a three D horror movie with Vincent Price and Charles Bronson, another scary movie. Jimmie did say this would be a big favor and I figured she was not so good looking or something, but what the hell, he was my friend, wasn't he? We picked up the girls and right away I noticed she had a slight disfigurement, a hare-lip. It wasn't really bad but it wasn't really good. Again, I had questions which I had to restrain from asking. Again I had to restrain myself from staring. I stared to perspire since I felt bad but in no way was I going to kiss this girl or ask her out again. I have very little recollection of the movie or how the date ended but I swore I would never do this thing again!
A little while later a friend of mine at the place I worked told me that he was madly in love with a girl who wouldn't go out with him unless her girl friend would be there so he was asking me to go out with Stella. The Blind Dates I had were still imprinted in my memory banks and I stoutly refused until he pulled the friend card so what could I do (?), so I said OK, he was my friend wasn't he? This time we went to a nice little cabaret called The Holiday Inn on Northern Boulevard for some dancing and drinks The girls were to meet us there. As they walked in I saw a statuesque black haired good looking girl come into the place with a short dumpy, shall I say fat, girl along with her. My friend got up to greet them. I was hoping against hope but when he kissed the good looking girl I knew I had again won the prize. As Stella got closer it became apparent that she also had a bit of fuzz on her upper lip. We settled down into the booth and ordered drinks and danced some. The more I drank the better Stella looked because I noticed two enormous good points about her which I really couldn't overlook which I had a weakness for and which I blame this weakness on my mother breast feeding me. The night was over early and I did kiss Stella goodnight but when I woke the next day with the largest headache I ever had, I swore no more of this type of thing!
The last "Blind Date" I had came when my friend Tony told me He had this beautiful girl he wanted to date who had a sister who was also beautiful and their parents wouldn't let them out on dates by themselves. I had come full circle. We got to their house and met the parents who let us know they expected us to be gentlemen. Tony was correct both girls were beautiful. My girl's name was Triny, short for Trinidad. She was perfect in all respects, intelligent, witty, laughed at my jokes, easy to talk to. We were going to a nice night spot called The Riviera in Port Washington. There was only a slight glitch, remember this was about 1954 and times were a bit different. Her family was from Trinidad and they were Black. The question was how would she be greeted at the club, would there be any problems with any patrons? Remember in 1954 there was a lot of racism not so well hidden and we were in a lily white neighborhood. So I made up my mind, anybody says or does anything to hurt this beautiful young lady I'd beat the s**t out of them. We arrived at the club and was greeted with no incident. Some people stared as we danced and I explained to Triny that was because she was so beautiful. We ate, drank danced and had the time of our lives. Tony made out furiously with his girl but I restrained myself because I felt she had to be treated with respect.
Unfortunately, I never saw Triny again as I got involved with a girl named Georgette but soon after fell in love with Sarita, my hot little Puerto Ricana so I couldn't return to my beautiful Black Blind Date. Sarita did cause me to fix up my friend Tommy with one of her girl friends and that turned out to be a disaster. That's another story for another time.
Anyway, for those of you out there who may have an offer of a "Blind Date" I would suggest to you to try it and maybe you'll like it. While my "Blind Dates" were adventurous they have given me memories. The last one even helped me over what-ever prejudice I may have had due to my environment and remember so fondly a girl named Trinidad.