Stranger date-ger. Shedding the light on why nobody returns my emails.

I’m more of a thinker than I am a doer. I get ideas for things that’d be neat, but so rarely pluck those notions from the aether and drop them into daily life. That’s ok though, sometimes it’s just fun to dream. It also does nothing to prohibit sharing them with you, and seeing as sharing is caring it’s the nice thing to do really.

I was hanging out with a friend the other day who mentioned O.NOIR, that dine in the dark restaurant ported from Montreal. It sounded so intriguing, having the sense of sight stripped away and relying on your remaining 4 to pick up the slack. She said sometimes eating itself was difficult, even finding your food on the plate, or sharing a forkful of tasty morsels without gouging your date’s eyeballs. An experience, that’s what you’re looking for with a place like this. It got me thinking though, how apt would be using the place to host a regular blind date podcast?

I came for the pun, stayed for the idea. So say you get the restaurant to sponsor it, you get a bunch of applicants all looking for a free meal and company. You screen the applicants for suitability and engaging personalities, then put them in a room with someone who’s just as blind as they are. When you pull away the veneer of physical attraction, could people pique each other’s interest enough over 3 courses to retain something special? If you’ve got charismatic guests, it could make for some entertaining audio. Think of people fumbling around with the new, unfamiliar environment, seeing if genuine human connection would be on the table. If it turned out to be compelling listening, it’d be pretty cheap advertising for the store. A cute idea, but not one I’d bring myself to attempt. It’s free to anyone who wants it.

After having my date cancel on me (for the third time) last night, I was in a bit of a funk. I’d been looking forward to going on a date. I like dating, finding out the things that people are willing to offer up about themselves and seeing how they open up as the date goes on. When it fell through, I offered up a spot on my date to anyone in my Facebook circle. I figured it’d be a fun chance to hang out with a friend in a mock date environment. We could ask each other cheesy dating show style questions and see if it deepened the friendship. No bites though. Understandably downhearted, I left work and walked into the subway. Looking around though, I was struck by how many beautiful, intriguing strangers surrounded me. It hit me. How crazy would it be to ask a random stranger if they wanted to go on a date right then and there?

The first thing to realise is that you’ve probably got a 99.9%+ strike out rate. You’re a total stranger asking another total stranger to trust you. That’s a big call. I’m sure your odds are better if you’re exceedingly attractive or exude a harmless, charming persona, but even so them’s some steep odds. What would you say to do your best to assure them they’ll be safe? Is it possible to be that alluring on such short notice? If they do consent though, how enigmatic would the whole experience be? You’re putting yourself into an intimate social situation with someone entirely unfamiliar with the hopes of fostering a good time for all. If someone says yes, chances are they’re spontaneous enough to roll with the punches and really bring something to a random encounter. That’s endearing to me at least. How do you decide where to go? Name a random number of buildings in a certain direction and stop when you reach the location? How would you open up that kind of conversation with a perfect stranger, knowing that either of you are welcome to pick up and leave at any time (naturally you’d ask them what pokémon they’d start with)? It’s a truly risky idea with the potential for disaster or something undeniably memorable. If only I was some kind of dauntless sociopath with no fear of rejection. If only I rolled a natural 20 for charisma. If only I was more of a doer, maybe this idea could take flight.

But I’m not, I’m a thinker and it’s tough not to think of how it all could go wrong.


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