The Last Blind Date

By Mary Anne Slack

I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution ever since I reread some old journals and realized that every year from the age of seventeen to thirty I wrote, “Get down to 120 pounds.” Undoubtedly I was once 120 pounds at some point, but I was most likely fourteen at the time. Reading this ridiculous goal – one I never attained – made me see that resolutions are worthless.

That being said, I am now making one: Never go out on a blind date again.

I have some very nice friends, both men and women, who have genuine fondness for me and want to see me happy. I am happy; yet for those friends who are married or in relationships, that fact is not to be believed. I must be just faking it. Hence, these well-meaning folks have continued to introduce me to men.

When I asked one of my friends if he thought I had anything in common with the proposed guy he actually said, “Well … you’re both single.” I think I turned that one down, claiming to be too busy. But most of the time it seemed easier to agree to it and so I have a long, often amusing history of blind dates. But all things must come to an end.

I agreed to meet Bruce at the Blue Plate Diner, a modest, inexpensive place in town. He was a short, bald, rather sweet man who managed inventory and shipping for a local screw manufacturer. I am a teacher and a very part-time professional singer. He seemed interested in my career but his just didn’t spark anything in me other than acute boredom. He was the cousin of a colleague of mine so I was polite and feigned interest in screw counting. Did I mention I’m an aspiring actress as well?

I’d finished my burger and all but one of my fries and couldn’t eat another bite. Bruce was droning on about his job when he suddenly stopped.

“Are you going to eat that French fry?” he asked.

“Be my guest,” I said, turning the coveted greasy morsel in his direction.

He grabbed the ketchup bottle and shook a huge blob of the red stuff on top of the fry. Before replacing the cap he lifted the bottle to his lips and, sticking out his pink tongue, licked the top of the bottle clean. I picked up my phone and took a picture of him, which he didn’t even notice. He replaced the cap, placed the bottle next to the metal napkin holder, and dug in.

I didn’t stay to watch. I got in my car and sent the photo in a group email to my friends entitled: Why I No Longer Go on Blind Dates, Thank You Very Much. It seems to have done the trick. I haven’t had an offer in two weeks and am thoroughly enjoying my happy singleness.

\"\"Mary Anne Slack is a soon-to-be-retired elementary music teacher, an avid reader, and a library trustee in her home town. She is a member of the Quaboag Writers Collaborative and hopes to dedicate her retirement to travel, writing, and spending time with her grandchildren.

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