The new Fox dating show The Choice premieres tonight at 9 PM. The show basically copies the “blind judging” format of The Voice. Only instead of competing to be mentored by one of the celebrity judges, contestants compete to date the celebrity judges. Presumably the judges pick their dates without seeing them, just like a real blind date.
Except nothing like it. It’s very weird and very WTF and very good for ratings. I’m sure it will be a hit. As well as the on-ramp to the highway of true love. Nothing says commitment like “we met on a gimmicky reality show.” Especially when it involves such elite celebrities like Rob Kardashian, The Situation, Carmen Electra and Pauly D.
Reading about this show obviously made me reminisce on my own dating past. While I’ve never dated a celebrity, I have gone on a real blind date. Emphasis on the word blind.
In a highly unusual move for a single 24-year-old living in New York City, I signed up for an online dating site last year. I know, groundbreaking move. Shocking. Brave. Heroic. Daring.
Trust me, I know.
Those are all words I used to describe myself in my profile. Along with “high profile lawyer” and “former ibanker” and “Dustin Diamond enthusiast.” It’s amazing that no one married me within the first month I was on there. It’s also amazing that men sent incredibly disturbing messages like, “yo u look like u wanna 2 fuck me tonight. Do u?” with the expectation I would respond.
You know what JackOff49879, I didn’t want to fuck you on that night or probably any other night. But especially that night. Because I didn’t even know you. Nor could I see your head because you chose a picture of your torso for your profile picture. Classy doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt when I opened that message up at work.
So when someone normal messaged me a few months into my grand social experiment to appease my mother, I responded immediately. His message actually made me laugh. And I never laugh. Even when I think something’s hilarious. Something’s probably wrong with me — and it’s possibly related to the fact that my heart’s carved out of stone. But possibly not.
The only problem with StandUpComedianSuitor? His profile picture didn’t exactly feature his face. It was more a faraway side shot that vaguely showed me what he looked like. I immediately made a joke about this. All like, “I watch a lot of Law & Order: SVU which requires me to ask why your face isn’t in your profile picture!” He responded with something about not wanting people to know he’s on the site.
Sure, I went with that. Not everyone is as online-confident as I am. I gave up meeting a man non-digitally years ago. In fact the first boyfriend I ever had was my tamogatchi. So digital dating’s not new for me. We messaged a few more times and arranged a date.
Right away I knew we had a problem. His eyes couldn’t exactly focus on me and his inability to make eye contact made the usual awkward first date banter even more awkward.
Lazy eye, I thought. And I still thought that after he took out his glasses to read the menu. And held the drink menu up to his face. We covered all the first date basics from where he grew up to what he majored in during college to why Tim Allen has a career. After we finished making small talk over drinks he asked me if I wanted to get dinner.
I did not.
But I also wanted to eat dinner that night. So I said yes. Welcome to the life of a blogger.
We get seated at a table and he put his glasses back on to read the menu. He held a candle up to the menu. Then he held the candle and the menu up to his face. Something wasn’t right.
And right as I was about to pinpoint the problem, he lifted his face away from the menu and said, “Jenni, I have to tell you something.” To which I surely replied with a rude “what!” He went on, “so I’m actually blind.”
Of course. OF COURSE I WENT ON A REAL BLIND DATE. Welcome to my life. It’s a less funny version of every movie Kate Hudson has ever starred in.
“Oh, I didn’t even notice,” I polietly replied.
Just kidding. I did not politely reply with that. I instead spent the rest of the dinner making seeing eye dog jokes as well as the occasional white cane joke. He wasn’t amused. But he did tell me that although I’m somewhat of a blur, he found me very pretty. A pretty blur. That immediately went on my Linkedin. “She’s a decently pretty blur.”
He then proceeded to let me question him nonstop about his eyesight. Yes, he can kind of see. No he can never drive. Yes his combined contact/glasses prescription is -19.00. No he does not read in braille. And on and on I went. I’ve never been interested in opthamology before, but my conversation that night certainly sparked an interest.
We left dinner and started walking home. Before I could jump in a cab he pulled me close to him on a crowded corner.
Him: I had a great time tonight.
Him: Look, I’d really like to kiss you. But you should know before we do that, I have no depth perception. Remember I told you that at dinner. So people have told me I’m a really bad kisser because I can’t tell how close your face is to mine.
What’s the opposite of swoon? Because that’s what I did. I made up some excuse about not kissing on first dates and jumped into a cab. I wish I could say I woke up feeling remorseful and guilty over being so rude. But I did not. I instead deactivated my online dating account. I’ve never been the kind of girl who thought love was blind.
So with that said, good luck to all the contestants on The Choice tonight. May your celebrity dates go as well as my blind date. And by that I mean, I hope you get a free dinner.
(Photo: Reality Nation)