That reminds me, if you go to Notre Dame, Steubie or Christendom, you basically have to tell me so I can work extra-hard to disguise you. I mean it.
So instead of publishing this letter, I will just tell you the reader's concerns:
1. Blind dates are scary and embarrassing, and Reader has agreed to go on one with Nice But Pushy Lady's Son.
2. Nice But Pushy Lady's Son is merely culturally Catholic, and Reader doesn't want to teach any more catechism in her spare time.
3. Who should pay? If, while they stand at the counter, she pays, will he think she is a feminist?
4. Reader is looking forward to an appointment with a much more attractive prospect later this month.
And here's what I said:
Dear [Reader I'm Shortly Going to Blog About],
I feel for you. It's an embarrassing situation! The bright spot for me is that NBPL thinks you are a wonderful girl she would be happy to see her son with. For a woman to want to give you her baby lamb--that's a big compliment. Ditto for all those other ladies. Say... I have this spiritual son, aged 25.... (Just kidding!)
Let me look at these fears and see what we can do to make life more bearable.
1. Blind dates are indeed frightening and embarrassing. My last one was set up by a Korean girl I was helping with her English with a young university professor named George. She called him "Professor George." If you were reading at the time, you might remember that I got all my readers to vote on whether I should go on this blind date. (Then-Reader B.A. said no.)
Anyway, I survived. As you see. Professor George was Greek Orthodox, so we fought about religion over pierogi at the local Ukrainian bakery--a public place I know very, very well. Dear me. And now I laugh merrily. At the time I was thinking, "Oh well. At least my next blog post is writing itself!"
You could make the blind date less blind by seeing if Sonny-Boy is on Facebook. Google-stalk!
2. It's amazing how culturally Catholic men snap into shape if they form a real attachment to a religious Catholic girl. All that underlying stuff from baptism, etc., seems to start working like yeast. The religious girl doesn't have to (and shouldn't) get all catechetical on him. All she has to do is look pretty and be unbendingly firm about all moral issues and go to Church on Sunday and answer his [religion] questions, [if he asks], without making a big deal of it.
3. Who pays? This whole thing is NBPL's idea, so she should darn well pay. But I recommend going dutch on this one. The guy didn't ask you out of his own free will, and he may be feeling rather put upon and bossed about by women, so if you go dutch you don't (A) look like you are profiting from it (cranky men do think that way*) or (B) act like his mom by paying for him.
I once went on a date with a guy who really, honestly, forgot to bring his wallet, but was too frightened to tell me. So in the end I paid for everything. Dating is awful. [What is good is discovering you are in love with a friend, and that he loves you too. That is the best. So concentrate on making friends--the more friends, the better.]
4. Hooray for Mr Fabulous! Listen, this blind date thing will be just coffee. Or a walk in the park. Or something more creative, like going to a free concert, or a museum, or a science centre, or whatever you guys agree on. You could discuss it on the phone. "Let's see. What do we have in common?" You aren't going to be made to marry Scooter at gun point. He might make a good friend. He might make a good business contact.
I hope you are feeling better. There's nothing like a good night's sleep to kill angst. Joy cometh in the morning.
Grace and peace,
*UPDATE: This may sound weird, but even some trad guys