The Time I Tried Grouper (No, Not The Fish)

They say love is blind but really, who are we kidding?

Love is more like those spinning rides at carnivals that strap you down and swirl you around until you’re blue in the face. Or that feeling you get after you stuff your mouth with too much ice cream and suddenly your cranium gets frozen. Or the nervous shakes your hands fall victim to as you’re about to move a block during the game Jenga. To be precise, love is exactly like acid reflux.

In a city that attracts millions where everyone is moving to the beat of an AVICII song, sometimes the only way to meet people is to be forced to revel in a matchmaking service that arranges a blind date for you — and in this case — two of your dearest friends. I signed up for Grouper, a service that sets you and two of your friends up on a blind date with another lad and their two friends, bringing together Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts club for a night on the town, hoping each finds their respected match.

My belief in this concept and rad idea to make dating less awkward proved to be true when I arrived with my two good friends who kept snapping me back to reality when I got nervous jitters waiting for the three guys to join us.

And that’s what we did, we waited, and waited and waited until 35 minutes past the meeting time they decided to show up.

Three disgruntled guys in button down shirts, with shaggy hair and bloodshot eyes approached our table and without introduction, a standard ‘my name is’ or a friendly handshake, they plopped their butts down. The spokesperson of the group, the one wearing a light pink shirt that was fully unbuttoned and exposing his moist chest hair, looked me in the eyes, did a wavy wiggle on his chair and blurted out, So girls, what’s your story? A rush of stale whiskey and a pinch of sour tequila hit my nose and I realized these guys were straight-up-on-the-rocks-drunk.

That was the only full, sensible question or statement any of the boys made during the date. Everything else came out slurred from their mouths and left off important parts of a sentence: nouns, verbs, and punctuation.

What do youuuuuu work? One of them spit out to my friend Michelle, who politely replied with a smile that she plans events for a local hospital.

So you’re a Nurse? And you save lives? I have a lot of problems that I think could use your help with, he managed to express to us.

We tried to play connect the squiggly dots and carry at least one full conversation with these boys before giving up. But one of them lost his cell phone and started to crawl on the sticky floor and the other boy was downing shots in between every other word.

I sat there scared, mostly that the boy in the light pink, sitting across from me, was going to projectile vomit in the next 90 seconds.

And that’s when I told them it’s over. This uncomfortable, awkward, not going anywhere but your head resting on the toilet kind of night, was officially coming to an end after a record 23 minutes.

Anyway, It was 9:30 pm on a Wednesday night and this was a gigantic waste. The ice cream shop closed at 11 and I had to finish my three-week overdue library book. These belligerent guys were simply now using up my time, my energy, my conversation skills and my liver.

I’m not swearing off dates. Whether they come blind, online, a friend of a friend or just the natural way of knocking over someone’s coffee and having them ask you out (that happens right?).

It’s just that the most fantastic people that I’ve spent time doing cartwheels with in this world, I’ve simply just met along the way. On a cold night in a small warm spot in Minnesota, while eating a slice of pizza on the Santa Monica Pier, while volunteering for a club one Saturday during college.

I ended the blind date in the most comfortable way I know how to handle awkward situations, digging a spoon into some soft serve. With every bite I realized even more that there is truly only one rule when it comes to love–when it comes to where/when/how to meet people and then once you have found them, fully recognize how you deserve to be treated:

Open your eyes. TC Mark

image – Shutterstock

Jen Glantz is the world’s first professional bridesmaid and founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. Her new book, Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire) [Atria Books] is available now.

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