Hold the Surprise Blind Dates, Please | Tracy's New York Life | A New York City Lifestyle + Travel Blog Tracy's New York Life | Best Lifestyle, Culture, and Travel Blog in NYC

Hold the Surprise Blind Dates, Please

by Grace Anders
I am far from walking down any aisle in a white dress.--by Bernice Sheppard via Flickr

I'm in my late twenties – so that means by now I should either be happily married, or be on the happy path to marriage.  I'm neither.  I'm on the happy path to thinking about buying some furniture for my New York apartment at Gracious Home, but that's about as much commitment as I'm planning to do anytime soon.
As a result, I'm able to do many things without having to consult anyone else --- like leaving Brooklyn and going out in Manhattan in the evenings, or taking a vacation. I've noticed a trend, however, which I'd like to publicly denounce on behalf of single people everywhere – the surprise pseudo blind date.  I went on a trip with friends recently and experienced this first hand.

I'm a freelancer, so I work from my computer. Thus, when I have the opportunity to leave my Williamsburg nest and travel somewhere fun, my computer and I often make the trip.  Last week, I ventured with friends to the Caribbean for a scuba diving trip. The cast of characters was myself, a married couple (my friends) and a friend of theirs whom I've met several times. Male. Single. Clearly I should have seen where this was going when they asked if I wanted to “hang out” with them and 'another friend' f
or a few days.

Scuba diving sounded like a fantastic getaway!--by SteelCityHobbies via Flickr

Here's a list of people who thought we were a married couple over the course of the vacation ---by virtue of the fact that one of us was male, and one of us was female, and we stood within 10 feet of each other.

- Caribbean customs agents

- Flight attendants

- Other attractive men at the bars. (This one I took especially hard.)

Here's a list of who thought this all was funny as hell:

Everyone but me

What really bothers me about this blind date tactic (aside from the fact that the Gloria Steinem in me is outraged that I can't go anywhere without expecting to be 'coupled up') is that people seem to be downright surprised --- and sometimes irritated --- that I don't want to 'hook up' with their friends. 

The Gloria Steinem in me doesn't appreciate the setups--by MarnieJoyce via Flickr

On this most recent vacation, I literally had to defend why I didn't want to sleep with him. It was almost as if I owed this guy attention, as though he'd been brought for me and I was rejecting the surprise. The only surprises I like are waking up to unexpected snow days, finding crumpled-up cash in jackets I haven't worn in a while, and realizing that my airline frequent flyer bar is out of the free red wine and is now serving the good stuff gratis instead. 

This surprise blind-date thing has happened to me on several occasions since I've been in New York City, and I've yet to find a proper way to make it clear that I have no intention of being paired up without offending anyone.  It's usually implied – not explicitly stated --- that the spare male was brought for me, so it's a bit awkward to go out of my way to state my disinterest. I don't want to make a nice guy feel bad, but I don't want to have to apologize for not jumping on him the second I walk in either. I admit it might be different if the spare guy were, say, a dead ringer for James Bond, but so far the candidates have mostly just been Odd Jobs. 

On a lighter note, there were a few positives to being referred to as "the wife.” I got to jump ahead in the Caribbean customs line (couples check in together!) and mooch off his first-class ticket to score primo seating. Plus, I certainly drank far more beers than I actually paid for. Beyond these mentions, this vacation wasn't my idea of the perfect escape from life in the big city.

So dear married readers, please stop trying to set up, unannounced, your single male friends with your single female ones. Unless, of course, you have a friend who resembles James Bond. In that case, I have a feeling I'd check my inner Gloria Steinem at the door. 

Set me up with your friends who resemble James Bond, please.--by DaveMcLearn via Flickr.

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