Shell Shocked: On Line Dating
If love is blind and marriage is an institution then shouldn’t everyone who gets married live in an institution for the blind?
I said this joke to the latest online date I was having cocktails with in my quest to identify a compatible companion and potential girlfriend. I’d used this joke many times as a litmus test to help me appraise the sense of humor of my newest potential partner-to-be. This latest lady gave me a blank stare. She said: “Are you saying that you never want to get married again?”
I said, “No, I didn’t say that. I was just making a joke, a play on words. I didn’t mean to suggest that I’m opposed to marriage or even blind people.”
She stared even harder. And in her most sympathetic voice she said, “I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going blind. Isn’t there anything the doctors can do?”
This was getting out of hand. “No, I’m not going blind. I was just telling a joke. I love words and often combine them in limericks or wise sayings. That’s all I meant by that joke.”
“So you don’t live in an institution? And you’re not going blind?” she said.
“A stitch in time saves nine,” I responded.
“Come again?” she inquired.
“A stitch in time saves nine,” I said again. “That’s another old saying that describes how people can cut to the chase to save time.”
“You’re thoroughly confusing me,” she confessed. “First you say you live in an institution with blind people. And now you’re saying that blind people can sew instinctively without being able to see where the needle goes and save lives in the process. Are you a clairvoyant?”
I was stunned. I didn’t know how to reply. This conversation had gone beyond the parameters of my intellectual and cerebral comfort. I didn’t know what to say. So I said the only thing that came to mind: “Are you listening to anything I’m saying? I’m not sure we’re connecting with each other.”
She felt insulted and started to get up. I restrained her. “Wait, please just wait. Maybe we’re not getting off to a great start. And, yes, maybe I’m being a bit of a wiseacre. Let’s start again. Let’s talk about you. Where were you born and raised?”
She gave me a long hard look and said “I was born in an institution for the blind.”
I did a double take. “What?” I stammered.
She went on. “Yes, I was born in an institution for the blind and did stitches in time to save nine.”
“What are you talking about?” I inquired.
“I’m giving you a taste of your own medicine, Mr. Smarty pants. How dare you insult my intelligence by making up lies about where you were raised and that sewing was your hobby? I wasn’t born yesterday, you know. You men are all alike. You make up stories and think you can impress women that way. I’ve had it with you. I’m going back to the nursing home. I’m treated far better there than with the likes of you.”
I totally agreed that our first date wasn’t working out very well. I offered to drive her home. She declined and stormed out. I looked at my watch and realized that my next date would be arriving in fifteen minutes. I rehearsed my opening line.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” I said it out loud several times and hoped that my next date would be more my type – a sado-masochist who liked olives.