I Mean Old-school Courtship

Aug 15, 2015 by

          “I saw your post about your blind date while I was on vacation,” my year-of-yes friend said to me between my aerial and her pole class on Monday night. “I was like, did they do this without me?”

          I laughed. “Kylie set me up with her friend,” I explained.

          “I know. Damn it, my guy was supposed to be your first blind date. But mine’s different. Mine’s courtship. It’s going to be like the Victorian days.”

          I giggled at her pride.

          “See you Wednesday for your date!” she beamed.

          “See you Wednesday, girl!” I waved on my way out.

          My friends have been on the get-Maria/Theresa-a-boyfriend train lately. The guy I met on Wednesday night was the third guy a friend had introduced me to in the span of less than two weeks (and if any of my other friends want to continue the setup momentum, hook me up!).

          Let’s rewind about a month to when I received this message from my year-of-yes friend via Facebook Messenger: “Would you be open to a blind date? I am talking about completely blind. None of this modern-day dating, where you text for weeks before meeting up. I mean old-school courtship, where your elder (me) matches you with a fitting suitor of good breeding and class. I would arrange a date for you two and you would both arrive knowing zero about each other.”

          “Yes! Let’s do this!” I responded.

          Friends, you know I’m not a fan of texting, so as with Kylie’s setup, I was happy to not have to do anything leading up to the date.

          “Okay, blind date it is. I am going really old school. I’m not even going to tell you each other’s names. I don’t want you to know anything at all. I will set up the location and plan, and consult with both of you to find an agreeable time. I will introduce you guys at the start of the date and then step out. You got it from there. This will be fun!”

          It happened exactly like that.

          “I’m surprised you’re the first one here,” she said when I showed up at the restaurant on Wednesday night.

          “Me too,” I agreed. “I’m late for everything.”

          While waiting for the guy, she and I talked about a wedding in Iceland that she had just said yes to.

          When he arrived, she introduced us and told us a bit about each other to “get the small talk out of the way.”

          That, friends, is what I want to talk to you about. Whether it be with dates, friends, coworkers, or strangers, I like real talk or what my self-proclaimed “elder” (this makes me laugh; she’s only in her thirties) referred to on Wednesday night as big talk. She attributes her marriage to it.

          “You both know that on my first date with my husband I told him I was adopting from China with or without him. After our third date, I told him I couldn’t marry him because nothing went with his last name,” she recalled. “Miraculously, he still married me.”

          I remembered her story well. She had told me it a couple nights before proposing this blind date.

          “Do you know how lucky you are?” I had responded as she and I stood outside of our pole studio one night in July. “I can’t get some guys to answer my texts after they initiate conversation!” I laughed.

          “I don’t know how people do it in today’s dating world,” she replied.

          This explains why she set this date up the way she did.

          “In the olden days,” she began as the three of us sat together in the restaurant, “a man and a woman, who were matched by their elders, usually their families, had three dates to decide whether or not they wanted to marry. No pressure,” she added, making me laugh. “That meant big talk.”

          “Did you rehearse this?” I smirked.

          “I thought about it,” she grinned.

          Regardless of her hilarious speech (which I wish I recorded, because there was much more to it), I would have big-talked. That’s what I value in conversation. Plus, talk of The Happiness Experiment is inevitably big talk. Even so, I liked her message for the fact that it reiterated my philosophy on communication. Talking big, being real, is how we connect with people, and sometimes I feel like society has forgotten, so I’m sharing her reminder.

          I’m also sharing the text I got from her the next day: “One last bit of advice from your wise elder: You are a woman of good breed and exceptional beauty. You should expect your suitors to treat you accordingly. The true gentleman will rise up to meet this challenge. Also remember that being courted is so rare these days that it may feel foreign or even off-putting at first. Try to remain open-minded to the process. Think of courtship like a trip to a new land. Just because it is unfamiliar, does not mean the experience holds no value.”

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