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Lu Huskey
Be smart about meeting new people and use good common sense and keep a safe distance until you really get to know the person.

The phone rings at 3:00 Monday afternoon and it is your best girlfriend Jenny, inviting you to dinner next weekend. What a nice thought, until she tells you there is "this guy she just knows you'll like".

Do these "arranged situations" ever work out; these blind dates that well meaning friends and families attempt to arrange for all of us at some point in our lives? What do we have to lose anyway? Well, let's just look at what happened when Jenny tried to do this favor for her friend Lisa!

It had been a long Monday for Lisa, and she was ready for a friendly voice on the telephone. When she heard from Jenny, it was the bright spot in her day. Little did Lisa know what an impact this call would have on her life for the next few weeks. Jenny invited her to a restaurant they had both been anxious to try out; a new little Italian place with red checked tablecloths, a real live violinist, and a tempting selection of wonderful foods and wines. This was just what she was needed to plan for to help her get through her week!

But wait, there's a catch, and he has a name. Jenny knows this fellow named Bob who just moved to town and is a really nice guy. She thought it would be "fun" to do a double date Saturday night with Bob and his friend from work. It sounded harmless since they've both wanted to try out the new place, so Lisa accepted Jenny's invitation and they both made plans to meet at Berelli's Saturday night.

So far, these girls are doing the right thing by meeting these guys at the restaurant and not being picked up. They don't know them very well and if for some reason, one (or both) need to duck out, neither will be stuck without wheels.

The weekend rolled around soon enough and Jenny and Lisa had taken a little trip to the mall to shop for a couple of cute dresses and matching shoes. They helped each other with their hair that Saturday afternoon, and almost felt like young schoolgirls going out on their first date. In a way it was, for Lisa, since it was her first blind date. She had never done anything like this before, and although she was looking forward to being with her friend, she was a little hesitant about meeting this guy Bob. Anyway, it was just a dinner and that would be it.

They jumped into the car and drove over to Berelli's, making sure they were "fashionably" late (but just 10 minutes), not to appear over anxious to their gentleman waiting. Bob and William had already gotten a nice table and ordered a bottle of wine, so the scene was set for a lovely evening. What a cute place this new little restaurant was! It looked like a page right out of Italy, with the tables set so beautifully, music filling the room, and Jenny even noticed a quaint little dance floor near the violinist for those who wished to become a little romantic. This was just what she needed, and Bob looked pretty good too. He had a nice smile, good looking suit, and pulled out her chair for her when she sat down. This man is right out of a storybook! Who ever said blind dates are a mistake anyway?

As the evening progressed, the couples seemed to enjoy each other's company and all four were convinced Berelli's was a dining experience that they would recommend to their other friends. Lisa was so glad that she decided to take Jenny up on her offer. Actually she had never tried blind dating until that night because of all the horror stories told in the past. She had heard tales of all sorts, and although they were true, perhaps they were exaggerated a bit. They planned another date the next weekend and Jenny hoped that her first blind date would be her last. Bob very well just may be the "Mr. Right" she had been waiting for.

Now that is the way a story should always go, with a happy ending; however, girls (and guys) beware of the blind date. Make sure you handle yourself in a manner that doesn't allow yourself to be taken advantage of in any way, especially with wine flowing freely all night long. Many times if you have "let your guard down" you can find yourself in a situation you may not be able to handle. For example, if you are really attracted to someone and let him know it, he can sometimes get the wrong impression. It just is always a good idea not to be too friendly on first dates (and sometimes second and third dates) until you really get to know the person and you are certain he respects your wishes.

When employers hire new people, they many times do reference checks, and sometimes even background checks before they hire. You can do the same type of thing by making sure someone knows this person you plan to go out with and hopefully knows something about his past. The last thing you want is to fall in love with some guy or gal who ends up with the reputation of violence or some other seedy problem. These kinds of situations happen all the time. "But they would never happen to me..." we all believe; but they can, so we much be smart about where we go and with whom we go out with.

Lisa got lucky and met the man of her dreams, but unfortunately, that isn't always the way it works. Thinking back to her story, she originally just planned to have a nice evening and things just happened to work out much better than she expected. Meeting new people is fun; just be sure and use good common sense and keep a safe distance until you know exactly what you are getting into.

Lu Huskey

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