One of the first dates I had with my husband, long before he was my husband, was in 1984. He took me to the Raintree Plaza where we saw the movie Johnny Dangerously. It wasn't good. It even starred Joe Piscapo and still wasn't good. But, my husband’s cute, so I didn’t really mind. The odd thing is that nearly 30 years later I remember a classic line from that failed flick: “once.” Several times throughout the film, Piscapo’s character, Danny Vermin, would utter phrases like this to Michael Keaton’s character, Johnny Dangerously:
“You shouldn't grab me, Johnny. My mother grabbed me once. once.” Or, “You shouldn't hang me on the hook, Johnny. My father hung me on the hook once. once.”
I went on a blind date once. once. I had heard the horror stories of blind dates gone bad, but a friend of mine…well, you know the rest. So, I agreed to a date. He picked me up, had a nice car, and seemed like a decent guy. He was an architecture major and had invited me to go to Indy to see his sketches. Yeah, I know, I know…this sounds like a sitcom, but it really happened. Off to Indy to the top of a skyscraper we went to see the blueprints he had designed as an intern for this reputable architecture firm.
Who knew? He genuinely did want to show me his sketches and, as far as I knew, he was pretty talented. It looked like all of those all-nighters spent in the Arc-y Building at Ball State really paid off for this guy. I gotta tell you, I was impressed. But, when we headed out to grab a bite to eat, something happened. Something terrible happened.
He locked the door to his office, we headed down the elevator, and left out of the same back door in which we entered. Only this time, we were surrounded by police. Not just one police officer, but the kind of ‘surrounded’ that you witness when you watch Die Hard or Die Hard 2 or Die Hard with a Vengeance or Live Free or Die Hard or probably even A Good Day to Die Hard…we won’t know for sure about that one until it opens this Thursday…Valentine’s Day. (Way to be romantic, Hollywood!)
All of the sudden, officers were screaming “Come out with your hands up!” and guns were pointed, locked, and loaded. At this point I didn’t know what my friend had gotten me into. Was I out with a serial killer, an escaped convict, or possibly The Blind Date Bandit? After the police patted us down to ensure we were weaponless, I learned that Mr. Architect didn’t realize that his high rise building had silent alarms set on the weekends. Apparently, as an intern, he had never visited on the weekend, nor did he have any idea about the alarms. After he showed the police both his office keys and company ID card, we were released. We didn’t go to dinner.
I haven’t been on another blind date since. But, I just learned about one blind date that could change my mind. The Marion Public Library has a new program called Blind Date with a Book. As a special emphasis in February, the month of Valentine love, the MPL is offering the chance to select a book knowing very little information about it. Perhaps you’ll find a mystery with a great love story or an autobiography of a great leader. You won’t find out the real title until you check out this blind date. Isn't that just the coolest idea ever?
I told one of our donors about this idea last week. She loved it, too. And like many others, she had no idea that the Marion Public Library had a charitable fund at the Community Foundation. She knows now because I was bragging.
Libraries are a keystone of every community and, I think, a lot like moms. They always have answers, they can find anything for you, and they’re always there when you need them; yet sometimes we take them for granted. We just assume they’ll always be there. But, library funds have been drastically cut throughout the years. They function on a bare-bones budget and make it look easy. I assure you, it isn’t. So, visit your local library. Make a donation to one of their funds. Thank a librarian. Heck, go on a blind date with a book…once.