A few months ago, I wasn’t sure how much effort I should actually put into making friends in Calgary since I knew I was only going to be here for a maximum of 6 months. I figured lonely bike rides around the park and solitary shopping trips were worth saving the heartache of eminent goodbyes. Not to mention it’s not exactly fair to my potential new friends either. But as a fairly social person (ahem.. extrovert) my mindset changed real fast!
So, to-date, I found myself on three blind dates. Yes, three blind dates.
There’s something exciting (and scary) at the thought of meeting up with a complete stranger. Even when that meeting is simply between 2 women, hoping to spark a friendship or enjoy each other’s company for the morning over a great mug of pumpkin spice latte.
Granted my ‘complete strangers’ were recommended (and vetted) by mutual friends from all over the world. That’s why Facebook was such a great tool for me as an expat in Canada. (I didn’t need to rely on it so much in Qatar.)
Lo and behold, as soon as my friends and even acquaintances found out I would be in Calgary, I suddenly found more than a few opportunities to meet some fabulous women here. From students, professionals and stay at home moms, I really had some great conversations and a few less lonely days here. Some of them, I know, will remain life long friends.
But for those of you who might be new to the scene, allow me to share a few of my mishaps that may come in handy for your own blind dates.
1. A picture is worth a thousand words.. aka.. PROFILE PICTURE
Unless you’d actually like to awkwardly answer the question, “Just one more thing, what do you look like?”, put up that great profile picture, that one where your face is clearly visible. It’s ok if it was taken a couple years ago and more than a few pounds lighter. Save yourself the uncomfortable ordeal of trying to describe yourself to a complete stranger.
2. What’s in a name?
I am horribly awful with names. So it’s no wonder that on my 2nd blind date, as I walk up to the girl I was meeting for dinner in downtown Calgary (I knew it was her due to her cleverly clear profile picture) and asked her if she was ‘so and so’. Obviously puzzled and confused, she claimed she wasn’t, and that I was quite mistaken. “Oh but I insist I know it’s you. I am L and we’re meeting here for dinner!” I exclaim.
Cue prolific apologies from me and uncomfortable segue to dinner.
3. All necessary electronics in order.
I guess there wasn’t too much I could have done to avoid the catastrophic malfunction between my ATT serviced cell and the Rogers network I was connected to in Canada, but I’m sure it didn’t help that my battery was drained either.
On that note, spare yourself getting lost and real up close and personal with your new city’s streets and just update that GPS you’ve been putting off for 2 years.
I’m sure you can see how that could potentially ruin your plans, especially if your phone is not working.
The first few hiccups aside, my blind dates in Calgary were so much fun and I highly recommend them for you expats out there trying to get to know some locals. Honestly, I can’t imagine the nerve it would take to blindly meet a potential love interest. Kudos my friends.
My silly adapted version of 3 Blind Mice:
Three blind dates, three blind dates,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran to meet for coffee at eight,
Pretty soon to get around Calgary I’ll need ice-skates,
Three blind dates, three blind dates.