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May 7, 2007 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Salient Blind Dating

It’s been called many things; all you need, a temple, and blindness. We call it love and maybe you’ll get some with the help of Salient Blind Dating. Send us an e-mail describing a) what you like/dislike about a man/women, and b) what turns you on, and you will be in the draw to wine and dine to the value of $200 at The Establishment next Wednesday night. Please send your e-mails to by Thursday 5pm.


He looked like a throwback from a seventies sitcom. As if the Brady Bunch had a long lost cousin, Curly. I was about a foot taller than him (I’m a giant). He looked young, as his blonde afro bounced atop his boyish face, and I wondered whether the bar staff had checked his ID.

We sat down at our tiny table. I was seated beside a textured wall that grazed my elbow whenever I dared to be so civilized as to use a knife and fork. Curly sat beside a fake log with magical blue flames licking at it. He loved Harry Potter. I felt like his babysitter.

Conversation was surprisingly easy. He spoke with a voice deeper than his braces would suggest, and a rather adorable South African accent would occasionally peep out.

Our waiter looked like Brian Tamaki after a few months on Weight Watchers. His hair was slicked back into a prats tail and after we dithered too long with the menu, I heard him mutter “enough is enough.”

We ordered dinner. Well actually, Curly had the audacity to order for me. “And the lady will have….” For a moment I felt like a coy fifties housewife and really regretted not tying a ribbon in my hair. However, dinner was delicious and the set menu really is a bargain.

The Establishment is such a paradox. While downstairs is a perpetual office party with middle aged men in sweaty business shirts rubbing up against receptionists singing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, the upstairs tries desperately to be a fancy pants restaurant, with soft lighting and the gentle crooning of Norah Jones in the background.

We got on well. He told me of his love for eighties Metal – a Hutt boy at heart, I could tell he was finding sipping at his cocktail a challenge. We ended up exchanging the usual tales of drunken debauchery, and it would have been all rather predictable had he not suddenly revealed his bizarre fetish for stone fruit and teachers’ aides.

After dinner his mum came and picked him up. It had been a very long night for wee Curly.


Blind dates can be a fickle thing. Without the allure of Roger Lodge, a camera crew and a spot of fame on late night Sky One television, one might consider them hardly worth it at all. To make up for this, the Salient and Establishment crew have provided that which all students would find irresistible, $200 worth of free food and drink. It’s the kind of thing which can make the risk of meeting a bald super-feminist type quite worth it, mostly because by the end of the night you should be far too wasted to even remember your date’s name. Admittedly I was unable to reach this state by the time we said our goodbyes, so I’ll recap.

Arrive at ye ol’ Estab, the same basic formula of every write-up took place: Stand at bar, order drink, wait a little, have an awesome conversation with the even more awesome manager, sit down, and wait. On my date’s arrival though, the night took a fairly reasonable turn for the better.

We chatted a while about anything that came to mind, while in my head all I could do was thank the gods I wasn’t thrown into the two hours of raging feminism I had envisioned.

On the advice of popular opinion, we started dinner with cocktails (which beforehand I was always wholly against, but Christ do they taste good) and began on the set menu.

Conclusions from this were that blue cheese really is an acquired taste, you can’t play music television with the sound off because it’s still going to draw my attention away from my date and rather toward a mute Bono wanking away on TV, and lastly that the only thing worse than having to watch Bono is to sit through a full Norah Jones album.

A great meal and fair few drinks later, our bar tab was gone, our knowledge of each other had grown considerably, and the warming effects of alcohol had put a lovely warm feeling in the air. We went downstairs and said our goodbyes in full knowledge that her leaving uni rather soon limited the possibility of us ever meeting again. Them’s the breaks eh? At least the rest of the night eventuated in me getting smashed, and now have very little recollection of what actually went on.

Thanks to my date, Salient and Establishment. Great freekin’ night all ‘round.


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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