Perhaps I was the Anti-Cupid to anticipate yet another void in my Valentine”s Day. And perhaps too much of the nightly news made me reluctant to believe that random acts of e-mailing could ever result in a positive outcome. Besides, how many people actually make it to the back pages of the Weekend section before lecture begins? But Thursday evening, post-publication of my Columnist Manifesto, I opened my inbox to a pleasantly unfamiliar message, “You”ve got Males!”

Paul Wong
Students show off their romantic side by making Valentine”s Day cards in the basement of the Union.<br><br>JEFF HURVITZ/Daily

Supportive, sympathetic and actually interested, the bevy of replies I received was a far cry from the nasty and naughty ones I had planned for. In an unexpected twist of figurative flexibility, my foot met my mouth. For the first time I learned what wrong tasted like. Trading sweat pants for black pants, Kiehl”s lip balm for MAC lip gloss, and pessimism for possibility four days, seven dates and 1200mg of caffeine later, here is the tale of my Personal Ad-venture.

It all began late Friday afternoon with a yellow rose, a cup of coffee and a young Bostonian. Quick-witted and thought-provoking, the conversation was as smooth as a cashmere cardigan. As my first blind date, if this was supposed to be the tricky one, I was in for one hell of weekend. Or so I thought.

Using a large dose of irony as her chief ingredient, it turns out that Chef Fate is not just a lousy gourmet, she”s a flat-out bitch. The next morning I woke up with the worst cold in the history of my health. With the “Run Lola Run” attitude adopted by my meine nose and a Peter Brady-like sound emitting from my vocal cords, I had gone from catch to contagion. But taking a lesson from my Grandma Evie, I shoved a sizeable wad of Kleenex in my sweater sleeve and continued as originally planned.

Saturday morning gave rise to a completely new experience a Starbucks Strategy Session to be exact, where, over a cup of corporately brewed coffee, Lt. Loveless and I mapped out a full-fledged attack on winning the Singles” War. However, the plan must be better than I thought, as I seemed to have been slipped a silencer in my Soy Latte, and remained speechless for dates three, four and five.

With my ability to communicate dramatically reduced to Pictionary-antics and interpretive dancing, for once in my life I tried out a new dating technique. I listened. Over dinner at Red Hawk, I embraced my laryngitis as I listened to what Maxim taught men about women, and tried not to suffocate on my salad. Over cocoa, I listened to what sensitive guys have to say. Over ginger tea, I listened to a tale of self-discovery in Europe. And although I have met some great guys and now understand men a little better than before, frankly, by the weekend”s end, I was sick of listening.

So, on Monday when No. 6 turned out to be a medical student, I secretly hoped for a free throat culture to go with my coffee. Prescribing more time and effort to cure my singles-social ailment, and perhaps a little tea and honey for my scratchy sound, as the good doctor and I said our good-byes, I couldn”t help but wondering: Was this a date or a diagnosis?

With my dating spree nearing the close, I had one more date to partake in: Lucky No. 7. However, before disclosing the information of my final date, a quick confession. Date No. 7 and I were actually quasi-acquaintances, making this more of a Cataract Date than a blind one. All the same it was an enlightening experience, from the flower to the date to the movie.

And with that, my blind dating spree officially came to a close. And while I can”t say that I found my missing link this weekend, I made interesting acquaintances and left with an important life lesson. From undergrad to Engineering, from Graduate School to Medical School, nice, single men really do exist in Ann Arbor. So, ladies, a little tip: Even the most beautiful and rare of roses are spoiled when they are surrounded by pricks. As my Inbox suggests, we need not settle for the Tom, the Dick or the Randy. Great guys are around, and willing to be found. And although the Prince Charming-esque Mr. Right may just be a product of childhood fantasy and sugarcoated idealism, Mr. All Right is out there in abundance. So keep your eyes open, sharpen up those Keller-induced instincts, and happy hunting!

Contact Meredith at makeller@umich.edu to trade blind date stories

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