Dating At Your Service

“Good morning,” Ami stood cheerfully waiting. Beckoned in by a hand she sat down in the only other chair in the small cubical that wasn’t occupied. The man she spoke to, or rather the man’s back, shifted but remained silent.

Ami bobbed her head in nervousness while waiting for her adviser  She strained over his shoulder to glimpse paperwork littering his desk. His head in his hand he scribbled this and that over one particular sheet. Ami leaned back, anxiety hushed. He was just running a little behind, she thought to herself.

Ami felt odd regardless sitting in the office overlooking the city river.  It had not been her idea to seek this place out. Her mother convinced her that it was her only choice. Only in her desperate age of thirty-five did Ami consent it was necessary to bring in… extra help.

Finally the man straightened. “Ms. Ami,” he began, looking over more paperwork. “I’m Mr. Ford and I’ll be assisting you in finding the perfect match for life.” He turned and smiled briefly. “Let’s get started then. I’ve looked over your application. Dealing with a woman at your age we will have to rely on other aspects of your person to find a suitable partner.” Picking up a clipboard from his desk he pulled from his pocket a pen. Licking the end he began filling out a form. “Height?”

“Five foot five inches even.”

“Weight?”

“Uh…”

“Declined to answer.” He wrote. “Education?”

“Public University majoring in Social Work.”

“Daycare worker…”

“Actually–” She tried to correct him.

“Employed?”

“I’m taking a break for self-reflection.” She attempted to hold her head high.

“Laid off…” he wrote instead. “Plastic surgery?” He looked her up and down, doubtful.

“I’m all natural,” she replied dryly. “Though I don’t–”

Mr. Ford clicked his pen impatiently and sighed looking over what he’d written. Ami frowned. The agency had come highly esteemed, but it seemed the biggest selling point was the agency’s fancy sign hanging outside the building. She felt unimpressed with the cramped room she walked into, the small cubical she sat in, and the worker who was responsible for finding her soul-mate. Because I’m too nice, she thought, breathing deeply. I won’t say anything.

Turning to his computer Mr. Ford typed rapidly, scrolling through what looked like lists of names. “How experienced are you with dating?”

“I’m sorry?” She asked.

“I mean, when on a first date, do you know what to do and not to do?” 

“A little, but I could use some pointers. I’m sure you are an expert on the matter,” she smiled in a sarcastic manner to his back. “So I will take my cues from you.”

“Do you have any specific requirements for men?” He asked next.

“Someone who also works in social welfare would be nice. We would certainly have much to discuss.”

“We don’t have anyone like that besides you. Here we are,” he double clicked on a name. “We’ve found a match for you: Fifty-five, pretty good looking with decent wealth. Your meeting will be at a restaurant just down the street – we always use it for first timers – that is formal without being stuffy. Arrive five minutes beforehand dressed in your Sunday best. Greet with a smile and a handshake, nothing more. He will order for you, most likely a salad judging from his preferences for women’s weight. Possible conversation topics he wrote down include…”

Unfortunately Ami missed the rest. Without a parting word she left the office, walking down the street to a small coffee shop next to the haven of first blind dates Mr. Ford spoke of and ordered a tall mocha.

Life was too short to stand for a man ordering for you after all.  

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