THE DATE EXPERIMENT

by Doreen F.

Maggie was ready for her little experiment. She thought about it once more and then she hit the key to finish her profile on the websingle page. She wanted to have some fun and she was curious about the reaction. Her profile in the line "what do you want your dream boy to be or look like said: "I donít care about the colour of the hair and some other physical aspects as long as he has glasses."

The fun thing was that she had not used her real name and had created another profile saying: "To me physical aspects matter a lot and I really do care about what a man looks like. No glasses wanted."

Now she was curious about what kind of reaction she was going to get. She had always fancied guys in glasses and found it hard to find the right guy. Thatís why she decided to do that project. She did not think that any normal people would answer to her profile, but she might get lucky. On the other hand she was studying Psychology and wanted to find out how men reacted to her profiles.

Maggie went out and when she came back a few hours later there were some mails waiting for her. She read through them and was surprised that among all the crap there were some really nice answers to her profile. She arranged three dates for the following day. Her dates were divided into Glasses and None.

#1: Answered to Glasses and looked like a complete nerd. He was some computer geek and terribly boring.

#2: Answered to Glasses and seemed a rather nice person at first glance. Maggie quickly found out that this was not the case. He pretended to need glasses, probably he had borrowed them from a friend of him, but they were too strong for him, so he took them off most of the time and could see perfectly well without.

#3: Answered to None and was a real macho and very stupid; the superficial kind of guy. She did not spend too much time with either of these guys.

Back home there were some more mails waiting. One guy had answered to both of her profiles which was interesting, but she was not sure how to handle that. This seemed kind of desperate. So she arranged some more dates.

#4: Answered to None and would have needed them desperately. He could not see a thing and did not even admit it.

#5: Answered to None, but was having severe difficulties with his contacts and was not able to concentrate on anything but his eyes. Finally he excused himself and left feeling embarrassed.

#6: Answered to Glasses and admitted that he needed them only occasionally and hardly ever wore them. Was a real bloke.

#7: Answered to Glasses and said he was wearing contacts on the date, but did not wear contacts at all.

Maggie left disappointed. Number five had been the best and he was probably too embarrassed to ever meet her again and they did not have much in common. She started to think that maybe the result of her experiment was that men always pretended to be what they were not. She had not felt attracted to any of them. The experiment should also help her find a new boyfriend, but this probably was not going to happen

When Maggie got home more mails were waiting. She had decided to agree to some more dates. Four more dates was all she wanted to do and she took a long time deciding who to take. So she decided to take a day off her project and went swimming with a friend who she had told about her project. Her friend being in a happy relationship was really curious to read some of the mails Maggie had got. When Maggie told her about the guy who had answered to both profiles, which were more or less the same apart from the glasses part, her friend said that sounded rather desperate, but suggested to arrange to meet him twice.

Thatís what Maggie did, but she counted it only as one date and called him Mister Double-Twist. For the next day she arranged her dates Ė second and last one would be the mysterious Mister Double-Twist.

#8: Answered to Glasses and was not that bad-looking, but could not stop talking about his job.

#9 was Mister Double-Twistís answer to None: He came in and Maggieís heart did a twist. He was really good-looking and they immediately took a liking in each other and talked for about half an hour. They did not arrange to meet again, but did not rule it out either. He, Nick, told her that he did not have much time because he had an appointment. Maggie smiled when she heard that.

#10: Answered to None and was one of those bodybuilder muscular types Maggie did not like at all. He thought he looked like a God, but he was dead wrong.

#11: Answered to Glasses and was at least 15 years older than her and looked as if he could have been her father.

Finally Mr. Double-Twist again at a different place, of course: Maggie was curious about what he would look like in glasses. Nick was late. She almost thought he was not going to come. Maybe this would be the best after all. He might have met someone else who he liked better and wanted to be honest with her. Eventually a guy in glasses came towards her asking if she was Maggie. Then he told her that he was Nickís friend Ted and that he was sent to tell her that Nick could not make it. Maggie was a bit disappointed, but did not let it show because Nickís friend and Nick did not know that she and Nick had met before on the very same day. Nickís friend said that Nick might get in touch with her by e-mail, but he would not count on it. Then he left.

Maggie went home and she was a bit sad. Nick had been a nice guy, but what if he had not liked her that much and she would never hear from him again. That would be sad, even more because he had not shown up at their second date. At least he had not stood her completely up and sent his friend. Otherwise she would have wasted plenty of time waiting

She need not have worried. Back home there were two mails from Nick. One said that he had liked her a lot and wanted to meet her again. The other one said that he was sorry he did not show up, but he had met someone and wanted to be honest with her although his friend had told him that she seemed like a really nice girl. Maggie sent an appropriate answer to both mails Ė saying she liked him a lot too and that she would like to see him again in the one mail and saying she had met somebody else in the other mail.

The only thing that worried her was that Nickís friend Ted had seen her. She knew she had to get in touch with him and tell him the whole story. He had given her a card, so she called him.

"Hello?"

"Hi this is Maggie, the girl you met at the cafť to tell her that your friend could not come."

"Oh, hi."

"Look, what Iím going to tell you must sound really crazy, but thereís something I want you to know."

"Okay, shoot!"

So Maggie explained her dating experiment and how Nick had answered to both of her profiles and everything about her dates and that Nick had been the only nice guy she had met during these dates and that she did not want him to think she was weird or that Ted would blab something out, if they met in the company of Nick. Having said all that, Ted assured her that he would not tell Nick a single thing about it. They chatted a little longer and Ted said something to warm Maggieís heart.

"I think itís great that you were honest with me, but, as you said, you have to tell Nick the truth as well. And by the way, one other reason Nick did not show up Ė apart form having met you and liked you an awful lot Ė he did not dare to wear his glasses out in the open. I canít understand that because, as you know, I wear glasses and donít mind wearing them, but he has always acted a bit weird when it came to that, although he does not look bad in them at all."

"Thanks for your honesty and for hearing me out."

"No problem and by the way Iím not only Nickís friend, but Iím his cousin. So I want him to be happy. Please, try to make him happy. He has been through a lot of bad relationships."

"Iíll do my very best, I promise."

On the next morning there was a mail from Nick waiting for her. He suggested meeting in the afternoon at the beach to take a walk. Maggie loved going to the beach and agreed to meet there. They also exchange their mobile number to get in touch if one was late.

It was a nice day in spring and the sun was getting a bit warmer than usual. The beach was rather empty because most people did not have the time to go out. Some people were there with their dogs, but it was not hard to spot Nick. They gave each other a peck on the cheek and Nick started to lead her to a part of the beach she had never been to. They talked all the time and it felt like they had known each other for a long time. They had rather similar views on many things and they felt a bond developing between them; and there was mutual attraction. When they reached the lighthouse, went up the narrow stairwell and had a fantastic view of the city, it simply felt right to kiss and that was what they did. They sat up there talking for a while to watch the sunset. It was already getting dark, when they decided to climb down the stairs only to find out that the door had been locked. They could not get out.

"What is that? Is this a joke? I donít think thatís funny!"

"Me either. I canít believe nobody came to check whether there was someone up here."

"Maybe the wind blew something in front of the door which blocked it."

"Letís go up to take a look."

Nothing had blocked the door, it was simply locked.

"Great! Thatís fucking great."

"I wouldnít mind, if it was a bit warmer, but itís really getting chilly."

"Youíre right. Here take make jacket."

"Are you sure you donít need it?"

"No, itís okay."

They went up to see if there were still some people out on the beach, but there was nobody. Their mobiles did not have any signal, so they could not call anyone to help them. They sat down next to each other. If it had been summer and they had been an item, it would have been different. It was getting incredibly cold and windy and Nick seemed to be in discomfort with his contact lenses. At first Maggie did not ask him what was wrong, but he seemed really distracted.

"Whatís wrong with you?"

"Nothing, itís just my contact lenses."

"The wind isnít doing any good, is it?"

"No and it keeps getting worse."

"Letís go down to the stairs where itís not so windy, okay?"

"Alright." They went down and sat down in front of the door.

"I feel quite embarrassed about that. I did not tell you I had contacts and youíre profile saidÖ"

"Yeah, I know what it says, but thereís something I wanted to tell you anyway."

"If itís sad news I donít wanna hear about it, Iím already suffering."

"No, erhÖ I donít know how to say it, but actually, I havenít been quite honest with you."

"You donít have a boyfriend, do you?"

"No, the thing is that Öwell, you know, I study psychology and I was asked to do a project, some sort of experiment concerning dates on the internet. So I posted two different profiles about me Ė one saying I like men in glasses and the other one saying that I donít. I was the other date you didnít go to and sent Ted."

"IÖ I donít know what to say. That sounds really weird. So how did your experiment go?"

"Well, apart from you my other dates were a disaster. I noticed you were the same person answering to both ads Ė that was really interesting. I was so glad you wanted to see me again."

"So what would youíve told me, if I had shown up at the other date?"

"The truth, of course."

"I believe you, but thereís one thing I gotta know. Which of you profiles was more like you, concerning glasses, I mean."

"I think youíll have to find out. No, just kidding, I donít mind men having glasses, not at all."

"Itís good to hear that."

"Yeah, isnít it? And even if I werenít into men in glasses, I couldnít drop you just because of that. Youíre far too cute."

"Thank you. Could you now prove whether you are a real smartass and find a way to get us out of here? I wouldnít mind spending the whole night with you if we were at another place and my contacts werenít driving me nuts."

"Iíll look around."

Maggie went to look around and tried her mobile again, but there was still no signal. Then she found a rope which looked rather strong and she had an idea how to get out. When she told Nick about it he immediately agreed that it was worth a try. So they went up again and tied the rope in a rather tight knot to the rails of the lighthouse. It did not touch the ground, but there were only about 1.5 metres from there to the ground. Nick insisted on going down first to catch Maggie, in case she fell. So he climbed down and landed rather smoothly on the ground. Then it was Maggieís turn and she did not have any problems reaching the ground either.

They left the lighthouse and went back to the far end of the beach where they had come from. It was really romantic, although Nickís contacts were still bothering him. Maggie had come to the beach by bus and Nick had arrived by car, so it seemed only logical to go to his car. Once inside Nick switched on the inner light and checked his eyes in to rear view mirror.

"I have to try to remove them now. I have my contacts case here, but no glasses and no contact lens solution. I really hate to ask you this, but should I be unable to put my contacts back in, could you drive me home?"

"Of course, no problem."

"Thanks. Gosh, this has never happened to me before."

So Nick took out his contacts and seemed relieved after they were out. Putting them back in was not an issue, his eyes were extremely irritated.

"We can go now, if you like."

"All right, just tell me where you live and Iíll go there."

"Iím not a good guide at the moment, but my flat is easy to find."

He told her the address and Maggie found the way without any difficulties.

They went up to Nickís flat only to find out that Ted, who was also Nickís room mate, was having one of his poker nights which always led to drinking enormous amounts of alcohol. Nick was not in the mood for that. He went in on the pretext to get another shirt. Maggie waited for him in the living room watching Ted and his friends play. She gave Ted a "thumbs up" and smiled. They chatted a bit until Nick returned. He had changed his shirt and after he had been to the bathroom to clean his contacts and to get his glasses which he did not put on inside the flat. They left saying goodbye to Ted and his friends who joked about Nick and his new girl.

"Theyíre alright, but sometimes I really canít stand them and their jokes. Especially after some beer they tend to get worse."

"Donít tell me! I know so many who are like that."

Stepping into the elevator Nick was still bare-eyed and certainly did not have his contacts in according to the way he had leaned towards the button of the elevator before he pressed the right one. In the garage he gave a fierce squint to find his car.

"So is this why you didnít put on your glasses inside?"

"Yes, theyíve never seen me in them and I wasnít in the mood for any bad jokes and teasing Ė especially not in front of you."

"Thatís really cute, but you didnít only do it because of me, right?"

"Of course not, Iím not really used to wearing glasses much at all, not in front of girls after all. I can see enough to manage without for some time, if I really have to."

"You donít have to now. I donít mind, remember?"

"Alright, I guess to drive you home I need them anyway. I havenít worn them for driving for ages."

"Your shyness is kind of cute, but maybe youíre even cuter in glasses. Put them on to let me make up my mind on that. To hell, would you even have dared to go to the date in glasses, if I had turned out to be different on our first date?"

"Yeah, well Ted really wanted me to do that, but after I had told him how incredible my first date with you had been I had a great excuse not to do it."

They had reached the car and Nick got behind the driverís seat. Maggie got in as well and eventually Nick slipped on a pair of really gorgeous dark green rectangular plastic frames.

"You look great. I donít know what youíre worried about."

"Nothing, itís just that contacts are more comfortable and more practical most of the time and Iím so used to them that wearing glasses is really strange. My glasses are slightly stronger and somehow it feels weird to wear them."

"Well, you look great in them. After all you hesitation I did not expect you to have such a nice pair of glasses."

"You think so?"

"I really do. Can we go now? Just kidding, I could sit like this watching you for the whole night."

"I could do just the same now that Iím able to see you clearly again."

"Great, but maybe my place would be a little more comfortable."

"Okay, letís go, shall we?"

They went to Maggieís place and spent a really nice evening at her flat having brought with them some Chinese takeaway. Even a few kisses were exchanged, but nothing further happened. Most of the time they spent talking and both felt very comfortable with each other. Maggie invited Nick to stay for the night having sensed that he was not too keen on returning to his flat as long as the little party over there was not over. Nick gladly accepted her invitation. To Maggieís utter delight Nick had been wearing glasses all evening. Only when going to bed he realised that he was still wearing his glasses. They talked for a long time before they actually fell asleep.

In the morning Maggie made French toasts and they decided to go to the beach again after breakfast to go for a little run since both of them were rather sporty people. They only passed by Nickís flat to collect his sports clothes. Ted was already awake and wanted to know how they were. He seemed surprised to see Nick still wearing his glasses and not changing into contacts. Ted confessed that he had arranged for them to get locked inside the lighthouse and the party with his buddies. He said he was sorry for any inconvenience, but he had felt that they had needed an adventure and some time together. Nick and Maggie did not really know how to react. They had already liked each other before Ted had played cupid, but whether he had helped them to take another step towards a serious relationship, they did not know. Finally they decided they could not really be mad at him and went jogging leaving him alone.

It was another nice day at the beach and this time there was nothing to distract Nick from Maggie and they simply enjoyed their time together.

To Maggie it seemed that her dating experiment had been a full success at least concerning her private life and Nick could not agree more.

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