Independent Lens


The Dos and Don’ts of Blind Dating | Blind Love ep. 3

Mario goes against type with a date who slowly warms up to him, while New Yorker Simon, a sheltered 23-year-old who plays poker with other blind buddies who learn he's never been on a date before, is gonna need to get by with a little help from his more experienced friends.

AIRED: February 16, 2020 | 0:09:04

- You can't show up blind without notification

is what you're saying?

You don't think the pants are too fitted?

- I can't even see the pants

because you got the phone down on the floor.

- There is something about me.

I'm not sure whether you've picked up on it yet, have you?

- [Nora] How was the date?

- I'm talking to her about (piano plays)

♪ Children are wonderful

I have four kids and then she goes (piano keys slam)

"I don't like kids."


"You know, it's like when you're in the airport,

"and there's a kid makin' a bunch of noise."

- Is that the voice she did?

- It was similar.

(Nora laughs) - Okay.

It was traumatizing for me

so I don't got all the details together.

- You called a ride?

Why you didn't call me back to come get you?

You went that fast.

I didn't know it was going to be that short.

- I was over it.

Seriously, I was totally over it.

- Well, maybe you should switch it up a bit.

Maybe you need some ebony in your life.

You know, try that.

- So, I've only really dated white girls.

I'm sorry, I'm being honest.

Am I allowed to just say that?

- I know someone, she's chocolate.

- Chocolate like me?

- She's lighter than you, but she's not vanilla.

- If she ghetto fab then I'm--

- Ah, shame on you.

- Don't tell her I'm blind though.

- Oh my god, we'll just see.

(upbeat music)

(men laugh)

- Who's turn is it?

- I'm gonna throw in two.

- [Man] All right, let's put in two.

- [Man] I'll call. - [Man] Chicken!

- [Man] Simon. - [Man] Simon.

- Plus two chips.

- I am Simon.

I'm 23.

- [Man] Last card is a two of hearts.

- [Man] Oh my god!

- I was born blind.

I've never seen the features of a face.

I've never seen the features of a body.

- Simon is gonna go all in.

- [Simon] I do not have any visual reference

to skin, muscles.

- There you go.

Ten, Andrew?

- [Andrew] Fold.

- I folded too.

- [Francesco] All right, what do you got, Simon?

- I have three of diamonds and four of clubs.

- Woo! Straight! - [Man] There's a straight.

There you go.

- [Simon] My friends and I see each other everyday.

We train together.

We talk about everything.

- Yeah, so you're interested in someone, you said?

- I'm interested in like a certain type, I guess.

- Simon, have you been on a date before?

- That's the thing, I've never been on,

but I've always wanted to go on one.

Dating to me just means meeting the girl.

That could be through dinners, going to movies.

I basically just want someone to spend time with.

- Yeah, I mean going on a date--

- [Simon] Seeing what you two have in common,

what you don't.

- It's not a huge commitment.

- Of course, I'm not speaking from experience,

I'm speaking from other people's experiences.

I mean, you see it in movies, but like in real life,

how many people say,

"Hey, you want to go out with me on dinner?"

- A lot of people.

- I've say that a lot.

All the time. (laughs)

- No, you don't though!

You have your own charm, Francesco.

Francesco, Andrew, and Charles weren't born blind.

They were blind later in life.

So, of course, they have more experience than I do.

I mean, I've never held a girl's hand before,

never kissed a girl before.

- Say, "Hey, do you wanna grab a coffee?

"Do you wanna go for a run, or do something?"

- Say, "Hey, do you wanna go out sometime?"

- Oh okay, as long as I don't have to say,

"Hey, do you wanna go on a date?"

It just sounds too--

- Put yourself in her position.

How would you react if someone came up to you

and said, "You know, I really enjoy spending time with you,

"would you like to go have coffee with me?"

You know, it's flattering.

It comes from a good place. - Right.

- I think you're just overthinking everything, Simon.

We just need to get you out, cruisin', small talkin'.

So, you ready, Simon?

- I am ready. - [Man] Yeah?

- So, where are we at in this poker game?

(Francesco laughs)

- [Man] Oh yeah. - [Man] All right, yeah.

- [Andrew] Are you putting in?

- No, I fold.

- If I ever do kiss a girl for the first time,

I see it, I feel like it's just going to somehow happen,

and once it does.

- [Man] Diamonds.

- So, I've only really dated white girls.

I mean, I can't see their skin,

but I love the sound of a white female's voice.

- Hi! - Hi, I'm Mario.

- [Verna] I'm Verna.

- Nice to meet you.

- [Verna] You too!

- So glad my sister set this up.

- How are you?

- Good, good good.

So this is your first blind date?

- Yes, very first.

- You literally went on a blind date with a blind man.

- Are you serious?

- I can't see you.

I'm totally, I'm totally blind.

- So, how, okay.

That's different.

(Mario laughs)

We're just going to say it's different.

- I hope you didn't fret for a long time thinkin',

"Oh, is he gon' to like my hair?"

- I had to make sure my eyebrows were straight.

I had to make sure this gloss was on.

Appreciate all this work that I just did, okay?

A whole hour. (Mario laughs)

- Ready?

- [Simon] I was born five months premature, two pounds.

Doctor told my mom that I would have zero vision.

- [Francesco] We need to get Simon talkin' to some people.

- I was picturing me just sitting next to someone

and just starting a conversation like that.

My mother and father are overprotective,

and I don't think they really knew how to deal with it.

- What's your pickup line going to be?

- I'm just gonna go like, "Hey, how's it going?"

- No no, "Do you mind if I steal your purse?"

(group laughs)

- [Andrew] You don't think it would put Simon better

if he said, "You look mighty fine today.

- Yeah, yeah, "You look mighty fine today."?

- Mighty fine?

What am I, 50?

- [Francesco] And like look up, and like clearly,

you're not looking in the right place.

- And he's lookin' at the wall.

(men laugh)

- All right, one of you needs to finish your drink.

- [Man] Yeah.

- So that Simon can go to the bar to get a drink.

- [Simon] Why do I, oh.

- You're going to finish your drink,

and then, you're gonna go go up to the bar

and then, get another drink.

And while you're waiting for your drink,

you talk to girls.

- And then, you're like, "Oh, what's up?"

- My parents always told me

that I was gonna be completely dependent.

I'll need my cane for that though.

- No, it's fine. - No, you'll have me!

- Oh, okay.

They had tried to fix me by taking me to surgeries,

taking me to eye doctors,

always checking to see if there's any new updates,

medication, anything.

- All right. - Ready?

You wanna take a lap with me?

- Yes, sure.

- All right. - [Francesco] Go for it, sir.

- But, they never prepared me for independence.

That I had to learn on my own.

Is this going to be weird though?

I feel like with my cane it'd be--

- Simon, don't worry about it. - [Simon] All right.

- Now I feel like all shivering and cold right now but--

- Well yeah, the AC is like literally right behind us.

- Oh. - [Jill] Ready?

- Sure. - [Jill] Turn to your left.

- [Simon] Hello there! - Hi!

- [Simon] Hi, I'm Simon.

- Hi, I'm Ashley!

- Ashley, nice to meet you!

- [Ashley] Nice to meet you as well!

- So, what are you doing?

I mean, aside from the obvious being at a bar.

I mean, are you here with people?

- No, I'm actually here alone.

(Simon laughs) - Okay.

My perception of dating and relationships

have all come from television and books.

'Cause I'm a huge TV show person.

I love watching TV.

- [Ashley] Oh, what TV shows do you like?

- Have you ever watched "Twin Peaks"?

- [Ashley] It's not really my thing.

- [Simon] Oh okay, okay.

I feel like Hollywood is running out of ideas, honestly.

- [Simon] It's sad.

- I'm gonna go to the bathroom,

I'll be right back, okay?

- [Simon] Okay, cool. - Okay.

(Simon coughs)

- [Jill] So, have you asked for her number?

- No, not yet, I was gonna lead up to that,

but she had to go to the bathroom.

- Okay, cool.

Well, it's a perfect pause. We're there, all right.

- She seems nice. - [Jill] Yeah!

(sad piano music)

All right, come back to the table with me.

Hey, we need to talk.

- [Mario] Were you nervous about meeting me today?

- I was, I was like,

"God, please hope this man is not ugly."

(Mario laughs)

- Oh my god!

- Looks matter, and I don't like guys that got bad breath

or bad teeth. (Mario laughs)

We are not about to talk.

We are not about to kiss.

- [Mario] Hey, look-

- If your teeth look crunchy, and it looks dirty, okay?

- Your teeth look crunchy, oh my goodness! (laughs)

I said to myself, "Lord, please don't let him be ugly."

I was like, who says that to somebody?

- I'm not too picky.

- I was told that you were drop dead gorgeous

so the fact that you think I'm on point means a lot to me.

(Verna laughs) You feel me?

She was very hung up on looks.

Look, look at this arm.

You see that arm?

- Let me touch it.

- Yeah, go ahead and touch it.

Yeah, that's real.

You feel how real that is?

People say, "Well dang, if this blind dude

"is built like this, what am I doing wrong?"

- Right. - You know what I mean?

I'm like any other hardworking black dude out here,

you know, tryin' to make it.

- I know that story.

I'm trying to make it too.

- You know, I'm not as hood as the next black dude would be.

- I don't get that from you.

- You know what I'm saying, I can turn it on and all that,

you know what I'm saying?

(Verna laughs)

Yeah, you laughin' though, shawty,

what you laughing for?

- Oh my gosh, no!

- [Mario] I'm being for real right now though. - Let's go back.

- [Francesco] That was fun. First attempt,

- First attempt, that was like,

- [Francesco] it was pretty solid.

- We were so proud!

- Oh yeah, one thing though, dude, ask more questions.

Don't talk about yourself so much.

- All right, all right.

My goal within the year is to just go on dates,

I'm not looking for anything serious.

I have a goal to come up to someone and say, "Hey."

Hi, what's your name? - [Tanya] Tanya.

- [Catherine] My name's Catherine, nice to meet you.

- You too.

My goal is to eventually have a relationship with a girl.

- [Catherine] Are you from New York?

- For now, I'm dorming so when I,

but I know that I need to take baby steps.

What about you?

- [Catherine] Texas.

- Ah, Texas! - [Catherine] Yee haw!

- I always wanted to try their barbecue.

- [Woman] Yee haw! (group laughs)

- It's a little more cha cha than it is foxtrot.

- Break ups really suck, and so I am jaded.

- You can talk to the bartender.

- What's up?

- Well, she's not even here right now.

- I'm practicing.


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