Independent Lens


When Your Blind Date is Actually Blind | Blind Love ep. 4

Episode 4 of "Blind Love" is all about getting over one's own prejudices. For Solomon, it means getting over his former attitude about going out with someone who is also blind, meeting a cool girl he thinks "has the blind thing down." For Joni, it means trying to appreciate James as more than a dutiful friend, and getting over jaded feelings that came after a painful breakup.

AIRED: February 17, 2020 | 0:08:51

- My hope has always been to be her boyfriend.

- [Blind Woman] Yeah, it's complicated to me.

- You can probably come visit me.

- I should.

- [Answering Machine] Conversation deleted.

- Somebody will be lucky to get her, just won't be me.

(upbeat music)

- [Nick] This is a slow Friday night.

- [Solomon] Is it?

- There's nobody in here.

- [Solomon] Fresh out of people?

- We got one dude here to your right.

We only got two couples behind us,

and they're all above 60 years old.

- Sweet!

- [Nick] I mean, you can talk

to anybody you want to I suppose.

- You know what I mean.

- For your target area?

- Yeah.

- The bartender.

- What's up?

- She's not even here right now.

- I'm practicing.

I've known Nick for about 20 years,

and that's a huge advantage with trying to meet people

because going out with somebody that you really trust.

You know, they're not gonna steer you down the wrong path.

Remember Rachel, the girl that--

- Absolutely, I remember her-- - You do?

- You don't have to tell me.

- Yeah, yeah. - The blind girl.

- Yeah, I was with Nick in Orlando at a blind conference,

and he's like, oh, there's this pretty girl

over here at this table.

- Very good looking.

- Yeah, yeah, she is.

Oh, I don't know.

You told me she was.

I leaned over to her and I was like, hey, how're you doing?

She says, just so you know, I'm visually impaired.

I'm like, well sweet, 'cause so am I.

I have a date with her on Sunday.

- [Nick] What do you mean a date?

- We're going on a date.

- Her brother's gonna ring me.

I used to like, be like, there's no way.

I never date a blind chick.

But now--

- I would assumed your options have slimmed.

(Nick and Solomon laughing)

(upbeat music)

- [Joni] I think I want something purple or blue.

You know, the like galaxy-ish.

- [James] So the galaxy is purple?

- It can be.

So I have a show coming up,

and I'm shopping for a dress today

at one of my favorite stores in Austin.

- So here's the door, to the left.

- [Joni] Oh, yeah, sorry.

I love this place.

(bouncy guitar music)

- [Nathan] Hey, Joni, good to see you!

- [Joni] Hey, Nathan.

- [Nathan] What are we getting ready for today?

- Another performance.

It's galaxy theme, so like stars or moons.

- Let's go take a look at our formal rack over here.

- Okay, cool, yay!

(guitar music)

- [Nathan] Any particular color?

- [Joni] Maybe like dark purple or blue.

- Purple or blue.

What about this guy? This has a lot of sequins on it.

- What color is sequins?

- Like a swirl of indigo, so it kind of looks like a galaxy

or like a nebula.

- Okay, cool, will you hold it?

- [James] Yeah, totally.

- Awesome, thank you.

James really just enjoy helping me out.

He's very much a gentleman.

- [Nathan] This one's a nice shiny blue taffeta.

- [Joni] I like this.

- The detail, the strap? - Yeah, I like the strap.

- There's a little starburst detail for you.

- [James] Why don't you hand me that?

- I can carry it.

- All right. - It's cool.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

- Okay.

But, sometimes his persistence

can get a little bit annoying.

This is like my favorite store.

- They have an old school pencil sharpener.

- If he asked to help me with something two or three times,

it's really just because he wants to make sure

it's the final answer.

- I'm gonna be merciless, by the way.

- I'm not really sure what shirt to wear for this date.

It's kinda like a casual lunch date.

- Either you have a kind of a more country looking one,

you also got the gray one, too.

It's kind of a heathered gray.

- The best thing about going on a date with a blind girl

is who cares what you wear.

Rachel is an awesome girl.

I mean, it's been a while since I've seen her.

I'm excited about it,

and, you know, a little apprehensive

about the the blind issues.

Hey, Rachel, what's up?

Wondering if somebody's knocking food off the table,

and all this thing a sighted person doesn't think about.

It's a nice dress you picked out today.

(upbeat music)

- Joni, how's that dress looking?

- I don't like it. See, now my boobs are big enough.

- [James] It doesn't fit well.

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

- That's true.

(bouncy music)

- God, I love it.

- I don't know, and I really like it, too.

And I would say, it fits like a glove,

except for, my boobs are too big!

- [Nathan] Oh, no!

- Maybe it fits like a too small glove.

- Yeah.

- [James] Wait, I'm on thewrong side of that curtain here.

- [Nathan] I brought some back ups if we need to.

This one's not in the color spectrum, but it's got--

- Love the back.

- Black glittered stars all over it.

And it's a deep red.

- Oh, yeah, it's like wine.

- [Joni] I like wine.

- Yeah, who doesn't? - Right?

- I don't know.

What do you guys think?

- I think it's a contender. - Does red look good on me?

- Red does look good on you.

- [James] I think that looks great on you.

- [Nathan] You feeling this dress now?

- I am, yeah.

- Right on.

Here, give me a hug.

- Yay, thank you for all your help.

- Yeah, no problem, anytime.

(upbeat music)

- This will actually be my legit first,

blind date, one-on-one, as a blind person.

Hopefully, it won't be a place

that has sports playing,

because I'll be listening to that,

or the other conversations behind me.

It's gonna be rough.

Sup, Robert?

- Hey, Solomon. - How have you been?

- Hey! - Awesome.

- What's up, Rachel?

- What's up, Solo?

- Coming in for a hug.

- All right.

- Coming in for the real thing.

- Oh, my dog is pulling me.

- [Solomon] That's all right. - He wants to say hi.

- [Solomon] I want to pet him but I'm not allowed.

- I know.

- All right guys, well, appreciate it.

- Thanks.

- Yeah, of course.

(Rachel and Solomon laughing)

- [Rachel] Here's to showing up early, cheers.

- Cheers.

- Can we make it? (glass clinking)

All right, we got it.

(upbeat music)

- [Joni] This is like the cool part about Austin, Texas,

like old school, dance halls.

- People probably get killed here

you know, on bad nights.

- Maybe a long time ago,

like in the days of the Old West.

Bang, bang!

- There's a beer in front of you.

It's just kinda on the right. - Oh!

- Yeah.

- Cause you like ordered it for me, thank you.

- [Both] Cheers!

- [James] What are we drinking to?

- I don't know.

Like date night?

- [James] Date night.

- Finally?

Date night.

- [James] Date night, it's a date.

- [Woman] And a left, and right, left,

right, right, left, left, right.

(country music)

- [James] Walk again and left again.

♪ Call me from the payphone

Walk again and left again.

- Have y'all practiced the turn?

- Oh, yeah.

- You wanna see it?

- I do, I wanna see it, I wanna see it.

Here she goes, yay!

- [James] Thank you.

- Thank you. - Very nice guys.

- Thanks. - [James] I'm sorry I lost it.

- Oh, it's okay.

I feel like I just didn't land that very well.

- When I first went blind you think how tough it would be.

- [Rachel] Right, it was hard in the beginning--

- Yeah.

- You can't drive anymore.

- [Solomon] I know, it sucks.

- You can't friggin' find a bathroom by yourself anymore.

- Blind people problems.

- Right, exactly (laughing).

You gotta get comfortable with people real quick,

it's like-- - Oh, yeah, for sure.

- (laughing) I hate that.

- Like, where's the toilet?

I've had people just stare at me, too.

- [Rachel] Right. - Oh, do you need help?

No, I'm just running into this wall.

I really enjoy it.

- For fun, exactly.

It's still hard sometimes.

- Oh, of course, yeah.

- You know, I don't think that ever goes away,

but you kinda get better at it.

Like, you know kind of handling things.

- You're so much cooler than I am.

- What?

- [Solomon] You are.

- (laughing) Why?

- You got degrees, you got dogs.

- I think I'm just nerdy, that's probably what it is.

- [Solomon] I remember when you said you play the guitar.

- I do.

- I mean, that's like, come on!

Rachel definitely has a blind thing down for sure.

She is finding herself who she was

before she lost her sight.

I don't do anything cool.

I gotta do something.

I gotta figure it out.

Seeing her and hanging out with her,

it just lights a fire under me to find myself again as well.

Have you ever like thought

about moving out of Fort Lauderdale?

- Right now 'cause like I grew up in Fort Lauderdale,

and I got my friends, and my family, and my church people,

and like, I'm really happy with where I'm at.

- It makes it a little difficult

with her living in Fort Lauderdale

and me living in Ocala.

'Cause, you know, you move to a different town

and you just know nothing.

- [Rachel] Right.

- You're just lost.

She has no plans in moving.

and neither do I.

But, we'll definitely stay really close friends for sure.

- [Rachel] Good seeing you.

- Good seeing you too.

- [Rachel] Literally and figuratively.

(melancholy music)

- [James] Tell me more about how awesome this is,

and how you wanna do it again. - [Joni] It's fun.

- You know, maybe you want to do it like seven days a week,

365 days a year.

- That would be a lot of money.

- I can take care of both of us.

- Huh, all right.

- But no in all seriousness,

is relationship an okay word with you?

- I don't know, maybe.

James is definitely wanting to take this to the next level.

We can date and start it sort of slow.

- Are other people invited?

- I'm not mature enough orconsiderate enough at this point

to give him the time and attention that he needs

or that he deserves.

Like as far as my past boyfriends and stuff,

complete honesty dude.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah!

- The one that did stick,

we dated for like four years.

Like as far as like marriage, and long term,

and whatever, I kind of thought that would be him, you know?

- Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

- And then it didn't work out.

Even with my family.

Oh, my god!

It was horrible.

Like, my mom, and my dad,

and my brother, and my sister,

and my brother-in-law, my nieces,

they all totally loved him.

So, yeah, break-ups really suck.

- That's true. - And they hurt you whenever.

And so, I am jaded, and I don't know

it kind of freaks me out.

It does definitely freak me out.

- [Mario] How you doin'?

- I'm doin' well, Mario.

- I feel like a school boy.

- Go get her phone number.

- The looks are sexier.

- We wanna show your tush.

- If I have the body to show off,

then why not?


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