Blind dating as a trend is a force to be reckoned with. After gaining speed with KLM’s Meet & Seat and Air Malaysia’s MHBuddy programs, the spin on finding love in high places was lastly joined by the Air New Zealand Blind Gate campaign. Created in collaboration with the Guardian's blind date section, the offer includes comfortable seating in the Economy Skycouch – better known as the Cuddle Class – and three days in sunny Los Angeles for the winning singletons to get to known each other. The blind dating phenomenon took other hospitality industries by storm. The Dining in the Dark Concept Restaurants are a great example… and I am pretty sure that we will be hearing about more of this very soon.
But then again, how about having a blind date with a book for a change? Books are a lot like lovers. They give joy, engage the mind, make us feel all sorts of things, and help us to forget all about life’s troubles, even if for a short while. They may even let us spoon for the entire weekend. Now tell me… is that romantic or what?
Looking at the ‘Blind Date with a Book’ project and the ‘Paper Bag’ dating experiment, one finds a similarity. The first was a mystery book promotion held in March 2015 by Australian secondhand bookshop chain Elizabeth's Bookshops. Each selection of books was wrapped in plain brown paper, with no clues pertaining to the books’ titles. To intensify the intrigue, fiddly notes were written on the wrap, historical hints like “First novel by one of the great 19th century authors,” quotes like “I can’t live two hours without my ID,” and teasers like “Fame-Beauty-Memories, Mother Nature's fury, call of the wild, genetically improved super-humans….” The pitch was a smashing hit and the project was soon followed by an online version.
A year earlier, LoveFlutter – a U.K.-based dating app whose motto is “Say No to Shallow” – held its first pop-up blind dating event. Participants were handed medium sized brown bags along with crayons and fun stationary items so they could sketch and draw on their paper-face, making it easier and more fun to express themselves and seduce others with hints about their personality. The organizers’ aim was to revamp the “superficial” dating scene by expanding people’s minds and helping them get to know significant clues that go beyond the visual ones. It truly is interesting to see how attractive people find each other if they do not have facial cues and if they would make better choices in the absence of usual cues.
Having a steady reading habit gives you the chance to fall in love with words – whether written, printed, or digitalized. Every open book can blow you away, push you to reconsider your own convictions, and experience a different state of sweetness and sourness, spiciness and tanginess. Delving into the prosed intellect may make you melt from the get-go, may poke your conscious in the most honest but brutal way, or may divulge its charms at a later stage in life… just like being involved in an exquisite romance!
Falling in love with words is like falling in love with a sweet tongued charmer. However, enjoying a book comes with unique perks, like not having to dress up or use transportation because literary destinations go as far as one’s imagination takes him or her. Even so, you could always make reading time fancier by lighting aromatic candles, rubbing fragrant lotions on your tired limbs, putting on some jazzy music, or bringing a bottle of wine to the party. As the love sets in, you can noodle your way into the pages with a sense of ease and peace. As you pick up the pace, you can dive into a sea of ideas and illusions, imagery and fantasy… sink into the bottom of the wondrous cavity… till it is time for you to come back and set foot on the earth’s surface. It is normal to feel disoriented or homesick in the beginning before reality catches up with you!
Falling in love with a book is an adventure where things get really personal, where your passions fly high and your thoughts run like mad… and where life is deeply swell and you could almost hear the salvation bell. So fall in love with a book, a word, or a story. Look for them the next time you go to a mall. Reach for them the next time your cable freezes. Do not hesitate to answer their call the next time you walk by them. And before you know it, you will have one more lover in life. One that you cannot go out without… one that you cannot listen to music without… one that you cannot take a bubble bath without… one that you cannot sleep without because it has become a dream catcher, a lucky charm, or a soothing lullaby. Love is sweet… but it can taste a whole lot sweeter on paper.