Late last year hubby and I were invited to a blind dinner at the Boulder Blind Cafe. What’s a blind dinner? It’s a meal served by blind waiters and consumed entirely in the dark. This particular event also included a concert, so we would eat dinner and then be entertained, all while temporarily blind. Although I was a bit leery about the whole thing, I am newly born adventure-seeker so I had to say yes.
We arrived at the location in Boulder with our friends and found it was packed. The dinner was sold out. Who knew that eating in the dark was so popular? We had no idea what to expect. As we waited, we joked nervously about why we had bothered to get dressed up when we were just going to be in the dark and laughed that at least it wouldn’t matter if we spilled our entire meals on our clothes because no one would know.
They put us into small groups by table seating. When it was our turn, our blind guide and waiter, Rick, had us line up single file and place our right hands on the right shoulder of the person in front of us. He told us to hold on because he didn’t want to lose any of us along the way to the table. He was serious.
As we started to file in like baby ducks, I kept comforting myself with the notion that there was no way the room could be completely pitch black and certainly by the time my eyes adjusted to the darkness I would be able to see something. That was not the case. I held my hand up in front of my face and could not see it. I could not see my husband or my friend Heather seated on either side of me. I have never experienced that level of darkness before. It was slightly unnerving. And even though I didn’t need them, I couldn’t seem to close my eyes and give in to the utter blackness.
One thing I noticed nearly immediately was how loud the room was. I didn’t anticipate how losing my vision would suddenly magnify the attention I paid to sound. As we sat there trying to get our bearings in our new environment, it became clear that this meal was going to become a major team effort. They had served the meal family style, and all the food was on the table in front of us. We had to feel around to find our drinks (which contained straws I knew I would poke an eye out on eventually), our silverware, and our napkins. Then we had to figure out and agree upon how to pass the food so everyone could try some of the vegan, gluten-free meal. I did mention that this dinner was in Boulder, right?
The meal was challenging on multiple levels. You think birthing children is difficult? Try eating a quinoa salad with a fork when you can’t see your plate or the food on it. I had empty fork after empty fork reach my mouth. (I suspected we would be hitting a burger joint after this dinner was over.) When we did get food into our mouths, we found ourselves constantly guessing ingredients to convince ourselves that we weren’t eating something we would not normally consume. As if I needed further confusion, one of our good friends is a prankster, and he kept relocating my fork and drink just for giggles. Despite the struggles, the meal was good and we were having a great time.
When the concert started, I finally gave into the temptation to close my eyes. I snuggled up to my husband and enjoyed the music and contemplated the song lyrics. It was beautifully peaceful. Normally when I listen to music I am vigorously engaged in another activity (exercise, cleaning, driving my car). Hearing music without using any other senses was mesmerizing.
I relate my story about the blind dinner only to entice you to try something completely new and unique. Sometimes I find I get caught up on the idea of an adventure being something grand. But, life really is replete with small, relatively inexpensive experiences that are wonderful adventures. We all need to do a better job keeping an eye out for these little adventures so we don’t miss out on anything that is truly eye opening.