In an ever-connected world, a truly blind date
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 02:02
Editor’s note: In honor of Valentine’s Day, we had one of our staff members document her experience in asking a completely random stranger out on a date. The following is the result:
Three is the magic number in asking out guys, because in a world of Tinder, instantaneous reactions and male domination, going Dutch is a little harder than “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” lets on. While men on a college campus definitely gravitate toward the female population (they’ve been known to pop up at yoga classes), that initial move is a lot less frequent during periods of week-time sobriety. Liquid courage, so they call it, aids males in their quest for female companionship and oftentimes shields their shyness. On an everyday basis, though, men can be introverted and seemingly uninterested. I will ask a boy out, however, in the name of Valentine’s Day.
Attempt No. 1 occurs at Dimond Library late one night. He is the sole inhabitant of a study table. I work myself up to popping the question by pacing around the bookcases. I take a deep breath, walk towards him and sit. I introduce myself and ask his name. Jake. I know this is crazy, I say, which it is, especially for my first go-around, and ask him out. He has a girlfriend.
Attempt No. 2 again occurs at Dimond. I spot a blonde with an athletic build silently studying in a cubicle alone. I stroll by multiple times for a glance and he’s unfazed — his head stays drooped. He’s obviously an incredible intellectual. When I pop the question this time, I receive the bell-ringing “yeah.” I’m taken aback and small talk automatically begins as we exchange numbers. He has asked to be kept anonymous. He never made it to the date, though. At a later time, when I reveal my occupation at the newspaper, he backs out. I understand his shyness — mass popularity can cause extreme anxiety in some people.
Now, I don’t want to make it sound as if my third date was a pick out of desperation. Sophomore Aaron McGill could make any girl swoon: he has a toothpaste-commercial-worthy smile and gorgeous eyes. I spot him when I enter Pita Pit — he is making a pita and casually taking orders. I enter the line and a co-worker foils my plan. She explains that I must first purchase my pita before re-entering the queue. It’s now or never. I explain that I’m with The New Hampshire, and suddenly the boy, my Magic No. 3, has been summoned. He thinks I need a quote on his reasoning for employment at this eatery/convenience center. He’s about to be knocked off his feet … and I’m right. He is. He tells me that I took him by surprise with my proposal, but he would definitely go on a date with me. He’s incredibly attractive. I’m surprised by how laid-back and unfazed he is about my proposal. He says he’s curious — well, who wouldn’t be?
As a wise and lovely friend once said to me, “Whoever says ‘Yes’ will be just as outgoing as you.”
We set the date for a casual evening of American dining in Newmarket on a Wednesday.
The morning of, tragedy strikes.
My eye is red, seriously red, and is not only heavy to blink, but is bombarded with discomfort as pus can be seen forming at the tear duct and edges of my eyeball. This is fantastic. I’m going on a food-eating, interaction-based date with a contagious disease. Thankfully, I later discover (after the date) that this is a mere side effect of the incredible lack of sleep that my body has endured. No matter, I have entrusted in my bag three bottles of eye drops. During the date, I blame my continued bathroom usage on a cleanliness obsession. He buys it.
If you have not been to Rocky’s Famous Burgers, you’re missing out on one of the hidden joys of life. One popular option is to build your own burger, which, of course, I did. Who knew that you could get salsa and fries, together, on the same sandwich, with another serving and a half of fries on the side? Obviously, my night has been made regardless. Unfortunately for McGill, due to a day of involuntary fasting, I’m starving and the usual female date etiquette of eating as attractively as possible has forgone my brain.
Not surprisingly, conversation flows through our meal. We talk on travel, business, military and Greek life. He is a brother of Phi Kappa Theta. He asks me about writing, veganism and travel. He’s intrigued about writing. We both want to travel to Spanish-speaking countries. As he speaks, I’m able to gobble through my food and nod enthusiastically. Social cues tell me to slow down and drink more water. He is thoroughly invested in our conversation, so I follow suit and put my fork down. We agree the fries are superb.
As we bid the establishment good night, I realize that my exhaustion is beginning to kick in. The drive back is nine miles. I begin to pick up the conversation in hopes that the constant back-and-forth chatter will allow my brain to stay functioning until the both of us have safely exited the car.
The date ends as I pull back up to Phi Kappa Theta and I wonder what all of this build up had come to. An experience, that’s what. Girls need not fear asking a boy out, because we have approximately the same success rate, but the added element of surprise.