She is a freshman rose who hails from Bernardsville, N.J. He is saying sayonara to the Yale realm in less than a month. Keep the star-crossed lovers references to yourself. She does yoga. He’s a football player who pulls pranks with pigs. She was looking for chemistry. He was searching for a down-to-earth girl. She teaches New Haven kids about non-violence. He is a DKE bro who made a film about Aborigines down under. Not in a million years (we like to believe) would they have ever met, had it not been for the puppet hands of scene and its readers. It was fun for us to mess with fate, but was it as amusing for our pioneer dating game winners? Worlds collide as the interesting couple sets off on a tandem bike. In their own words, the college neophyte and one of the 2007 Rumpus’s “50 Most Beautiful People” spew out their versions of the Blindest Date to ever hit campus. —Jordi Gasso
By Charlotte Parker
The first two nights of my week could not have been any more different. At 8 p.m. on Monday night, I lived in a heavily caffeinated world, existing on my glowing computer screen. My company consisted of Captain Ahab, Moby Dick, and some convoluted bullshit about 1776. Fonts were enlarged and margins manipulated, but by 3 p.m. on Tuesday I had, at last, turned in two papers.
And thanks to your votes, dear scene readers, I had a chance to unwind from that unhealthy world. Mystery man Eric arrived to pick me up on a rusty tandem bike, flannel shirttails flapping in the breeze. ‘Hipster glasses,’ plastic sunglasses with the lenses punched out purchased on SB ’10 Panama City, encased his eyes. I had been told he would be picking me up on a moped, but the borrowed bike definitely made for an encouraging beginning.
I had some brief terrifying images of a major tandem wipe-out putting an early end to the date, but as we went through the requisite “what college are you in”-type questions, Eric’s steering improved and we ventured on a joy ride around campus.
We pulled up to Soul de Cuba and parked the bike (which goes by Daisy) right outside the window. After ordering a pitcher of sangria and three different appetizers, conversation was easy and fun — Eric had some crazy stories (pigs on Old Campus?) and we talked about traveling and the social scene. Over delish empanadas, the beauty of a blind date became apparent: it’s a chance to get to know someone without any expectations that the other person is romantically interested.
Also, I like to think it makes dropping the Mono Bomb halfway through dinner totally cool.
The check came and the night was still young, so we hopped on Daisy and rode backward up deserted Elm Street to the DKE House. Behind the chain link fence, 20 football players played four square in their backyard playland. Ladies: if a brother asks you to play four square on a warm spring night, accept — there’s a 99.9% chance it’s actually not a pick-up line!
The next stop was Anna Liffey’s for trivia night, a first for me — an alternate universe of rockin’ upperclassmen and intense trivia competition. Eric confided that he was writing a novel, but maybe that was the $2 PBR? For sure, the good cheer made our bike-riding more daring as we took a brief shotgun detour to a DKE friend’s apartment before hitting up Richter’s.
We pedaled home up Chapel Street, breeze in the hair and getting a little air over every curb, to bring me back to my Old Campus cocoon. We pulled up to Bingham, our dismount from Daisy by now perfected.
With any sort of walk-back ambiguity conveniently eliminated by the mono, we exchanged numbers. Back in my dorm I inexplicably decided that it was urgent to get my laundry out of the dryer before falling into bed and passing out like a baby … all that trivia and bike-riding had clearly been exhausting.
I didn’t make it to my 10:30 Spanish class Wednesday morning, but I think I have an out. When my wonderful Profesora read about this whole blind date locura last week, she shared with me that back in the day she had been on a blind date TV game show and won a trip to the Dominican Republic (hint, hint, scene). She’ll understand why I slept through class, right? Besides, I practiced my Spanish at Soul de Cuba — empanada, ceviche, sangria …
By Eric Senn
Well, I guess getting swindled into a blind date wasn’t all that bad after all. I showed up on this rusty old piece of junk bicycle made for two and laid one helluva skid mark on her doorstep. Charlotte was so tired of the YDN photographer telling her to move her nose this-a-way and her chin that-a-way that she jumped right on.
After a smiley social lap around campus, we corralled a window table at Soul De Cuba. Apparently the place gets a bunch of stars and thumbs up. I took a few preemptive Imodium.
Charlotte was well below the legal drinking age, so I was on my own. The bartender took a liking to me and decided I deserved $3 beers rather than $3.25. What a goddam saint. Thanks for the gumballs.
Eight Smirnoff Ices later, the sexual tension was undoubtedly escalating. She started rubbing my thigh and I was damn glad she did because my chiggers are perennial these days and I was out of Calamine lotion.
Soul de Cuba gave us this big old pile of food that was depressingly less redeeming than what the menu picture advertised. Anywho, they brought out all these appetizers on parallelogram-shaped plates and teasingly empty martini glasses filled with water. It was pretty fancy, I suppose, but Cuban food has a sneaky characteristic to it.
Like I said, Charlotte and I were riding around this monkey bike for awhile, and it was a grand time, but in all truthfulness, I was clinching the hell out of my butt cheeks. On top of the clinching and IBS and all, we got lost on the way to Anna Liffey’s, but after awhile we pinpointed the timeless pub. We didn’t know the color of O.J.’s Bronco or Rosie O’Donnell’s daily doughnut consumption, so we decided to bag trivia. Back on the bike, she claimed a sudden case of bursitis and made me peddle alone until my underarms smelled like dead blue gill.
We were both suffering from fatigue, and she asked to go home. I took her back to Bingham, gave my kickstand hell and walked her to her door. The door had this fancy shmancy swipearoo gizmo on it, which gave me extra time to plan this kiss maneuver I’d been thinking about. I’ve watched MTV a time or two, and I’ve been practicing on my pillow so I was ready.
She played pretty efficient defense. Wouldn’t even lay a little old smooch on me. I was pretty bummed. She told me she had Mono. I told her I was impervious to all 12 strains, but she was persistent. The liquor gods were laughing at me … bastards.
She left me on the tandem bike alone. And then it started raining and I got depressed and lonely and all that other Emily Bronte crap. I’m over it.
At least I got to look sweet, cruising the campus with a beautiful girl on the back of my bike. Hopefully we can do it again. We both like doing wheelies.