Oracle staffer goes on a blind date: Helen’s story


Written by Helen Nguyen, News Editor

Helen’s tip: Always have an open mind.

The whole concept of a blind date is quirky in itself. It encompasses two people who have been set up by a mutual friend, trying to finesse the night into a good one. From my limited knowledge of blind dates—from friends and the media—I gathered that they could yield to a variety of countless awkward or pleasant experiences, depending on how the night went and how well I meshed with my date.

I didn’t mind putting myself out there, so when I agreed to go on this blind date I was excited. I mentally prepared myself by having the mindset that there were only two possible outcomes: the date goes well and I make a new friend, or the date is awkward and we avoid eye contact at school—I couldn’t lose! To make the best of this night, I knew that I needed to be open minded and ready for anything and anyone. My goal: make it a positive night for the both of us.

I certainly didn’t want to make a bad first impression, so I showed up to Pizza My Heart early. Tip: get to the date a little early, or at least on time. Tone, our matchmaker, told us to meet there then decide where to go. I had no clue who my date was, and as I settled into a corner booth, I began to get the nerves. What if my blind date and I have absolutely nothing in common? What if our conversation dies and we sit in silence for the rest of dinner? Oh, the horrors.

After being on the lookout for my date, junior Will Roth strolled in. After a minute of bouncing ideas off each other, we finally decided to go to The Palo Alto Creamery for dinner. We were acquaintances but didn’t talk, so I started off by finding common ground. Will is a very sweet and easygoing guy, so it was a breeze to get the conversation going. As we walked to the Creamery, we made light conversation about how our year was going and what we were up to that weekend. Pro tip: atmosphere matters—make sure you’re in an environment or place that allows for casual conversation for you to get to know your date better.

After grabbing a booth, ordering and waiting for our food, we started off by breaking the ice. Curating and keeping up the conversation kept me on my toes. We joked about how this was a blind date, talked about how Gunn Basketball was doing and brushed up on what our mutual friends were up to. We’re in the same Physics lane, so we had no problem finding common ground within the woes of our class. Somewhere in the chatter and laughter, we became comfortable with each other, and by the time our food came, we talked about ourselves with ease. Dinner went by quickly as we got to know each other better, and, before I knew it, an hour had already passed. As we wrapped up and got our bill, I was prepared to pay for myself but Will generously offered to pay. Although not necessary, by making this kind gesture, Will proved that chivalry is in fact not dead.

We ended off the night by trekking to CREAM and getting warm cookies—dessert was on me, as this was the least I could do. After an exciting but tiring night, we parted ways content with the good food and conversation. Overall, I had a great first experience with the blind date—I had a blast and made a new friend. While the idea of spending a few hours on a date with an unfamiliar person may seem daunting, going on this blind date taught me that it’s healthy to be open to try new things and meet new people. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?