The Oracle staffers set up double blind date experiment

Written by Roy Shadmon and Sam Acker

Roy’s tip: Channel your inner conversationalist



It was awkward. There isn’t a better way to put it but — awkward. The whole night started off at around 6:45 p.m. when I picked up Sam Acker, also going on our double blind date, to go to “Pasta Q”. My mom gave us the classic pre-date lecture: to go open-mindedly and to have fun. After the embarrassing advice my mom gave us, we finally reached “Pasta Q”. Sam and I were both excited but also tremendously nervous: we were both hoping that our dates would be able to keep the conversation going and that it wouldn’t be a complete disaster.

Walking back to “Pasta Q”, I saw a pretty girl who looked familiar. I approached her and asked her if she was here for the blind date, as she was standing alone outside of the restaurant. She said yes shyly, and I introduced myself only realizing after that we had a class together freshman year. Her name was Jenny Yoon, and I completely forgot that, which made things super awkward. Bam! I killed it before we even sat down. While waiting for Eli Dawson, Sam’s blind date, to come, I had nothing to say, especially after I forgot her name. It was an awkward five minutes when Sam tried to make conversation. Tip one: talk to your date, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

Judging by what everyone was wearing, I knew we were in for an interesting night. Eli dressed like he just came back from the gym: wearing basketball shorts, a t-shirt that he got from the eighth grade Washington D.C. trip and my personal favorite, a beat-up tourist hat.

Jenny and Sam both wore usual nice clothing that girls wear to school, and I wore khaki jeans with a t-shirt. Obviously, we can conclude that Eli “dressed to impress”  Tip two: dress appropriately. Don’t be the one to underdress because it looks like you don’t care about your date. Therefore, it’s always better to overdress than to underdress.

While we were eating, we didn’t have much to talk about. Eli brought up Sam’s ex-boyfriend every other sentence, which was an inadequate choice on his part, making conversation awkward and uncomfortable. When we weren’t talking about Sam’s ex, there was dead silence, so I tried to stir the hollow conversation with something else by asking Jenny about her weekend and tennis. She gave me vague answers making it nearly impossible to keep our lame conversation going, and with that, our dinner date ended on a very quiet and awkward note. Tip three: do not mention your date’s ex, even if he or she is your friend. It makes conversation awkward, and it doesn’t make your date want to talk to you.

We all quietly walked down University Avenue to Yogurtland where Eli left before we could even attempt to get another conversation going and when we finished eating, Jenny left. Sam and I both agreed that it was incredibly awkward.

Then the awkward feeling finally evaporated. It was probably the most relaxing part of the evening. Tip four: make conversation; don’t be awkward and not talk at all, it takes more than one person to hold a conversation — or at least most of the time.

In retrospect, it wasn’t the best night of my life, but it also wasn’t the worst. I would also like to personally thank Jenny Yoon and Eli Dawson for agreeing to take part of The Oracle’s blind date and Sam Acker for giving me a ride home.

 

Sam’s tip: Be chivalrous and put in effort


Chivalry is dead.  I had really hoped it wasn’t, but I’m sad to say that due to my recent experience on the double blind date, I have no choice but to conclude that it is. In my grandparents’ day, men were courteous and gallant. However, nowadays, such inclinations appear to be gone.Before the blind date, I was nervous but hopeful. I was prepared to have a good time and see what would happen. When Eli, my blind date, walked up, let’s just say we were both, well, not so excited. I recognized him as one of my ex’s friends and prayed that he wouldn’t bring it up. Unfortunately, my prayers were not answered.The worst thing you can probably do on a date is to bring up the others person’s ex. My date, however, did exactly that, and it wasn’t even just a passing remark. I felt like I was on the hot seat the entire time.  I spent most of the date staring down at my mediocre Bolognese hoping that he would stop pestering me with rude and personal questions.Guys, a word of advice so you ensure that the date is successful: it’s polite to take off your hat when you are at dinner. It’s also a common courtesy to sit up straight in your seat and make eye contact when you are talking to someone. A good idea is to sit across from your date rather than diagonally or next to. If you agree to go on a date, I’m sure whatever game is on can wait. Not to turn this into a rant, but I’d also like to point out that in my opinion, it’s also okay to leave your basketball shorts at home. A pair of khakis and a nice polo always makes a good impression. Dressing well shows your date that you care.The sole positive moment of the night was when we received free lemonade. I’m pretty sure they just felt bad for the extremely awkward group of teenagers struggling to make conversation. That, and we were guzzling glass after glass of water during the frequent awkward silences, so they must have thought we were extremely thirsty.At least Roy was making a huge effort to ask his date, Jenny, questions. She was really nice, but they did have a hard time keeping up the dialogue. I just sat there, trying not to stab my pasta too hard as I ignored Eli’s endless pestering about my ex. Luckily, Roy and Jenny made it more enjoyable.

A helpful tip is to stay throughout the whole date. An even better one is to refrain from using your phone at any time (unless  its an emergency). At least the yogurt was delicious.  After Eli left, I was relieved that it was over. That was one of the most awkward experiences of my life, and it had only lasted a few hours. If you’re going to agree to go on a blind date, it would be nice to go with an open mind, like Mrs. Shadmon (Roy’s mother) advised us on the way to the restaurant. You never know what could happen if you give it a try and be happy to be there (or at least pretend to be).

If you’re in it for the free food, it’s not worth it to waste another person’s time. Even if you don’t like who the person is or you have an opinion about them, at least be gracious and civil. No girl wants to leave a date wondering what she did wrong or why she even bothered.

Needless to say, I won’t be going on a blind date again anytime soon. Although, looking on the bright side, I am optimistic that if you are reading this, you will not make the same mistakes that my date made.

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