Each week in The Hook-Up, we set up single readers of The Grid and send them on blind dates around Toronto. Here’s what Carolyn and Adam had to say about their yoga class at Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Centre and post-workout snack at Urban Herbivore.
Carolyn is a 32-year-old lawyer who lives at St. Clair and Bathurst. She has been told she’s “adventurous, caring, driven” (and that she has “amazing feet, apparently”). “I’ve been known to stress myself out,” she says, before adding, “this is why we have spas.” In her free time, Carolyn likes playing Ultimate and dodgeball, doing hot yoga, meeting friends for drinks or dinner—“who doesn’t?”—and going to concerts, plays, and the ballet. She’s looking for someone who “is adventurous with food and travel, or at least curious and interested in trying new things.”
Adam is a 34-year-old handyman, bartender, and actor who lives in Little India. “I think I’m a pretty interesting guy,” he says, and “I consider myself adventurous, so ideally I’d like to be with someone who is at least curious about the world we live in, with a desire to experience a full life.” Adam likes women who are “fresh and uncomplicated,” and “people who feel good about themselves. In terms of style, I think funky and quirky is great, but unpretentious is better. I like real, grounded people.” Adam was also featured in a previous edition of The Hook-Up.
Carolyn on Adam
“I was rushing to get to the venue because, in typical Carolyn fashion, I thought I was late. I was lucky enough to find parking right in front of the [yoga studio]. I met the yoga instructor and the receptionist, who were very friendly. After a while, a thought crossed my mind: Could I have been stood up? The conversation had turned to people we knew who had been stood up on dates when Adam walked in.
“I was attracted to Adam. Tall, lovely eyes, nice smile. Is it weird that I liked his nose? Physically, he’s the type of guy I’d go for. He also seemed very calm. I felt much more comfortable because he seemed so relaxed.
“When I told him my name, he said something like, ‘That’s an odd name,’ or ‘That’s not a normal name.’ That made me laugh, because I don’t think he meant to say that, or at least not that way. He explained that he meant that he didn’t know many people named Carolyn.
“We changed into our yoga clothes and went into a room that had two mats set up side-by-side, along with two blocks and a strap each. Adam did a great job getting into the poses and holding them; for someone who said he hadn’t practised yoga in a long time, he held his own. We did a couple of partner yoga poses where we sat back-to-back and focussed on syncing up our breath, and another where we twisted around using each other’s knees as leverage. I’m sure that strangers partner up to do these exercises all the time, but when the two strangers are on a date, it [was] a bit more intense.
“After the practice, we went downstairs to the Urban Herbivore for a snack. I had the coconut curry with tofu steak, and Adam had a grain bowl. We talked about our families, school, work, and travel. I wondered if Adam is an adventurous traveler; I would be interested in hearing more of his travel stories. I love to travel, and going to offbeat places that people don’t always travel to excites me. I [also didn’t get] his position on favourite foods and restaurants—this is an important one! He had a quiet and reserved personality, and I tend to get excited, so that could [either] be complementary, or a complete disaster.
“I told him that I had six cats and was working on getting a seventh, just to see his reaction. He seemed relieved when I told him I was joking. I just wanted to see what he thought of a ‘cat lady.’
“We stayed and talked for a while, and shared a package of house-made ginger-molasses cookies and a mini vanilla cupcake. I wonder if Adam would open up more if he had the opportunity. He mentioned that he was a little reticent to try certain things, so I wonder how willing he’d be to step out of his comfort zone. Then again, yoga was outside of his comfort zone, I think, so I was impressed by how enthusiastically he approached it. He’s not an easy guy to read, [but] he did ask for my number. I’d be interested in learning more.”
CAROLYN RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Adam’s style: 9 (“I liked the green plaid shirt.”)
Adam’s manners: 9
Adam’s yoga moves: 8
Adam on Carolyn
“I was late. Not really late, but the kind of late where it’s not really my fault, just one of those times when getting across town takes way too long. At the moment I knew I was officially ‘late,’ I was sitting on the slower-than-a-hearse streetcar and saw a mural that said ‘Time is on our side.’ I muttered, ‘No it isn’t.’ Then we pulled forward and I saw the second half of the mural, which said ‘Yes it is.’ I laughed and thought this must be a message telling me to relax! At that moment, I decided to accept the situation and avoid bringing a negative attitude into the yoga class. When I arrived and met Carolyn, she was entirely gracious and kind about it. She seemed like a chill person. She’s very pretty and has beautiful curves.
“On top of my stress from being late and the cumulative stress of working long hours for the last few months, I was almost as unprepared for yoga as I could possibly be. Although this was an ‘easy’ yoga class, it was difficult enough. As I pressed up into a cobra and felt my spine tensing all the way down, I realized I should probably be doing this more. The yoga instructor had us sit with our backs together to feel each other’s breath. I didn’t find this weird [because] I used to do it all the time in voice classes at acting school, but I sensed that doing this with a relative stranger was more unusual for Carolyn.
“After the class, we had some very delicious vegan food. I told Carolyn I wasn’t very good about eating my vegetables; they always go bad before I have a chance to do anything with them. It seems we had that in common, so we were glad to eat something healthy. I also got really excited when I saw they had real ginger ale, which was also a favourite of Carolyn’s.
“I found Carolyn to be an easy person to talk to. I feel like she did a better job of helping the conversation move forward by asking questions, and I started to wonder if I was indulging my tendency to ramble a bit too much. There was a moment when we stopped to acknowledge the uniqueness of our situation, and how cool it was to have a genuine interaction with a total stranger. We chatted very freely and easily about our jobs and our families, and [about how] we both love to travel, and love spending Christmas with kids.
“The conversation was [good], and we seemed to agree on a lot of things, but it wasn’t exactly flirtatious. And, although we chatted very freely, our lives are very different. She is a successful professional, and I am, well, a guy who does jobs. I [was] almost embarrassed to talk about my own work, because I felt it didn’t stack up well against hers. She has a car; I have a bicycle. Do our qualities clash or complement one another? I didn’t get the impression that she saw our lifestyle differences as an issue. Perhaps they would be for me. Carolyn feels like a very safe and comfortable person to be around, and I know I tend to be attracted to a bit more danger, recently anyway.
“I asked her for her number at the end of the date, and she gave it to me. It would be nice to have coffee or see a show with her someday. Even if we aren’t an ideal love match, we could turn out to be great friends. ‘Time is on our side.’”
ADAM RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Carolyn’s manners: 10
Carolyn’s laugh: 8
Carolyn’s yoga moves: 9
Special thanks to Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Centre (967 College St., 416-515-8885, @octoyoga) and to Urban Herbivore (64 Oxford St., 416-927-1231, @UHerbivore).
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