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 Debbie and Dorian had to say about their date at Centreville.
Debbie is a 27-year-old membership representative for a non-profit who lives in Roncesvalles. She likes running, hiking trails, and keeping active (“I’m very outdoorsy”), having coffee with friends, hosting dinner parties, and “spending a lot of time with my dog, exploring High Park.” Debbie says her friends would describe her as “warm-hearted, and able to make just about anyone comfortable.” She adds, “I have a great sense of humour and rarely get embarrassed.”
Dorian is a 37-year-old customer service representative who lives in Brockton Village. He says “I attempt to leave the city in the summer, for mini-vacations to cottage country, camping, and wine tours.” Dorian also likes seeing live music, going to festivals, trying new restaurants, and “spending time with my kid.” Dorian says “I’ve been told I’m funny, and I can admit to being a bit mischievous.” He adds “If I’m interested in something – food, politics, music – I will commit to learning more about it.” He says “It would be nice to meet someone who is a good influence. I’ve been jogging on and off, and wouldn’t mind meeting someone who inspires me to be more active.”
Debbie on Dorian
“I was really nervous, because I’ve never been on a blind date. I’ve tried online dating before, and you have an idea of who they are, at least; with this, I knew nothing about him, but I liked the idea of doing something different.
“Dorian was shorter than me, and I’m short to begin with. I’ve always felt that it’s nice to be able to ‘look up’ to someone and, as a woman, I like to feel protected. With that being said, if there was the right attraction and chemistry, then I would compromise on this, as I’ve done in the past. It’s such a hard thing to tell a guy that one of the reasons you’re not attracted to him is because he’s too short.
“On the ferry, we had a great spot on the top deck, with an incredible view of the city. Dorian seemed a bit nervous. He called me ‘madame’ a few times; I’m not sure if it’s because he found out that my first language is French, but it made me feel old. Dorian was really interested in the fact that I have a twin brother, and seemed to believe in some twin mythology. I thought that was a little funny and odd, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
“Once we arrived on the island, we walked towards Far Enough Farm and talked some more about family. He told me that he has a four-year-old and showed me her picture; he was so proud, and I thought that was really cute. He seems like a really dedicated and proud father. At the farm, we got to pet and hold some of the animals, like the baby bunnies and goats, and Charlotte, an 800-pound pig. I really liked that he seemed interested in the animals; being good with animals is important to me.
“Dorian asked a few times if I was having a good time, and he was a gentlemen; he pulled out my chair at lunch, and threw a compliment or two my way. We talked about concerts and I told Dorian that I’ve never actually been to one. I was embarrassed. I love live music, I’ve just never been to a huge concert.
“Dorian is definitely a talkative, outgoing guy. We went on the Rockin’ Ferry and the Scrambler. The Scrambler was my favourite. After the rides, we had two tickets left, and Dorian suggested that we give them to a child, so we approached two parents and asked if they would accept our tickets. It was really sweet and the parents were really happy.
“Once we got back to the docks, we hugged and parted ways. I would see Dorian again; I see a potential friendship with him. We exchanged contact information. Apparently, he wants to take me to a concert.”
DEBBIE RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10)
Dorian’s style: 8
Dorian’s hair: 7
Dorian’s outgoingness: 9
Dorian on Debbie
“When I was parking my bike, I saw a pretty brunette sitting on a bench. I half-suspected and half-hoped that she was my date. When we were introduced, I felt a wave of relief. Maybe it’s egotistical, but I immediately tried to figure out what she was thinking of me. I found her attractive. She was shy, but very expressive, and has beautiful eyes. Her French/Maritime accent was a turn-on, but physically, she reminded me of an ex-girlfriend, and it’s possible that it was hard for me to wrap my head around that.
“On the ferry ride to the islands, we talked about Toronto’s condo development, Rob Ford, Adam Vaughan, our work lives, and the recent flood. She told me how she’d invited her friends who found themselves without electricity to come over; that kindness caught my attention.
“We also talked about her being a twin, about her dog Roxy, and how meeting people in the city can be a bit tough. I’m sure I spoke a lot, as I tend to talk too much when I’m nervous and, for some reason, I couldn’t completely shake it.
“We had a few good laughs on the walk from the ferry to the farm, but we had trouble finding things in common. I had tried to bring up passions of mine in an effort to initiate conversation, but her side of the conversation sometimes drifted. When we got to the farm, her eyes lit up when she realized we could play with the animals. Seeing her fuss over the baby rabbits and the mama pig Charlotte was a lot of fun. Anyone who loves animals that much is a good person in my books.
“At lunch, the conversation opened up more. We talked about my amazing daughter, my love of music, and music festivals—I had been at a festival the night before—as well as our shared interests in exercise and cooking. The clouds were starting to darken, and neither of us wanted to get drenched, so we gave our remaining tickets to a young family and walked back to the ferry docks, before realizing we had just missed the boat.
“We were both exhausted at this point, but the conversation seemed a bit more natural, so I asked Debbie about her favourite concert. She told me that she had never been to one. I tried to rein in my shock, but I’m certain that my jaw hit the ground like in the old Looney Tunes cartoons. I couldn’t imagine someone not having gone to a concert. It may sound shallow, but it was a bit of a bombshell.
“As the boat travelled, I tried to decide how I felt about this date. The truth is, I’m still not sure. She was one of the nicest people I’ve met since I started dating again, and I sincerely hope we can hang out again, but my suspicion is that we are very different people.”
DORIAN RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10)
Debbie’s style: 9
Debbie’s manners: 10
Debbie’s sense of humour: 7
Special thanks to Centreville, 416-203-0405, email@example.com. Follow @Centreville4Fun and Like Facebook.com/CentrevilleAmusementPark.
Want to get hooked up by The Grid? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.