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 Heather and Gage to say about their night out at the Steam Whistle brewery.
Heather is a 27-year-old behavioural therapist who lives near Queen West. Heather describes herself as “friendly, outgoing, funny, and an eternal optimist” and adds, “people say I remind them of Zooey Deschanel, which I agree with.” Heather says, “I just joined a running club, and I like hanging out with friends, getting fro-yo, eating out at new restaurants, walking around the city, drinking beers on a patio, and reading.”
Gage is a 30-year-old child- and youth-worker who lives around Davisville. “I like going for massive hikes throughout the city, and taking pictures, usually while on said hikes,” he says. Gage also likes live music, playing softball, snowboarding, and canoeing. He has a positive outlook, is easy-going, and is looking for someone who is “adventurous, open-minded, spontaneous, playful, intelligent, and able to find fun in any environment.”
Heather on Gage
“Gage was well-groomed and had nice blonde swooshy hair. He’s tall, and cute in a bit of a nerdy way. His shoes were really nice brown loafers; I was glad he didn’t wear sneakers. After we were introduced, we sat down for a quick chat before the brewery tour began. He seemed a bit shy, but we found out that we have many things in common: We work in similar fields, and have similar educational backgrounds, and we both enjoy travelling and day-drinking on patios.
“Our tour started, and Gage seemed really interested in the beer-making process, which I also found interesting. He asked good questions about it. Gage is a sweet, genuine guy, and a true gentleman: He opened doors for me, and let me walk ahead. He told me he was nervous before the date, but opened up and become more comfortable as we drank more beer. I didn’t have to work at the conversation, which was appealing. I’ve been on dates before where it was like I was forcing the guy to talk to me, but with Gage it was easy.
“We talked about Toronto, and Nuit Blanche, and about our hometowns. He remembered the city I’m from, which impressed me. I have a pretty dry, sarcastic sense of humour that not everyone gets, but Gage laughed at every single one of my jokes. But, he didn’t tell me any jokes. I really like being able to banter back and forth with someone, so when he didn’t sneak in some jokes or witty comments, I felt like there was something missing from the conversation. Gage is a really great listener, though, and he remembered a lot of little comments I’d made throughout the date. When we were talking about Nuit Blanche exhibits, I told him that a bartender from one of my favourite bars was DJing one of them. At the end of the date, Gage mentioned checking out that same bar, which really impressed me.
“The date stayed pretty casual with no flirtatious comments, which I didn’t mind; I got more of a friend vibe than a romantic vibe from Gage. I [think] I’m more outgoing and spontaneous, and I’m looking for someone who can match me. Also, Gage talked about how he wanted to focus on putting down some roots in the city, which is great for him, but not really what I’m interested in. We’re different in what we see for ourselves. He’s a nice, interesting guy, but when it comes to dating, I need to feel an immediate spark, and I didn’t from Gage.”
HEATHER RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Gage’s manners: 10
Gage’s hair: 9
Gage’s laugh: 8
Gage on Heather
“I passed a beautiful woman on my way into the brewery. When I met my date 20 minutes later, she was the same beautiful woman. Good deal! Having not had very much experience in the whole the dating scene, Heather’s charm made me feel calm and at ease. She also had a great laugh and a beaming smile.
“One of the first things I found out about Heather was that she worked with children, and I thought that was really cool because I work with children, too. It was nice to be able to connect with someone in that way.
“The beer provided an excellent social lubricant, too. Our guide introduced us to the process of brewing it, but my favourite part of the tour was when Heather pulled a lever that activated an obnoxiously loud horn. It kind of scared the crap out of me.
“Heather was quick to find a laugh in anything, and I appreciated that. She also didn’t mind taking the lead in the conversation. After the tour, we sat on a couch and ate and chatted over a platter of fine cheese and meats; she even rapped the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air song for me. Not just the theme song to the show, but the original version! I liked that she’s well-travelled, and found it intriguing that she grew up on the east coast. Good people, those east coasters. I feel like I was able to get a [good] idea of who Heather was, but I’m not sure if I was able to provide the same for her. I feel like maybe I was bumbling and not really articulating myself very well.
“We talked about how we’re both avid readers of The Grid’s back page; we also spoke about the general nature of the dating world. She went into detail about a date that had gone horribly awry. The story included a critique of how her date had sat right next to her on a couch. I didn’t realize until after that maybe I should have taken that as a hint: We were also sitting next to each other on a couch, and maybe that had made her feel uncomfortable. My bad.
“When it came time to part ways, I asked her for her number. We had a good hug, and she left with a smile. I was happy.”
GAGE RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Heather’s style: 9
Heather’s laugh: 10
Heather’s manners: 9
Special thanks to Steam Whistle Brewing; The Roundhouse, 255 Bremner Blvd., 416-362-2337. Follow @SteamWhistle and Like Facebook.com/SteamWhistle.
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