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 Loren and Nicholas had to say about their date at Boozy Bingo at 2nd Floor Events.
Loren is a 21-year-old who works part-time in communications and part-time as a nanny, and who lives at College and Dovercourt. She likes to go on bike rides around the city with friends, sit in the park, and go to art galleries, readings, magazine launches, and live shows. “I have a childlike love for all things fun,” she says, and she describes herself as “spontaneous and adventurous—i.e., interested in trying anything and everything.”
Nicholas is a 32-year-old freelance writer and community manager who lives in Ajax. He says, “I live out loud with integrity, even if this means taking a less orthodox path through life.” Nicholas likes to “dance, laugh and connect with people,” and he describes himself as “a whole lot of fun, [and] smarter than the average bear” with a “pretty sharp sense of humour.”
Loren on Nicholas
“I tend to be attracted to the bearded, toque-wearing type, which Nicholas was not. But he was instantly concerned about my broken leg. I was forced to tell him the super-embarrassing story of what happened, and he didn’t judge me, which I appreciated immensely. I decided to open myself up to whatever happened.
“Because of the whole crutches thing, Nicholas was put to a sort of ‘Ultimate Gentleman Test.’ He definitely passed with flying colours: He carried our bingo cards and went up on his own to get more, he got food for us, and carried my drink. I appreciate it so much when someone takes the time to help me, and he was amazing at that. Nicholas was the definition of a genuinely nice guy.
“Nicholas had a good idea: to pick each other’s bingo cards. We used good vibrations to choose the cards that ‘called to us,’ which was a fun game and opened up a little more interaction.
“We are both in journalism-related fields, so I thought that might give us lots to talk about, but Nicholas talked a lot more about his dating life than anything else, which was kind of uncomfortable for a first date. He gave me a fairly detailed description of a date he’d been on the night before, which made me think that he was going to talk about our date with another girl. He asked me about my work and my life, but there wasn’t much spark in the conversation between us. I think I did most of the talking, maybe just because I like talking about myself a lot, or maybe because he wasn’t as forthcoming. Also, he fist-bumped and high-fived me, neither of which I was particularly into.
“Nicholas mentioned that he wasn’t good at multi-tasking, which turned out to be very true—he was way more focussed on his bingo card than keeping the conversation going. I felt like there was a bit of a wall between us the whole night, maybe because it seemed like we were [on the date] for different reasons. We were kind of on different levels, but there were moments and conversations I really enjoyed that made me [feel] comfortable and relaxed.
“He won a martini shaker, and kindly gave it to me. Immediately afterwards, I got bingo, too! It was a good note to end on, so he walked me out to a taxi. I gave him my number because he asked, but I think if I hear from him I will try to keep things friendly and not romantic.”
LOREN RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Nicholas’ manners: 9
Nicholas’ sense of humour: 8
Nicholas’ bingo skills: 10
Nicholas on Loren
“My first view of Loren was of her lean frame deftly moving up the stairs on her crutches. This was a great icebreaker—no pun intended—as she told me all about her biking accident. She’s good-looking, [but] I didn’t feel an immediate attraction to her, which might explain my handshake instead of a hug or a kiss on the cheek. I lived in Montreal for a lot of years, and still find one or two pecks a superior form of greeting than a hug or handshake. Regardless, I went with the slightly formal handshake. I’m not sure if she expected a more intimate greeting. Her crutches provided me with an opportunity to play the gentleman, which is my go-to. Loren was appreciative, and I got the sense that she enjoys a bit of chivalry, which I liked about her.
“She was close to my height, and had a laid-back vibe. [She wore] no makeup, and funky earnings that I liked. Her honesty and good humour came out right away. Loren wore a cool men’s watch that I complimented her on, and she took it fairly well—one of the things I look for in women is how they accept compliments.
“When we sat down, we chatted about dating in general and, at one point, I said I preferred this sort of blind date because I had no preconceived ideas, and that ‘it was a nice surprise to meet a good-looking girl on crutches.’ She didn’t bite [in response to] the ‘good-looking’ comment, so I didn’t make any other attempts at direct flirtation.
“The bingo was in full swing when we arrived and it took us, or me specifically, until the second Caesar before I got my bearings and was able to engage with Loren without missing my numbers, and vice versa.
“[During the game] she muttered a few judgmental comments and cast a few eye-rolls towards some boisterous people, which was a definite turn-off for me. I have a snarky sense of humour, and as a friend, I wouldn’t really be bothered by it, [but coming from] a girlfriend or a lover, I know it would get to me.
“I thought she cast a few flirtatious glances at me towards the end of the date but I can’t be sure. I wouldn’t have minded a little more flirting, but I didn’t push the envelope either, so I wouldn’t blame Loren for that. I walked her to her cab and suggested we exchange numbers and maybe meet up [to see] a Motown band she told me about, although I feel like if we do, it would be more as friends. The goodbye was verbal-only; she didn’t [demonstrate] any of the hesitation that I find women show when they’re up for an embrace. Not sure if it was the awkwardness of navigating crutches, or if she didn’t feel any sparks between us.”
NICHOLAS RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Loren’s laugh: 9
Loren’s hair: 6
Loren’s manners: 8
Special thanks to 2nd Floor Events, 461 King St. W., 416-263-0122. Follow @2ndfloorevents and Like Facebook.com/2ndfloorevents.
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