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 Lu Wei and Nicholas had to say about their date at the most recent edition of the Long Winter festival series.
Lu Wei is a 26-year-old makeup artist who lives in Scarborough. She loves food, cooking, discussing politics, and pop-culture, and says “Hot Docs is my favourite time of year.” Lu Wei’s mind is “a storage unit of cartoon episodes and useless trivia,” and she says she is friendly, and “pensive and reflective. I think about things thoroughly and make thoughtful decisions, and I give thoughtful advice because of that.” Lu Wei wants to date “someone with a great love for the arts” and “someone with a great sense of humour who isn’t afraid to be silly.” Lu Wei also appeared in an earlier edition of The Hook-Up.
Nicholas is a 21-year-old student, designer, and carpentry apprentice who lives in Roncesvalles. He describes his style as “Zayn Malik meets Tyler the Creator, and they head for the tattoo parlour.” He says “I’m really empathetic, and I have a wide variety of interests.” He likes to “play video games, surf the web, listen to music, meditate, read, write, do a [design] project for fun, try a new recipe, go to the gym, ride my skateboard, go to a concert, or go to a bar.” He says “My friends’ [say] the more a girl looks like she came from a Tumblr photo, the more attracted I’ll be to her sense of style. See: Grimes.” Nicholas also likes girls who are “involved with social and political issues, open-minded, and easy-going.”
Lu Wei on Nicholas
“Nicholas was standing on the top floor. He wore a burgundy shirt, and he also had a few piercings, which was cool. We walked around the venue; there was a hall where a band was performing, and we decided to sit on the top level [of The Great Hall] to listen to the music and get to know each other.
“I learned that Nicholas goes to OCAD for graphic design, which is pretty cool because that’s a field I had considered as well. [Later] we went to the main floor to watch the bands up close, and for a drink. We played a tag-like videogame—I got pretty competitive. Then we checked out the food stands. The first one we hit was called ‘Eat This,’ and it featured a small hoagie sandwich that had spicy peanut butter, apple, cheese and bacon. We ate, drank, and talked a little more about videogames and our mutual obsessions with Pokémon and Tumblr. After that we hit ‘The Galette Girls’ which featured rustic tarts that were savoury and sweet. We took our tarts to a booth and chatted. Nicholas was very easy to talk to. He had a really friendly attitude.
“We talked about a variety of topics. I was surprised by Nicholas’ maturity and worldliness. I always had the assumption that youth equals naïveté, and he proved me wrong. For a large portion of the night, we talked about our views on racism. We had a lovely exchange of ideas about growing up in neighbourhoods where we were the visible minority and what that had felt like.
“He is a smart person, [but] during the date, there were times when his age really showed: there were some [things] I talked about that he wasn’t very familiar with, and when it came to cartoons or music or cultural references, I had to stick to fairly recent topics. I watch a lot of cartoons, read a lot of different books, and have really specific interests that I would like someone to share with me, or be able to participate in, and I didn’t feel like Nicholas [could]. He’s a very nice and interesting guy, and a gentleman, but he couldn’t fully change my mind about dating a younger guy.
“After that we decided to get another drink and stood a little closer to the stage to listen to the music. The set was very cool and a lot of fun. After that I decided that it was time to go, and Nicholas suggested we get one more galette first. He asked for my contact information; I gave him my Instagram handle.”
LU WEI RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Nicholas’ style: 6
Nicholas’ manners: 9
Nicholas’ sense of humour: 6
Nicholas on Lu Wei
“I arrived about five minutes early and waited eagerly in the Conversation Room [at The Great Hall]. After fifteen minutes went by, I began to wonder if I had been stood up. Thankfully, soon after, a gorgeous girl began walking towards me with a big smile on her face. I was really pleasantly surprised with her overall aesthetic, and I got positive vibes right off the bat. The first thing I noticed was her septum piercing, which fit her face really well. Her hair and makeup looked pretty flawless, too.
“We sat in the upper atrium and chatted briefly about the basics: school, jobs, and neighbourhoods came up. We decided to move to the lower level, where there were pop-up food stands, arcade games, a bar, and people packed around an empty stage. We grabbed drinks and chatted a bit more about videogames before engaging in some arcade action ourselves. I thought Lu had a really playful, lighthearted attitude towards gaming.
“After several rounds, we stopped gaming and got some food. A food stand was selling peanut butter, bacon, and apple sandwiches, which piqued Lu’s interest. This gave me the impression that she was open-minded [about] non-traditional things, which was a big turn-on. Lu was very friendly and polite when interacting with not only me, but with other people, [too], which assured me that she was being genuine.
“We sat down and talked about more intellectually stimulating subjects, like cultural appropriation. Discussing topics like this, especially on the first date, [responded to] my sapiosexual needs. Her ability to relate and discuss topics in the light that she did [let me know] I would be interested in seeing her again.
“At one point, I flicked out my nose ring with my finger and was unable to get it back in without a mirror. I excused myself to go to the washroom, and had trouble getting back in [because] the venue had reached capacity. The people at the front desk gave me a gold wristband to bypass the doorman, [but] being gone for at least 10 minutes I began to wonder if my absence [made her think] I was purposely trying to get away from her.
“When I got back inside, I explained what had happened and she seemed cool about it. We spent time talking about tattoos before heading to the bar, and then toward the main stage to watch another live performance. An artist was rapping, and we were both feeling his sound. The loudness [provided] an excellent opportunity to lean-in for a ‘whisper-shout,’ and I enjoyed the intimacy of being close to her ear.
“After grooving out for a few songs, Lu informed me that she would be leaving after the set. She had mentioned earlier that she had to work early the next morning. I suggested that we use the last of our food tickets, and asked if she was interested in swapping phone numbers. She took my phone and linked us up on Instagram instead. We hugged goodbye, and she was super touchy. The way she glided her hand down my chest while walking away was super hot!”
NICHOLAS RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Lu Wei’s style: 8
Lu Wei’s sense of humour: 9
Lu Wei’s hair: 10
Special thanks to the Long Winter festival series. Follow @LongWinterTO and Like it on Facebook.
Want to get hooked up by The Grid? Email email@example.com.