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 Shomari had to say about their date at JOEY Yorkdale.
Lu Wei is a 26-year-old makeup artist who lives in Scarborough. She likes discussing politics and pop culture, trying new foods and restaurants, food festivals, cooking, and “getting lost in High Park.” Lu Wei says, “I’m quick-witted and looking to make people laugh; I’m also a pop-culture and media-referencing freak. My mind is a storage unit of cartoon episodes and useless trivia.” Lu Wei adds that she is “friendly, with laughs and smiles for everyone. I’ve driven elderly strangers home when I’ve seen them carrying large items.”
Shomari is a 26-year-old customer-service coordinator and entertainer who also lives in Scarborough. “I’m funny, intelligent, respectful, and a very positive person,” he says. “I don’t anger easily, and I’m open to all experiences,” but adds, “I can be too nice, attentive, and caring, which is a great recipe for the friendzone.” Shomari says he likes “anything involving sports and athletics, pretending to audition for Come Dine With Me Canada, and writing.”
Lu Wei on Shomari
“Shomari was very polite when we first met. He shook my hand and was outgoing, friendly, and open. He was dressed very nicely; I noticed his red bow-tie, which I thought was very cute. I also thought he was cute.
“We clicked right away. We discovered that we basically grew up down the street from each other, which really put me at ease. I definitely felt a sense of nostalgia when we talked about our neighborhood and what it was like growing up in Scarborough. I warmed up to him much faster than I would have on a usual date.
“I don’t think there was one moment of silence. The waiter had to return three times to ask if we had made any decisions yet. Shomari is a comedian, and his Barack Obama impression is on point! I can’t wait to see what his stand-up is like. I definitely appreciated his individuality. I’ve been dating for a while, and this was the best date I’ve been on in a long time. I [liked] that I’d been set up with someone that I had things in common with.
“But while the energy I got from Shomari was positive, throughout the date, he made slightly inappropriate jokes that made me a little uncomfortable. I don’t remember him asking me any questions about myself or trying to get to know me on a deeper level. It was also really distracting [that] he kept saying negative things about himself. For example, when we were shown to the table, he pointed out that he should have pulled the chair out for me. I’m by no means a fussy girl, and that gesture hadn’t even crossed my mind, but because he mentioned it, he brought it to my attention.
“I genuinely had a lot of fun with Shomari, but I didn’t feel like there was a connection on a romantic level. I think we had many things in common on a topical level. I felt as if I was hanging out with a really good long-lost friend.”
LU WEI RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Shomari’s style: 8
Shomari’s laugh: 10
Shomari’s personality: 10
Shomari on Lu Wei
“When I saw Lu, I definitely did the Tiger Woods fist-pump in my head. Right from the get-go, the conversation never lagged, and ranged from the perception of image to the best of Dave Chappelle. When we sat down, I said, ‘I guess I should have been all gentleman-like and pulled out your chair,’ and she jokingly told me to shut up. The comfort level was high early on.
“Lu was engaging, and we had lots of laughs, and not fake-polite laughs. She seems to be levelheaded and strong-minded, and the more you talk to her, the more beautiful she gets. She has a magnetic personality, and it was refreshing to know that all I had to do was be myself and things would be alright. It was a seamless conversation: She listened, and was positive. It all felt natural.
“When we started talking about music, our Venn diagrams had a lot in the middle. I don’t know what it is about people who watch The Chappelle Show, but we’re all pretty cool. When she was talking, she would touch my hands to emphasize her points. I think the honesty of it was new to me; I’m more accustomed to women holding their cards close. I would get so comfortable in conversation that I’d lean back in my chair and then scold myself for bad posture while straightening up.
“When we ordered drinks, Lu said water, ‘I said, “vodka soda,” [and then] she said she’d also have a Jack on the rocks. I said, ‘My kinda gal.’ She let it slip early in the evening that she wanted to hang out again. She didn’t look at her phone during the date, except once, when she showed me a drawing of Tin Tin’s head that she wants to get tattooed.
“I think we laughed for the majority of the night. When your cheeks hurt from smiling too much, it’s a good feeling.”
SHOMARI RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Lu Wei’s style: 9
Lu Wei’s manners: 9
Lu Wei’s shoes: 9
Special thanks to JOEY Yorkdale, 305B-3401 Dufferin Street, 647-317-5639. Follow @JOEYRestaurants and Like Facebook.com/JOEYrestaurants.
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