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 Natalia and Adam had to say about their night out at 360 Screenings’ Halloween event.
Natalia is a 25-year-old production assistant who lives in the Annex. She says, “I’m sharp-witted—I’m always telling jokes, appropriate or otherwise,” and adds, “sometimes I don’t use my indoor voice. Online, I can abuse the caps-lock key.” She likes to “binge-watch Netflix, drink scotch at a bar, and host clothing swaps.” Natalia wants to date someone who is “very friendly and polite and isn’t afraid to show his emotions. I can’t stand a guy who bottles everything up and isn’t honest with his feelings and outlook on life.” She adds, “No younger boys. To quote Sporty Spice, ‘I want a man, not a boy who thinks he can.’”
Adam is a 34-year-old handyman, bartender, and actor who lives in Little India. He says, “I’m easygoing, creative, generous, and handy, and I can be somewhat funny.” Adam likes to “go to live theatre, work out, and bake” and adds, “I’m educated and articulate, but I have a wilder side, too. Overall, my ‘type’ is fun, engaging, and smart with a sense of humour about herself. She should be interested in culture and the liberal arts. I prefer women who like to travel to women who like money and status symbols.” Adam considers himself “adventurous, so ideally I’d like to be with someone who is at least curious about the world we live in, with a desire to experience a full life.”
Natalia on Adam
“I showed up super-early as per usual, so I walked up and down the block once or twice before I saw Adam. He looked very clean and fit, with a goatee like a soap-opera villain or something. That look is a little too polished for me, personally. I’d brought my Halloween costume with me because I had [a party to go to] later on; Adam seemed to get a kick out of my taco costume, and it turned out to be quite the ice-breaker!
“We were taken inside the beautiful Ontario Heritage Centre; naturally, I headed straight to the bar. After a few drinks, we started participating in the live theatre [event]. We were taken into a bunch of different rooms that were set up to replicate scenes from The Exorcist. The actors involve the audience in the skits, which I could tell Adam loved. He took it a little more seriously than I did; I just wanted to make jokes and eat all the snacks. He laughed, so I assumed he dug my sense of humour. There was one skit we were dragged into where one of the actors pretended that Adam was my father and I was his daughter, [which] was so weird and creepy. Luckily, you’re allowed to exit a scene whenever you want, so I just backed up slowly and headed to the bar.
“We had a good time together, playing around and laughing our asses off at the madness. Adam and I have a few things in common. We share a love of the west coast, tacos, and world travel. We also shared some of our roommate horror stories from the past.
“Adam seemed like a genuinely nice guy, [but] he was also super nervous, which made me feel super nervous. Sometimes, he would ask a stupid question, like when I told him I was born in Romania: ‘Are you a gypsy?!’ That kind of bothered me, because I get that all the time, and it’s rude. He made a similarly ignorant comment about my workplace: I [told him I work] for a Canadian television station, to which he exclaimed, ‘Oh, so you work with Justin Bieber, eh?’ It was a little annoying, but I know Adam didn’t mean to come off as a jerk. To be fair, I clumsily spilled some of my wine on his coat—a classic Natalia move—but he remained calm and said it was no big deal. Two cool points for Adam!
“Prior to the date, I hadn’t eaten anything all day aside from a Jamaican patty from one of those kiosks in the subway, so once I saw all this food lying around [at the venue] I just had to eat. Because Adam made me feel comfortable and relaxed—or was it the wine?—I went hard on a plate of Oreos. That may not have been my [best moment] of the night, but I didn’t care. I want to be with a guy that lets me eat like Wolverine and still finds me wildly attractive.
“Adam never gave me the vibe that he was overly attracted to me, and I guess I never [gave him that vibe] either. While we were both buzzed and playing along with the actors, there definitely wasn’t an abundance of sparks. No flirting. Nothing. I had more chemistry with the security guard than I did with Adam.
“I had to leave during the screening, [but] I told Adam that I’d love to grab a cup of coffee and get to know him a little better. I gave him my number, putting the ball in his court, and I hugged him goodbye. He went back inside, alone, to watch the rest of the movie.”
NATALIA RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Adam’s manners: 8
Adam’s sense of humour: 6
Adam’s acting abilities: 9
Adam on Natalia
“I was really stoked about the whole ‘interactive movie’ thing after finding out what it was. I was also unaccountably nervous, but it was more of an excited kind of nervous, not a panic attack.
“Within minutes of arriving, I saw a couple of ladies came out of the building; they looked like an organizer and an actress getting set for the event. As it turned out, the ‘actress’ was actually my date! [We had been asked to] wear all black, and she was wearing a red dress, so I could immediately see she was different, a bit rebellious, and a bit quirky. [She was also] a redhead, and a total knockout!
“Natalia said she wasn’t born in Canada and asked me to guess where she was from. I can’t remember what I guessed. She said she was born in Romania, but most people guess Russia because of her name. I asked her what her last name was, but she declined to say. There was a pause while I tried to decide whether or not she was joking. I remembered it was a blind date, and I shouldn’t get too personal. She also told me about her job, and I asked her if she’d ever worked with Justin Bieber, which was the wrong thing to say.
“We tried to talk about hobbies and interests, but it became apparent that we didn’t have too much in common. I still really liked the fun, free-spirited vibe she put out there. I got the feeling that she’s a very impulsive person, and that helped bring out my playful side. As the night went on, we did more of the interactive theatre portion of the event, and made up a few different stories. I claimed to be an assassin, and she claimed to be a high-class prostitute. That might sound corny, but it was actually just fun.
“As far as the performance-art part of the night went, I may have been a bit more into it than she was; it was hard to tell. She seemed to have a good time, but I wondered if she’s just one of those people that has a good time all the time, regardless of who she’s with? At some point, I was still trying to impress her, but wasn’t really focused on whether there was romantic potential or not.
“We watched the first half [of the film] and then she whispered that she had to go, and wanted me to see her out. I was totally prepared for her to say something pleasant but non-committal, so I was surprised when she asked if I was going to take her number.
“As she left, I still didn’t know how I felt about her, and I really couldn’t sense how she might feel about me, but I was definitely intrigued. We ended with the open possibility of seeing each other again. I told her I’d be out of town for two weeks, so she said I could contact her when I returned. I think maybe I will.”
ADAM RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Natalia’s style: 10
Natalia’s manners: 7
Natalia’s laugh: 8
Special thanks to 360 Screenings, firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @360Screenings and Like Facebook.com/360Screenings.
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