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 Natasha and Aviva had to say about their date at The Roxton.
Natasha is a 29-year-old job developer who lives in Scarborough. She says her best and worst quality is “honesty” and that she is a “fun, loving, happy-go-lucky adventurous gal.” Natasha likes going to museums, singing, watching movies, walking, and reading poetry. She wants to date someone who is confident, active, honest, respectful, loyal, and relaxed.
Aviva is a 27-year-old communications assistant who lives in King West. She likes to “go to and photograph concerts, usually smaller-scale indie-rock shows at the likes of Lee’s or The ‘Shoe; eat tasty little meals at restaurants with pals; and do experimental baking, like cookie-stuffed-cookies, or pie-stuffed cake.” Aviva likes making people laugh, and “sharing creative ideas.”
Natasha on Aviva
“I arrived 15 minutes early and was super nervous. Then I saw this cute girl trying to push instead of [properly] pulling the door. I giggled. Aviva had really soft eyes and a great smile. She also had a really nice, comfortable sense of style, especially for the [frigid] weather. I was attracted to her. I couldn’t stop looking at her beautiful hair.
“We were both awkward at first. We had a bit in common; [we both] love karaoke. I was surprised that she loves singing Nelly. She was telling me she wouldn’t do karaoke in front of a big crowd, but would in those booths, and I am the total opposite: I love the big crowd, because everyone is already drunk and thinks I’m awesome. I really liked the fact that she likes country music, too. She [also] recommended some really interesting movies that she saw at TIFF. Our conversation was easy and flowing.
“Aviva seemed to really love her job, and the people she works with, which made me think that she’s easy to get along with. I told her that I’m doing life skills with addicts in recovery, and it’s very fulfilling. She commented on how it takes a special person to do that kind of job.
“We both enjoyed mocktails, which were paired with our food. Aviva commented that it was good that the photographer had left because she had five drinks sitting on the table and didn’t want people to get the wrong impression, which I laughed at. We both clumsily spilled food on our outfits, which we also laughed at. We ended [the night] in food comas.
“Aviva seemed very genuine and caring. We both feel strongly about injustice in the world, and she had this [sense of] social responsibility that I found amazing. I was really interested in hearing what she had to say.
“As we were leaving, she pulled instead of pushing the door; I giggled again. Aviva’s mannerisms were completely adorable. I caught her staring at me a few times, which was sweet. I [still] felt it was more like a friendship thing, which was totally cool with me.
“She walked me to the bus stop and waited until I was safely on. Although I didn’t get her number, I kind of thought of asking her, but I guess my nervousness kicked in again. I was waiting for her to ask for my number, but I thought it would be a little pushy if I asked, so I didn’t.”
NATASHA RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Aviva’s style: 9
Aviva’s manners: 10
Aviva’s hair: 10
Aviva on Natasha
“I was plenty nervous before the date, and was worried I would be set up with an arch nemesis, or that the date would turn out to be some sort of Spy vs. Spy scenario. Luckily none of that happened.
“Natasha was very tall, dressed all in black and had neat hair. She had this alternative look to her that [indicated] she might appreciate my look as well. She [also] had a nice big laugh. Since I enjoy making ill-fated attempts at ‘humour’ I thought this was a pretty swell [match].
“When we sat down she complimented my hair, which was a relief since I had spent the entire day placing each curl into an exact, specific position. I then responded in kind, telling her that I liked hers as well. We actually had similar haircuts. Two queers on a date have a similar haircut: ‘Surprise, surprise,’ said nobody ever.
“I enjoy a good cocktail, but since it looked like my date was not drinking we opted to have our food paired with different fancy juices. If my date is not drinking, then I don’t drink either. We later talked about it a bit; she said she is over her partying days and I told her how I didn’t start drinking until I was 21, and while I’m not a heavy drinker I like drinking cocktails because they make me feel fancy, like a unicorn. We told the server what we wanted for our mains, and he picked the rest. We each got a vegan spicy soup and beet salad, and I got the gnocchi while she got the salmon. For dessert, she had her heart set on their s’more, and I had some donuts. We each left our own tip. [Editor's note: the first $100 of a Hook-Up date's bill is covered by the restaurant.]
“Things were slow until she asked what I did for my job. She works with people to help them get jobs and teaches them life skills, and I work for a non-profit, so I thought we sort of bonded over that. We also talked about where we lived. She told me how she lives near the Bluffs; it was nice to meet someone who doesn’t live downtown.
“She seemed like an interesting person, so I felt like I [should] open up the conversation a little more, and maybe we would start to get somewhere. I asked her what she liked to do and she gave me a list of things, like karaoke and wanting to sky dive. I noticed that she never really asked about me—I just chimed in with things based on her answers. I wonder if maybe she didn’t ask questions because she wasn’t into me. She could have been nervous?
“She surprised me when she told me she loved country music, because I know a lot about country music. I think the best [part of our] conversation was about movies. She mentioned that she hadn’t seen a movie in a while and asked what my three favorite movies were. Since my top two films, The Apartment and Badlands, aren’t exactly widely known to The Youths, I was surprised when she told me she had heard of both of them. When I asked her the same question, we got into a pretty deep discussion about Denzel Washington. I felt like we probably had more stuff in common, but sometimes the conversation about a certain topic would end and I wouldn’t know how to bring something new up.
“We talked a little bit about religion. She asked me if I was vegetarian and I explained that I was actually kosher, but sometimes that confuses people, so I just stick with vegetarian. We talked about the lack of kosher restaurants in the city. She didn’t speak a lot about her own religion, but she seems like a spiritual person. I’ve never been on a date with a Jewish girl, so I usually get people who are very interested in my Jewish culture.
“As we were getting ready to leave, I knew there was no romantic connection, but I still thought about asking for her number or information to keep in touch. I guess I just got too shy to ask.”
AVIVA RATES THE DATE (OUT OF 10):
Natasha’s sense of humour: 8
Natasha’s laugh: 10
Natasha’s shoes: 9 “for her cowboy boots”
Special thanks to The Roxton, 379 Harbord St., 416-535-8181. Follow @TheRoxtonTO and like Facebook.com/TheRoxton.
Want to get hooked up by The Grid? Email email@example.com.