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Blind Date: Anna and Tom

by Wiley Smith

[originally published spring 2020]



Anna and Tom were a perfect relationship match on the Myers-Briggs test. Anna described her ideal date as “each of my suitors bring a generous serving of their favorite food. We all sample each other's foods and then have a discussion about the experience.” Tom’s ideal date was “full contact roller blade hockey.” So naturally the pair both convened at The Local one Saturday afternoon.

The following interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Anna’s Side:

Did you know each other before?

No! I actually don’t recall seeing him around ever. He was saying it's funny because no one at Oberlin seems like much of a stranger. But he lives in North and I live in South so… star crossed lovers [laughs]. North? Does that mean he’s an athlete? [Anna mimes throwing up] No, no he’s a folk musician.

What was he like?

He seems very calm and it was a nice energy to be around. I do feel like I match the person’s energy that I’m with and his was very relaxed. He was on-brand Oberlin in a good way, like he was wearing those boots that everyone wears. [Interviewer shows their boots]. Yeah Blundstones [laughs]. And little silver hoop earrings. I was into it.

Do you think you had a good connection?

I do think we had a good connection, a lot of it felt very natural. There were like awkward pauses every now and then. But also we had never ever met in our entire lives. I suppressed a lot of my dark humor, that’s more of a third date type of thing… but I had a feeling he could take it.

Did you notice any similarities or differences?

We seemed very different. Our only similarity we found is that we both spent ages like 3 to 5 in Europe [laughs]. He lived in Belgium and I lived in London. Also he carried a water bottle around. I posted on my finsta the other day that drinking water’s a turn off. But I guess it’s cool he’s hydrated all the time.

Do you think there will be a second date?

When we were leaving Slow Train I was like “I think this went well” and he said “yeah I do too.” Then he said maybe we can do something besides coffee next time. And I said what else is there to do in Oberlin—oh this is funny. He said his usual go-to is a bike ride. And when I heard that it sort of echoed in my head like bike ride… bike ride… bike ride. I was like fuckー how do I tell him I hate riding bikes. Through this article! [Laughs].

Tom’s Side

Was this your first time meeting?

Before [the date] I was thinking “there’s no way this person is a total stranger,” but we had never met before.

What was your impression of Anna?

Very nice. Easy to talk to was the biggest thing. I’m not a very good conversationalist, I don’t think, but we were able to talk the whole time. So that’s a good sign.

Any similarities or differences you noticed?

Nothing conspicuous… We’re both youngest siblings. We talked a lot about being from different parts of the country.

Did Anna actually bring the stocking?

Yeah! I thought that was a joke. It was funny cause I was sitting with my back to the door. And I had a friend facing towards me at another table and I told them what was going on. Like that she said she was gonna bring a Christmas stocking so I would know it was her. Then when Anna walked in they were like ‘Tom it wasn’t a joke.’ Note: Anna is Jewish.

What was the highlight of the date?

We talked there until The Local closed. Then I was like ‘what do you want to do?’ Then we went to Slow Train, which was funny.

Do you think there will be a second date?

I think it’s on the table for sure. I thought it went great.

Want to go on a blind date with the Grape? Choose between options like typical one-on-one, three-way date, and a bachelor-style free for all. Apply with the link:

PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS - in the folder

#1) Tom (he/him) and Anna (she/her)

#2) Anna’s Christmas stocking

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