Match made, Hook-er style

The Background

 When Matt, a 27-year-old lawyer who's new to the area, wrote in, he wasn't quite sure he was ready to take the Blind Date plunge. Matt professed a love of water sports, literature, the arts in general. "I flee extremists, prize intelligence, and appreciate artists," he wrote.

Despite his initial reluctance, and after a bit of coaxing, he agreed to submit to the matchmaker's alchemy. While poring over entries to find the perfect match for Matt, the maestro realized that his date was sitting just a few steps down the hall in the form of Hook ad rep Joanie. A 23-year-old UVA grad and horse lover, Joanie seemed a good fit and had expressed a willingness to participate in the most vaunted of Hook traditions, the BDC.

The only problem? If it didn't go well, Matchmaker might never live it down...


The Date

 Snow cancelled the date the first time around, but a few days later Joanie and Matt were able to brave the elements and meet at Vivace on Ivy Road.


Joanie arrived first...

 JOANIE: I had a glass of wine at the bar and talked to the owner about blind dates. I was a little nervous about the initial meeting– you know, if it would be awkward– but not about the date.

MATT: I was somewhat nervous/anxious about finding the restaurant and concerned about whether Joanie and I would hit it off.


First impressions?

 JOANIE: I found Matt to be very cute. Nice smile and very friendly. I could tell that he was pretty nervous at first. We sort of just jumped right into conversation.

MATT: As you know, Joanie is very attractive– she's tall, nice hair, and very nice eyes. Joanie is very easy to talk to– I felt comfortable and confident almost instantly that we would get along.


JOANIE: I liked the way Matt was dressed. I really didn't even think about it until now. I guess he was dressed very casual and nothing out of the ordinary or I would have thought about it. He doesn't like shoes. He was wearing a button-up collared shirt with a sweater over it, khakis, and black shoes.

MATT: She was wearing jeans, a white zip-up sweater, and boots– I really liked her boots.


How was Vivace?

 JOANIE: I had pasta with red sauce and mussels. Vivace is one of my favorite restaurants, so I got really lucky that we were sent there.

MATT: I had veal cutlets, very good. I like Italian food, and Vivace's food was excellent I cleaned my plate.


JOANIE: There was a lot of food, so I didn't eat any of his. I offered Matt a mussel because he wasn't sure if he liked them. He said it was okay, but when I didn't finish my food, he just picked up a fork and started eating off my plate, which I thought was great. I knew then that he was calming down.

MATT: I ate off her plate (after she had quit eating) without asking. She slapped my hand and sort of reprimanded me. I guess manners are important to her...


JOANIE: You name it, we probably talked about it. Everything: jobs, family, life, interests... A lot of our perspectives on issues were very similar. Even though we are from very different backgrounds, we have a lot of the same interests.

MATT: I guess we're both talkers– there weren't too many gaps. In a lot of ways, I think we share similar philosophies about life in general.


JOANIE: Matt is a lawyer, and his work and his perspective on the law are really interesting. I guess I had a different opinion of how a lawyer would think. (That's really vague, I know, but it's too detailed to go into.) There were tons of things I liked about Matt. I really liked how down to earth he was. Very easy to talk to.

MATT: I think Joanie was really lucky in terms of her upbringing– she was raised on a farm. And she really has a passion for animals that I found endearing. I was able to meet her dog, Gretta, a very nice six-month-old German Shepherd.


JOANIE: I was impressed at how gentlemanly he was. He was also very unassuming and kind. He does a lot to try to help people in the community including pro bono work and volunteering.

MATT: She has a genuine concern for local agriculture and the role the state plays in promoting Virginia agriculture, especially the apple industry; I found that impressive.


Did anything funny happen?

 JOANIE: Matt has the smallest bladder in the world... He was up every half-hour or so to go to the bathroom, and we were joking about it...

MATT: Trips to the bathroom: I made a few. I drink a lot of water and have a small bladder, so that's a constant inconvenience for me. I was a little self conscious about that.


How was it towards the end?

 JOANIE: After dinner we were having a good time and decided to go out for a drink. Matt is new to town, so he suggested South Street since he had never been there. We were talking so much that we ended up closing the bar.

MATT: Even though I live only a couple of blocks away and planned to walk, she offered me a ride home. It was a nice way to end the date.


Whoa, Joanie, hadn't you had a few drinks?

 JOANIE: My friend came to pick us up since we had been drinking, and I decided to stay at her house.

Matchmaker feels much better now...


Did you kiss?

 JOANIE: Matt was given a ride home and a hug.

MATT: A hug.


Would you see this person again?

 JOANIE: Yes! I had a really great time. It was decided kind of early on that we would see each other again, and numbers were exchanged.

MATT: Yes, and I look forward to it.


ON a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the date?

 JOANIE: 10. I couldn't have asked for a better date, especially blind... It was casual, fun, a lot of conversation.

MATT: 10. I don't think you can have real high expectations when it comes to blind dates, but that having been said, I had a great night.


Phew! Looks like Matchmaker won't have to dodge flying objects at work! Joanie and Matt have continued to see each other since their first date.


Hey, single guys, we need you! Especially if you're over 35. You've got nothing to lose but your loneliness, so what are you waiting for? Send your vitals by email to Matchmaker at, and you could be heading out on the free date of your dreams...