Heart transplants: Newcomers look for love

The background

 It's hard to be the new kid, and this week's blind daters– new-to-town grad students Faith and Scott– know that all too well.

"So here's me," wrote 22-year-old Scott in his introductory email back in June. "Brand-new to Charlottesville. I don't even know anybody. Zilch. The lady who cut my hair, the cute girl who sold me my bed, and this really slow guy at the Office Depot. These are the important people in my 'C'ville' experience after an on-off total of 7 or 8 days. (But I do really like the town.)"

Awww. Sweet, lonely, new boy!

His mention of his imposing height (6'1"), love of alternative music, and attraction for girls who wear glasses had Matchmaker on his side in no time.

But there were other dates to make, and Scott lingered in the files for a while.

When Faith, a 24-year-old entering the Spanish Ph.D. program, wrote in, a voice in Matchmaker's head uttered a single word. Scott!

Maybe it was her quirky tone that did it– she listed among her current hobbies "ensuring Dubya's timely departure." Whatever. After putting together many couples, Matchmaker's come to rely on that gut feeling, and the gut was saying Scott and Faith should meet...


The Date

 Scott and Faith met at the new Downtown Thai on the corner of Second and Water Streets.


Who arrived first?

 Faith: I actually saw Scott walking to the restaurant as I was crossing the street, and I immediately thought "I bet that's him."

Scott: I arrived about 30 seconds before she did. We were both right on time.


Were you nervous?

 Faith: A little, but I calmed down almost immediately after meeting him. He's laid-back and easy to talk to, so I felt comfortable right away.

Scott: I felt immediately comfortable talking to Faith, but I never quite got over the shock of the blind date situation.


First impression?

 Faith: He has the sensitive, intellectual-guy thing going for him, a lanky swimmer's body, great eyewear, and a really sweet smile.

Scott: My first impression was that she was quite pretty and that we probably had a lot in common.


How was your date's style?

 Faith: Scott has a nice style. I dig the glasses especially. Plus we both share a mild obsession with H&M (That's fashion company Hennes & Mauritz– MM).

 Scott: A+. She was wearing a fun black dress with pleats and stuff, flip-flops, and, when she drove me home, funky glasses. I'm a sucker for funky glasses.


At Downtown Thai...

 What did you order?

 Faith: I tried to order a drink, but the restaurant hadn't gotten their liquor license yet. I ordered the Panang curry... very spicy!

Scott: We both had water with dinner. I had the seafood with green curry, and it was fantastic.


Faith: The service was excellent. The wait staff was attentive but not intrusive, plus they all knew about the blind date, which made things a bit easier.

Scott: They doted on us a bit, since we were The Blind Date Couple.


What did you talk about?

 Faith: A little of everything: what brought us to Charlottesville, things we'd done around town so far, our experiences teaching English abroad, European rednecks, encroaching yuppie-dom, the Extreme Badasses, and Camille Paglia...

Scott: It took a little while to get past the initial boring stuff, but overall, the conversation was great. Nearly four hours of non-stop action.


Did you have a lot in common?

 Faith: I think so.

Scott: I think so. We lead similarly wild and crazy grad student-to-be lifestyles, and we buy similar brands of things. We both exercise, and we both have opinions about Camille Paglia. We could maybe combine record collections to form the ultimate... something. I didn't (don't) worry about running out of good conversation topics with her.


Was there anything you particularly liked?

 Faith: It sounds like Scott knows his way around the kitchen, which is always worth many, many brownie points.

Scott: Last year, she hit the ground running in Barcelona and managed to carve out a living there on her own. She has a '50s pinup shower curtain that she made. She confessed to having done karaoke to Eminem. She was all kinds of interesting.


Was there flirting?

 Faith: Maybe a tiny bit of flirting, but nothing blatant.

Scott: No obvious flirting, just occasionally dreamy eye contact. Her body language was kind of reserved all evening, and that seemed to be her style. That was fine, but I couldn't tell at all whether I was her type. (The dirty trick: I get to see her answers to these questions.)


So what happened at the end?

 Faith: We decided to walk around the Mall and eventually sat down for drinks at the Blue Light Grill.

Scott: She said she had to go home to call her mom. (Umm...) As things were winding down, there were a couple of uncomfortable silences. Had it been a very good get-to-know-you conversation, or had it been a ... um... "date-date?"


Faith: He walked me to my car, and then I gave him a ride home.

Scott: At the very end, I offered to walk her to her car, and she offered to drive me home. It was only five blocks, but I wanted to put off the end-of-the-date awkwardness for a moment. We exchanged numbers in my building's parking lot. I suddenly got the idea that goodnight kisses were something that old people do. Or something that people who know each other do. In other words, I panicked, hovered in her car a little too long, and finally just said goodnight.


Overall experience?

 Faith: He's definitely the type of person I would like to have as a friend... funny and offbeat and interesting. I'm usually attracted to people who are very much my opposite. I think Scott and I may have a little too much in common for me to fall head over heels in lust.

Scott: I'm thrilled to have met Faith, and I had a great time.


Would you go out again?

 Faith: Sure.

Scott: Absolutely, despite the uncertainty of our "romantic" future. Faith is a first-rate gal, and... well, she might have only been joking about the two of us donning eyeliner and checking out the goth band at the local taxidermy bar, but I can't pass up a chance like that. And­ who knows?­ maybe we'll smooch while we're still dressed up all scary. (Ooh la la.)


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

 Faith: 7

Scott: 9


Well, well, well. So the romance may not be in the bag, but Matchmaker's gut is still working– Camille Paglia, H&M, and funky eyewear? Sounds like a friendship made in heaven.