Too nervous to go on a date alone, FM writers Nicole Levin and Keyon Vafa decided to take their lucky Datamatches on a double date. Braving rejection and social stigma, our FM team emailed all of freshman matches and eventually found some a pair that was willing to date on the record…the record of love.
Below are their respective accounts of the evening.
Nicole and Max
I greet my Datamatch, re-gifted rose in hand (thanks, Sora), in Zinneken's. His name is Max. He’s a freshman. I’m a senior.
“You’re old as fuaaaaak,” he says, his spelling, not mine. “Twenty-one?”
I correct him. “Twenty-two.”
“Don’t worry, it’s regifted,” I tell him, referencing the rose. I don’t want him to think that I am coming on too strong. He asks if I have a significant other as well.
“No,” I say. “It’s from my roommate.”
He has already informed me that he has a girlfriend, and apparently she does not know about the date.
“She won’t care,” he says. I hope that this is true. I guess this makes me the other woman. I kind of like it.
Due to a tragic series of events, we cannot eat at Zinneken's. It’s too full for a double date and I already used my free waffle code on a different Datamatch (who declined joining as a fifth). I thought that the waffles were unlimited. It turns out, they are not.
So we go to Panera, it’s not my favorite place, but they have good soup (theoretically). On the walk there I ask Max if he wants to hold hands. He tells me that he has to walk his bike. He does not use a bike lock. I’m impressed. He’s a risk-taker.
Once at Panera, Keyon and I can’t decide if it’s against Crimson policy to pay for dinner, so we don’t. Plus, I’m still pretty bitter about the lack of unlimited waffles, so I’m not about to shell out the big bucks on two half salads and a cup of soup.
Max doesn’t seem to mind. As he pays for his own meal he offers the cashier a rose. My rose! I scold him. This is not appropriate behavior for a first date at Panera.
The date takes a turn for the worst when Andrej (pronounced Andréj), the waiter, tells me that not only are they out of black bean soup, but also garden vegetable. Max quickly tries to set me up with him when he brings me a salad (my third choice). A consolation prize, I guess, for the lack of soup.
“What time do you get off?” Max asks.
Andrej gets off at midnight. It’s too late for me. It will never work. There is a reason we weren’t matched through a complex algorithm sponsored by the Harvard Computer Society.
Max and I, however, discover over the course of the meal that we have a lot in common. He has a girlfriend. I have girlfriends. He lies and tells me that he is from New Zealand; I love “Flight of the Conchords!” My favorite movie is “Big Fish,” his favorite movie is a pornographic film. We both study Government.
At one point he shows Keyon a photo that he says “will make him puke immediately.” Keyon does not puke.
“What’s it about?” I ask.
“You can have one guess,” Max says. I guess wrong.
There is a lot of mystery. I find it intriguing. Waffles or no waffles, Datamatch works.
At 5:55 Max, says the date is done, he has to get to class. I head to Dunster D-hall for second dinner. Panera never fills me up.
Keyon and Alexis
Like any rational human being, I made sure to stalk both of our dates on Facebook before our meal. My date was a freshman named Alexis, and her profile picture featured her skydiving. She looks fun, I thought. Nicole's date had a cover photo that featured him shirtless in public. A comment calling him a particularly vulgar epithet received 294 likes.
To be honest, I was a little nervous. From her responses to my emails, Alexis seemed cool and congenial, and I didn't want to disappoint her. If I played my cards right, maybe she would take me to Freshman Formal. So, I dressed to impress: wet winter boots, my backpack, and a 2013 Leverett Housing Day t-shirt.
“I actually didn't make any friends during Visitas," Alexis confided in me at the start of the date. Typically, women don't open up to me until I get to know them well. Alexis had opened up to me within minutes. I was smitten.
At the table, the small talk continued. Alexis mentioned she was a part of the Freshman Year Social Committee, which plans Freshman Formal. I was intrigued. Trying to gauge her romantic interests, I asked her how she spent Valentine's Day. "I spent it with a friend in New York," she said. My heart dropped—was she taken? "Not in the romantic sense," she clarified. "And that's why I'm here on a date with my datamatch." Score one for Keyon.
"I want to show you something that will make you puke immediately," Max interrupted, pulling out his phone.
He took out his phone and showed me a picture of his face. A description of the remainder of the photo would be unfit for print in this publication.
I tried to think of the social conventions when presented with such a picture, but nothing came to mind. I followed up with the only possible response. "Do you like Miley Cyrus?" I asked Alexis.
“I actually modeled my hair after her," Max interrupted. He scrolled through his phone, and showed me a tamer picture this time comparing his initial haircut to that of Miley Cyrus's.
I asked Alexis what her favorite movie was. Max shared the title of his favorite film, proceeding to clarify the spelling of the first word of the title, "newb," presumably so we could find it on our own. As the title sounded pornographic in nature, I decided not to look it up.
Alexis laughed uncomfortably. Enough with the small talk, I figured. I needed to take control of the conversation before it got out of hand. I decided to approach the situation with humor, even if it was a riskier move. I came up with the perfect comment.
"I usually wait until my third date to bring up pornographic films!" I responded. Silence. Either my sarcasm didn't translate well, or it just wasn't funny. I didn’t even get an uncomfortable laugh.
Soon, the meal wrapped up. But there was something I needed to bring up. "I remember my Freshman Formal," I suddenly reminisced. It was a force, but I proceeded to tell the story of how I ended up in a party bus with soccer and football players. "If you don't end up with a date, and I don't end up with a date this year, will you take me?" I asked Alexis. I made sure to phrase the question in a way that would allow me to pass it off as a joke in case she wasn't interested.
"Maybe," Alexis responded. That was all I needed to hear.
— Nicole J. Levin and Keyon Vafa