The Flyby Matchmaker, Part One: Coffee and Smelly Neighbors

Doni and Seth have a moment outside Cafe Pamplona.
Doni and Seth have a moment outside Cafe Pamplona.

Doni and Seth have a moment outside Cafe Pamplona.
Doni and Seth have a moment outside Cafe Pamplona. By Courtesy of Doni L. Lehman and Seth V. Neel

Welcome to our new series, the Flyby Matchmaker! We're sending Harvard students out on blind dates and then reporting about it (interested?), and we're excited to present our first pairing!

Doni L. Lehman is a sophomore in Dunster House concentrating in economics with a secondary in ethnicity, migration, rights. Seth V. Neel is a senior in Quincy House concentrating in mathematics with a secondary in statistics. They both love brunch, the outdoors and said Spice was their go-to place in the Square. We sent them to Café Pamplona last Tuesday night.

Doni: "I was there first. I sat down facing the door. I was sort of on my phone. He walked in and immediately walked over to me."

Seth: "I was probably five minutes late. She was the only one sitting alone so I just went up to her and was like, 'Are you here for the Flyby thing?' And she was like, 'Yup.'"

Doni: "I hadn’t seen him before. I didn’t know him."

Seth: "I hadn’t seen her [before] at all."

Doni: "He seemed like the typical Harvard student. Had a backpack and was wearing a flannel… he seemed casual which was nice."

Seth: "She was well dressed. I guess I went in with an open mind so nothing would surprise me that much, but she was cool."

Doni: "He ordered a coffee and rum cake."

Seth: "She ordered an espresso."

Doni: "We talked about his final club, what he’d do next year and what it’s like having a twin on campus. We talked about kind of everything, the most random stuff."

Seth: "We talked about where we were from, what we do at Harvard. We have some mutual friends. She’s in the Sab so we talked about that for a while. We were talking a lot about the other people in Pamplona because it was a really interesting crew there. It got past the typical Harvard conversation relatively quickly."

Doni: "I’d say the most awkward part for me was when a guy sat down really close to me. And he honestly smelled so bad. And my eyes started to water and I didn’t want to look like I was getting emotional talking about potential PhD programs so I just had to avoid eye contact. But I also didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to be rude or judgmental."

Seth: "[there wasn’t an awkward part] unless she said there was. Oh yeah, apparently [the guy next to her] smelled really badly, but I couldn’t smell him. So that was only awkward for her I think."

Doni: "[The best part was] trying to take the pic for Flyby."

Seth: "Taking the selfie was funny. We did one where I pretended I was going to kiss her on the cheek and she looked at me like I was a freak."

Doni: "Yes, definitely [I’d recommend this to someone else]. It was really casual. I think we both had a fun time just doing it and getting to know someone in a one-on-one context when it’s not weird because that’s the pretense for you being there… and so it was a really good way to get to know someone on a more personal level that I’m not sure happens very often at Harvard, especially with the house system when you are usually at meals with people you know already."

Seth: "Yeah for sure [I’d recommend it]. At the very least you’ll make a new friend… it definitely wasn’t that datey. It was an in-between. The thing that puts pressure on a date is that you both asked each other to be there, but if it’s a blind date, it’s not that awkward."

So what’s the future of their relationship?

They became Facebook friends and messaged back and forth in anticipation of reporting back to the Matchmaker. He says, “I feel like it could be a jumping off point for whatever, but it will probably depend on future interactions.” She says, “Our final clubs are having dinner in a couple weeks so we’ll see each other there!”

Sounds good to us!

Want to be set up by the Flyby Matchmaker? Fill out this form! Unfortunately if you’re an active Crimson member then you’re not eligible, but feel free to pass it along to a friend or fill it out just for funsies.

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