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Blind Date:

At Least There Were Flowers

By Devdoot Majumdar

sTaff writer

Everything was in place for Jonathan R. Harris ’04 to be off frolicking with a tasty young blonde junior from California last weekend. The only problem was that this tasty blonde found herself a strapping young man in the meanwhile, leaving Jonathan dateless, 5'10", and with nowhere to go.

And that’s how Irene S. Sonu ’04 got herself involved in Jonathan’s love life. Irene was one of my blind date “stringers” for a bit, slipping from almost-date to almost-date, but cancelling on account of sorority loyalties and fears of men with fedoras. So when Jon said he was seeking someone “smart, outgoing, attractive, well-read, active, athletic, and confident,” I set him up with Irene, the only 5'1" girl I know who fits the bill.

Jon met Irene in Baker with a dozen pink roses. Indeed, I had made a fuss in the past about guys who come flowerless, but gentlemen, there is a bit of a difference between a single flower and a bouquet, even if it’s just from Star Market. Save the bouquets for moments of Dance Troupe mock appreciation.

“She was short, but I didn’t make anything of that. It would have been nicer if she was taller, but I’m not as tall as I want to be,” said Jon of his first impression of Irene.

Irene was admittedly taken aback by the flowers. But the best she could offer on Jon’s choice of attire (business casual meets bomber jacket) was a feeble, “I hear they’re [bomber jackets] making a comeback!” The verdict on that one is no, do not wear bomber jackets. Instead, tout your fraternity’s jacket (DKE, in Jon’s case) like all other frat boys who can’t pull off the GQ look.

Jon chartered a taxi for the two of them off to Sonsie, a restaurant on Newbury Street that was to be their evening’s sole destination. Oddly enough, Irene was the one who hailed the cab, but we’ll come back to that point later. Their conversation boiled down to the same old meaningless chatter that I’ve come to expect from the dates without much sexual tension.

Their parents both lived in Virginia. They’re both one of four children. Blah, blah, blah. “There was so much superficial business to talk about,” Irene said later. Jon was fine wading the shallow waters of small talk, commenting that they discussed “nothing too deep, and nothing touchy-feely.”

Irene’s brilliant idea of the evening was to throw a little alcohol upon the smoldering matchstick that was their date. As they waited for a table at the restaurant, they stopped by the bar.

And here comes one of the more disappointing realizations of the evening. By all accounts, Irene was a tad too dainty and puckish to be the navigator in the relationship. And yet, somehow, Irene admits, “I guess I was the man in this whole situation.”

Irene bought Jon the drink. She hailed the taxi. And when he seemed flustered at what type of red wine to order, she just made the big wine decision for him (which was “a nice house wine”). Irene, who instead of wine got a martini, became much more evocative after the liquor.

(For the record, Dean Trujillo, both blind date participants are over 21 and purchased their own liquor, so take it easy on us, big boy. As far as this column’s policy goes, I advocate alcohol use only in cases of extreme social anxiety.)

They both had a fine meal at Sonsie, as they continued their meaningless banter throughout the evening. Irene, considerably more tipsy than before, got giggly. And Jon began to think, “She seemed to like me a lot, but I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t because of the martini.”

With that, their evening ended, they took a cab home, exchanged a hug (the only physical contact of the evening), and Irene continued on to a birthday party. Not as convinced as Jon of their chemistry, Irene reflected, “I didn’t see any sparks, but maybe on the second date.”

Jon has, in fact, “penciled” Irene in for a date on Dec. 11, if I haven’t already killed it by writing this article. So even without some ripe chemistry, they managed to turn out a second shot. Irene, who says she has found far too many men far too inadequate, insists that “there’s no reason to be hasty; I’m still free after all.”

Sadly, this is the best I can do at MIT so far. Two good natured people give each other a second chance. I think the problem is that my blind date candidates don’t like to air their laundry. So, if you’re a needy, insecure girl or an arrogant, young prick, send me an e-mail at devdoot@mit.edu, and I’ll send you on a fun-filled evening.