When I was asked to go on the Collegian date, I was beyond excited. Let’s be real, who does not love a free dinner and a guy opening the car door for you for a night? AND Collegian dates run in my family with my brother going on one just a few years ago with a girl who is now his wife!
I knew that even if the date turned out to be super awkward, at least I could get a good laugh out of it with my friends afterwards and never go on a blind date ever again.
All week my friends knew who this guy was and would not tell me anything that gave away who it could be. When I got to Cups to meet my date, his back was turned to me and I was not sure who it was at first.
I immediately felt comfortable when I saw it was Andrew and not some random guy that I did not know. As we took photos for the paper, I made him hold my hands and take ridiculous pictures to go in the paper.
After pictures, we went to Biaggis, and we both ordered the two most expensive pastas because, well, why not? We caught up on each other’s lives as we talked through the last year of school.
I basically had to catch Andrew up on everything since he is always studying, being a pre-med major and all! I found out that he teaches karate, loves bass fishing, and that MC has newly turned him into a good ‘ole country beau!
We began to talk to our server and found out he and I were from the same place and he knew my brother so it was fun making that connection and getting to catch him up on my family’s lives since the last time he saw everyone.
On the way back, I got to be the DJ and we jammed out to all the classics like Nelly, Ludacris, and yep…even Taylor Swift. Andrew knew every single word to “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and sang at the top of his lungs.
Needless to say, that was the moment we became best friends and I decided he was kind of cool. Overall I loved the date and would happily go again, especially if it is paid for by the Collegian!
– Lynley Clark
The two words “blind date” carry a strong stigma with them in American culture. Common adjectives that would accompany the phrase “blind date” in a conversation might be “awkward”, “intimidating”, and “uncomfortable”. Although a blind date can be all of those words, so can any public event or normal date. Against all social stigma, a blind date can be an pleasant opportunity to build a friendship between two people that may have never met otherwise.
American culture has perverted the term “dating”. To todays culture, a date is synonymous to commitment, when in reality commitment is only a false assumption.
Recently I volunteered to go on a blind date because I love meeting new people, building fresh friendships, and fellowshipping over food. Furthermore, I agreed to a blind date because I do not believe that a date is synonymous with commitment. Taking a girl out does not imply that you are pursuing her and agreeing on a blind date is a perfect way to practice this philosophy.
After meeting at Cups, I discovered that a lovely red head from Hattiesburg, Mississippi named Lynley Clark was my blind date. We agreed that Italian was a suitable choice for dinner so we made our way to Biaggi’s in Ridgeland. As we stuffed ourselves full of gourmet Italian pasta, we shared life stories.
A fun fact that Lynley shared with me was that her brother participated on the same blind date when he was a freshman at MC. Interestingly, unlike our date where we were both sophomores, he was paired with a senior. Despite the age difference, years later they ended up getting married!
I learned Lynley’s brother had just made her a new aunt and that Lynley’s new nephew lived with his mom and dad in Nashville, Tennessee. One of my closest high school brothers in Christ happens to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville and I had been searching for a friend to ease the pain of a six hour drive. So we agreed that in the future we would share the responsibility. Then neither of us would have to drive alone and it would be a much more gas efficient and enjoyable experience.
Only adding to the concept of everyone living in a small world, our waiter, Jonathan, had also grown up in Hattiesburg just like Lynley. Not only was Jonathan from Lynley’s home town, but he had also attended the same high school that Lynley’s brother had years ago. Conversing for a few minutes about what year they had all graduated and sending a picture of Lynley and our server to her brother in Nashville, we had quickly befriended Jonathan.
All of this said, it is easy to tell that a guy and a girl going out to eat does not have to be about commitment. It is a perfect opportunity to foster friendships without the assumed pursuit of a relationship. I would challenge anyone to use a date in the future to its fullest potential without conforming to the social expectations of commitment, even if you are going in blind.
– Andrew Smedley