For the third time, the Editorial Board of the Old Gold & Black took a break from copy-editing, AP Style and InDesign layout to play Cupid and spark a little romance among our fellow students. Our reprise of Deacon Dates promised to sponsor a special blind date in downtown Winston-Salem for two lucky Demon Deacons selected by our staff, who moonlight as expert romantic consultants. Almost 20 students submitted applications, answering questions about their ideal romantic partners and dream first dates. We chose to set up junior Michelle Lazaran and senior John Lewis, sending them to the Old Fourth Street Filling Station on Feb. 8.
Amanda Wilcox: Tell me about your dream romantic partner. What would he or she be like?
Michelle Lazaran: Someone who’s really nice, and also really goofy. I think that I’m sometimes too serious, so it’s nice to have someone who makes me laugh a lot.
John Lewis: I’d say that what I’m looking for is a very nice person, also outgoing and not afraid to talk and hang out in group settings.
AW: Did you have any idea about who your date was beforehand?
ML: I found out a few hours before … I had one of my friends put his number into her phone, and she had his contact. We have a ton of mutual friends, like I know his entire suite and am friends with his entire suite. We had easily been in the same room a thousand times, but I had never met him.
JL: Olivia Field gave me [Michelle’s] number, because I had to drive her to dinner. Olivia told me that she lives in Dogwood, so I thought there’s a 50-50 chance she was in ADPi or Kappa or something. I texted one of my friends in ADPi and gave her the number and asked her if she knew who it was, and she said it was Michelle Lazaran … but we only knew about each other a few hours before.
I thought, “Wait, that sounds familiar.” It turned out that everyone in my friend group, basically everyone I have ever encountered on this campus, knows her. I went and told my guy friends, and they said, “We love Michelle. Michelle is amazing!” They said that it was the best possible situation that I could be in [for a blind date.]
AW: Tell me everything about the actual date!
ML: Once all of his suitemates knew it was me, and they all knew me, one of his really good friends and one of my decent friends decided to chauffeur us. He showed up in a suit jacket, the back of the car had mints and water and he drove us both ways and took the pictures for us … He even had a little sign that said “OGB” on it.
It’s really nice that we had a ton of mutual friends, because I feel like it broke a lot of awkward tension that would naturally be there because of the premise of a blind date. Because we had so many friends in common, and because they’re decent friends, not some acquaintances, it was really easy to get past the awkward “I don’t know you” part and dive into actual conversation.
Once we got there, he was super easy to talk to. He’s so funny. Like I said, we have so many mutual friends, so conversation definitely started about them and moved into ourselves, about our friends and family and what we do at Wake. We both geeked out over our 23 and Me kits that we both got for Christmas. Overall, it was super easy.
JL: I asked my friend what he was doing that day and he said nothing, so I asked him if he would want to chauffeur us around. I was like, why not make this into a fun, tell-your-kids kind of date. He put on a suit and some glasses and drove us around in his car. He had two bottles of water and mints and had music playing and drove us there and back … he’s a good friend.
And anything I brought up or anyone I brought up, she already knew. I told her, “I can’t make up anything about myself, because you know too much!” Because we knew so much, we got into some pretty in-depth conversations to the point at which we compared each other’s DNA, because we both got 23 and Me.
AW: How were the other elements of the date — the restaurant, the food and the atmosphere?
ML: The food was great, it was so good. John was so funny, he was like, “We have a $75 budget and we’re going to spend as much of it as possible.” I had tortellini and he had steak, and then we got a dessert and appetizer that we shared. I had never been to Fourth Street, but I definitely would go back again.
JL: I’ve been to Fourth Street Filling Station every time my parents come. One of the only reasons why I go is the crab dip, so when the waitress came up and was like, “Can I get you all some crab dip?” I was like, “You read my mind!” It was all amazing.
AW: What did you do when you came back from dinner?
ML: The Duke-Carolina game was going on, and he was like, “Oh, my suite’s watching it, and I don’t even have to introduce you to them because you know them all already, if you want to come watch it.” So I watched the game with a few of his suitemates, and then I went home.
JL: My friend drove us back, and since she already knew everyone, I suggested she could come back to my suite and hang out. The Duke-Carolina basketball game was on, so we were chilling and watching Duke beat UNC, which I was a big fan of.
AW: Do you think you might go on another date?
ML: I don’t know — I think that it was really easy to talk to him and he was really funny, but I’m not sure if it was a really good friends thing or romantic. I think we’ll definitely [hang out again]. We have so many mutual friends … I’ll probably see him in like the next three days.
JL: What’d she say? [ Laughs ] I think it’s going to be hard to not see each other. Apparently the night before [the date], we were both at the ADPi date function and dancing beside each other and we didn’t even know it. Apparently we’ve seen each other a lot. I think it would be impossible to not at least hang out some. She was totally chill, like more than I could ask for for a blind date.
AW: Does it give you any more of an idea about what you might be looking for in terms of someone to date in the future?
ML: I think it reaffirmed how much I enjoy being able to be goofy with someone. Especially in an environment like Wake, it’s so easy to be so serious all the time. It’s really fun just to be annoying with each other.
JL: I think it definitely holds a high standard for how a blind date could go. We were both thinking we either hoped this person would be horrible so that it would be funny or make it amazing. So, she did pretty well.