Love Connection: Arjun and Miriam
Year: Second Year
University involvement: CASH, SEED
Hometown: Fairfax/Chantilly, VA
Ideal date: I don’t have a particular preference for race or ethnicity, but I have generally dated blondes and brunettes. But truth be told, I am okay with any girl so long as she has a pretty face and slender physique (not like a stick though, i.e. Keira Knightley). In terms of personality, I am looking for somebody who is outgoing and involved with the school.
Ideal celebrity date: Hands down, this honor goes to Natalie Portman. The woman packs brains and beauty all in one and she’s got an Oscar and a degree from Harvard to prove it. Aside from her looks, I like how she conveys herself as somebody strong and independent.
Deal breakers: I am not very picky about my dates. One thing I am definitely keen on is that she has to be willing to engage in conversation and make this a worthwhile experience. I know it initially may be awkward going on a blind date for the first time, but I hope she keeps in mind it is just as awkward for me.
Describe a typical weekend: I usually catch up on homework and study during the morning and afternoon. In the evenings, it’s all about socializing as my roommates and I try to find a bar or frat to go to.
What makes you a good catch: I consider myself to be a universally nice guy. Now before you think anything, let me clarify what I mean. When I say nice guy, I don’t mean the kind of guy who bends over for his girlfriend and lets her walk him around like a little puppy. I am talking about a guy who respects chivalry but also has enough self-respect to know when he is getting used. In other words, I am a nice guy with a backbone.
If your dating life were a TV show, it would be: “Degrassi” without all the pregnancies, shootings, rapes, teacher molestation, more pregnancies, J.T. getting stabbed, Drake in a wheel chair and so on. Truth be told, I have had only one serious relationship. Other than that, I am a generally shy guy around the ladies.
Year: First Year
University involvement: radio DJ and leadership team
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
Hobbies: basketball, working out, pageants and anchoring
Ideal date: Ronnie from Jersey Shore, six-foot plus, sarcastic and confident
Ideal celebrity date: Anderson Cooper, worldly and sexy
Deal breakers: cigarette smoker, wifebeaters, arrogance
Describe a typical weekend: PARTYYYYYY
What makes you a good catch: I’m funny and voluptuous.
Describe yourself in one sentence: outgoing
If your dating life were a TV show, it would be: “Desperate Housewives”
Date: Friday, Feb. 17
Time: 6 p.m.
Mariam: I filled out the Love Connection survey because everyone in my hall was doing it, and I thought it would be interesting. Maybe I would find my love, whatever. I was really excited when I found out I was chosen. I thought, “Ooh, this is going to be fun.” I told everyone I knew about it, and my hall understood since we had all done it, but everyone else was like, “You’re so weird.”
Arjun: I figured Love Connection would be a good way to meet people, and I just wanted a new experience. I’d never been on a blind date, so I thought it was going to be a little strange. I was like, “How am I going to meet this person? How am I going to know who she is?” It was a little nerve-wracking here and there, but overall, I just thought, “Why not? I have nothing to lose.”
Mariam: I was waiting for him at the Rotunda, and when he wasn’t showing up, I was like, “Damn, I got stood up on a blind date. How pathetic is my life?” It was totally Bollywood-esque. I thought it was so ironic and kept laughing. I couldn’t wait to run home and tell everyone how Bollywood my life just got.
Arjun: I got to the Rotunda and looked at the statue of Mr. Jefferson for a good five or six minutes, wondering if I were in the right spot. I thought she had bailed, to be perfectly honest. Then it turned out we were waiting for each other on opposite sides of the Rotunda. We finally found each other, and I was thinking, “Hey, I know you.”
Mariam: When I got the text [from Love Connection] saying my date’s name was Arjun, I was like, “Oh, Indian guy, I know all the Indians here, so I’ll probably know him.” I know two Arjuns and I wasn’t sure which one it would be, but I had a feeling it was going to be him. The fact that I knew him took away from the experience because I had really wanted a blind date.
Arjun: It turned out we knew each other from this club at a radio station. My friend who knew who my date was told me she was a second year, and Mariam’s a first year, so there was an element of “Wait a minute…” From my perspective, she and I played it off pretty coolly.
Mariam: We just kind of ignored that we knew each other. He let me choose where we were going to go for dinner, and I’ve been basically everywhere, so I was thinking of places I haven’t gone to. I picked Basil. Literally, after we sat down, we hadn’t even taken off our jackets yet and the waitress asked if we were ready to order. We started laughing because she kept giving us death stares.
Arjun: Our waitress creeped me out. She came up to us three different times in the first five minutes and asked if we were ready to order. I was like, “We haven’t even looked at the menu, shut up!” Basil wasn’t that crowded, so it wasn’t like they needed to get people out, but there was a get-out-of-here-quickly kind of vibe.
Mariam: At dinner, we talked about school and how difficult it is, and about how we’re both Indian, and even from the same part of India. We talked about our cultural values, but we didn’t have similar ones. My parents are much more traditional. What each of us [was] looking for in relationships came up. I’m genuinely not really looking for anything right now.
Arjun: We used to be in this club for a local radio station where we helped with the marketing, so we talked about that, and I asked her if she was still doing it. We talked about cultural similarities, but her family was way more traditional than mine. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that we were extremely different, but we definitely had different views. The conversation was very balanced, I don’t remember anybody dominating it.
Mariam: Dinner was very cordial, but I think we both just kind of wanted to leave. We both wanted to make it as quick as possible since we were both really let down that it wasn’t as blind as we thought it would be.
Arjun: The date was definitely more friendly than flirtatious because I already knew her. I already knew her to a certain capacity, so the blind date element of it wasn’t exactly there. We finished dinner, then she had another commitment, so I waited with her until the bus came, gave her a hug, and she was off.
Mariam: I’d give the date a very neutral five. He’s a good guy, but I didn’t feel anything since I already knew him. It was just an average date, at least nothing happened. He wasn’t a jerk or anything.
Arjun: The night was a five. The fact that I had talked to her before, we had already established that it’s not really going anywhere. It wasn’t a bad evening, the conversation was fine and friendly. I’d still go on an actual blind date sometime.
Mariam: It was a really fun experience. If it had genuinely been a blind date, it’d be really cool to see who you got paired up with. The whole time, I was thinking that Shaadi.com, an Indian dating website, just doesn’t let me go. It’s insistent about getting me with an Indian guy.
Arjun and Mariam are now Facebook friends and have said hello when running into each other around Grounds.
-compiled by Mai Le