Love Connection: Cliff and Meredith
Who will win this battle of personalities?
School: College/Batten School
Major: Leadership and Public Policy
Sexual Orientation: Straight
University involvement: Second Year Council, Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, SCUBA Club, Chinese Student Association
Hometown: Calhoun, GA
Ideal date person: Shorter, petite, great smile. Funny, smart, relaxed and most importantly, interesting.
Ideal date (activity): Hot air balloon ride.
If you could date any celebrity, it would be: Natalie Portman
Deal breakers: Bad teeth/lack of humor
Describe a typical weekend: Hanging out with my roommates or PSP [Phi Sigma Pi] people, occasionally finding new and unique things to do around Charlottesville and trying new restaurants.
Hobbies: Hypnosis, blacksmithing, welding, lockpicking and many others!
If your dating life was a prime-time or reality show, it would be: “How I Met Your Mother”
Brag about yourself — what makes you a good catch: I do a bit of everything and can talk about anything to anyone. I’m incredibly honest, and I consider myself somewhat interesting.
Describe yourself in one sentence: When I die I want “Was a Renaissance Man” on my tomb, and it will be well-deserved.
Sexual Orientation: Straight
University involvement: the Declaration news magazine, Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, Student Council
Hobbies: I’m a Netflix junkie, so if I have downtime I’ll catch up on whatever show I’ve become addicted to that semester (“Mad Men,” anyone?). On the more active side, I’ve been going on white-water rafting trips in the summer and sometimes fall since I was 10, and wish I could do it more. In general: reading, doing anything art-related and socializing/wasting time in the Alderman Library lobby.
Ideal date: I don’t really have many physical preferences, but I do have a thing for tall guys and I usually prefer someone older. Sense of humor is a big one — quick wit is always appreciated. I’m attracted to people with big personalities and passion for whatever they’re into. Confidence is important, but if it crosses over into arrogance it’s a turn-off.
Ideal date location: My ideal date is anything that is relatively thoughtful, in the sense that the person took time to think of a place or activity that would be original or memorable. A concert, a favorite activity or a cool place in Charlottesville would all be awesome because then you learn something about them that goes beyond their major and resume. I think that’s why dinner dates with someone you don’t know tend to be awkward — you don’t have much to talk about yet. Go do something together first to establish something in common, then grab a meal.
Ideal celebrity: Andy Samberg, because he’s hilarious and seems pretty genuine. And he has a great smile and laugh. I’m sure a date with him would be pretty original.
What makes you a good catch?: I’m outgoing and love to try new things, and can get along with many kinds of people. Working both for the Declaration and doing Jefferson Society may seem like a pretty big contradiction, but I love doing both — I like arguing about literature (or anything really) on a Friday night with the Society, in addition to writing oh-so-witty and not-at-all-offensive jokes for the Declaration. Maybe we won’t be perfect for each other, but our date would at least be interesting.
Deal breakers in a date: Having a complete lack of ambition or no room for spontaneity. And the biggest deal breakers are being homophobic or misogynistic. Other tics or habits are always subjective.
Describe yourself in one sentence: I’m a friendly girl with a quirky sense of humor, who likes to read, talk and go on adventures.
Date: Sunday, April 15
Time: 7 p.m.
Meredith: I decided to apply for Love Connection when I was in the process of trolling. I was researching a joke issue for the Declaration where we did a Love Connection thing where we set someone up with a tree. I was just looking at the Love Connection page and thought it would be fun to do. I told myself that if he’s awesome, I’d definitely try, and if he sucks, I’d be weird to make the interview more interesting. I’d ask him weird things like, “What’s your position on feminism?”
Cliff: I initially filled out the Love Connection survey because a friend suggested it to me and because I’m always looking to meet new people. I was excited when I found out I was chosen. I told several other friends of mine about it, and they were really excited for me too. I’d never been on a blind date, so I didn’t really have any expectations. I just figured I was going to be with a stranger for a couple of hours and decided to make the best of it.
Meredith: I got to the Rotunda a couple minutes before him. There were so many people around, so I sat in the middle by myself to make it clear. Then he showed up and he was wearing super reflective sunglasses so I couldn’t see his face for the first few minutes. His eyes were nice once he took them off. He asked me where I wanted to go for dinner. I had planned on suggesting somewhere downtown, and he said he happened to make reservations at Zocalo so I was like, “Cool, let’s go there.”
Cliff: When we were looking for each other at the Rotunda, we did the awkward shuffle because neither of us knew who the other one was. I looked around and there was one girl by herself who looked like she was dressed up to do something, so I assumed it was her. My first impression of her was very, very nice. She was close to my type, but not quite it. I had made a reservation and asked her if she wanted to go anywhere else. She said no, so that’s where we went.
Meredith: We were walking to his car and started talking immediately, it wasn’t awkward at all. He definitely drove the conversation which was fine because I listed [on the Love Connection survey] that I wanted someone who could fill the room, but it was interesting because I’m usually the person who leads conversations and is super talkative. He was pretty much the ideal person that my survey asked for. I’ve never actually been set up with someone that confident, so I was a little thrown off.
Cliff: Dinner was lovely. We talked the entire time — no awkward silences. We told each other our respective stories. I learned about her involvements at U.Va., some of her hobbies and how she wants to travel. She talked about how she had spent some time in Italy as an exchange student in high school. I explained to her my extensive collection of oddities.
Meredith: He scuba dives, he’s a hypnotist, he’s trained to fly helicopters and he welds weapons. If I were him I would want to tell people these things, but I couldn’t really compete. I told him how I write for the Declaration and I’m a probie for the Jefferson Society. He’s in PSP, so we’re both finding frat life in non-frat situations and getting something out of a club that we haven’t before. We talked about travel. I played my one ace and was like, “I am interesting!” by telling him that I studied abroad in Italy in high school.
Cliff: I didn’t think we had much in common as far as activities, but as far as ideology, yes. She’s very liberal, and not particularly religious even after growing up in a religious area like me. I felt like I dominated the conversation a little more than I wanted to and expressed that a couple times, but otherwise I felt that it was very balanced and actually a lovely conversation. We talked nonstop for two hours. She did not seem shy in the least.
Meredith: I got the feeling that he was going into it as a friends thing because he talked about that. He said he was doing this to meet new people and make new friends, and I was doing this for new experience. We’re both experience junkies. It was a really good date in terms of high quality of conversation, and he was a gentleman but not in a misogynistic way. He checked all the boxes.
Cliff: The date was more friendly, there weren’t any underlying romantic tensions or anything. It was just a very nice dinner and a lovely evening. I dropped her off at home and we hugged. I’d rate the date an 8. I could definitely see hanging out with her again in a friend context.
Meredith: The date itself was high quality, I’d give it like an 8. It’s very interesting because he embodied all of these traits — intensity, confidence, sense of adventure, not super-religious — that I always considered myself attracted to. I don’t fault him at all because we have the same personality; I just think he won the battle of the personalities. Maybe I don’t want to be set up with myself; too much of the same person. I wasn’t going into it thinking I was going to find my soul mate, but he had a lot of interesting things to say and I would hang out with him again.
Cliff and Meredith are now Facebook friends and have not yet had any other contact. But since they’re basically twins, their paths are bound to cross soon.