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Love Connection: Johnny and Larkin

Johnny, Third Year English major

University involvement: Third Year Council, Madison House, Intramural Sports

Ideal date person: Stunning, duh. I don’t know, I mean good-looking young women. Charming, smart, definitely smart, good sense of humor (preferably one that gets my stupid jokes), artsy, yet also athletic.

Ideal date activity: Probably for a first/blind date, a dinner date with good food (gotta have good food), and of course I’ll pay.

Celebrity crush: Toss-up. Natalie Portman or Keira Knightley. Keira wins if she shows up in full Pirates of The Caribbean gear for the first date.

Dealbreakers: I know this is petty, but: short hair. I know, I know. I just can’t get over that fact. Also, some guys are into the “exotic” women. Yeah, not for me.

Typical weekend: I, along with friends, will go out both Friday and Saturday night. During the day, definitely try to get some exercise — anything from a simple jog to a full-fledged pick-up game. If I can, get some homework done; if not, Sunday is homework day. Also, I like to keep my place clean; the weekend is a great time for cleaning up. This is probably too long of an answer.

Hobbies: Sports, music (I play guitar). I guess as an English major, I do like to write in my spare time.

What makes you a good catch?: I lure women in with my charming idiocy. No, I’m funny, smart, well-to-do, athletic. I feel like I’m a handsome guy, maybe that’s just what my mom tells me. Gotta love Mom.

Describe yourself in one sentence: I’m gonna pass on this one.

Larkin, Third Year Political and Social Thought major

University involvement: I am a co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Development Program, which targets female underclassmen through a series of three four-hour seminars. I am also the arts editor of The Declaration.

Ideal date person: I consider the ethnicity of my ideal partner to be insignificant, so long as their jawline is straight as an arrow. I prefer males within an easy hugging range; for a girl of 5-foot-7, that’s anywhere from one to six inches taller than myself. An abundance of hair is preferred to skimpy amounts of any color. I seek out earth and water signs (Capricorns and Cancers, specifically) for the practical romance of easygoing personalities. I like a babe eager to share his ideas, hobbies and snack foods. I am particularly receptive to ironic/bookish senses of humor, turned off by bluntness, sarcasm or “that’s-what-she-saids.”

Ideal date activity: I really enjoy mundane adventures — urban spooning a restaurant, road tripping to a swimming hole, cooking something adventurous (like chicken n’ waffles or onigiri). Ticketed dates like concerts or movies can be expensive and leave little opportunity for conversation, so I tend to avoid those.

Celebrity crush: Lil’ Wayne for the bragging rights.

Dealbreakers: Crocs, timidity, extreme athleticism.

Typical weekend plans: Full of catch-up: schoolwork, housecleaning, sleep, sociability. I’m fairly early to rise, so I can knock out the boring things before the typical bro even wakes up. Then I like to do hoodrat stuff with my friends.

Hobbies: I like making lists, cooking, drawing, singing, Korean television, thrifting, sleeping and Scrabble. I enjoy driving long distances but walk as often as possible around Charlottesville.

What makes you a good catch?: I’ve got good prospects.

Describe yourself in one sentence: She can move.

The Date: Saturday, September 15, 7 p.m. at The Whiskey Jar

Johnny: I filled out the Love Connection survey because a friend encouraged me to. When I found out I was chosen, I thought, “Oh, this is going to be really fun.” But then on Saturday morning I was like, “Oh s***. When’s the last time I took a girl out to dinner?” I haven’t been on a date since high school, when I was more awkward than I am now. I had no good experience to go back on, but now I do.

Larkin: I’ve always thought Love Connection was a really funny concept and I finally worked out the cajones to apply to it, having recently left a relationship. I was so excited when I found out I was going on the date. I joked around and anticipated worst-case scenarios. I was terrified I was going to get paired with a first year and that we would go to N2.

Johnny: I got to the Rotunda right at 7, she got there only a couple of minutes later. Obviously you don’t know what to do, so I was looking around and then she kind of came up to me and was like, “Are you Johnny?” She was a cute girl. I really liked the way she dressed. It was southern hipster, kind of. I thought it was really nice.

Larkin: When I got to the Rotunda, we had that weird moment of kind of looking at each other, kind of not, realizing we were supposed to be on a date. He had short hair and I was like, “Aw man, what the heck?” I knew I mentioned a full head of hair as one of my criteria. I didn’t want to say anything, since it seemed rude to be like, “Hey, I asked for someone with a lot of hair!” But then when we were walking home after dinner, we ran into somebody who said to him, “Oh my gosh, you cut off all your hair!” Turns out he had just gone back to short hair.

Johnny: I had a few restaurant suggestions from my friends, but I asked if she had any ideas about where she wanted to go for dinner and she said she knew this place, the Whiskey Jar, so we took the trolley downtown.

Larkin: Going into the date, I really wanted to go to the Whiskey Jar. I was nervous he was going to be like, “I made reservations at Downtown Grill” or something like that, but it ended up working out really well. As soon as we got there, he was so into it that I thought it would be difficult to gauge how much he was into me.

Johnny: The restaurant was absolutely fantastic. It was southern comfort food, but not like a Cracker Barrel. Hell of a lot better than a Cracker Barrel. It was really kind of a cool atmosphere. I got grilled pork chops, and they were unbelievable. She got pan-seared catfish with tomato and okra soup.

Larkin: Dinner was really nice. The atmosphere is kind of homey, southern comfort food. I figured comfort food and a blind date was a nice combo since we might need a little comfort. The restaurant was crowded when we first got there, and after we squeezed into our seats he apologized for not pulling out my chair. I forgave him. We ended up both wanting the same item, so we ordered that and something else. Then halfway through the meal, we switched dishes grandma and grandpa style. I think the fact that we were able to share our entrees and dessert attested to our level of familiarity.

Johnny: Obviously when you’re on a blind date, your biggest fear is awkward conversation, but we hit it off. She’s a really intellectual girl, so I was like, “Yes, boom!” We’re both one of four kids, we both have sisters a year older than us, and brothers three years younger than us. We were the same.

Larkin: We just kind of talked the whole time; no pauses in the conversation except for chewing since he got a particularly bony piece of pork chop. We talked about general life experiences, internships we’ve had and things like that. We talked about our families — everything matches up by age. We were produced in very similar family environments, which might be one of the reasons we got along so well.

Johnny: We talked a lot about U.Va. and the importance of our degrees. I’m starting to think that undergrad is completely pointless, and she agreed with that because it’s not actually what you learn but that you have a degree from the accredited university. A little theme in our conversation was the transition to adulthood. It was good, it was funny. Laughs were had by all.

Larkin: We joked around a lot. I think there was a nice balance between getting all the résumé type info and general joking. It didn’t feel like an interview. He is a Gemini, and I’m a Pisces, so we’re not necessarily astrologically compatible, but we’re similar in terms of the environment we came out of.

Johnny: Our view of the world seemed very similar. I think that’s why the conversation flowed so easily. I couldn’t really pinpoint a specific area where we felt similar but our general demeanors are the same. It was hard to figure out what type of vibe the night had because you’re just starting to get to know each other so you’re not sure what is flirting and what is friendship.

Larkin: We definitely weren’t coquettish at all. I think we were feeling one another out since we didn’t know each other at all. I’m not necessarily flirtatious by nature, so we were getting to know one another on a more friendship level. That’s probably also impacted by knowing there’s going to be an interview after the date.

Johnny: After we finished dinner, we sat and talked and had this apple cobbler for dessert. We were walking back and there was a hockey game going on. I’m obsessed with hockey, so I forced her to watch a little. I walked her back to her apartment and went on my way. She said we should exchange numbers, so we did and she texted me last night.

Larkin: He insisted on paying for dinner — the fact that he footed the bill warrants a second date where I can hopefully return the favor! It was a nice night so we decided to walk back from the Downtown Mall. The conversation was great so we didn’t have any need to GTFO or anything. He’s less familiar with the area, so I pointed out different places on the way. He dropped me off and we gave each other a hug. He gave me his phone number and I texted him to give him mine.

Johnny: The food was so good, I’d give the date an 8. No, but seriously, I loved the conversation. I thought she was fantastic. I was debating all last night whether to ask her out again. I think I might do it next week.

Larkin: I would rate the date a 9. We got along really, really, really well. Within my dating experience, he was unusually and almost aggressively polite. Hopefully we’ll see each other again!

Update: Johnny and Larkin have kept in touch and plan to see each other again this weekend. “We have a second date planned,” Johnny said. “Dinner and a concert at the Jefferson on Saturday night,”