BY ELEANOR HARRIS ’20
What could be more romantic than a picnic under the stars ... with a stunning view of the Delles parking lot? This weekend, we sent sophomore Jeannette* and junior Mary* on a late-night date to snack on chocolate, play truth or dare and hopefully fall in love.
Jeannette described herself as “spicier than the spicy fries in Blanch.” Mary told us that she’s into food, sports and sweets — and is looking for someone to have fun with.
On Sunday night, we set up a picnic blanket with twinkle lights, candy, the latest issue of the Mount Holyoke News and, most importantly, a set of cards with truth or dare questions. Jeannette and Mary met behind the Delles, climbed up the hill and ....
Mary: [At Mount Holyoke], our pool of people is small, and as a social scientist, I understand that if I were to date someone, I would have probably already met them and be dating them by now. You have probably come into contact at least one time with everyone who goes here — well, maybe not the ten people who don’t leave their room ever.
Jeannette: I wanted to meet new people and experience what a blind date would be like. I am open to building a relationship and to see if that goes anywhere, [but] I was hoping for at least a new friend, if not anything more.
Mary: I am a chronic relationship hoe. I was not single from sixth grade to the middle of my sophomore year of college. Now I’m like, where is my wife? I have over 900 matches on Tinder, and none of them are interesting or anything that I wanted to pursue. So I was like, why not?
Jeannette: [My friends] were scared for me because they were wondering who it would be and what the activity was. I was nervous to see who it would be and nervous because it was on the Delles hill, at night, in the cold!
Mary: [Before the date], I was working. I was like, I should probably go put on … not sweatpants? Because that’s what I was wearing.
Jeannette: I got there at 7:15 p.m. I saw her looking around at the bottom of the hill. I was relieved that it was someone that I recognized. I think she’s cute — her eyes, her smile, her laugh. She has a really genuine personality and she’s funny.
Mary: I was just honestly so thankful it was somebody that I didn’t actively dislike or had previous contact with. We were just talking about how bad or strange it could have been, just thinking about the people I’ve come across at Mount Holyoke that I would not want to go on a date with.
Jeannette: We walked up the hill and we saw the blanket and the picnic basket with snacks in it. We saw the fairy lights surrounding the blanket. I thought it was a good setup.
Mary: It was really cute. I was so happy that it wasn’t all the way at the water tower!
Jeannette: There was a deck of notecards with truth or dares on it.
We didn’t play it right — we just both answered. It was like, have you ever been in love? Have you ever kissed someone that you’ve regretted? We went deep into our past relationships, hometowns, future aspirations — stuff like that.
Mary: After the questions, there was a little silence, and then I just chronically fill silence, so I asked small talk questions. And when I stopped asking questions, it just kind of fizzled.
Jeannette: We also did the dares. Not all of them! High five, low five, stare into the person’s eyes for 30 seconds, hug your partner, give your partner a compliment...
Mary: One of the cards was like, ask your partner to kiss you on the cheek. I’m totally down to be a good sport so I did it.
Jeannette: We both knew where it was going to go. The last question was, have you ever kissed someone on the first date? We didn’t do it because we were like, this is set up!
Mary: I’m a person who goes off of vibes and sparks. I didn’t really think that there was chemistry.
Jeannette: We talked a little bit; then it got cold and we went down. I took the candy and she took the chocolate. We left the fruit. We said our goodbyes — we have an excuse to say hi in person now.
Mary: It was, quote, “See ya around.”
Jeannette: It put me out of my comfort zone. I didn’t really know much about her to begin with, but now I appreciate her more as a person.
Mary: No love, but as long as it’s not awkward, that’s all you need.
The interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity. To sign up for MoRomance, visit bit.ly/moromance.
*Names have been changed for anonymity.