By Jacqueline Hyman
Just before the season of upcoming holidays, senior government and politics major Jonathan Reizes and junior community and behavioral health major Talia Hoch met up at the Stamp Student Union for their blind date. Although they met at the art gallery, they decided to have lunch at the Maryland Food Co-op, where Hoch is a regular customer.
*Unfortunately, the photo taken on the date was deleted because Hoch’s phone broke over the weekend and her photos could not be transferred to her new phone.
What was your first impression when you saw your date?
Jonathan: So pretty much, I got to Stamp around 1:15 [p.m.] … and then I saw a familiar face waiting by the gallery, I’m like “so, what are you doing here?” And she’s like, “Oh, I’m waiting for my Mitzpeh date.” I’m like, “Same. I guess I’m your date today.”
Talia: I actually knew him, so I was like, “that’s funny.” He works at the desk at Commons 6 and I live in Commons 5. [I was] sort of not so surprised, because in the Jewish community everyone knows everyone.
Did you like the co-op? What did you and your date get to eat?
J: We both didn’t have lunch, so we went and had lunch at the co-op. So I got a falafel wrap, because I’ve never been to the co-op … it’s not bad. I think [my date] got something … I think it was like, a tofu wrap. I’m not sure how to pronounce it … [she told] me that’s the same dish she gets at the co-op every single time, so she might just remember the name. She recommended the co-op.
T: We both hadn’t eaten lunch, so it seemed like the thing to do. I got a tofu-topia wrap and he got a falafel wrap. That’s basically what I get all the time. I have my favorite things.
What did you talk about over lunch?
J: So the lunch lasted about an hour, so we talked about a lot of different things. We know each other in Hillel, so we just wanted to know each other’s majors and interests. I found out she’s part of a public health fraternity, which is kind of cool … and then we talked about … how uncertain everyone is for the job search. We also talked about the bucket list, because I’m a senior. So one of the things on the bucket list was ‘get on a Mitzpeh date,’ right, we got it. Check mark. We both ran up the fountain on the mall. She has snuck into Byrd Stadium, and I was like “I’m gonna try to do it, so if you wanna tag along, please, I’ll let you know.”
T: Just like how it was on our bucket list to be on Mitzpeh Matchmaker, the whole breaking into Byrd Stadium. He hadn’t broken into Byrd, so I was trying to give him tips on how to do that. He was definitely easy to get along with.
Were there ever any awkward moments in the conversation?
J: We just found new areas to talk about. Nothing was that bland. Yes there was some lull and some pauses in the conversation, but I think we found a way to keep it going. Asking questions. There were no long, awkward pauses. You don’t wanna have those long pauses because then it becomes very forced.
T: Yeah, there were a few. I would try to think of a topic to think about, like, “what’s your major? What are you doing for the holiday, what are you doing for the game?” I went to my fraternity’s tailgate but I didn’t end up going to the game.
What did you have in common, and what was different about you?
J: I said I play guitar, she plays a little bit of the ukelele … I think our majors are a little different. I think our lifestyles [are pretty different] … I keep kosher in the house but don’t keep kosher outside. I don’t keep Shabbat that well … I only keep basically the high holidays. I come from a very traditional background, but not so observant, and then she comes from the other extreme where she comes from a very observant background. She actually [went to] a Jewish religious co-ed school. She keeps Shabbat, kashrut. She’s in a fraternity, I’m not in a fraternity.
T: We both went to Hillel … but he didn’t go to Hillel very often. We’re both not studying similar things. We didn’t seem very similar.
Was it weird going on a blind date?
J: Kind of, because this is my first blind date. A lot of times I’ve known in advance who I’ve asked out, [whether] it be close friends or classmates. I’ve never been set up on a blind date. It was a cool experience, I wouldn’t mind doing it again. I’ll be open to it, you know, to keep momentum going, because when it’s not set up by your friends or you don’t know the person, you don’t know what’s going to happen in the conversation.
T: Yeah. It’s one of those things I’ve never really done, so I was like “I’ll just do this, why not?” But it was funny, because it was complete chance. It wasn’t like a friend set up with a friend.
Was there anything that really stuck out to you about your date?
J: I found out she’s a vegetarian, which is kind of cool. I was like, “So that’s why you recommended the co-op,” and she was like, “yeah, this is my stop.” Also, what was interesting was I was actually offering to pay for the meal, and she was like, “No, I don’t want to do that, I want to reverse the gender roles.” She was describing that when her family goes out, her dad tries to pay and then her aunt pays instead. They have a very modern approach, and even though she is very observant at UMD, she doesn’t always go to the Kedma services, she likes to go to the Ometz and be a little inclusive and pluralistic.
T: He was just a really nice person. It’s always nice to meet someone who’s genuinely trying to talk to you. He’s planning to do a gap year, he has his own start up. He’s doing a lot of things, so I respected that. He has to take time to figure out what he wants to do with his future, which is good. We were talking about what we were going to do with our majors or what we wanted or what we didn’t know what we wanted.
How would you rate the date from one to 10 (10 being the highest) and why?
J: Look, she has a really good personality, and I thought that we had a lot in common … so I’m going to give a very interesting rating. I’m going to give her 1,000 out of 10, and hopefully she gives me a similar score. I think it was a decent date. It was a cool experience for my Friday afternoon.
T: A seven, I guess? It was a nice time. It was nice to get lunch together, but it wasn’t anything crazy special.