Date Lab Scoop

Duke Date Lab

Meet Adrianna & Michael, she’s a pubpol major on the club swim team and he’s a mechanical engineer in ROTC. Can they put their opposing fast-food preferences aside in the name of love?

So, Why Date Lab?

Adrianna: My friends told me to. I was like “It’s senior year! I’m going to do random things and get outside my comfort zone.”

Michael: I think it’s super rare these days to be able to find a true blind date, so I guess that’s what I was excited about.


Adrianna: I was both excited and kind of nervous

Michael: I wasn’t nervous or anything.

Adrianna: It was just so easy to talk to him. He always had interesting follow up questions or an anecdote or something.

Michael: I remember thinking she was pretty tall. It’s not like she had purple hair or anything, so I wasn’t like “what am I getting myself into?”

The Setting

Adrianna: The staff knew that it was a blind date, so they were definitely excited. The hostess was really excited when I told her that I was here for the Date Lab. The wait staff was all really enthusiastic and kept on asking how everything was going.

Michael: I had actually only been to Local 22 once before. I had told my friends that I was going there, and they all said that I should get the Mac and Cheese, so that’s what I ordered. It was really good. The dessert we got was unbelievable. It was like a red velvet tiramisu mason jar super Durham thing, so that was really tasty.

Adrianna: We were sitting next to the bar, which was weirdly playing Bones and the Hunger Games, which is strange bar tv. The dessert was really good.

Blind & Abroad

Michael: For the opening conversation we just talked a little bit about the institution of blind dates. Neither of us have been on one before so that was something we could talk about. It was interesting because we talked about how we had both done club sports dream trips our sophomore years to Puerto Rico, so we nearly crossed paths, but didn’t. She even studied abroad in the same city that I did, just at a different school.

Adrianna: He was in Outing Club, and they went to Puerto Rico the same time that I went with Club Swim. He told me that he basically gave the entire Outing Club strep throat while they were there. And we talked about what we did in Puerto Rico- especially free happy hour!

What to Write Home About

Michael: The funniest thing was her obsession with Five Guys. I have never met someone who has so irrationally defended Five Guys. I mean I think it’s a good institution, but she called it “the best burger I’ve ever had” at some point. I would say it’s a little hard for me understand. But as an irrational fan of In-N-Out I guess…

Adrianna: He’s from San Diego, so when I ordered the tacos he was taken aback because he believed that tacos are so much better in Cali so that no one should order them on the East Coast. And I’m pretty against In-N-Out because I think it’s really terrible quality and people overhype it. And he said that in terms of quality and cost, it’s so much above everything else. But I said no, Five Guys is so much better!


Michael:  Pretty big fan of Adrianna. She’s a really interesting person.

Adrianna: At the end of the date we hugged – he was going to call an uber, but I said that I could just drive him, so I dropped him off at his friends place.

Michael: The date was exactly what I wanted in terms of a senior that I had never met before and from a different part of campus given the social scenes that I choose to be a part of. It was cool because she’s had a nearly completely different Duke experience.

Rate the Date

Michael: I would say I’ve had some pretty good dates, so I’ll give it a four out of five. Especially considering we didn’t know each other, I thought it was a very good date. You can’t ask for much more than a good dinner and conversation. Will there be a second date? As a second semester I don’t think I would want to plop myself into a completely new circle of friends, so it would prevent me from going on a second date. But I would still recommend signing up for the Date Lab – I had a good time.

Adrianna: I would rate it a four out of five. Overall it was a good date. I’m sure I’ll talk to him if I see him around on campus. But in terms of a second date… probably not.

Writers: Sam Meyers and Brian Chan | Web: Lauren Katz | Thank you to the two students who participated in this lab!

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