3 Editors Walk Into A Grouper Date...

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Sound like a joke? Because here, you'll find many punchlines. Okay — mainly just three of 'em: One guy we've named Miami, and two nondescripts from Detroit. No, it doesn't matter which Detroit guy is which. They were both so similarly disappointing that, at one point, it became difficult to distinguish between the two anyway. What exactly happened here? I joined two fellow R29ers on a Grouper date — on Valentine's Day.

Grouper is a service that sets you up on a triple blind date. No Facebook info, no picture, no names. The participant signs up for a day, and Grouper, using metrics, sets you up with three other people. You get a text the day prior with the time and location of your date, and then hope for the best.

Ahead, our true story of what happened when we tried it out. If we've piqued your interest, head over to Grouper and sign up for a three-way blind date with your friends.

GinaMarinelli_Photo_Chantal_Adair007_IMG_1040Photographed by Chantal Adair.
Gina Marinelli, associate fashion features editor
"Two friends and I were going on a date with a bunch of strangers under false pretenses to write about it for our job. Basically, this should have been the start of my rom-com. I am basically Kate Hudson in this scenario, right? But, it became crystal clear before the six of us even ordered our second drinks that there was no potential Matthew McConaughey characters here. I did, however, get the 'com' part right.

On any other date, it would have been impressive — a turn-on, even — if a guy told me about a business he created from the ground up. But, then one of our dates told us about his budding idea. What should do you after you smoke out of a banana bong? Make a smoothie. Does your apple still taste like cannabis after a smoke sesh? Great. Eat it. Mr. Entrepreneur even assured us he bought the brand's domain name already, ya know, just in case me and the girls took this one and ran with it. Then I, a couple drinks into our V-Day date, suggested maybe he bake an apple bong into a pie or something. He wasn't impressed and suggested I shut up in one of those he-thinks-he's-joking-but-he's-being-a-jerk kind of way. All of this, and then he proceeded to call his mother from the table where we all sat to wish her a Happy Valentine's Day. Aww, sweet.

So, sadly, no, this was not the start of a great love affair. (Although, maybe a great business?)

Would I go on another Grouper date? That being said, I would definitely go on another Grouper date with Vanessa and Zooey. I think we made for a pretty good team. And, despite the half-baked businessman and his two pals — who stand out most for being very vocal about their political views — I'm up for another blind group date. Bring it on, Grouper.
Blowouts_RockieNolanPhotographed by Rockie Nolan.
Vanessa Golembewski, editorial assistant
"If I had to sum up the general nature of our Grouper, I'd say this: It was as if the men on this date gathered the most insane, ridiculous things they've ever heard another human say/read in an online comments section and used those very things as conversation fodder. This included, but was not limited to, the ways in which Obama is destroying America and a lecture on the proper use of Ebonics.

I think it all started when we were exchanging the basics, like what neighborhood we lived in. I brought up the fact that my area had a lot of 'banker bros.' You know, the financial types who wear boat shoes when they're not working Wall Street. He took this as an opportunity to distinguish between my use of 'bro' and the Ebonics-appropriate term of 'bruh.' Yes, with a 'u-h.' I've given it a lot of thought (sadly), and I still have no idea what he's talking about.

It's important to note that all three men were quite cute. One of them, however, quickly started a political conversation — a big first-date no-no in my book. And, by political conversation, I, of course, mean he was just kind of saying offensive things, hoping we would respond in agreement. My personal favorite was probably, 'Um, I love America, so I don't read CNN or The New York Times.' In case you're wondering, the only thing he does read is the Detroit Free Press.

Also, Miami told Gina that she looked about four years older than she actually is — then was surprised that she didn't take it as a compliment. 'It means you're mature and wise.' Gina is beautiful and young and killin' it, and I will never forgive him for it.

Would I go on another Grouper date? Absolutely — but only with Gina and Zooey. I imagine the bond we formed from this fateful event is similar to the tacit ties the cast of Lost felt, were they and their unfortunate plot real.
_MG_0339-copy_RockieNolanPhotographed by Rockie Nolan.
Zooey Purdy, product manager
"At a certain point (very early on), it was incredibly clear that this date would not be ending in any romantic fashion or friendly phone number exchange. The three guys lacked a basic degree of maturity expected from an adult who has graduated from university (I am not impressed by hearing a 30-something boast about being stoned every day while working). So, when one of them asked me to tell him an 'exciting story,' I decided to have some fun with it and concocted a story describing a short acting role I played as a child in which I was eaten by a Pterodactyl during a scene in Jurassic Park. I'm not sure what response I was expecting, but it definitely was not to be snidely informed that 'Pterodactyls are veggiesaurs, DUH.'

Yes, he used the word 'veggiesaurs.'

Gina quickly followed up by asking if the term he meant to use was 'herbivore,' while he continued to berate me for implying that Pterodactyls ate anything other than 'veggies.'

Unsurprisingly, at the end of the date we did not all exchange numbers. However, the same 'veggiesaurs' guy did slam his hands on the table and scream, "COCAINE!" as we three ladies headed out. While we chose not to respond at the time, I would now like to say one thing: Dear Miami — I went home and Googled it, and Pterodactyls were CARNIVORES! Boo-yah.

Would I go on another Grouper date? Absolutely. If I had to deal with any one of those three men by myself, I would have been miserable the entire time and anxiously planning an escape. Because Vanessa and Gina were there by my side, experiencing the same ridiculous behavior that I was, the date ended up being a hilarious story that we can bond over and laugh at. While I did not end up with a new romantic possibility, I definitely had fun, and maybe next time I'll meet the man of my dreams!"