by Claudia Mak
College is a quick-paced environment. Especially at Emerson College, where our mantra is to “werk and werk,” we often find ourselves treating everything in a hurry, including relationships. Throwing myself into the dating scene of college was difficult to adapt to at first. It conflicts with my “live slow, die old” philosophy. It’s like high school homecoming week on steroids. There were fellow freshman already in Facebook official relationships within the first two weeks of school. One young man asked me on a first date to the Thinking Cup, and, because I’m typically cynical, I wondered, “Is he going to propose to me on the second date?”
The atmosphere of the Thinking Cup is upscale beatnik, comfortable chairs filled with intellectually dressed adults. The servers, and customers, sweat grandiose My silly, hopeless romantic date took me to a much too-fancy coffee shop for our first date; the place was out of our league. It’s a lovely establishment with many sumptuous and rich espresso drinks, hand-crafted with beautiful designs etched into the foam. The poor boy probably thought he was impressing me, unfortunately he was just intimidating me. It was hard to hold an actual conversation in such a setting, so I recommend the Thinking Cup for a nice “monthiversary” date later on in the relationship.
Our second date— he didn’t propose to me, phew—was at Boston Coffee Company. “Bococo” is a friendly place, they also independently roast all their own fair trade coffees, and so they have a broad selection on the menu. This would’ve been a better choice for a first date, but still not the best. There was much better seating, so I found a table where I could sit across from my date and hold an actual conversation. But there was something about being unfamiliar with the café that created tension with the young man I was also unfamiliar with. It was also a clear downgrade from the fancy first date at the Thinking Cup. Comfort is key for a first date; you’re already anxious trying to think of conversation topics and trying to get to know the person, so it’s better to just go with something familiar.
This is why I recommend Starbucks. Why? Because it’s somewhere I’d go in sweatpants with a friend to study. Most people have ordered something from it before, so there’s not a lot of confusion when trying to think of what to order. Also, there are about four near campus; the Prudential location being the one with the most seating and the most comfortable atmosphere. Since the fling with the Thinking Cup kid ended as quickly as it started, when I sought out a new romantic conquest I suggested Starbucks. How did it end? We talked for hours and took an impromptu adventure to the Esplanade. Starbucks is a great setting to learn about someone, it’s a humble first step into a relationship that contrasts the typical Emersonian romantic fast lane. Slow is sweet.