Dinner with Cupid

Song and dance

He's in ballet. She's in musical theater. Will there be an encore?

July 19, 2009
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Samantha Hammel, 25, Entrepreneur

Her perfect date: Walking or biking, going to a museum, dinner and a movie at home

She’s happiest: Singing live band karaoke with her brothers or teaching at her performing-arts studio

French Clements, 28, Ballet teacher and writer

He’s a catch because: Training in ballet, he grew up around women.

His perfect Saturday: Playing soccer with his Little Brother, biking to the coffee shop, hanging out and laughing with friends

8 p.m. Om, Harvard Square

What’s in a Name? French: Once I turned onto Winthrop Street and saw Om, there were a few butterflies. Like, this could be a major development! Or it could be utter hell!

Samantha: I thought he was clean-cut and trendy. He had an infectious smile.

French: She had really nice skin! Very tan and smiley. Not entirely my “type,” but not my type’s antithesis, either.

Samantha: I had to know what the deal was with his name. (Answer: Many grandparents ago had the last name French.)

French: One of the first things she said was “So, what’s your deal?” -- an enjoyable question that helps deflate awkward situations. People tend not to believe I teach ballet, but she seemed kind of receptive -- I was blown away that not only does she know dance, but she runs a performing-arts school.

Samantha: I was practically recruiting him to teach a master class before we had menus!

A Simpsons Singalong Samantha: I’m a vegan, so I ordered a salad and a tofu dish. French and I shared a fantastic berry-mint drink, and we both agreed he had to order the French Superfly, a very tasty mimosa-esque drink.

French: She has an almost brusque manner that I realized is really a dry kind of humor. And we had several connections, including a love for The Simpsons Sing the Blues, a cheesy album released when we were small and to which we both sang certain phrases together, right there.

Samantha: I knew then that this was a guy I could bring home to my brothers.

French: At first, it was closer to “I don’t know if this is going to work,” then it shifted over to “This person is pretty great.” She seemed really open to new experiences and has a good, lively energy. Also, she’s a freaking hotshot, with all kinds of impresario-type activities from an early age. I like go-getters.

Samantha: My comfort level increased as the night went on, mainly because French was easy to get along with, and partially because the drinks were potent!

French: Although I’m not yet sure if the connection is romantic or platonic, she’s an awesome woman and I’d be happy to share more fun with her. But sharing food is a biggie for my sense of togetherness. So her vegan diet may test me a little.

Getting Cheeky Samantha: It was pretty late when we wrapped it up. French walked me to my car, we exchanged numbers, and he kissed me on the cheek.

French: My friend told me it was the classy thing to do. And I did feel classy!

Post mortem French says: A-?

Samantha says: A

Second Date? They’ve already planned it.


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