I, Aidan Cyrus, have discovered the cure for “Hillsdating,” the problem that has plagued this school for too long.
The problem of the Hillsdale dating scene is the belief that you need to be madly in love with someone to ask them out. I spent the past week or so contemplating the possible remedies and have found the cure while also finding the ideal first date — a date spot that clearly articulates the interest between the parties while maintaining the casualness of the activity.
Blade & Bones, a relatively new store located on Howell Street, mostly sells knives and knife-related materials. On Saturdays between 6 and 10 p.m, however, it hosts free-for-all dueling events.
When I walked past the store this summer and witnessed this spectacle, I thought perhaps the Simpson boys had returned to school early to practice for a raid on Galloway because the duelers wielded homemade swords created from PVC pipe covered in rubber and styrofoam. It was not until a friend and I returned this past weekend in hopes of participating in some investigative journalism that I realized it couldn’t be Simpson boys. There were rules. As we walked into the store, parents and the owner of the store stood outside vaping and smoking while their children, a few members of the Mu Alpha fraternity, and an assortment of adults beat the living daylights out of each other in either team or free-for-all duels.
Now imagine bringing a first date to this local fight club. Taking a first date to Blade & Bones on a Saturday evening presents a wide array of possibilities. Want to reenact that one scene from “Napoleon Dynamite”? Easy. Whack each other with medieval-style rubber flails? You got it. Or perhaps you merely want to observe? Well, bring your respective vapes and watch alongside the parents.
This date provides the perfect balance between casual and courtship. As you and a 10-year-old kid violently swing fake swords at each other, you show your date that you don’t take yourself too seriously. And yet, as you and your date help each other put on your face guards, you lock eyes and realize that, in a very real sense, you’re not messing around. Seeing your date perform a combo move on some child provides you with perspective on their important virtues: magnanimity, courage, and ultimately their willingness to die a fitting and sweet death for the fatherland. As you drive or walk back to campus, you can discuss the highlights of the night, like two soldiers recounting their time at war. Assuredly, there will be no lull in the conversation.
Last year, Professor of Philosophy and Religion Nathan Schlueter presented us with five principles to follow to defeat “Hillsdating”: ask your date out in person, plan a date within the wonderful metropolis of Hillsdale, pay for your date, return home by a reasonable time, and refrain from getting physical on your first date. Arguably, a date to Blade & Bones follows all of these principles. This activity is free, low maintenance, ends at 10 p.m., and allows you to enjoy the hub of civilization that is the city of Hillsdale.
Take it from me, a single man: this date finds the mean between overly casual and a “ring by spring” attitude. Blade & Bones is the answer to the question of “Hillsdating.” Perhaps you can also take your date to the Knorr Family Dining Room to enjoy some nice hor d’oeuvres before competing in some medieval-style combat.
Aidan Cyrus is a junior studying philosophy.