Emilee Lord ‘19

Midterm season is winding down and we all know what that means—semi season. For those of us who have not made some pact of eternal love in the shadow of the kissing well, we’re trying to figure out who we should take. A friend? A crush? Someone we know is less cute but has a really good personality or a moody troll with a sexy bod? If you’re anything like I used to be, you throw your hands up and submit yourself to a blind date.

I’m writing this as a PSA: friends and cohorts, blind dates are a thing of the past. Outlook invites are the future. Before entirely dismissing this suggestion as the nonsense of a washed-up senior, I beg you to hear me out and more importantly #get #outlook #trending.

The past few weeks, I have served as the guinea pig for my theory, sending out well over 15 missives via Outlook Invite for coffee. To contextualize a bit more, these invites are usually for meetings  in the morning (before 12:30pm) on my front porch, weather permitting of course. I’m a Southerner at heart, and I love having guests over. Just chatting and sitting a spell is in my nature so I have opted against the Nummit route, though I would recommend it to those of y’all who are so bad in the kitchen that you routinely burn water. Regardless of location, the following are my thoughts on the merits of Outlook invite dating.

1. Why waste time committing an entire night out to some rando? Figure out if you like them or not in 30-45 minutes over coffee.

2. Coffee dates are wholesome and noncommittal. Getting coffee with someone in no way has sexual implications…unless the parties involved mutually initiate it, in which case the Outlook invite has gone above and beyond its original purpose. #ConsentIsSexy

3. What’s the worst that could happen? Your invite goes ignored?  Your crush knows your name? Y’all meet and you realize you don’t have that much in common so you gain a new friend and move on to the next coffee date? The stakes are so low.

4. If you need further encouragement, I’m currently operating at a 70% success rate. Also, once word gets out that you’re open to Outlook inviting, people actually start sending them to you first! So many new pals!

On a more serious note, we’re Davidson students. We are all busy people, but we’re humans who crave connection and friendship. It’s this realization which propels me to offer up Outlook Speed-Dating to campus. At worst, it’s a good exercise to develop your self-confidence and social skills. It keeps you humble too. Though if you’re goofy enough to send the invite and someone ignores it, do you really want to be friends or try and have a relationship with that person? Because clearly they lack the fundamentals of good humor. Outlook invites for coffee are objectively funny. They give you the chance to actually get to know someone, and they leave the window open for a follow-up invite to ask your crush to wave at you F…and who knows where that could lead.

If you’re still nervous, I invite you (pun intended) to consider my personal governing principle, an idea which applies to Outlook dating just as much as it does to the rest of life. This principle is best understood through two questions. First, if you do this thing, whatever the thing may be, what’s the worst possible outcome? Second, what is the probability that the worst of the worst actually happens? If you can live with that answer, I say do it… Get out there. Talk to that crush. Make a friend. Meet your person. Fill your email with coffee dates, not your life with regret. The way I see it, we’re all going to be graduated in the next three years and then we will have to PAY for Outlook. So getting started on those invites today is really the economically sound decision. That’s why I say #fullsends only.

Emilee Lord ‘19 is a History and Hispanic Studies double-major from Swannanoa, North Carolina. Contact her at emlord@davidson.edu