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Dinner With Cupid

Blind date: ‘I did get a chance to ask about her tattoo’

Their conversation runs the gamut from ink to American Samoa to politics.

Liz Blanco and Ben Raphel.

LIZ BLANCO: 30 / nonprofit program director

Last thing she read: Atlantic article by Ta-Nehisi Coates

What makes her a catch: She is dedicated, diplomatic, progressive, and service-minded.

BEN RAPHEL: 29 / senior health informatics analyst

His interests: Hosting trivia, improv class, political junkie

His ideal mate: CEO of a company she founded



Liz One of my colleagues saw an online article about [Cupid], so we all signed up.

Ben I moved to Boston less than six months ago, so I was excited to meet someone new. I was curious who they would match me up with.


Liz I was nervous. It made me giddy to go in with so much mystery. I saw him through the window. He was adorable.

Ben I thought Liz was very attractive. She had really nice eyes and a tattoo on her left arm that I made sure to ask about.


Liz We talked about where we were from, where we had lived, where we worked. He ended up talking about his improv classes, which [I] was interested to hear about.

Ben She is working and attending school full time. She’s half Pacific Islander, and had spent time in American Samoa. I was interested in her time on the Islands, as well as the difference between the cultures on each island.

Liz He completed a master’s of public policy program, and I’m currently in an MPP program.

Ben I did get a chance to ask about her tattoo, which was a representation of the sun, water, and earth.

Liz He ordered the sushi and sashimi dinner, and I ordered the sushi. The food was delicious!

Ben We split a bottle of sake. Our waitress was especially helpful when deciding what sake to get.


Liz He was easy to chat with, although I think we both had to reach for talking points at times. He mentioned that he had recently been in New Hampshire. He waited until he got a feel of my political leanings before admitting that his time in New Hampshire was to canvass for Hillary.

Ben The nervous jitters went away. It was an interesting conversation. We were able to discuss the different parts of the world we had traveled to.


Liz After dinner, we went for a short walk.

Ben I wasn’t ready for our conversation to end. We walked through Harvard Square. My initial idea was to get ice cream or a beer, but we were both stuffed.

Liz I had a lot to do, so I had to get home.

Ben We exchanged numbers, and she expressed interest in meeting up another time.

Liz I’m notorious for my one-armed hugs, which some people find awkward.

Ben We hugged and said goodbye.


Liz We exchanged numbers, so possibly.

Ben I hope so — I would like to meet with her again.


Liz / B

Ben / A

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