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Dinner with Cupid

Blind date: ‘I’m a Boston sports fan and he joked that this won’t work out then’

Will a date between two hardcore hoops fans be a slam dunk?

Jesse Groner and Ella Tyler.
Jesse Groner and Ella Tyler.

JESSE GRONER: 26 / food scientist

His interests: NBA basketball

What makes him a catch: Having the best hummus recipe around

ELLA TYLER: 22 / special education instructional aide

What makes her a catch: Loves to talk about sports, particularly the NBA

Notable qualities: Won March Madness pools twice, and came in second three times



Jesse Taking a shot of hard alcohol did cross my mind, but figured I had to be on my A game.

Ella I had wine. I did consider taking a shot, but I’m trying to be more classy.

Jesse I showed up early; I’m always uncomfortably early to things. I was relieved when I saw her, she’s very pretty and well dressed.


Ella He was taller than me, nice smile and pretty eyes, cute hairstyle — overall, a good-looking dude.


Jesse We’re both really into NBA basketball, although neither of us cared for the other’s team. (I’m a fan of the Cavs and she roots for the Celtics, who the Cavs just beat in back-to-back Eastern Conference finals. Feel free to publish that.)

Ella I told him I’m a Boston sports fan and he joked that this won’t work out then. I think he is jealous that we win so much and his Ohio teams, besides the Cavaliers winning in 2016, suck.

Jesse I was impressed that she was apparently a guru when it came to filling out March Madness brackets and will try to pick her brain for this year’s tourney.

Ella We talked about if the Cavaliers will get the first lottery pick this year, which was nice because I love talking about basketball.

Jesse We discussed what we did for a living, how she was applying to occupational therapy schools, and some traveling we’ve done.

Ella I thought it was cool that he is a food scientist. We talked about music and movies and shared a lot of common interests. When he mentioned that he loved Janelle Monáe and SZA, I was like yes. He tries to watch all the Oscar-nominated movies, which I do every year. We had a lot to talk about.

Jesse Conversation was fairly effortless. It was pretty incredible how much we had in common.


Ella To be honest I’m not a huge tapas fan — like, what am I, a bird? I’d like a full meal. We got tuna rolls, hummus, Thai noodles, and a half-dozen oysters.

Jesse Oysters was a fantastic idea. Apparently I like oysters, I never knew that.

Ella He was using a fork, I just slurped them down, no shame.


Jesse When I found out she still lived at home, I knew this would probably not work out. It’s hard to see myself dating a recent graduate because we’re at different points in our lives. It totally makes sense to save money, but I’m looking for someone more independent.

Ella I did feel like he thought I was not ready for something serious. Which is understandable.

Jesse I knew I wasn’t going to pursue her romantically, even if I had enjoyed our conversation. She walked me to the T and I waited for her Uber to take her home.

Ella We exchanged numbers and went our separate ways.


Jesse I think we’ll stay in touch and maybe watch basketball together.

Ella I’d be down to hang out again as a friend to talk sports with.


Jesse / B+

Ella / A-

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