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Dinner with Cupid

Blind date: ‘I was happy he didn’t look ancient or unkempt!’

Will this avid sailor find a worthy first mate?

J.R. Hardenburgh and Joanne Phalon.
J.R. Hardenburgh and Joanne Phalon.

J.R. HARDENBURGH:64 / retired consultant

His perfect Saturday:Sailing around Boston Harbor’s outer islands

What makes him a catch: His upbeat, positive attitude

JOANNE PHALON: 64 / nurse

When she is happiest: Challenging herself to try something new

First thing people notice in her home: Fresh flowers and running shoes



J.R. Picked out what to wear, had to wear long pants for the first time this summer.

Joanne Only had time to do a quick change at work and navigate to the restaurant. I wasn’t late, thankfully.

J.R. Joanne was attractive, slender, athletic, and wearing a pretty dress. She had a good vibe about her.


Joanne J.R. had a welcoming smile and warm eyes. I was happy he didn’t look ancient or unkempt!


J.R. We spoke about our backgrounds, kids, jobs, the basics.

Joanne J.R. is well-traveled, an easy conversationalist, and has a positive attitude. He is an avid sailor and remains active despite some health challenges. He is proud of his family and is a good storyteller.

J.R. Joanne is in such good shape due to her being a former triathlete, endurance trail runner, and hiker. She is determined to summit all 4,000-foot peaks in the Northeast. Joanne’s sister has progressive MS, same as me. It was comforting to know that she understands the disease and challenges we face.

Joanne I felt comfortable almost immediately. J.R. is an animated talker and seemed genuinely interested in the conversation, which made him more attractive.

J.R. The conversation flowed nicely. When she told me her age, I was surprised because she looks a decade younger.

Joanne I ordered off the prix fixe menu at J.R.’s suggestion and enjoyed my meal. The prosciutto/mozzarella salad was just what I wanted; the pasta was tasty and the dessert was decadent.

J.R. The grilled salmon was delicious. The desserts were phenomenal; we wound up sharing.


Joanne [We share] an appreciation for the outdoors, optimism, similar value systems. I felt relaxed and thought, I like this person.

J.R. When Joanne described her athletic endeavors, I was inspired and thought I could spend time with her doing outdoor, adaptive activities and it would be very enjoyable.


Joanne I had a crazy busy week and an hour drive home and early morning. So when J.R. needed to catch his ride, the timing was right.

J.R. It was a pleasant two hours and time to leave. We discussed the potential for a future get-together. She seemed amenable.

Joanne Hugs and a wave outside — he got his ride, I walked back to the parking lot. It was a lovely balmy evening.

J.R. We exchanged two proper hugs, which were very pleasant. Romance was not the goal, we came as curious strangers and left as friends. Establishing a dialogue, identifying common ground, and enjoying each other’s company was the goal and it was accomplished.


Joanne We exchanged contact info and J.R. spoke about going sailing. Distance is a factor but I am open to getting together again.

J.R. I would enjoy seeing Joanne again in a less formal setting, potentially an informal dinner, movie, concert, or adaptive sailing trip.


Joanne / B+

J.R. / A-

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