The Rules of Engagement

Photos by Gabriella Lingenfelder

(Published in the June 2010 issue


In the October 2008 issue of PacificSD, Suzannah and Ty met on a blind date at The Shout House dueling piano bar in the Gaslamp. It was love at first sight-they got married 51 weeks later. (In case you had any money on it, they’re still married.) Hoping to duplicate that matrimonial result this evening, we once again begin a blind date at The Shout House.

Could tonight be the night Tiffany and Tom find true love? Signs point to yes. Summer romance season must be here by now, and even though it’s a blind date, the daters do have at least one thing in common: they both agreed to submit revealing photos of themselves for this Body Issue of PacificSD.

Let’s review the pre-date interviews. The couple will be here any minute.


Where are you from and where do you live now?

Tiffany : From Pensacola, Florida. I currently live in Clairemont.
Tom: Born and raised in S.D. Now I live in Bird Rock-love it! See ya’ at Beaumonts.

What do you do for a living?

Tiffany : I am an executive assistant/promo model/student.
Tom: I’m in real estate.

Why are you going on a blind date in a magazine?

Tiffany : Why not? I’ll try anything at least once or five times.
Tom: I recently stopped seeing someone, and it’s always my favorite part of the magazine. So, what the hell.

Describe yourself in seven words.

Tiffany : Outgoing, spontaneous, silly, loving, dorky, laidback, witty.
Tom: Intelligent, funny, sarcastic, caring, optimistic, sincere and goofy.

What’s one thing you’d like to change about yourself?

Tiffany : I wish I wasn’t such a procrastinator.
Tom: I’m a man. We don’t change.

What makes you a good catch?

Tiffany : You have to catch me first.
Tom: I’m down to earth. Southern California can make one think they’re a movie star.

Speaking of movie stars, which celebrity do people say you resemble?

Tiffany : Jaime Pressly and Amy Smart.
Tom: I get the same references all the time-Robin Thicke, Kurt Russell and Russell Crowe. My nickname in hoops is Maximus.

What do you hope your date will look like?

Tiffany : Gerard Butler . Just kidding. I just hope I am what he hopes I will look like.
Tom: Light eyes, pouty lips, huge breasts and no bangs.

What animal are you most like and how?

Tiffany : A dolphin. Have you seen my back flip? Well, never mind, what would be the porpoise of that?
Tom: I’m a dog person for sure. I’ve been known to get puppy eyes. However, if she has multiple cats, it’s already over.

Where are you most comfortable?

Tiffany : My bed.
Tom: I’m most comfortable with family. I have two brothers I hang with a lot.

Would you rather be the best looking or most intelligent person in the world?

Tiffany : Probably the most intelligent. That way, I will be rich from inventing, or from investing in something, then I could buy whatever I wanted to make me beautiful.
Tom: Most intelligent for sure. Then I would finally know what it’s like to not be an idiot.

Tom and Tiffany meet for the first time at The Shout House. The place is packed, and it seems like every face in the crowd is singing along with the piano players’ rendition of “Bennie and the Jets” as they take their seats. After talking for a few minutes and toasting sizable pink shots sent over by management, they order a round of Hurricanes, the venue’s signature 22-ounce cocktail.

Half an hour into the date, things seem to be going well. The daters are talking and laughing together and making a lot of eye contact. But just as they seem to be getting more comfortable, the music stops.

“We have some blind daters from Pacific San Diego Magazine in the house tonight,” one of the piano players says into his microphone. “Why don’t you two come up here?” He tells the story of Ty and Suzannah, the blind daters that got married, and the crowd roars.

The couple finish their mega-shots and approach center stage, where the piano player has Tom sit in a chair between the pianos. Then he announces that he’s going to help the daters break the ice by having Tiffany perform a lap dance for Tom.

As the piano players and seemingly every member of the audience serenade the couple with a raunchy rendition of Kenny Rogers’, “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille,” Tiffany begins to dance. Amid raucous cheers, she then ratchets up the performance, taking a veil from a bachelorette party in the front row and putting it on her head. (Wait, was that the sound of wedding bells or just the piano?)

The crowd goes wild. Cat calls, screams, clapping...and that’s just Tom. Just kidding. Tom remains composed-blushing but composed, even when Tiffany takes his chair and makes him dance for her.
Back at their table, the couple seems more relaxed. They sip their Hurricanes for a few more minutes, then head over to The Tipsy Crow (formerly Bitter End) on Fifth Avenue for a bite. When they arrive, they head upstairs, order drinks and are split for mid-date debriefings.

How’s it going so far?

Tiffany : It’s going well. He’s fun. I’m having a good time. He’s a really cool guy.
Tom: It’s going great. She’s beautiful, she’s smart, she’s really funny and it’s been really easy.

What was your first impression of your date?

Tiffany : When I first saw him walking up, I thought, “I don’t think he can quite keep up with me.” But he’s doing pretty good. He was right up to speed and he has a great sense of humor.
Tom: Beautiful.

Is this the type of guy/girl you’d normally date?

Tiffany : If I just picked him out of the street, probably not. But now that I’ve met him, I would say yeah.
Tom: She’s the type of girl that I’d hope to date. She isn’t the type of girl that I’d normally date-I don’t usually do that well.

How was The Shout House?

Tiffany : Fun, awesome. I love the Shout House and I had a good time. I knew what to expect, though. I would have danced more if I was dressed appropriately.
Tom: It was awesome. Between the rowdy crowd, dueling pianos and the anxiousness of a blind date, my head was spinning. Onstage was a heart-pounder. Tiffany’s lap dance had plenty to do with it, too. Amazing. I was not expecting her to turn the tables and have me dance.

Rate your date, physically, on a scale from one to 10.

Tiffany : I can’t see everything, but so far, an eight.
Tom: She’s a 10.

And for personality?

Tiffany : Nine.
Tom: Ten.

Is the vibe friendly or romantic at this point?

Tiffany : Friendly, very friendly. There’s no awkwardness, I totally feel comfortable.
Tom: So far it’s friendly, but there’s potential for more, I think.

What’s your favorite body part of your date?

Tiffany : I’ve only seen his face, but I kind of felt his back and I’d like to see what it looks like.
Tom: Her eyes.

What’s the best way the date could end?

Tiffany : Who says it has to end?
Tom: Goodnight kiss and her number.

What’s the worst way the date could end?

Tiffany : If I get totally sh!t-faced and have to take a cab home early.
Tom: Slap in the face and an about-face walk-away.

Does your date want to kiss youright now?

Tiffany : I don’t think so. I wouldn’t let him.
Tom: I think so.

Do you want to kiss your date?

Tiffany : No
Tom: Yes

After the mid-date interviews, the daters are finally left alone to enjoy the rest of their evening without a photographer and tipsy magazine crew following them. We call the next day to see what we missed.

Overall, how was the date?

Tiffany : It went very well. I had an awesome experience and lots of laughs.
Tom: The date was a blast. Tiffany was a ton of fun.

How was Tipsy Crow?

Tiffany : Let’s just say we were two tipsy crows ourselves. It was interesting.
Tom: Tipsy Crow was cool. We got a chance to chat and get to know each other a little better-then more shots. I have never been on a first date where I laughed more.

What did you drink? How was the food?

Tiffany : All together we had four random shots-and a cracker for dinner.
Tom: We didn’t eat much, not a great decision, but conversation just didn’t stop so it was tough to order. We were all over the drinking map. We each had a beer, a vodka and two shots. This chick can hang.

What was the best part of the date?

Tiffany : I enjoyed all of it, but I think the experience at Shout House when we were on-stage was a blast.
Tom: The best part was when we were on stage and they announced the last time PacificSD did a blind date at Shout House, the couple got married. There just so happened to be a bachelorette party in the front row-Tiffany grabs this girl’s veil and throws it on. The crowd went crazy, like a home run at Petco. Amazing.

What happened after the magazine crew left you two alone?

Tiffany : We proceeded to ante up our drinking skills at the Ivy [rooftop at Andaz San Diego].
Tom: We headed over to the Ivy, met up with some friends and kept it going. Did I mention, this girl can hang? Wow.

Describe any romantic connection between yourself and your date.
Tiffany : I don’t think it really got to that level.
Tom: There was a lot of strong eye contact. She is really outgoing and confident, which I like. I will say there was a connection.

Was there a kiss or romantic moment?

Tiffany : No.
Tom: There was a tiny kiss. I went in for the kill, but she kept it light and ladylike. Nice work, Tiff.

When and how did the date end?

Tiffany : It ended at the Ivy. Tom was the smart one by stepping out earlier than me.
Tom: The date ended at the Ivy. I got her number and she stayed with some friends. I paid Horton Plaza $48 dollars to park. Ripped me off!

Will there be a second date?

Tiffany : Could be.
Tom: There will be another date.

Aftermatch: They say you’re more likely to get struck by lightning than win the lottery. If last night taught us anything, it’s that the same odds may hold true for getting struck by love during a blind date at a piano bar. Sure, buying extra tickets (or in this case, shots) can improve your chances, but if serenading piano players, a lap dance and a wedding veil don’t do the trick, the honeymoon is already over, and the only vow you should be making is to get back in the game.

Celebrity Observations:

“Looks like those two got rocked like a hurricane.” -Scorpion

“Hey, that reminds me, is anyone gonna finish those drinks?” - Alec Baldwin

“Yeah, seriously.” - Lindsay Lohan

“Lindsay!” -Michael Lohan

“Michael, you gotta just let your kids do what they want. It works for me.” -Hulk Hogan

“I agree with the Hulkster. You should be able to do whatever you want with your kids.” -Woody Allen

“Amen, Woody. I don’t even pay attention to my kids-and I still lost 50 pounds. The nanny says my kids are so proud of me.” -Octomom

“You know, listening to you people, I’m actually considering never getting married again or having kids again. Just kidding.” -Larry King

The Shout House, 655 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.231.6700,
The Tipsy Crow, 770 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.338.9300,