Betzelberger, still in girdle, high heels and fake eyelashes from an opera audition earlier that morning, spotted a man who fit the bill. “It wasn’t a creepy hug,” Betzelberger (BSM10, GBSM12), now an opera singer in Chicago, recalls.“It wasn’t one of those hugs where the guy grabs your lower back and pulls himself into you.And his hand is a little too low and he breathes into your face. It was like, ‘I am a normal person.’ ” Betzelberger and Ali hit it off immediately, and the date went so well that they decided to go for a walk after coffee.
They bumped into a friend of Ali’s who would later say that they looked so comfortable together that it seemed like they had been dating for six months or a year.Eight hours after they met at Intelligentsia, Ali walked Betzelberger back to her train.“Let me tell you,” Betzelberger says, “that’s a long time to stay in audition clothes.” Betzelberger, a recent graduate of Northwestern’s voice program (see “Now We’re Cooking,” Senior Watch, summer 2010), is just one of thousands of Wildcats looking online for Chewbacca or that special someone.In Evanston and beyond, online dating has revolutionized relationships, in some cases making the quest for courtship as simple as the swipe of a screen.It’s been nearly two decades since Gary Kremen bought the domain name and declared that his new online dating website would “bring more love to this planet than anything since Jesus Christ.” Looking back on that bold proclamation, Kremen (Mc C85) admits that maybe he shouldn’t have used a religious figure in his prediction.
But it’s hard to argue with Kremen’s underlying prophecy (see “The First Online Matchmaker”).
Today online dating is a multibillion-dollar industry.
Ever wonder about those strange designations we use throughout Northwestern to identify alumni of the various schools of the University? Kelsey Betzelberger was searching for Chewbacca, scanning Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood for a man with lots of hair.
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She was meeting a guy with whom she had connected on the online dating site Ok Cupid.
Her date had told her he looked like the furry character, and so she had her eyes peeled for hair — lots and lots of hair. She looked around the room again and spotted a man with even more hair. From the moment Betzelberger hugged Chewbacca, whose given name is Hassan Ali, she knew he was different.