Interviews by Leah Binkovitz
He’s an ambitious do-gooder working at Georgetown University, and she’s a musician looking to get into school psychology. She drove from Annapolis to have dinner with him at Banana Leaves in Dupont Circle and discovered a striking number of similarities.
Justin: I hadn’t been on a date in quite some time, and my co-workers were chiding me about it. One of them reads the Date Lab column every week, presented it to me, and I said, “Yeah. Why not?” I had read some past articles, and people always talked about who got there first and I wanted to make sure that was me. I was only waiting for a few minutes, and then Kathleen showed up. She seemed instantly to have the same attitude that I had: that this was going to be fun no matter what.
Kathleen: My old roommates and I had a Sunday morning tradition of doing a dramatic reading of Date Lab, so Date Lab is always something that I thought was really fun. We said hello and hugged, and we both kind of acknowledged we were nervous. He was very friendly, very nice brown eyes. I wouldn’t say he was my usual type, but I thought he was very handsome.
Justin: She tried to reach out to shake my hand, and she extended her hand for a second and then goes, “Oh, what am I doing?” And then we had a hug instead of a handshake, and we laughed about it. We started talking and kind of forgot that we were at dinner. She’s a musician, and, while I’m musically not talented at all, I’ve always loved getting to know musicians and have always been intrigued by how they understand music.
Kathleen: We did talk a little about my music, not too much, which I was glad for. I don’t really like to talk about my music.
Justin: We enjoyed the same kind of TV shows, sitcoms. We talked about a little bit of everything. There just kept being similarity after similarity.
Kathleen: Interestingly, I stopped watching “The Office” when Michael left, and he started watching it when Michael left. So he caught me up on what had happened, and I told him a little bit about before Michael had left. It was amusing, really, because so many of our experiences were the same. We both don’t like coffee, so we both talked about how we liked getting tea and feeling like the snobby one in the room with a cup of tea.
Justin: We also both appreciate education quite a bit. She’s looking to get into school psychology; I’ve worked in higher ed for my entire short career.
Kathleen: After our meal we decided to walk around Dupont Circle, go get some ice cream and take some pictures.
Justin: It’s actually funny: I am not a picture person. I don’t like having my picture taken, I don’t like taking pictures, and I don’t know what it was, but taking pictures with her was fun. I sometimes am a little bit more serious of a person, but I certainly like having fun, so having someone around me who can help bring that out is something that I know that I need in somebody, and that’s something that she really started to provide from the first second that we met all the way up to dropping her off at her car.
Kathleen: I felt like I was able to be a little more silly, so we took some of those silly photos. He walked me to my car, we exchanged numbers and hugged and said, “We should do this again.” He suggested coming up to Annapolis, which I thought would be fun.
RATE THE DATE
Kathleen: I’ll say a 3.5, because I’m definitely interested to know more about Justin. I’m not sure there’s romantic interest, but I am open to ideas.
Justin: Definitely one of the best if not the best first-date experience I’ve had. I’d say somewhere between a 4 and a 4.5. I definitely need to get to know her more.
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UPDATE: Justin went to a cookout with Kathleen and felt right at home with her friends, but both agreed it felt more like a friendly hangout than a second date. “We got our first good chance to chat as the party was splitting its different ways, and we decided that it would be best to be friends,” Justin says. Kathleen agreed, and the two are now Facebook friends, exchanging the occasional “Like.”