Date Lab: For an Italian, a first blind date in America


(Photograph courtesy daters)
November 27, 2013

Italian Fabio says he’s a “born romantic” who has “suffered a lot in love” and is looking to date a long-haired girl with a frank attitude. To welcome him to America, we sent him to Perry’s with spunky Sarah, who says she’s “considerate and fun,” always friendly, and wants a guy who’s smart, charming and kind.

Fabio: I’m Italian. I’m here because I’m looking for a job to move to the United States. I want to move to another place to discover new culture, new things, to be open-minded. I was in Georgetown, [and] there were a strange couple, an unusual couple because she was very beautiful, and he … uh, it was very odd. But when I spoke with my friends, [they said] maybe it’s a blind date. What is this blind date? Because in Italy, there isn’t. And then I found The Washington Post Date Lab and do the application.


(Photographs of, from top, Bryan Cranston by Frank Ockenfels/AMC; animals by bigstock; Johnny Depp by Matt Sayles/Associated Press; Amy Poehler by Katy Winn/Associated Press; Ethan Hawke of 1997’s “Gattaca” by Greg Henkenhaf/Toronto Sun; Kate Hudson of “Almost Famous” in 2001 by Michael Caulfield/Associated Press)

Sarah: I got there about five minutes late, and he was already at the bar. So I went up, and [the staff] introduced us. He was really cute. I liked his hair. He had a nice jacket on, sweater over his shoulders — I was into it.

Fabio: She was beautiful! She feels that I’m a liar to say this compliment for her. We started speaking about lives in general. It was very fine.

Sarah: He’s got a pretty thick accent but speaks really well. I took Italian in college, but I remember almost nothing. I think I can introduce myself, and I knew the word for “hair,” and that was about it. We had some fun — he’d say a word in Italian, and I’d repeat it back to him, and he would think that was hilarious because I have the worst accent in the world.

Fabio: It’s so funny for me, because I love how the Americans pronounce Italian words.

Sarah: He was goofy and told a lot of jokes. That made it kind of comfortable off the bat. I was nervous, but when I’m nervous I end up talking a lot, so there weren’t any awkward silences.

Fabio: We talk about our family, my life, her life, “Breaking Bad,” our jobs. We talk about also serious conversation, like politicians.

Sarah: He’s from Torino. Moving to the States, it was suggested to him, and he just bought a ticket that day. I’ve always wanted to have an adventure like that. That was probably my favorite thing — everybody talks about doing something like that, but he actually did, which is incredible.

Fabio: It’s not too romantic, but just the right dose of romance and the right dose of, I don’t know how to say it. … There is an equilibrium. I think the blind date is like an interview to find job. But this date was really, really, really fun for me.

Sarah: [It was] just a little flirtatious at times. We were at the restaurant awhile. The waitress came over and made sure that we met our quota of photos. She let us know we had some money [from Date Lab] left over if we wanted another round, and we thought, Why not? We kind of shut the place down. Then you’re already in Adams Morgan; you might as well go out.

Fabio: After, we go to Jack Rose on 18th Street. We took another two cocktails.

Sarah: There was a tipsy bar kiss. You can only drink so many whiskey and gingers before something’s going to happen.

Fabio: [We left] at 12:50, more or less. [We exchanged] phone numbers, Facebook. Maybe on the weekend we go to Halloween party or on the Sunday the match of soccer.

RATE THE DATE

Sarah: A 4 or 4.5. It was really fun. We had a good time. He is pleasant company.

Fabio: If a girl make me feel comfortable, for me it is 5. I wasn’t stressed; I wasn’t nervous. It was very fun, fun date.

APPLY FOR DATE LAB AND CHECK OUT THE ARCHIVE

UPDATE: Fabio played with Sarah’s soccer team that weekend and joined them for drinks afterward. She’s been out of town on the weekends since then, but Fabio’s still meeting up with her team on Sundays. “Everyone likes having him around,” Sarah says. “I don’t know if we’ll date, but I definitely love having him as a new friend!”

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