Our daters placed high value on family, fitness and faith in their Date Lab applications. Would they look as good to each other in person as they did to us on paper? Mike arrived first at Cedar restaurant in Penn Quarter and watched two different women walk in by themselves soon after.
Interviews by Janet Burkitt
Mike: When [Emily] walked in, I was like, Okay, that is probably her. And when the second girl walked in, I was like, Oh, shoot, I HOPE it’s her. I hope it’s the first one. Not to be mean ... but I was like, Oh, she’s cute.
Emily: I was kind of flustered, because I had walked past [the restaurant] and it was so humid outside. I went straight to the restroom, but I had seen [Mike] standing at the hostess stand and was wondering if that was him. But when I went to the hostess stand and they took me to the table, it looked like I was the first one there. And then a couple of minutes later, they brought him over. I guess he was waiting for me. ... I thought he was very cute. I appreciated that he waited for me before sitting down. I thought that was very sweet.
Mike: I remember she asked if I was nervous, and I said no. I really wasn’t too bad.
Emily: And I said, “I am!” ... I’ve never been on a blind date before, so it was nerve-racking.
Mike: I thought when I signed up for Date Lab, it would be like, if I am third in line, then the third girl that signs up in line will be it. I didn’t know you guys would really analyze [the applicants]. I was more nervous about that. But I could kinda tell in the first couple of minutes that it was going to be really nice.
Emily: We had enough in common where early on, I thought we would probably get together again after this. ... I could definitely tell that he was really close with his family, and I can appreciate that. I’m very close with my family. And I could tell that he, like I do, lives a pretty active and healthy lifestyle, so we had that in common. He does CrossFit, and [his] being a firefighter, I think [fitness] is a very important aspect of his life.
Mike: Conversation was really easy with her. ... Towards the end of dinner, we were talking about places we had been to around the city. I had asked if she had been to Point of View [Bar and Roof Terrace at the W Hotel]. ... I had it already planned in my head, if it was going really well, that is where I wanted to offer to take her.
Emily: We walked there. I had never been there, and it was kind of on my list of places that I wanted to go.
Mike: I thought about holding her hand on the walk; I really did. Oh, man, I was debating in my head: Do I? Do I not? ... I don’t really have a good reason why I didn’t. ... In a way, you hold back a little bit when you think it’s gonna work out really well and you really like the person.
Emily: He opened all the doors. He paid for the difference what was over the budgeted dinner, and paid for my drink, so he was good at making me feel comfortable, and he was attentive.
Mike: I showed her around a little a bit [at P.O.V.]. We both got vodka and seltzer with lime, and then we got a few pictures there. That was actually where I got her number.
Emily: A few points throughout the night he said he was enjoying himself and talked about what we would do next time, so I got the vibe that he was interested or was at least enjoying himself. Not very often do guys give that validation during the date. You kind of leave the date wondering. ... At the end of the night we gave each other a hug good night. I was perfectly happy with that.
RATE THE DATE
Mike: I would give it a 5. It really was very good.
Emily: I would say a 4 and only because I had a migraine, so I wasn’t feeling 100 percent. But other than that, it was a great experience, and I think it was a great match.
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UPDATE: Two weeks later, our daters hadn’t been out. Mike said he canceled their plans for a second date because of a problem with the house he owns in Havre de Grace, Md. He tried to reschedule, but Emily says she was slammed at work. She’d still go out again, “but it’s just so busy for me right now,” she said. Mike, meanwhile, said he was “definitely” going to pursue it. Come on, you two.
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