Date Lab: In which we shake things up a little ...
Editor’s note: Every happy couple knows the importance of keeping a relationship fresh. So we’re changing things up a little bit here in Date Lab. This week we introduce our shockingly accurate Date Predicto-meter. And keep an eye out for upcoming theme dates, unusual locations and celebrity matchmakers. Now, let’s see how things turn out for this lovely couple. ...
8 p.m., Graffiato, Chinatown
Gabrielle: When I first got the e-mail [from Date Lab editors], I didn’t know if I should do it. I told my friend, and we went out. She asked almost every single person we met that night if I should do it, and they all were so excited and said, “Oh, you have to.”
Fabio: I didn’t even know about [Date Lab] until three weeks ago. After I was called, I read some more of the Date Labs and discovered that many people wait very long. But the same time, I figured with a name like Fabio ... I was not surprised to be picked.
Gabrielle:I was talking [on the phone] to my sister as I walked over there, running through all the crazy possibilities of what could happen.
Fabio: When we met, she asked me if I was Italian, in Italian. That was impressive. She has a great accent; she speaks fluent Italian. With a name like Fabio, I could be from New Jersey or Italy, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear her speak Italian. At first I thought The Post had picked another Italian here in D.C. I asked her, and she said she’s from here.
Gabrielle: He just seemed and looked really nice, very well-dressed. Just a good-looking Italian guy. We did the traditional Italian hello, two kisses on the cheek. As soon as we started talking, I got a good sense about the date and him.
Fabio: She made a great first impression and confirmed it throughout the date. Gabrielle is very attractive. I also found out she is very funny; she had interesting things to say. We spent some time talking about Italy. She seemed to know about Italian food, traditions. I was shocked to hear she knew some Italian singers that I grew up listening to.
Gabrielle:I told him I was nervous about Date Labs, because I read so many of them but only remember the bad ones. We talked about the one where the woman left the guy in the middle of the date. So when he went to the bathroom, he said there was no window there, so that’s why he came back. It was funny.
Fabio: We had a very interesting conversation. I had completely forgotten that it was a Washington Post date. It just felt like she was someone I’d met, and here we were on a great date. It doesn’t make sense to be all worried about what the other would say in the paper.
Gabrielle: We ordered a lot of really good food. I even tried lardo, which is pure lard. It was delicious. I liked that he wanted me to try it, but didn’t force it on me. I felt bad because I realized we had to have gone over the $125 [Date Lab budget]. I just assumed we would split it. He insisted on paying it and left a big tip. He’s just such a nice guy.
Fabio: It’s always nice to go on a date with a woman who has a healthy appetite. We had a great bottle of wine. She very nicely offered to split [the check]. I refused to let her pay.
Gabrielle: We were both going to the Metro, so we walked there. He asked me for my number. He texted me later to say he was glad I didn’t split mid-date. I could definitely see us hanging out again, but as friends. I am not that person who needs an immediate spark. I like to get to know the person.
Fabio: There was definitely some kind of connection, I don’t know if you call it a spark. I would like to see how this will progress.
Rate the date
Gabrielle: Four out of 5. There’s much room for error in a blind date, but nothing bad happened.
Fabio: Food was delicious. Company was excellent. I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t give it a 5.
UPDATE: The two texted, but Gabrielle says “we’ve both been busy, so we haven’t met up since.” The Italian connection, however, is strong. Both are involved in the Italians in DC group, and, Fabio says, they “may meet up as friends at some future event.”
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