Date Lab: Is text messaging evil?
By Elizabeth Terry,
About the daters:
Desired superpower ...
Scott: The ability to wade through a bureaucracy. No, that’s beyond impossible. I’d go with something like the video game “The Sims,” where I could “click” on people in the real world and learn all about them.
Catherine: Teleportation. I’m impatient and have little tolerance for slow people, large crowds or traffic.
Dating life as a TV show ...
Scott: Every girl I dated wanted to settle down with me right away. This has been good for relationships, but bad for rebound periods and tough in D.C., where so many people would rather date their jobs. I think we’ll call our show ... “The Keeper.”
Catherine: Girl next door trades settling down for moving up the education ranks, but not without heartbreak and hilarity along the way.
Your type ...
Scott: I’m a sucker for the plain but extremely cute all-American girl, especially women with long, straight, blond hair. I play a lot of sports and tend to prefer athletic women, especially runners. My mom, grandmas and exes have all loved
to shop and I’ve gained an appreciation of fashion, so hopefully she’ll have a good sense of style. Height doesn’t matter much, but ideally my date should be comfortable to wear her favorite three- [to] four-inch heels with me, so it would be nice if she were three [to] four inches shorter than me (I’m 5-10).
Catherine: Taller than me, athletic build, easy on the eyes. Has wide-ranging knowledge and interests and likes to have intelligent conversations about life philosophies, science, art, music, anything. Kind, respectful, open-minded.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., Ristorante Tosca, downtown
Scott: I’ve been in a decent amount of relationships now. I can put the first date into perspective: Sometimes it goes great, and then life happens and something comes up, and the second date never happens; or it goes badly, and then you decide you’ll still try, and it works out great.
Catherine: I haven’t had any serious relationships in the two years that I’ve been in D.C. I’ve dated a fair amount; it’s all been online dating. I was the first one [there]. Because I was around the corner, I couldn’t see anyone coming toward me; all of a sudden, [Scott] appeared. I was pleasantly surprised. He is my type. I tend to go for darker guys, dark hair, dark eyes, darker complexion. He’s probably a couple inches taller than me. I’m 5-8; as long as he’s taller than me, that’s fine. I stood up to shake his hand, but he went in for a hug. I usually am not someone that hugs on a blind date. But it was fine, you know.
Scott: My family’s really welcoming. We immediately [treat people] like they’re part of the family, so I hugged her, and she kind of responded like, “Oh!” She had these pretty brown eyes and smile. I noticed she was wearing flats, which kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Then, it turned out she was pretty tall, so I guess that was probably why. But I thought she should have dressed better for the venue and the occasion.
Catherine: He [told me he] was from Michigan. ... I was like, “Oh, you’re from Ann Arbor! I went to grad school there.” That was definitely a cool connection. We talked about growing up, travel, movies. There’s a couple of [surprising] things [I learned about him], but they would be off the record. We actually came up with a code of prefacing a topic with, like, on the record, off the record.
Scott: I thought Cat was smart, interesting, maybe on the serious side, more than I would usually go for, but that’s okay. I think we pretty much hit on all the topics they say not to on first dates: Religion came up, politics; she shared a lot of personal things. She used the [term] “off the record” a few times. I can respect that, especially if you’re going to be open and honest. That was one of the things I really liked and made me enjoy talking with her. She was a very open, genuine person.
Catherine: I felt like he was maybe flirting more than I was. We were sitting across from each other, and we asked the waiter to take our picture, so [Scott] came over on my side and sat beside me for the picture. And then, after the waiter went away, he didn’t move; he just stayed there.
Scott: Now, what happened was, early on I asked the waiter to take candid shots of us while we were just talking and eating, and after dinner she asked the waiter to take a posed photo of us. So, what I think she was trying to do was get me to her side of the table. And then, um, I stayed on her side of the table, and we talked there for a while. And then I kissed her, so that definitely felt flirty. I’ve actually never kissed anybody whose phone number I didn’t already have.
Catherine: That was definitely a first. I was a little bit taken aback, but it didn’t really affect the rapport. It didn’t make things uncomfortable. It was about 10 when we finished, and he suggested going to Co Co. Sala to get more drinks, and I would have done it. But I had an early bus to catch [the next] morning, and I hadn’t packed or anything. So I said, “How about a rain check?” And then, kind of ironically, we walked to the front door and there was a downpour, sheets of rain. So, we went to the bar and waited it out.
Scott: To her credit, actually she threw her time concerns out the window and sat in the bar for a while. I drove her home, and we kissed some more outside her apartment, and then just said goodbye. I think it was pretty clear that we were going to [go out again].
Catherine: I would say I’d give [the date] a 4 [out of 5]. I think [romance is] possible, but I would like to get to know him better.
Scott:I was thinking probably a 3.867. Maybe even a 3.869. I’m not going to do the thing where people exchange a couple of text messages and then go back to their previous lives. Now that I’m 30, texting and tweeting and all that is evil. The plan is definitely to call, not text. Physically, I’m not sure. I really like her personality, thought there was a connection, [and] I would say personality and connection are probably what [matter] most, so I definitely want to go out with her again and see where it goes. But I actually would like to remind the most sweet, attractive lady readers that it was only one date, and things can go in a lot of different directions from here, so if they are interested, they shouldn’t hesitate to contact me.
UPDATE: They made plans for a second date, but Catherine canceled after falling ill; as of press time she hadn’t returned Scott’s call about rescheduling. “I’ve been really busy. At this point, enough time has gone by that [a second date] is looking less likely,” she says. Says Scott: “It only takes 15 seconds to send a text saying that you decided no. That approach shows a serious lack of class, in my opinion. Who knows, though?”