About the daters:
Last earworm …
Becky: “St. Apollonia” by Beirut. I’ve been trying to learn the song to play on my ukulele. (I am a huge classical-music buff, but those songs tend not to get stuck in your head quite as easily.)
Yuri: I like my music without lyrics. It’s what makes music, well, music. “This Love” (featuring Elizabeth Fraser from Cocteau Twins) is an amazing piece with vocals.
Desired superpower …
Becky: It’d be nice to have countries like Canada and Norway that have powerful (and legitimate) moral authority, but they have no actual power to implement their moral authority. Oy, I must be left with the U.S. then. It has the most moral authority out of all the superpowers (compared at least to China and Russia) and has the ability to make the world a better place.
Yuri: To heal people.
Happiest when …
Becky: I’m outside on a crisp fall day. Could be reading in a park or going for a run.
Yuri: Cycling the Swiss Alps and making that final mile.
Your type …
Becky: Quirky, outdoorsy, classical-music-listening, philosophy-reading men who make me laugh.
Yuri: Smile in the eyes is key! Trustworthy, open and wise. Smart and graceful. Adventurous.
7:30 p.m., Persimmon, Bethesda
Becky: I got to the restaurant at 7 and was at the table, reading.
Yuri: I got there maybe five minutes early. She was reading the Atlantic. I liked that. I had been reading The Post on the Metro but threw it away when I got off the train. I didn’t want to look nerdy reading the paper.
Becky: When he got to the table, we shook hands, and the staff immediately took pictures.
Yuri: I don’t have a normal type in terms of looks. I’ve dated an Asian girl, a black girl, a Serbian. Looks aren’t my priority. Becky was cute in her own way. She had a nice smile and cute eyes.
Becky: He’s my type. He has dirty-blond hair and blue eyes. He was tall and slender but athletic. He was well dressed but not overdone. I would have been weirded out if he had gelled up his hair and wore Armani. That’s not my type.
Yuri: We decided white wine would be a good start. We shared an appetizer and each got salads and an entree. She took a little bit of a lead in the beginning. She asked me about what I was doing in America.
Becky: He’s from Kiev. When he was 11, he met some Americans, and since then he’d dreamed about getting to America. He learned English really well. He got a scholarship [to school here this year]. He made it happen. My background is much more conventional. In the U.S., we have an idea, and we go do it; in Eastern Europe, it’s more fatalistic. He didn’t fit that mold. He’s a very smart guy.
Yuri: I was trying to steer the conversation to the [Date Lab] questionnaire. She’s been in the database for over two years, so she couldn’t really remember.
Becky: I applied for Date Lab over two years ago when I was living in D.C.; now, I’m in grad school in Boston. I was just here on break, but I’m coming back permanently this summer.
Yuri: We talked quite a bit about the Ukraine and the politics of both of our countries. We spent less time talking about ourselves and more time discussing the GDP and defense. She’s clearly smart and knowledgeable. In the areas where she wouldn’t know something, she didn’t just talk with nothing to back it up. She was a good listener.
Becky: I gave him some advice on where to go biking. I love to go sailing and kayaking on the Potomac. I was giving him some tips about where to go do those things.
Yuri: We ordered a couple of cocktails. We were still under the illusion that [the $125 from Date Lab] is a lot of money and hard to burn through.
Becky: We spent about three hours talking mostly about international politics and economic policy. We stayed until the restaurant staff was leaving.
Yuri: We went over the bill. I was going to get it. She said, “Let’s split it.” I was going to play macho man, but I felt so comfortable with her, I easily accepted that offer.
Becky: I always, always split checks on a date. I think it’s ridiculous to have the guy pay.
Yuri: I might have kept [the night] going, but I don’t know that part of D.C. And she was driving, so more drinks wouldn’t have been cool. I walked her to her car. While we were walking, she said we should get together this summer when she’s back. She gave me her e-mail and cellphone [number]. We hugged each other goodbye.
Becky: I really liked him a lot. I feel like there could be chemistry down the line if we are able to hang out in a more relaxed atmosphere. It was a pretty serious date.
Yuri: There wasn’t blunt flirting. We’re a little too pragmatic for that. I could tell she liked me, but I couldn’t tell how much. I liked her. She’s someone who I want to get to know better. She’s not the kind of girl you fall in love with; she’s someone you grow in love with. That’s better. I give the date a 5 [out of 5]. It was a great time.
Becky: I would give the date a 4. I think we have a good base from which to build some kind of a relationship.
Yuri: I summed it all up on my way home. I tweeted “Two brainiacs get together over dinner.”
UPDATE: The two traded e-mails after their date and agreed to meet up again the next time Becky is in Washington. Here’s hoping relocation leads to romance.