Eric: I got ready for the date. I thought, This is going to be published, and if I wear something bad, people will leave mean comments. I ironed a dress shirt and wore white shorts.
Geoffrey:We were basically wearing the same shirt, so we have the same taste in clothing. We thought it was sort of funny that we both thought a purple gingham shirt was a good choice.
Eric: He did seem pretty young, that was sort of the first impression. It’s about a five-year age difference. Which, in your 20s, is actually a more significant age difference than what it seems.
Geoffrey: One of the first things I thought was, The Washington Post knows my type very well. It’s adorkable: cute but dorky at the same time.
Eric: I sort of have this ideological opposition to small plates and tapas, because it makes it so complicated to cobble together a meal. You have to choose what plates. Will it be enough? Can’t we just have a real meal? It was a little bit of an awkward time, because we were so focused on the menu we weren’t talking much.
Geoffrey: He does freelance cocktail reviews, so I let him be the one to order drinks. He’s a grad student, and he just switched jobs recently, so we talked about work. He’s definitely motivated, which is very appealing.
Eric: I think he’s very easy to get along with. He definitely seems approachable. He seemed a little bit — maybe not exactly shy, but a little bit more on the reserved side.
Geoffrey:He’s part of his civic association for his neighborhood, which was pretty cool. It was kind of a surprise to meet someone who actually cares about hyperlocal politics.
Eric: A lot of people who live here don’t really care about local politics. So that was a positive thing.
Geoffrey: I definitely thought that we were hitting it off.
Eric: I tried to be very friendly and open, and I could tell he was definitely charmed by me. Not that I want to toot my own horn here, but he was almost explicit, like, “I think Date Lab made a good match!” It was after a few drinks, so maybe he was letting down his guard.
Geoffrey: We left there — it must have been around 10?
Eric: We went to this bar called JR’s. Is it a good idea to go to a gay bar on a date? It’s almost like ... too many distractions.
Geoffrey: We were definitely physically closer at JR’s, which is a pretty packed bar, and no longer sitting across the table. There was less of the superficial “Oh, what do you do?” stuff, but actually getting to know him.
Eric: Then we went up the street to Dupont Italian Kitchen. We both like Manhattans, which was a nice coincidence. We were really talking more about our personal lives. I think that was the better part of the date.
Geoffrey: We got to national politics at that point. I usually try to avoid getting to that point, because as a gay Republican, it’s not always the “in” thing to say. But there was no issue on that at all. The way the date ended, we did have a goodnight kiss. That, to me, was a sign of some interest, at least.
Eric: I did give him my phone number, and he’s sent me a bunch of text messages. I’m willing to go on at least one more and then decide whether to make it into something else.
RATE THE DATE
Eric: Maybe a 3.5 [out of 5.] It was good, but it wasn’t, like, a really great date.
Geoffrey: I’d say 4 to 4.5 — there were some awkward pauses and things like that, but overall it was very good.
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