Date Lab: They share a sense of humor, but is that enough?


Cari Pittleman, 29, teacher, and Ben Timmins, 30, labor trade association lobbyist. (Photograph courtesy of daters)
March 27

Two people in search of quick-witted, laid-back types who are curious about the world? Perfect. We put them together at Woodward Tabledowntown to see if sparks would fly.

Ben: Usually I don’t get nervous on first dates, [but] I was a little nervous. This is the first blind date I’ve ever been on.

Cari:I thought he was a pretty attractive guy. It’s hard to say if I would have noticed him otherwise, but he’s a good-looking guy. He’s not very tall; I’m not very tall. Brown hair, well-dressed, and he looked really open and like a good guy.

Ben: Physically, she was great, very attractive. I think what I noticed first was that she had a really great smile. Also I really liked her hair.


(PHOTOGRAPHS OF EAGLE BY RICKY CARIOTI; HAWK BY BIGSTOCK; BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN IN 2009 BY MORRY GASH/ASSOCIATED PRESS; OPRAH WINFREY IN 2010 BY MARVIN JOSEPH; GEENA DAVIS OF “A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN” IN 1994 BY SAM MIRCOVICH/REUTERS; MATT DAMON OF “GOOD WILL HUNTING” IN 1997 BY GEORGE KRAYCHYK/REUTERS; MARK TWAIN, LEFT, BY THE MARK TWAIN HOUSE, HARTFORD, CONN.; 1805 PORTRAIT OF THOMAS JEFFERSON BY GILBERT STUART, COURTESY OF THE COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG FOUNDATION)

Cari: They walked us to our table. We sat down and started to chat about “Why are you doing Date Lab?” We gave each other a little bit of background.

Ben: We were looking at the menus, and we were both really excited about the $125 limit, so we decided to have fun. We kind of shared everything. We both live in the same neighborhood, so we talked about that, and then what we did before and after college. She was a really easy person to talk to. We both have the same dry, sarcastic type of humor, so about 10 minutes into it, once we noticed that about each other, we started being goofy about things.

Cari: I think that the situation unto itself is just inherently a little nerve-racking, not only meeting a new person, [but] being in a new experience, knowing there’s going to be some sort of record of what goes on. But, as far as Ben goes, he seemed very relaxed, easy to talk to, very quick to laugh. So pretty quickly I felt comfortable and in the moment with it.

Ben: I have a lot of family members who teach, so I was asking her about why she liked to teach, and she was telling me about her philosophies. I thought her answers were great, because they were very much about service and having an impact on someone’s life.

Cari: It definitely seemed like he was in it as far as trying to get to know me and trying to make the best of the experience. I just had a really positive feeling about him as a person.

Ben: I’m definitely attracted to her, and I definitely enjoyed the conversation. She’s very down-to-earth, very sarcastic, very self-confident. And she didn’t come off as somebody who cared a lot of what other people think of her — she just kind of marched to the beat of her own drum, which I find very attractive.

Cari:For me, it didn’t really jump off the page as far as being a romantic match. It’s not that I wasn’t at all attracted to him, [but] my type tends to be a little bit more rugged. He seemed more conventional than what I am normally into. I’m intrigued by guys who are a little more offbeat.

Ben: We had another round of drinks and desserts, so we stayed till about 10:15 or 10:30. Then we realized we had to take pictures, so we decided that we were going to go out on the street and get strangers to take pictures. Even though I hate those people who do the jumping-up-in-the-air picture, I was like, “We really need to do that.” Then we walked around a bit, but she’s a teacher and she has to get up early.

Cari: We pulled over a cab for me, and that’s when he asked for my number. We hugged, and that was it. He did check in with me to make sure I got home okay.

Ben: No concrete plans were made, [but] she didn’t give me a fake phone number, so that’s a good foundation to have.

RATE THE DATE

Ben: I would [rate the date] a solid 4. One thing I hate about dating in D.C. is everyone says they’re really busy. I secretly have this theory that nobody is that busy; it’s just an excuse. [But] she just seemed like the type of person who wouldn’t play that game. So hopefully when I reach out to her I won’t get [that].

Cari: I guess I would give it a 4. It doesn’t make it to 5, because it doesn’t have the romantic element. I would definitely see him as someone I’d love to spend time with and talk to.

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UPDATE: The two exchanged “a few conversational texts the following week,” says Cari, but didn’t make plans to get together again. “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be this time,” Ben says.

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