Date Lab: When we get it wrong, can mom get it right?
By Amanda McGrath,
We first sent Jose out on Date Lab several weeks ago; though he and his date, Amanda, had fun dancing to “Gangnam Style,” it was mostly a spark-less mismatch. But the story caught the eye of Narcy, who e-mailed Date Lab with a much better match for Jose: her daughter, Meredith.
Meredith’s mom, via e-mail:I read your column each week and was struck by Jose. ... [My daughter] has all the qualities and shares the same interests he has. ... I told her I would contact Date Lab because I know she won’t. ... She and Jose may really hit it off.
Meredith: She had made a couple comments, just flip comments like, “Ohhh, he seems perfect for you.” I’m like, “Okay, Mom, sure, whatever.” I didn’t actually think she was going to do anything until I got an e-mail from [Date Lab]. I was like, “Oh, my God.”
Meredith was game, so we called up Jose to send him out for a second try.
About the daters ...
Happiest when ...
Jose: Out with my friends just enjoying the night.
Meredith: When I’m teaching my [students] through a fun activity and they understand what they are learning.
Brag a little ...
Jose: I have a positive look at life, love kids, and I do enjoy dancing salsa and merengue dancing.
Meredith: I’m fun to be with, and I’m not high-maintenance. While I love being romanced, I never demand or even ask for it. I like to spend time chilling at home with family or friends but enjoy going out with friends, especially when I’m in a dancing mood.
Interests to share ...
Jose: Likes to go out and see movies, she loves to dance and is willing to learn, enjoys being around kids, can be a kid at heart, likes sports and [is] close to her family.
Meredith: I love dancing, biking, going to the beach and traveling in general. I think we need to live every day like it is our last and believe anything is possible. I love Disney World and the magic it creates for children. There is nothing better to me than a happy child.
Your idea of funny ...
Jose: I find most Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler movies funny. Basically, non-sophisticated funny.
Meredith: I like someone who can make a joke but hate when it is at someone else’s expense. Laughing is such a relief. Sometimes you have to laugh at yourself, but having been teased when I was younger, there is a line.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., Lyon Hall, Clarendon
Jose: I came in maybe five minutes early. [Meredith] got there on time. The first thing I noticed when I saw her was she had a bright, pretty smile. That was a good indicator of how the night was gonna go.
Meredith: He’s cute. I had seen his picture in the paper, so it wasn’t a surprise. My dating type is typically skinny, pale, nerdy guys. But in physical interest, I’m all over the map. For me physical appearance isn’t a game maker or breaker.
Jose: I found out the story was her mom saw my article before and thought we’d be a good match. I laughed; I thought it was awesome. Her mom played matchmaker! I just couldn’t believe it.
Meredith: I told him that, and he laughed hysterically. I was like, “Yeah, it’s ridiculous; you can tell all your friends you got set up with a girl because her mother meddled.”
Jose: I was like, “Well, you must know all about me from the article.” She was like, “Well, I haven’t read the article.”
Meredith: My mom mentioned a few things about it, but I did not read it. By that time [when the date had been arranged], we had thrown [the magazine] away. And I didn’t really care enough to go online and find it.
Jose: We were so into the conversation that we kept telling the waiter, “Oh, we’re not ready yet, we’re not ready yet.” To the point where I started to feel kind of bad.
Meredith: We have an insane amount in common. I don’t think I was necessarily surprised, because I think that was pretty much my mom’s motivation for doing it. I think we spent almost an hour just talking about stuff. We finally ordered an appetizer and drinks. Then we just kept talking probably for another hour before we ordered our entrees. We talked about family, our friends, where he comes from, how we got into teaching. What we like — movies, books. We had a lot of really similar interests on those base-level things.
Jose: I found out she’s a teacher. I asked her to tell me a funny teaching story, and I told her one of mine. With certain types of jobs like teaching, it’s nice to have someone else who’s a teacher so they can relate.
Meredith: He was very easy to talk to, and we were never lost for something to talk about. I love all kinds of movies. Same thing with TV shows; we would talk about a couple of shows we both watch. That was just another thing we had in common. He did mention how that was probably one of the bigger breaks with the last date.
Jose: With [my last date], she had her own thing, and that’s great. But with Meredith, I could talk about stuff like “Jersey Shore.” And she could be like, “Yeah, I’m over the show now,” but at least she knew what I was talking about. She seemed to know what was going on. I can’t really say [if there was flirting]. I’m pretty bad at gauging that. I would say she was being attentive to what I was saying, and I was being attentive toward her. I was laughing a lot, and it seemed like she was laughing a lot.
Meredith: We chatted till, like, 11 o’clock. Then I was like, “Oh, I think I have to go; I have to teach in the morning.” He didn’t have school [the next day.]
Jose: I walked her to her car and exchanged numbers. And I said, “Hey, tell your mom I had a great time.”
Meredith: I didn’t feel, like, an instant spark. [But] I’m completely open to going out again. I’d say I see a really good friendship with possible growth for a relationship, but I’m not necessarily ready to jump into dating right away.
Jose: [The date] would be a strong 4 [out of 5]. I know when I left the date, I was in a really good mood. I’ll keep in contact with her. As of now, I can’t say there was a romantic connection. But she’s someone I’d like to get to know more in that way.
Meredith:It was wonderful and enjoyable, but I think since there wasn’t major romantic chemistry, I’d give it a 4, 4.5. I’m open to [getting together again], he has my number, he seems very interested in it, so I’m assuming he will [call]. I definitely have a busy schedule with school and events and stuff, but there’s always time to have dinner.
UPDATE: After the date, Jose and Meredith exchanged some texts. “This weekend we are planning to hang out in a fun, friendly manner with our friends,” he told us at press time.
Moms, help us out! We’ve had lots of eligible singles appear in these pages. Find a match for your offspring in our archives at washingtonpost.com/datelab. Then e-mail us at email@example.com, and we’ll fix them up!