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Date Lab: Will his off-beat sense of humor keep them in sync?

By Amanda Long,

About the daters ...

Your idea of funny ...

Joshua: My sense of humor is somewhat dry and sarcastic, but I can also be very silly. I love a guy who can be silly and sexy at the same time.

James: Someone without a filter.

Last book read ...

Joshua: The Angel’s Game,” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Interesting Gothic novel, though apparently the author has never met an adjective he didn’t like.

James: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami [and] “Wolf Among Wolves,” by Hans Fallada.

Your type ...

Joshua: Open-minded, kind, compassionate, likes smiling, playful, engaged, non-critical, easygoing. White or Latino (I always feel a need to apologize about that one). Nice head of hair or at least not bald. Relatively fit.

James: Someone above 5-6, lean to muscular build, race is not important, with a good personality. I don’t care about job or education as long as they are fun to be around and they read.

Interests to share ...

Joshua: A love for the beach. Interest in movies, theater, opera, dance, music, quality television. Don’t need to love yoga but would be nice if they tried it. Most important, a positive outlook. Despite my neuroses and sarcasm, I believe the universe is a beautiful place.

James: I really enjoy the museums, [so] to find someone with that same passion would be great, but at the same time someone who can wander around aimlessly for a couple of hours and not be bored is a key thing.

Worst date ever ...

James: This guy told me to meet up at some restaurant. I get there, and it was a swing dance thing. I was so uninterested that I just left.

Joshua: An Internet date who looked me up and down, licked his lips, and told me he “liked the goods.” The goods excused themselves quickly thereafter.

About the date ...

7:30 p.m., The Heights,
Columbia Heights

James: I never get nervous meeting people. I’m someone who loves meeting people. I got there early. I was sitting in a booth. I ordered something, a martini; I took a few sips but was waiting for him to arrive.

Joshua: I was definitely nervous. I have a habit of being late, so I made sure I was on time. He was already there. He had a huge smile on his face, very warm, very sweet. He’s very social. That smile and his warmth just made everything much easier.

James: I thought he was cute and young-looking. He looked as if he had rushed to get there. He was sweating, so I immediately poured him a glass of ice water. He apologized, but I told him not to worry about it. Although he looked young, when we started talking, he said he’d been a lawyer and now he’s a yoga instructor, so I figured he couldn’t be that young to have accomplished all that.

Joshua: He asked a lot of questions. That’s a good thing. One of my pet peeves is when someone just talks only about himself, has no interest in the other person. He seemed genuinely interested. We both really love Alfred Hitchcock. I think we both said “North by Northwest” is our favorite film. We both love trains. He told me about a cross-country train trip he had taken. We definitely had similar senses of humor.

James: Neither of us could remember what we’d put on the questionnaire. He said that he thought he’d put some really sarcastic things. I said, “Oh, that’s why.” I am very sarcastic. We have similar senses of humor. Although I can be a bit random — I tend to go off on tangents. My mind can wander. Before he got there, while I waiting, I just had this thought: “Whatever happened to Ziggy?” You know the cartoon character, Ziggy? That’s the first thing I actually said to him, “Whatever happened to Ziggy?”

Joshua: I had no idea what he was talking about. But that’s okay; I like eccentricity, people who are little different.

James: I ordered the Southern fried chicken; it was okay. It certainly wasn’t Popeyes — and by that I mean Popeyes is better. I think I said something to that effect, and Joshua said, “We could go — there’s a Popeyes [nearby].” That was sweet of him, but it wasn’t that bad. He had the fish and chips.

Joshua: I tried not to have that internal monologue about going out again [or] whether I liked him or not. I really do try to be present in the moment. The older I get, the more I try not to overanalyze. That just gets you trapped in your head. I just tried to enjoy it and be there with him.

James: I wasn’t overly flirtatious. I reeled it back, because I usually can be very flirty, but I was trying to really get to know him. I did ask, “Do you kiss on the first date?” He said no. I said, jokingly, “Even after a few drinks?”
He said no. But it wasn’t a bad thing; we were just having fun.

Joshua: I wouldn’t say it was flirtatious. It was definitely on the friendly side. That wasn’t a disappointment. I didn’t have any expectations going into this. My only hope was to have someone to talk to and have a good conversation, and it fulfilled that from the moment I sat down.

James: I was saying how I wish we had a restaurant downtown, because we could do all sorts of fun things downtown, even on a Monday. He suggested going to Vida, the gym with a rooftop pool and a bar! A gym with a bar? Okay, that’s little weird — not that I’m knocking it. It’s such a great space up there. We had a drink; it was very cool.

Joshua: We talked about going to museums; both of us enjoy that. We have plans for [later in the week].

James: We’re going to the National Portrait Gallery. We have shared interest in museums, and he’s very creative. I like that.

Joshua: We exchanged numbers and hugged. I’d give it a 3.5 [out of 5], which is very good. I’m not an easy judge. I don’t think I wouldn’t give myself a 3.5 if I went out with me! It was fun.

James: I’d give it a solid 4. Honestly,
I got more of a friend vibe than anything, so I am glad we are going out again to get to know one another better.

UPDATE: Their museum plans were put on hold when Joshua found himself tied up with tasks before a planned vacation. All is not lost: “I’m still interested. ... I thought him to be very interesting, so fingers crossed,” James says.

Nominate a friend for Date Lab! Reach us at datelab@washpost.com or on Twitter @datelab or Facebook and tell us why he or she is a great catch.

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