Date Lab: With a side of ‘Gangnam Style’
By Amanda McGrath,
About the daters ...
Brag a little ...
Jose: I have a positive look at life, love kids, and I do enjoy dancing salsa and merengue dancing.
Amanda: Fun, not materialistic, very outgoing, interested in helping my partner have a good time and grow to be his best person. I am also good at balancing my life. So while I work full time and am in school part time, all of my friends say I do the most of any person they know: volunteer in my community, serve on student government and throw great barbecues.
Your type ...
Jose: Brunette or blonde small/petite girl who does not take life too seriously and has a great smile.
Amanda: Physically: Thinner to cut, but not huge. A little hipster, or trendy. Emotionally: Talk about feelings and aspirations. Goals: They should be somewhat altruistic or based on a sense of calling.
Your idea of funny ...
Jose: I find most Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler movies funny. Basically, non-sophisticated funny.
Amanda: Laugh at themselves. Do silly things in public, like play tag.
Interests to share ...
Jose: Likes to go out and see movies, loves to dance, enjoys being around kids, can be a kid at heart, likes sports and is close to her family.
Amanda: Biking, yoga, economic justice, optimism, travel to Latin America.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., Eventide, Clarendon
Amanda: I got the name of where we were eating, and I was like [unenthusiastically], “Oh, okay cool.” I’m not really a Clarendon person. I saw the guy’s name was Jose, and I was like, “Yeah, he’s Latino!” I like Spanish, and I like Latino culture a lot. I was biking up the street from where I work and got [to the restaurant] just two minutes late.
Jose:The hostess came over and told me Amanda was here. When we first met, she said, “Hola” in Spanish, and I said, “Hi, how are you?” I’ll admit, she wouldn’t be the girl who would catch my eye.
Amanda:He was, you know, well-dressed, but ... I was like, [lukewarm] Yeah, maybe. He’s not [physically my type], but it would have been surmountable if our personalities had got along.
Jose: I think I was caught off guard when she spoke to me in Spanish. She was like, “Oh, I just came back [from Central America], so I’m still stuck on speaking Spanish.” Throughout the night she’d speak Spanish here and there, and I’d answer back in Spanish, but I normally talk in English to my friends and everyone. Where I teach is actually a Spanish immersion school, so I told her a little bit about that. She actually taught some English when she was traveling.
Amanda:It’s awesome that [he’s] into teaching.He’s dedicated to it. I couldn’t handle it; it’s a very tough job.He seems to be really motivated by working with kids and having his kids at school be successful. His goals and stuff are pretty cool; [Date Lab] didn’t match me up with someone who’s all about money or power, so they did a good job with that.
Jose:She loves to travel, and I have been traveling recently. But when I heard about hers, I was like, Whoa, she’s been all over the place. When I travel, basically it’s major cities and stuff, but she definitely goes outside the grid and has a ton of stories to share about it.
Amanda: It turned out he did most of his traveling alone, which I thought was cool. If a person doesn’t like to travel, I’m probably not going to be interested in their lifestyle. We looked at the menus. I got some duck; he got some fish. We ended up sharing a little bit of our plates; that worked out pretty well. We had salads and dessert.
Jose: Getting to know her, personality-wise, she’s outside of my norm. Growing up with my siblings, our thing was always going to the movies or watching TV together. So sometimes my humor is related to TV or movie stuff. I asked her, “What movies have you watched?”
Amanda: I’m like, “Uhh, sometimes I watch movies on a plane?” I don’t really watch TV. If that’s something he likes to connect with people on, that’s a missed connection with me.
Jose:She was like, “I like to do active stuff and go hiking.” I’m not really an outdoorsy guy. [And] I’ve come to realize that my friends are all people who like to go out Saturday nights, clubs in Clarendon or Dupont. She does go dancing, but she doesn’t go out as much as I do.
Amanda: I guess [I don’t go out] as much as I used to. Maybe I’m tired or going out of town, or going to a house party instead. When I do go out, it’s more Adams Morgan or Dupont Circle. ... You’re not gonna catch me over the bridge [in Arlington] when I go out; no, I’m not interested.
Jose: I don’t know how this conversation came up, but we started talking about [the viral music video] “Gangnam Style” by Psy. I’ve only seen the video once, but apparently she’s seen it a bunch of times.
Amanda: I can’t even really remember what we talked about. It wasn’t very memorable for me. It didn’t strike a chord.We talked about, like, smartphones; it was so stupid — what I mean by that is that it’s the sort of conversation you have on a first date. I didn’t really want to flirt with him. I was more inclined to make jokes and just try and talk and hear some stories about him.
Jose: We left; it was 9:30-ish. I said, “Let’s go to Spider Kelly’s.” We played pool [and] skeeball. It felt more relaxed there. And then, coincidentally enough, the “Gangnam Style” song came on, so we started dancing to that.
Amanda: The song came on, and I was like, “We have to do it.” [We left] around 11. We got each other’s numbers, and he told me to text him when I got home. So that was nice. People always want you to text when you’re riding a bike ’cause they think you’re gonna die.
Jose:Before 12 o’clock, I hadn’t heard from her, so I texted. She texted me back immediately and said: “Oh, I’m so sorry, I forgot. I’m actually at the office finishing up some French homework.”
Amanda:I would give [the date] a 4 [out of 5.] Dating is for romantic purposes where you wanna spend a lot of time with somebody and see that person as opposed to other people in a romantic sort of way. So, no, I probably wouldn’t [go on a second date]. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun. He was a good date. There were awkward moments, but I wouldn’t say it was awkward overall.
Jose: The date itself I would rate as a 4. It was fun; I had a great time. Romantically, though, it was a 3. She was trying to be fun and have a good time. I just didn’t have attraction to her.
UPDATE: Any contact or plans since the date? “Nope and nope,” Amanda says. Adds Jose: “It was a fun date, but we did not have as many things in common [as] I wanted.”
From the Going Out Guide; The area’s most romantic places