7:30 p.m., Persimmon, Bethesda
Brandon: On a date, the first impression sets the tone. So I prep a little bit. Before meeting Angela, I went home, took a shower, got dressed. I got the car washed. I made sure I had some gum -- gotta be sure about the breath.
Angela: I came straight from work; I'd just primped my hair. I was the first one at the restaurant. The hostess seated me and brought Brandon over when he got there a little later. I'd been expecting the worst, but he was nice-looking. Nice height, nice shape. Muscular.
Brandon: She's a little more athletic-looking than my type, and not as tall. She looked good, but I wasn't attracted to her.
Angela: We chit-chatted about getting over the jitters and talked about the food. I told him I was thinking about trying the calamari, and he was like, "Eww, no." I could tell he was a T.G.I. Friday's or Outback [Steakhouse] kind of guy, the type of person who's like, "I've never had that, and I'm never going to try it." That was disappointing. I'm into food; if I prepare something, I want someone to be willing to try it. I told him to get something basic and suggested the chicken.
Brandon: I eat a lot of salads and almost any kind of sandwich. If it's between bread, I'm good with it. But I haven't eaten seafood too much. So I took my cues from her. I tried to stay safe but not too safe.
Angela: I went to Frostburg State University, so we were joking about the snow and how cold it is out there. He went to University of Maryland at College Park, so we joked about how big his school is. We talked about music: He pretty much likes everything that comes on the radio; I'm more of an old-school R&B fan. It wasn't real deep conversation.
Brandon: For the most part, I was the instigator [in the conversation] -- and it should be this way. The guy should ask the girl out, the guy should go talk to the girl, the guy should ask the girl to dance. I didn't ask her out, but in my mind it's still the guy's job to keep it up and not let it be boring.
Angela: We were the last ones to leave the restaurant, at about 10:30. He walked me to my car and said, "I'll see you in the paper." Later, I told my friends that if he'd liked me, he would've asked for my number. It's not like I went home and bawled. But I was wondering what he'd thought of the date. Since I don't know him, I didn't know how to gauge that.
Brandon: I didn't want to lead her on. It was exciting -- a new restaurant, new food, new person. She was a good person. She just wasn't for me. I'd give the date a 3 out of 5.
Angela: I thought it was pretty good; nothing awkward about it. He was a gentleman. I'd give the date a 4.
Interviews by Kelly DiNardo
UPDATE: They'll see each other in Date Lab -- and nowhere else.
DATE LAB IS LOOKING FOR ADVENTURE TRAVELERS -- and other singles willing to get set up. Go to washingtonpost.com/datelab for details.