Date Lab

Sunday, February 4, 2007

7:30 p.m. | Komi | Northwest D.C.

Nahila: Before the dinner, all I knew was that my date's first name was Ken. I assumed he'd be a country bumpkin -- people in Trinidad introduce themselves using their full name unless they're from the country.

Ken: I left my house early, because I wanted to get some Godiva chocolates for [my date], but traffic was horrible, so I didn't. She wasn't [at the restaurant] when I arrived. I went to the table and ordered a glass of wine.

Nahila: I don't have a car, so I asked my mother to drive me. I guess she got carried away making dinner and forgot about me.

Ken: She was 20 minutes late. I'm a punctual person, so that wasn't a good first impression. When she came to the table, we shook hands and she sat down. Right away, I noticed that she's not someone that I would normally date. I go for people who are trendy and confident. She seemed very conservative and a little plain, like she'd blend into a crowd rather than stand out.

Nahila: He's a nice-looking guy: brown-skinned, dark eyebrows, nice build. But he had a boxy, rectangular face, and I'm usually attracted to people who have a pear-shaped face, like Boris Kodjoe.

Ken: Neither of us recognized anything on the menu, so we just chose three courses to share. We [started talking, and we] had nothing in common, really. She doesn't watch much TV beyond "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy"; I watch sports and news-related programs. And I've never been out with anyone who wasn't in the corporate world. If I have a rough day at work, I'd like to be able to talk to someone who understands what that means.

Nahila: He mentioned that he liked to travel, but we hadn't really been to any of the same places. He didn't really ask me about Trinidad, though he said he liked visiting the Caribbean. There were a lot of awkward pauses; he just didn't seem like he was there. Sometimes, I'd look up to see where his eyes were, and he'd be looking beyond me out into the restaurant somewhere.

Ken: We [did] talk about running: I run about 20 miles a week, and she's training for a marathon. [Then] we were finishing our third course when she invited me to a happy hour with a couple of her friends. I think she meant it like, "Hey, let's see each other again." Obviously, I won't be going.

Nahila: I didn't invite him as my date date. I figured, "He's new to the area." We had dessert, and then he said he had to get his car out of the garage. We walked down to the corner, hugged and said goodnight. He didn't offer to walk or drive me to the train station, which I thought was very rude.

Ken: I didn't think she'd want to tell me where she lived. But we parted on a friendly note.

Nahila: I'd give the date a 2.5 [out of 5]. If he'd been more engaging or present, the night would have been better. I'd hoped that I'd be set up with someone I'd want to date, so I'm a little disappointed.

Ken: I'd give it a middle-of-the-road 3. The conversation was good, but it wasn't date-good.

Interviews by Jill Hudson Neal

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, the daters haven't spoken to each other again.

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