Date Lab

Sunday, May 6, 2007

7:30 p.m. | Tandoori Nights | Arlington

Rachel: I was the first one there -- and the bartender came over and started hitting on me. That was unexpected, but I found it really flattering. I asked, "You know why I'm here, right?" but he didn't care. I must've been looking good!

Richard: I'd gone for a 20-mile bike ride after work to take advantage of the beautiful weather. I got [to the restaurant] about five minutes late, and the hostess introduced me to Rachel. When she stood up, it was like: She's tall! This isn't going to work.

Rachel: Richard was good-looking, but I was wearing boots with a four-inch heel, so I was towering over him like an Amazon. Both our faces had the same expression, like, "Whoa." We sat down in a booth right by the bathroom, which turned out to be good since we'd be drinking a lot of water -- and wine.

Richard: We talked about the usual stuff and hit it off right away. We both have a lot of geeky tendencies. She's all excited about the new "Transformers" movie, which was pretty cool. Then we ordered some white wine that had a screw-off top, and she asked if I'd ever done a bag stand -- you know, when you take the wine bag out of the box, hook up a hose and pour it in your mouth? I was like: That's crazy. Maybe she's more on the wild side than I am.

Rachel: I had a chicken dish, and he had lamb. I could feel my lips turning red. We both like really spicy food; we agreed that it's not good unless you're sweating.

Richard: As dinner went on, I started liking her more, just finding out how much we had in common. Like how we both go to Costco to buy a 10-pound box of oatmeal, and how we like to exercise a lot.

Rachel: I typically haven't dated or flirted with Asian people, 'cause I sort of feel like I'm flirting with a family member [Her mother is of Chinese descent]. But I could tell things were going really well. We just clicked, and he totally got my sense of humor.

Richard: Rachel was very playful. She likes to be goofy and make faces, which was awesome. Toward the end, when we were trying to take pictures, I saw a guy standing on the stove cleaning the exhaust vent -- you could totally see his plumber's crack. Rachel's not a girlie-girl; I could show it to her without her getting offended.

Rachel: After dinner, he walked me to my car in the garage. I offered to drive him to his, and we sat in my car listening to some T.I. for a minute.

Richard: When we got to my car, I asked her for her number, and I put it in my phone. She told me that her friend was having a party in Adams Morgan in a couple of days and was like, "So you have no excuse to not call!" I'd give the date a 5 out of 5. It was the best first date ever. There were definitely sparks.

Rachel: I was going to give it a 4.83, but it was really a 5. For a blind date, it was amazing! I'm looking forward to going out again.

Interviews by Jill Hudson Neal

UPDATE: Richard and Rachel met up again two days later -- but she brought a friend along. Alas, the evening was a bust. At the bar, he "just sat there," she reports. Richard says he felt like their "wingman."

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