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Sunday, May 13, 2007

7:30 p.m., Nirvana, Downtown

Marc: From her name, I was expecting an Indian or Asian girl. It's pretty rare that I'm attracted to [them], but I wasn't totally ruling anyone out. I got to the restaurant, and she was at a table. She's tall and thin, with a runner's build. Even though I'm a runner myself, I'm not usually attracted to super-athletic women; I like women with curves. But she was cute, and she had these big, deep eyes, like those Puss in Boots eyes from "Shrek."

Hina: I thought, Oh, he's nice-looking. He's in good shape. That's my type. The first thing we talked about was why we had signed up for Date Lab. My reason probably freaked him out: I made a New Year's resolution that I was going to date this year. He was like, Oh, so it's been a while.

Marc: [Not dating in more than a year is] a red flag, but I'm not exactly a Cassanova myself, so I was willing to roll with it. We talked about running for about 20 minutes. Then I asked her about her job, and she went into a long explanation. I was nodding my head and thinking, Dude, I have no clue what you're talking about, but I'm glad you enjoy it.

Hina: He may have chuckled a little when I mentioned I'm a vegan. [He said when] he and his friends saw a profile on Match.com saying "vegan," they'd just cross it out. But I think it was all for fun. We were looking at the menus, and the waiter said, "We have a special meal for you," and grabbed them back. They brought out deep-fried stuff that I wouldn't normally eat. I was like, That's not cool.

Marc: In general, the conversation wasn't horrible, but it wasn't terribly exciting. She never asked me any questions about myself. And she didn't offer any insight into herself. We didn't get to the point where we were bantering or making a lot of jokes. But I definitely think she was interested in me, because when we started taking pictures, she was kind of touchy-feely.

Hina: I have a tendency to talk too much about myself. Still, it seemed like we were on the same wavelength. Then it couldn't have been 9 o'clock, and [the server] said, "The kitchen is closing." Marc said he was going out of town so we should just call it a night. I thought maybe I wasn't [his] type.

Marc: Truthfully, the conversation had stagnated. I walked her to the Metro, and the walk was kind of awkward.

Hina: He asked for my number. I told him it'd be cool to hang out; I'd make a vegan dinner. I'd rate the date a 4.5 out of 5. There was chemistry, but if we don't end up being romantic, I wouldn't mind just having a friend.

Marc: When she offered to cook, I definitely think it was as a romantic date. Before I agreed, I'd want to clear that up. She was very cute and fit and sweet and endearing. [But] I didn't feel anything. It would be friends getting together. I'd give it a 3.5.

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

UPDATE: Hina got a call, but not from Marc. "A friend of his drunk-dialed me," she says. "He said, 'Marc had a terrible time.' " Marc sheepishly confirms. "We got really intoxicated, and he got her number from my phone."

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