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Sunday, July 29, 2007

7:30 P.M., MENDOCINO GRILLE AND WINE BAR, GEORGETOWN

Kiki: I was excited. Online, the [restaurant's] menu sounded a little bit too froufrou, but I was trying to keep an open mind. It was a nice place, so I was like, I'll wear a cute new dress, and it'll be fun. I got there first.

Owen: I got there at 7:30, and the manager said, "Right this way." Definitely, my first impression of Kiki was good. She looked like a lot of girls I went to college with, blond surfer girls. She's attractive enough to be noticeable [at my college], which is saying something.

Kiki: Owen is very tall and slim, which is usually my type. But I like pretty guys. And he's not a style maven. He has a goatee, and he was wearing some bright silver glasses and a flannel shirt. I seriously considered getting up and leaving. I don't need a new friend.

Owen: When I asked her where she was from, and she said she was a local, that made me a little uneasy. I'm really new here. I'm certainly not an East Coast person in the way I dress. In Alaska, jeans are almost semiformal. But it turned out that we're both professional trainers.

Kiki: I don't know that I wanted to talk about training. I'd have liked more variety. And we were both a little put off by the menu. There wasn't anything normal. They brought us some weird soup in a vase, and we didn't know whether we should drink it or use a fork or what.

Owen: I'm fairly laid-back and mellow, especially at first. She's a really upbeat, bubbly person, a good counter to me. And she's kind of a jock, which is cool. For entrees, nothing jumped out at us. I went with wild boar, and she ended up with lamb.

Kiki: Owen is very, very nice. He didn't have anything bad to say about anyone or anything. It almost seems like he's too open-minded for this city, too naive. I'm kind of a brat. I almost felt like: I don't deserve to be hanging out with you. You should go find some nice people. Then the manager is from Alaska, too, so he came over, and he and Owen were talking. I was sitting there like, This is not interesting.

Owen: I think there was some [chemistry]. Nothing that was said specifically, but we had a surprising amount in common.

Kiki: We did talk a lot about sports. It was, like, 9:30 p.m., and I was getting a little antsy, a little bored. I think Owen wanted to get another drink, but I was like, I'll just cut this off. I'm not really good about saying no, so [when he asked] I gave him my number. He called me right away, while I was standing there. I was like: Hey, my phone's ringing! Oh, it's you. In terms of chemistry, [I'd rate the date] a 1, but in terms of a good time, it was probably a 4. So average those out at, like, 2.5.

Owen: I could have kept on talking if she'd had the time. She was a lot of fun. I'd [rate the date] a 4 out of 5. I'd definitely call her.

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

UPDATE: Owen called Kiki a week later to wish her luck on an upcoming marathon. She didn't call back. "I felt bad but, whatever," she says. Sometime after, though, she e-mailed him a job lead.

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