Date Lab

Sunday, August 12, 2007

7:30 p.m., Cafe du Parc, Downtown

Ammarens: Being Dutch, I [biked] to the restaurant. I saw this really cute guy sitting at the bar and thought, "That'll be nice if he's my date." Then the hostess introduced us. [Michael] was dressed very nicely: a pink shirt, black pants, nice shoes. I'd been afraid he'd be wearing flip-flops like some men in the U.S. do. He said hello and gave me a hug.

Michael: She looked a lot like Heather Graham -- very pretty. She was wearing an elegant black dress and said she'd come by bike, which I couldn't believe -- she didn't have a single bead of sweat on her! [At] our table, she immediately began speaking French to the maitre d'. I got a little nervous at that point, like, I'd better raise my game.

Ammarens: We started talking about how he'd visited the Netherlands and Germany last year for the World Cup. He asked about the meaning of the letters "KNVB" [an acronym for Royal Netherlands Football Association], which the national Dutch soccer team wears on their shirts. I was astonished that he knew of such a small detail; [something] that a true Dutch soccer fan would immediately recognize.

Michael: I guess I scored a few points on that. I told her I'd just gone tailgating with my friends at a D.C. United game. She'd never heard of tailgating, which was charming. I think I said, "I'll have to take you."

Ammarens: We ordered a bottle of riesling, and shared the asparagus and escargot as appetizers. There was no flirting, really, but there was definitely a connection. I was interested that he's a real Washingtonian. Working for the embassy, I don't get to meet many people who are from here.

Michael: She was willing to kid around, but she was kind of serious, especially about her career. She has ambitious plans for her future -- she told me how she'd been studying like crazy for a test to get a certificate to be a financial analyst.

Ammarens: He said he didn't really talk about politics, which was no problem -- we had enough to discuss. [But] I do like to discuss politics. It's sometimes a good way to know the culture and people's views. I thought it was great that only at the end of dinner did we mention what we did for a living.

Michael: She mentioned that she hoped to return to Europe after her work here. That made me a little sad -- it's not as long as I plan to stick around.

Ammarens: He asked if we should go to a bar around the corner.

Michael: At the Old Ebbitt Grill, we got a couple of white beers and struck up a conversation with a German couple next to us. Of course, she busted out a little German. I was like, Wow, she must know five languages. Around midnight, someone said, "Wanna call it a night?" It was late, and we both had an idea that we'd see each other again. I'd give the date a solid 4 [out of 5]. I wonder about aggressively pursuing someone who might not be sticking around too much longer, but she has so many great qualities that I'd like to see what happens.

Ammarens: I walked him to the Metro and gave a hug and kiss on the cheek. I didn't sense that he was my dream man. I really see myself with someone who has worked abroad or who'd be a bit more interested in international issues, politics and finance. But I'd like to go out again. It was a really good match and a nice date. I'd give it 4.5.

Interviews by Jill Hudson Neal

UPDATE: Ammarens and Michael met again for a round of drinks, but the spark died out during the three-week break between dates.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company