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Date Lab
She Thought They Clicked, But Is He Interested, Or Just Playing Along?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

7:30 P.M., TIMPANO ITALIAN CHOPHOUSE, ROCKVILLE

John: I arrived about 7:15, got the table, got a glass of pinot grigio. She came in and sat down. I would say [her appearance was] average. She looked nice; the hairdo could have been nicer. The lipstick was in place; jewelry was in place. Was I turned on physically? Probably not.

Susan: They showed me to the table. I thought to myself, Oh, he's cute. He's distinguished-looking, and I could see he's tall. He was dressed very nicely, and he has a nice physique.

John: The first thing she mentioned is that she doesn't like people who sport-fish. I said, "I do sport-fishing." I've been sport-fishing since I was a kid. The second thing she told me is that she doesn't like people who go hunting. I said, "Well, I've done that in the past."

Susan: I said it very gently. I told him I forgot to mention it [to Date Lab], and I said I don't like sport- fishing that much, either. He said he hasn't hunted since he was 16 years old. We didn't go any further on that topic. I had no idea that it was a hot ticket.

John: If I met her at a bar or medical meeting, I probably would have stopped talking at that stage, but, because it's The Washington Post, I just moved on to another subject.

Susan: We talked a bit about travel and what we like to do in our spare time. He has five daughters. I thought to myself, Wow, this is a man who must understand women. Shortly after I sat down, he told me he had a party to go to, so I thought: Ah, he's immediately saying, "I'm not interested in this one." But then he said, "Would you like to come with me?"

John: I mentioned it as, "We could go." I'm invited to a lot of parties. I was just trying to make polite conversation.

Susan: During dinner, [John] took out his iPhone. I'm a non-toy person, but I appreciate others' interest in [them]. He showed me pictures of his cars -- clearly, cars are his babies.

John: Then we got into her subject, which is she's into humane and ecological things. And she likes cats. I was friendly, but I was kind of reserved. I thought, We've got too many conflicts here.

Susan: The band started playing about the time we finished our entrees, and it was hard to hear, so I moved next to him. I got no feeling that I'm invading someone's space. I asked, "Do you like to dance?" He said, "Let's start with a slow one." So we [did]; then we danced a fast one.

John: She wanted to dance, and that's fine. Overall, I'm going to have a good time no matter how my other party feels.

Susan: We got people to take pictures of us on the dance floor. Then we went back to our table and talked. It was already 10:30. We completely missed the party. I stood up and said, "Whew, we'd better get going." We walked to the far lot so he could show me his car, and he drove me back to my car, which was parked smack dab in front of the restaurant. I thought, I think this is a good sign.

John: I mentioned to her that I was a company doctor [for Chevrolet] and I drove my Corvette here. I showed [a picture] to her and asked, "Have you seen one?" and she said no. I said, "I'll show you one."

Susan: Earlier in the date, he pulled out his business card, and toward the end, [I gave him mine]. We gave each other a little hug, and then we left.

John: Would I date her again? No. I was a gentleman, but I didn't find that the compatibility was even close. [I'd rate the date] probably a 2 or 3 [out of 5]. Compatibility was a 1 or 0.

Susan: He's a little hard to read, because he's so polished and smooth. [But] I liked his looks, his manners, his savoir-faire. I like him. I'd rate the date a 4.

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

UPDATE: Susan called John a few weeks after the date. He told her he was doing rounds at the hospital and would call back. He didn't. She says it was rude; he says he forgot to call, but anyway, "I feel we are not compatible."

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