Date Lab

Sunday, November 11, 2007

7:30 p.m., Locanda, Capitol Hill

Alana: I'd spent the day baking bread at a friend's house, so I was pretty relaxed. I got to the restaurant early, and the hostess sat me at a small table. I was trying to make sense of the wine menu when Lauren came in.

Lauren: I was very nervous. I hadn't been on a date date in two years; it's hard to meet other women in D.C. Walking to the restaurant from the Metro, I saw a woman sitting by herself through the window. She was wearing a pitch-black dress and had these amazingly beautiful, intricate tattoos. I thought, Wow, that'd be really awesome if that was my date. I walked in, [and she was].

Alana: [Lauren's] really pretty and very feminine-looking, which I was happy about. I'm a girly-girl, and if I wanted to date someone masculine, I'd just date a guy.

Lauren: [Alana] immediately put me at ease. She had an adorable smile and pretty eyes. We ordered a sweet, crisp white wine and started blurting out all of this personal stuff. I tend to like people with darker personalities, and she has a dark sense of humor and a quirky outlook on life. And, ohmigod, the work that went into her body art! She'd obviously put a lot of thought into it.

Alana: Some people are put off by the way I look-- total strangers say really horrible, rude things to me about the tattoos all the time. So I'm sometimes a little self-conscious. But Lauren didn't seem bothered at all; she has a small, cute tattoo, too -- the symbol for "woman," on her arm.

Lauren: We bonded over being late bloomers -- neither of us dated much in high school -- and self-professed dorks. We read a lot of the same books and comics, like H.P. Lovecraft and Witchblade.

Alana: The fact that I'm bisexual came up, but I didn't feel a need to get way into it. We agreed that sexuality tends to be fluid.

Lauren: I know it's a problem for some lesbians [to date bisexual women], but [for me] it's a non-issue. I was bisexual in college. I've been able to eliminate one gender from the process, but I don't expect that it's like that for everyone.

Alana: I was a little reserved. I was definitely attracted to her, but I couldn't tell if she was attracted to me. I didn't want to come across too strong. Then, about midway through dinner, I noticed we seem to be at different points in our lives. I'm still in grad school. She's more settled and a bit older. I don't think I told her this, but I still live at home.

Lauren: It's too early to worry about [that now]. When we finished our coffee, I was surprised to see the wait staff waiting for us to leave. Three hours had gone by. I suggested that we walk to the Metro together.

Alana: I really didn't want to leave. If it'd been a weekend night or we were near a bar I knew, I might've suggested going somewhere else. We gave each other a hug and parted ways at the L'Enfant station. It was pretty close to a perfect date. I wish I'd been able to tell if she liked me, but I'd be open to seeing her again as a date or a friend.

Lauren: I don't know if we were flirty, but, yeah, she was hot! I'm definitely going to give her a call soon.

Interviews by Jill Hudson Neal

UPDATE: Lauren called Alana three days later, and they made plans to go out again.

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