7:30 P.M., IRON GATE RESTAURANT, DUPONT CIRCLE
Adam: About a month ago, I was putting some stuff on Craigslist one night and checking out the personals section. One [ad] caught my attention. It said she wanted to learn something about plants. I was like, That's my job; why not? [It wasn't a perfect match, but] I don't want to meet someone that likes 100 percent of the things I like. [When I found out it was Date Lab looking for a match for someone,] I thought, Sure, I'm up for it.
Patricia: I love reading [Date Lab], and I have a few friends who are really into it. We all applied. [I was hoping to meet] someone well-read, with similar interests, [who can have] an exchange that comes naturally.
Adam: I got there about 15 minutes early. They have an open-air area that has vines and lights overtop. The [maitre d'] took me to a table, and [Patricia] got there right at 7:30. She was tall, thin, long hair, flawless skin. I was like, Wow, she's beautiful.
Patricia: He had on khakis, a button-down shirt and really bright white running shoes -- like hospital-nurse-looking, size 12, blinding white shoes. I almost looked past him because I just wasn't expecting him [to look so] frat-boyish. I was like, Oh, my goodness.
Adam: We talked about our jobs and what we like to do in our spare time. She's big into writing and poetry and reading, and I was talking about whitewater rafting and sky diving.
Patricia: We had very different interests. I was surprised. He was talking so much that I asked, "Are you nervous?" And he was like, "No, I don't get nervous." So I took from that that he's always like that.
Adam: I'm an outgoing person. I probably initiated a bunch of different conversations to get things going. We found that we had a common link in liking wine, so we tried three different kinds. She ordered the grape leaves. I'd never had those before so I tried hers.
Patricia: He asked me if I'd asked to meet someone who knew about plants. I was like, That's so random. I remembered that [on my Date Lab application] I'd said I'd like it if [my date] could teach me something new, like botany. I had no idea that The Post would take it so literally. I didn't know that [a personal ad] was one way The Post looked for people. I got kind of weirded out at that point. I wouldn't want to date someone who looks at the personals.
Adam: She said she'd put [interest in plants] down just trying to find something new--it didn't have to be plants. I knew relatively early on, just instinctively, that there wasn't that "it" factor. We had dessert and left there at quarter to 10. For a romantic endeavor, I'd [give it] a 2.5 or 3 [out of 5]. She was very articulate and seemed very accomplished. I didn't feel any chemistry.
Patricia: I'll [give it a] 3. He was polite and really considerate, but I'm not attracted to him. I was really scared he was going to expect a kiss on the cheek or something. I just was not feeling that. But we had a hug. It was quick, not awkward. I thought he might offer to walk me to Farragut West Metro. It's in the opposite direction, and he had to fly out [the next morning,] but that [he didn't] was kind of weird to me. And he never once talked about plants. I was waiting to hear, What's on the trellis? What kind of ivy is that? But he never mentioned it.
Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades
UPDATE: Adam e-mailed Patricia, but they didn't talk again. "There was no real romantic chemistry. I think we both knew that," says Adam. Patricia says she was too busy to keep in touch but adds, "I hope he's doing well."
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