7:30 p.m., Marvin, U Street corridor
Eric: I took the bus and got there a little early. Christina wasn't there yet, so I sat reading the menu and trying not to look awkward. For some reason, I thought the waitress was Christina, so I got up to introduce myself. That was a little embarrassing.
Christina: I arrived at about 7:35 and saw Eric sitting there. He's really cute; he looks like the kind of guy that you could imagine being in a TV ad, a quarterback in a family football game. Then he stood up, and his head kept getting higher and higher, and, I said: This guy is huge. That's awesome.
Eric: I remember thinking, Wow, she's tall. Height is a big thing for me because I'm 6-5 1/2. So that was exciting. And I was amazed that a 6-foot-tall woman would wear three-inch heels on a blind date. Her courage impressed me.
Christina: [The shoes were] sort of a risk. But I figured, go hard or go home.
Eric: The conversation got off to a good start. I asked her what she did, and she said, "I work as a lawyer." She doesn't define her whole life in terms of being a lawyer. That was super cool.
Christina: He told me how he had done some AmeriCorps stuff, [which] I also did. And [we both] did volunteer work with refugees. I told him I played piano and cello growing up. He said he's composing something on the cello. I've met guys who talk about things in a very egotistical way. But everything he was telling me was with a sense of matter-of-factness and humility, which I found very appealing. I said, "I think we should just cancel this date because we have too much in common."
Eric: We had a great conversation with a lot of laughter. I could ask her, "Is it weird [ordering] ribs on a first date?" We could joke about things like that. I told her about how, in high school, I went through a phase where I was writing silly adolescent poetry. She recited a haiku she wrote about Thanksgiving. I told her that was the best haiku I'd heard all week.
Christina: I'm really not good at judging [chemistry]. But I was attracted; he's cute. And he just seems like a total sweetheart.
Eric: We were talking so much that we kind of forgot to eat. That hasn't happened to me very often. There wasn't the edginess -- a sort of mystery or tension -- that I usually look for in someone I date. It seemed more of a positive, fun conversation. I've been on some dates where all of a sudden you're talking about things that you wouldn't talk with just anyone about. So I was looking for that.
Christina: After dinner, we walked two blocks to the bus stop. It was close to 11. I'd already decided that I wasn't going to ask for nor volunteer contact information. He said something like, "I should get either your phone number or e-mail address." I was really excited.
Eric: The bus was coming, so it was a very quick farewell. We didn't necessarily light a spark, [but] it was a great time, and I think there was chemistry. I'm going to rate the date a 4 [out of 5].
Christina: I'd rate the date a 1. Just kidding. I would have to give it a 5. Even if I never talk to him again, it sort of renewed my hope in general that there are really solid guys out there.
Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades
UPDATE: Eric and Christina made plans to meet for lunch. "Should be a good chance to talk some more," says Eric.
WANT DATE LAB TO SET YOU UP? Go to washingtonpost.com/datelab for details.