Date Lab
They met their previous dates in bars. How will they do across the dinner table?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

7:30 P.M., Kanlaya Thai Cuisine, Downtown

Rebecca: [The day of the date], everybody started calling me and asking me if I was nervous. So, on the way, I was starting to get nervous, stomach a little bit in a knot.

Jim: I was nervous, definitely. I couldn't find a [parking] spot; I finally just paid one of those rip-off lots 20 bucks. So I got there a minute or two late.

Rebecca: He introduced himself. He had a very big smile; he was very friendly, good handshake -- but I wasn't overly attracted to him. I like taller guys. He's probably about 5-foot-8, heavyset, short hair, kind of a dark blond/light brown color.

Jim: First impression, she's definitely not my type. I like petite girls, which is kind of unfair because I'm a big guy. But that's just how I am; I'm not going to lie or deny it or anything. Me and her have about the same build. I can't see it being a physical thing at all. I was still kind of nervous. I don't know why. The first instinct is to grab the menu and start looking.

Rebecca: I had pad Thai. He got something that ended up being an appetizer; it was like five strips of beef. So he ordered cashew chicken in addition to it. We just kind of talked about what we did for a living, our families, football and sports, things like that.

Jim: There were some points where I felt I had to try to keep it going. But I'm always like that, anyway. She is really smart, very well-spoken, highly intelligent. There was one [awkward] point. We talked about the Sunday Source in The Post, and I read it a lot, and she mentioned that the place she worked for was in there in the last few weeks or so. And I must have missed it or something. I felt like a goof. That was the only moment that was a tiny bit awkward, and it wasn't really that awkward.

Rebecca: We [had] a couple of people we knew in common. He's a bartender. And a bar I used to frequent downtown ¿ he knows the bartenders. There weren't a lot of breaks in the conversation. He had very good conversation skills, which I assume people who sign up for this do.

Jim: [Around 9:30], the restaurant emptied out. The serving staff started looking around. I know that look. I won't say that we ran out of stuff to talk about, but we were kind of like, okay, it's long enough.

Rebecca: Jim walked me to my car. He asked me for my number and asked if I'd like to hang out sometime and come into his bar. I don't see that there's any sparks or anything like that. I'd be happy to hang out again and hook him up with one of my girlfriends. So, I gave him my number.

Jim: I don't do that, usually. If I go on a date and it doesn't work out, I usually never talk to them [again. But] she lives [nearby]; she has a bunch of friends. She sounds like she'd have a lot of fun at my bar.

Interviews by Elizabeth Chang

UPDATE: A week after their date, Jim had not called Rebecca. "I'm okay with it," she says. "We really didn't have any sparks." Jim says, "I've just been kind of busy, which is kind of making excuses. But I really do want to call her."

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