7:30 P.M., MAI THAI, DUPONT CIRCLE
Anu: I took the Metro in. As I got to the restaurant, I saw another person coming from the other direction. He held the door. I was like, Maybe this is my date.
Clay: My immediate thought was, She's gorgeous. We went to the front desk, and I said [to the host], "I'm here for The Washington Post." And Anu said, "So am I."
Anu: Appearance has never been a concern for me when I date people. But at first glance, I thought, He's not really my type. He didn't look fit.
Clay: We walked to the table and got the [Date Lab] package, [with] the long list of instructions [for taking pictures]. She was really concerned with following the directions. It was funny. Then I was going to order a bottle of wine, and she's like, "Eh, no." That was a question mark, like, No free wine? But I have friends who don't drink, so it's not a big deal.
Anu: I asked him if he'd ever eaten there, and he said, "I've only had Thai food three times in my life." I like somebody who is well-traveled and has tried a lot of things. During dinner, I also brought up basketball several times. I'm a big fan, but it turns out he's not. And my family is very close-knit. He was like, "Yeah, I'm not really that much in touch with my brother."
Clay: We seemed to have pretty common tastes in music and movies. But she's more reserved than I am, kind of a good-girl type. It's not a bad thing. But it didn't seem like there was chemistry.
Anu: We were talking about [past Date Labs], and he was like, "Don't worry, I won't say anything negative." I said: "You can be honest, and I'll be honest. We're both adults." After we ate, we asked the waiter to take our picture, and Clay put his arm around my shoulders. I kind of felt uncomfortable. I'm not touchy-feely.
Clay: I put my arm up on the seat behind her, but I noticed [her discomfort], so I just put my arm down. I think she leaned away, too. At that point, I was like, Okay, she's not into it. We had dessert.
Anu: It was about 10. I had to use the restroom, and when I came back, he'd asked for the check. He said: "Maybe we could do this again. Let's exchange [contact information]." I didn't want to not be nice -- he seemed liked a good person -- but the whole point of this date is that at the end you don't have an obligation. So I said, "You know, I really don't want to."
Clay: I asked just out of politeness, [so] that was kind of blunt. But then, you know, you might as well be totally straight about it. So it's cool. She looks amazing, but we don't jibe at all together. That would make the date a 3 [out of 5].
Anu: We walked out, and I shook his hand and said, "It was a nice dinner, thanks." And he said, "Okay, goodnight," and left. I wouldn't consider it a romantic date. I'd rate it 1.9.
Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades
UPDATE: No contact. Even a peek on Facebook "never occurred to me," says Clay.
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