Date Lab

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Jay: I got to the restaurant about 30 seconds before [Mary] walked in. The waitresses were all into it. They were like, "He's here! He's here!"

Mary: [The hostess] introduced us. [Jay's] family is Indian so [he has] darker skin, dark hair. He's not a bad-looking person, [but] he's not someone I probably would have been drawn to. Usually [I like] more of the East Asian, Japanese or Korean kind of thing. Or Spanish. But it takes me a little while to know if I'm attracted or not.

Jay: She looked great, [but] I won't say I was immediately attracted. I'm really high-energy. Her vibe was really pleasant, [but] she wasn't as gregarious as girls I'm usually into. [And] the eye contact was off. I like to look into someone's eyes and make a connection. [We] didn't have that. [I felt like,] "There could be potential, but I don't feel it at the moment."

Mary: They sat us outside. From the beginning, we were both extremely comfortable. We ordered [an] appetizer. We talked about where we studied and what we're doing now and [how] we both grew up in this area. I talked about doing the whole backpack-through-Europe thing, and he talked about going to India and Sri Lanka.

Jay: We both like NPR -- you don't find many people our age that listen to NPR -- so we bonded over that. [And] we're both big movie buffs. I was recommending all these art movies and then she asked, "What's your favorite?" and I was like, "Terminator 2."

Mary: I thought that was cool, to be able to come out and say, "My favorite movie is 'Terminator 2.' " [Then] he said he'd seen this great movie, "Mongol," and I [had] really wanted to see that. I do a lot of things alone -- things I think none of my friends want to do with me. He seems like someone who would want to do some of those things.

Jay: Occasionally, I worried that I was cutting her off because I was excited that someone in my age group is interested in the same things. I was like, "That's awesome." The physical attraction may not have been there, but intellectually, there's definitely a basis for a good match. Time flew.

Mary: The people at the restaurant brought us all these extra-fancy cocktails. I don't drink much, [but] I was like, "Okay, I'll try these." It sounded like he was a lot more into the whole bar/party kind of scene [than I am]. I work on the weekends, [and] I [prefer] just going out to restaurants, seeing movies and doing cheap things with my friends.

Jay: When I went inside, the hostess was like, "We made a special setting for you [for pictures]." There was a table with rose petals on it. We took some photos, [and] toward the end, the waitress said something along the lines of, "For your one-year anniversary, we'll have the same setup." I don't think either of us was comfortable with that -- the idea that we were going to come back all lovey-dovey.

Mary: We were both like, "Uh, okay." What are you going to say? It wasn't like there was no chemistry, but there was no touching or flirty kinds of things. We were [at the restaurant] until like 11:15. He walked me to my car, gave me a hug and was like, "We should definitely go and see ['Mongol']." He said, "I'd see that again." [On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd rate the date] probably a 4. Compared to the usual people I end up going out with once, it was pretty good.

Jay: I'd [rate the date] a 4. I think we're going to end up hanging out as friends.

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

Update: Jay said he'd lost Mary's card (oops!), but when she shot him a note on Facebook, he invited her to a party. Mary was working but said, "If I'm done early I might drop by."

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