Date Lab: Two fun people have a fun time talking about how they have fun
7:30 p.m., Matchbox, Penn Quarter
Alison: I wasn't really sure what to expect [from dinner]. I had read Date Labs, and a lot of them were big disasters. When I got to the restaurant, Jonathan was waiting behind the hostess stand. I was pleased he wasn't awful-looking. My expectations were pretty bad, so he exceeded what I was expecting.
Jonathan: She was very pretty. I really liked her hair, and she had great eyes. She looked like she'd be a fun person.
Alison: [The hostess] was trying to find a, quote, romantic spot for us to sit. I was like, It can be any table. I don't care. But she went the extra mile. I'm kind of a picky wine person, so Jonathan let me pick a bottle I liked.
Jonathan: We were talking a little bit about where we grew up. She was an Army brat, so she traveled around a lot, and I'm from D.C. She's really into sports, as am I. We were talking about the Redskins and the fact that I work in sports.
Alison: I was really interested in what he did. He used to work with a hotel chain, and I'm an events planner, so I work a lot with hotels. So we had that in common. Then we started talking about what we do when we go out. It's funny, we happen to go to a lot of the same places.
Jonathan: We've probably run into each other a million times before but didn't realize it.
Alison: It was nice to meet somebody who is the guy version of me. We both seriously just like to go out and have a good time regardless of who we're with or what we're doing. His stories were really funny. He told me about going to Vegas and how he got on this VIP list, and he had no idea who it was or anything, but he just went and had a good time. We just laughed about how that happens in Vegas.
Jonathan: We got through dinner and realized we hadn't taken many photos. So we ordered another drink and just sat there talking and taking some fun pictures. We were probably at Matchbox 21/2 hours.
Alison: He seemed really nice, and he was a gentleman, too. He overtipped the waiter with his personal money. We had talked that we like to go to Rocket Bar, so we went there for probably about 30 minutes. He bought [the] drinks, and we played shuffleboard. Then I started to get really tired. I had just flown in from Phoenix at 1 o'clock that morning. So he walked me to my car and said, "I had a good time; can I call you sometime?" We put each other's numbers in our cellphones.
Jonathan: I'd say [on a scale of 1 to 5, the date was] a 4. We had a great time. There's definitely a possibility [of romance]: our similar interests, being able to sit there and talk so long, she's very attractive, I'm assuming she thought I was somewhat attractive. But that was more like the undertone than the main tone.
Alison: I would say it was a 4. There was no romantic undercurrent for me, though I'm not really surprised [he felt one]. I get that a lot, initially. He's like a lot of guy friends I have. Then when they realize that I'm not feeling it the same, we become good friends. Most of my friends are guys.
Interviews by Elizabeth Chang
Update: The two were in touch, but no second date.