Date Lab

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Jennifer: I was already at the restaurant when Barry walked in. I realized that a male alone walking in at 7:30 is probably my date, so I introduced myself. He's nice-looking and very physically fit but also shorter than me. I usually like a little bit taller. But it's not like I was looking for an excuse to leave, like, "I have really bad diarrhea."

Barry: Probably my first thought was, "Wow, she's taller than me." But she had a great smile, she's pretty, and she carried herself with confidence. She looked active and healthy but not necessarily like she works out every day. I tend to be attracted to more of an athletic look, but I was definitely attracted. We sat down and started talking.

Jennifer: When I'm nervous, I have a tendency to make inappropriate jokes. People either find it really charming or unladylike and disturbing. I told him that right off the bat. He disclosed that he works with college students, so there's no such thing as an inappropriate joke. He's pretty laid-back and seemed to have a good sense of humor. He definitely had the nerd thing, not in looks but intellectually. He's well-read. And he had taken a class in microbiology, so he had an interest in medical things. But I like [men to be] a little academic. Someone who gets excited about finishing a crossword puzzle. So many people take nerdy as an insult, but I'm a nerd.

Barry: I was quite intrigued by Jennifer -- her intellect and how she's impassioned about what she does. She's very witty. We had a lot in common: I've had thoughts of going into nursing, and she's a doctor. And I'd thought that if I went into nursing I might fund it by [going into the military]. The only thing I found wrong with her is that she's a Yankees fan.

Jennifer: I got the sense that he fit my type a lot more than I fit his, at least on paper. He said his was something like a crunchy yoga instructor. I was like, "Oh, you got the Army doctor." But the more we talked about basic life philosophy, I think we realized that I'm probably closer than it looked like.

Barry: There was a connection in terms of her humanitarian interests, aligning with the interest I'd have in someone who gives their time. And I think she has a very good positive nature but with a lot of energy, which I think balances me pretty well. I'm extremely laid-back. I didn't sense chemistry, and there wasn't much flirting. The conversation stayed more on a friendly basis. But I wouldn't rule anything out.

Jennifer: Being nerdy yet crass, I often find a lot of humor in being a doctor. I told him that because I drink coffee really fast, I burp a lot. The medical word for burping is "eructation," so I told him that I say I have eructile dysfunction. He laughed at that.

Barry: The potty mouth did not bring her down. Combined with her intellect, it made her more entertaining. It was around 9:30, and I mentioned that I had a friend that worked [at a bar] up the street. We went with the intention to stay for one drink. But we kept talking until about 11:30, getting to know each other. I'd [rate the date] a 3.7 [out of 5]. I'm really attracted to her intellectually, and I thought we connected pretty well.

Jennifer: Afterwards, he flagged a cab for me. We just [had] a hug; there were no fluids exchanged. I'd [rate the date] a 4. I don't know if there would be a romantic future as opposed to somebody I could hang out with. [But] he made the first cut; it's not like he was kicked off the squad.

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

UPDATE: The two exchanged texts, and Barry invited her to an impromptu game night with friends. Says Jennifer: "I was already waiting in line to go into the Library of Congress -- my nerd adventure. So I couldn't make it." Both say they'll try again.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company