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Sunday, February 8, 2009

7:30 P.M., TEN PENH, PENN QUARTER

Efrain: I've never been on a blind date before, ever. So I didn't know what to expect. [When we first got to the restaurant,] we were standing right there by each other and didn't know who was who yet. But I thought she was very cute right away. I was like, All right; score. Very attractive.

Marcella: He's definitely a good-looking kid. But he wasn't someone that I would look across the room and be like, I need to go talk to that guy. He's very approachable, very friendly and stuff, [though]. Feeling that right away helped me to relax and be like, Okay, this is going to be a good time. You know, no matter what the outcome.

Efrain: We were taken to a table and ordered drinks. I'm mostly a straight-up beer guy, but I thought, I'm on a blind date for the first time. Let me experiment. I kept trying different cocktails. I ordered a "Michelle Obama." I don't know what was in it; it was good, though. Marcella was very easy to talk to. I told her, "You know, I'm a little bit of a dork at times. I love video games. That's my main interest."

Marcella: I was like, That's your hobby, playing video games? Just because it's something that I'm not into at all, it was really awkward. I said, "My family used to have an original Nintendo." But that was about [all] I could contribute to that conversation.

Efrain: She tried to find that common ground. I recognized that. Then she was talking about all these different places she's been: Australia, New Zealand. That was very intimidating. Not for any lack of wanting, but I've never traveled, really. I'm from Puerto Rico. That's the furthest I've been, which is technically a part of the United States. I randomly asked her, "What are two places you'd like to visit that you haven't?" And she was like, "Iceland and Japan." And that's exactly my two. I thought that was really cool. I mean, obviously, that's something major we have in common.

Marcella: I hadn't been out of the country until a few years ago, so I wasn't like, Oh, my God, you're not world traveled. It didn't take me as aback as the video gaming conversation did. I do have a more fun job than he has. He does something with advertising and sits at a computer researching all day. It sounds like he works to work, where I want it to be fun.

Efrain: Waiting for dessert to come, I noticed she was getting very glassy-eyed and sleepy. I said, "I hope it's not just me." But she'd gotten back from Europe not even 24 hours before the date and had to be up very early again the next day. [On the way out,] I asked her, "Do you mind waiting for my car at the valet? I need someone to protect me." It's hard being a man in the city, you know?

Marcella: His kind of funny wasn't my kind of funny, but I just laughed it off. Maybe he was reaching for a joke there because it might have gotten awkward. Then he said, "So, do you want my number?" I said, "Actually, why don't I give you [mine]?" I wouldn't want it to be ending on a bad note if I never called him. Just at that point, the car came around. We hugged good night. I'd probably rate the date a 4 [out of 5]. There wasn't that initial attraction or the desire to go out on another date.

Efrain: I had a great time, so I'd give it at least a 4.

Interviews by Leigh Lambert

Update: Efrain text messaged Marcella the next day and told her to feel free to get in touch. She replied, she says, but in a "very generic" way.

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