Date Lab

Sunday, March 1, 2009

7 p.m., Mio, Downtown

Matt: The entire day of my date, I was just trying not to think about it. I didn't know what I had gotten myself into. My head was going in the worst directions. I showed up a little early, and the restaurant was empty. I chatted with the waitress and was taken to a seat in the back.

Morgan: That day, I was a nervous wreck. I knew that I wouldn't be able to go home before the date, so I had one of the girls in my office help me pick from clothing I'd brought to work. I arrived at the restaurant a little after 7, and Matt was sitting there. He has a great smile and curly hair, which I love. And he had this cocktail that couldn't look any girlier. It had a pink tint and foam across the top. It even had little hearts poured into it. I started laughing. He was, like, "I know!"

Matt: I'd asked for a drink recommendation and must not have heard the waiter correctly. I thought, You've got to be kidding me. But it turned out to be a conversation icebreaker. I was very struck by Morgan. She's beautiful. She has a great smile and very pretty eyes. We had a really great rapport from the start. We pieced together that she was good friends with this guy who used to live in my apartment. I actually live in the same room. It was a bizarre coincidence.

Morgan: We were talking about books when I said that I couldn't get through [Elizabeth Wurtzel's] "Bitch"; she gets so focused on these tiny points. He mentioned how Camus questioned whether suicide could be a good option. It wasn't the cheeriest conversation. But it was in-depth and interesting. I'd had these dreams of having to sit through an agonizing dinner with someone I didn't get along with. But I instantly felt comfortable. I tend to be shy, [so] I can't even explain why. There was just this openness.

Matt: She got something that looked like oatmeal with a lobster on it, and I had the lamb. I could tell the waitresses were amused by our encounter. I couldn't exactly hear what they were saying, just whisper, whisper, whisper, Washington Post. We definitely felt like fish in a tank.

Morgan: I knew what I wanted for dessert: chocolate pudding. Matt dove right in, too. One of the waitresses was trying to get us to go to Lima's for ladies' night. Matt and I decided to grab a drink in Dupont instead.

Matt: As we were crossing the street, I saw what looked to be [a seagull] above. Then the closer it got, I saw how big it was. When it landed on the roof nearby, you could see its flat face.

Morgan: I don't think I've ever seen an owl in the city. It was such a cool little moment. There must be some sort of symbolism there. We ended up going to Circa, which was great. I got a pomegranate martini, and he got a beer.

Matt: After, I walked her to the Metro. We exchanged phone numbers, and I gave her a hug. I told her we should do this again sometime, only under less stressful circumstances. I give the date a 5 [out of 5]. We got along really well, I think, because she is so down-to-earth.

Morgan: Later I texted him that I'd made the last train, so he'd definitely earn a high ranking from me. I have to give the date a 5. It lived up to every expectation I could have had and went over them. I had the best time.

By Stephen Lowman

UPDATE: The two met up a few more times, but then "things just kind of fizzled," says Morgan.

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