7:30 P.M., CAFE ATLANTICO, PENN QUARTER
Lia: Brian got to the restaurant first. The manager walked me upstairs to where he was sitting. His back was turned to me, so I had to walk around the table to see what he looked like. And he was actually attractive. He had beautiful dark skin; he seemed pretty fit. [But] I usually go for the model type, so to speak, drop-dead gorgeous, like any woman would. [And] I like a little something that says fashion; he was very conservatively dressed.
Brian: They'd already pulled a chair out, [and] she's about to sit before I realized, Oh, she's here. I was relieved: Okay, nothing glaring. She's not a troll, and, even better, she's really pretty. Her hair was well done; she was well put together. We spoke for maybe a good 10 to 15 minutes before we even got to the appetizer.
Lia: His teeth needed to be bleached; I did notice that. But that's obviously something you can fix.
Brian: We decided to split everything. For entrees, I ordered salmon and she ordered striped bass. Our food had this foam on it, like the suds you'd find in the sink after you finish washing the dishes. Apparently, that was this new way of adding flavor. It was like, Were you guys playing with soap?
Lia: I immediately scraped it off my fish. We talked about the economy, our jobs, family life. I was telling him some funny stories about past dates. He's definitely easy to talk to, so that was very nice. It wasn't hard to pull information out of him.
Brian: I thought that things were going well. We both have graduate degrees in business. We both have an interest in dating a person more than likely of African American descent. We're both Libras; we have the same taste in food. I try not to be overconfident about such things, but I think I had her attention. It was body language: Someone's facing you, they're looking at you, they're smiling.
Lia: We definitely did have a lot in common. But I don't think the chemistry was there. He doesn't have that magnetic personality; he's not going to be the life of the party. [After the entree,] I didn't order dessert. I had an engagement, a holiday party in Baltimore. I would have been fine with postponing if there were a lot of sparks, but since there wasn't, I didn't feel the need to sit in a restaurant for another hour or two and drag it out.
Brian: If someone's like, "I have plans" after a date, well, what does that mean? So I was thinking maybe the date hadn't gone that well. I walked her to her car; we exchanged phone numbers, and hopefully we'll be in touch. [On a scale of 1 to 5,] I'm going to give it a 4. I think that we had a good time and it deserves a little bit more conversation.
Lia: I'd rate the date a 4. Great date, just not the guy for me. [I'd see him again] as long as I could manage his expectations that we'd just be buddies. I would give him to a really good friend.
Interviews by Elizabeth Chang
UPDATE: Because Facebook is the new blowoff, these two have friended each other, but they haven't spoken again.
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