Date Lab: They're In The 'Zone,' But Is It The Right One?
7:30 P.M., Ella's Wood Fired Pizza, Penn Quarter
Dianna: I showed up a little early, and they immediately sat me in the booth. When [Eric] came in, the hostess brought him over. He did have very all-American looks. [But] he is a little younger than the type of person I'm used to dating.
Eric: I thought, Cute girl. She's blond, and I usually end up dating brunettes, but I'm not going to judge based on that. I wanted to get to know her. She works for a [nonprofit organization] that does analysis of media outlets. They're progressive and basically watch things like Fox News and see what [Sean] Hannity is saying that is dumb. I love [political coverage], so I was interested. And she acted interested in my job, which was nice of her, because my job is quite boring. I look at patent applications, so really no one except the attorneys who call me really cares about my job.
Dianna: He was talking about how many people submit the same ideas. One woman had submitted an idea for a pacifier holder. He had to spend the entire day researching it, and somebody had already [patented one]. I have a lot of politics-oriented friends, so it was nice to hear about something different. We shared an appetizer [and] both got [individual margherita pizzas], but [Eric] added anchovies. I tried one for the first time, and it's my last anchovy.
Eric: [Before the date, a friend had said,] "You can't order anchovies." But I figured I had to give it a shot. I wish I'd had the camera ready, because [Dianna's] face was amazing. We talked about sports. I told her I'm a Royals fan, and she gave me, like, a knowing smile that said, Aw, I'm sorry, which I liked, because it meant she knew the Royals were terrible.
Dianna: We both got comfortable fast, and I think it had a lot to do with losing butterflies. There wasn't a physical attraction. [His age] had a lot to do with it. Eric is in his first job out of college and in a new area, and also he was considering going back to school. I go for people a little older, early 30s. They're a little more settled, more sure of themselves. I'm the kind of person that believes that the attraction has to be instant. I think he [also felt the friend vibe].
Eric: I don't really understand people who talk about a "friend zone." I usually end up dating close friends.
Dianna: We stuck around for dessert and an after-dinner port. [Then] we walked to the Metro together, and my train came pretty quickly. He said we should hang out, and I gave him my number and a hug and hopped on the train. I'd give [the date] a 4 out of a 5. I don't think [we'll see each other again]. The maybe-we-should-do-this-again didn't seem too genuinely sincere -- on both of our parts.
Eric: I did send her a text message: Thanks for a great time, hopefully I'll see you around. And she responded that she'd definitely be up for hanging out again. [I'd give the date a] 4. It was a good time. I'll probably see her.
Interviews by Elizabeth Chang
UPDATE: If they "see each other around," it won't be on purpose. Eric picked up on Dianna's lack of interest and decided not to get in touch.
Special Announcement: Do you find mental gymnastics a little bit sexy? Adventure irresistible? Regular dates a drag? If so, we'll try to match you with a like-minded, puzzle-loving love interest to tackle The Washington Post Hunt on May 17.