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Hey guys, working at a strip club may complicate your dating life

Sunday, May 3, 2009

7:30 P.M., CAFE ASIA, DOWNTOWN

A.J.: I was the first one to get [to the restaurant] and sat at the bar. Jennifer arrived shortly after. She's very attractive.

Jennifer: He's shorter than me in heels. And he's a little lighter-skinned and lighter-haired than I usually go for. So I wouldn't say there was an immediate attraction. He had a hat on. He did ask me if I minded, [but] I didn't want to make it awkward so I decided not to tell him that it bothered me. We got a drink, appetizers, a bottle of wine and then some more food. We talked about our jobs. He said he was a chef. I worked in the restaurant industry for about 10 years, waitressing, and it's just a different culture from my corporate job now. But I'm really into food. So I was like, "I'll go with this." [Then] he mentioned [that] he works at a gentleman's bar.

A.J.: I've only worked there a few weeks. I'm in the kitchen three floors above the dancers, so my contact is minimal. [But] I could tell she was kind of taken aback. For a moment I was like, "Oops, shouldn't have said anything," but I didn't want to be dishonest.

Jennifer: I was a little turned off. I couldn't imagine taking him to my parents and saying, "This is my boyfriend, and he's a chef at a gentleman's club."

A.J.: We talked through the entire dinner. Her demeanor -- the way she held herself, the way she talked, the direct eye contact -- intrigued me. [And] we had enough in common. She's a foodie, [but] she doesn't like cooking. That's [good]. That makes [what] I do more magical.

Jennifer: The conversation was very fluid [but] pretty superficial. I wasn't talking about things that are near and dear to my heart, like traveling. [Then at one point,] he started talking about his ex-fiancee. He said he was over it, but even if he was, it's kind of a big no-no.

A.J.: She asked a question basically about relationships and how long since I'd been in one. There was no way for me to avoid mentioning it. [And] someone who was dating me would have to know sooner or later that I was recently engaged.

Jennifer: He was very complimentary, saying I have nice eyes and I'm gorgeous. I was having a good time, [but] I wasn't flirting back. I wasn't feeling the chemistry.

A.J.: I was definitely flirting. She was flirtatious at times, and she was reserved at times. [During] the pictures, she didn't seem to mind if I touched her leg or arm and she was very smiley. But she definitely wasn't openly hitting on me.

Jennifer: He asked if we could see each other again, and I kind of played it off. I said, "I don't make decisions when I'm drinking." So he gave me his e-mail and left it in my hands. [Then] he helped me with my jacket and walked me to the Metro, which was very nice. He was a gentleman the whole night.

A.J.: It was about 11 o'clock. We hugged goodbye. I'd [give the date] a 4 [out of 5]. I'd definitely go out with her again.

Jennifer: I'd [rate the date] a 2.5. He's very, very nice. He's just not my type.

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

UPDATE: Jennifer had no plans to contact A.J.

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