7:30 P.M., PIZZERIA PARADISO, DUPONT CIRCLE
David: There were a lot of things running through my mind as I was driving to the restaurant. But then I was like, This is going to be a great night. I got there a couple minutes before [7:30]. She got there right at 7:30.
Mariangela: There were a lot of younger men [there] who were sort of sloppily dressed. I was like, Please don't let one of them be him. I walked up to the hostess, and I told her I [was] there for Date Lab. She was like, "Oh, good. This is David." He was standing near the host stand. I was relieved. He was super cute.
David: Any nerves I had going into it were [suddenly] calm. She is very cute, very charismatic. We had some time to chat while they set up the table. Where are you from? What are you doing? All that stuff. We sat down, and she started off saying she was from New Jersey. I said I was from New Jersey. That just started a whole conversation.
Mariangela: We had tons to talk about. I'm Italian-Irish, and so is David. He's Catholic. I'm Catholic, too. He is from the town right next to mine. We talked about this movie theater [there]. He was like, "I love that Loews!" I'm like, "Are you kidding me? That place was my entire youth!"
David: We finally looked at what we were going to order. We ended up splitting two pizzas because we wanted to try different things. We talked about baseball. She's a Yankees fan, and I'm a Red Sox fan, so we have a bit of a rivalry there.
Mariangela: We started talking about politics, which we don't necessarily agree on. At all. He [was] like, "Who did you vote for? I was like, "Obama." He said he was a McCain guy.
David: I told her even though I didn't vote for [Obama] I still have a lot of respect [for him]. I would never not date someone because of their political differences.
Mariangela: It's definitely not a deal-breaker. As long as there is not a complete disconnect on fundamental values. I was thinking, He's such a wonderful guy. [But] I wasn't thinking, Oh, my gosh, now I am going to play footsy or bat my eyelashes at you.
David: There were lots of smiles and laughs. I was attracted to her bubbliness and confidence. We didn't have dessert. We had been there awhile -- it was 11. I was more than happy to drive her [home].
Mariangela: I was like, "You don't have to drive me home." And he was like, "Of course I will!" Sometimes I think chivalry is dead. It was not dead that night.
David: We chatted for a couple minutes in the car outside her apartment. I asked for her number and told her I would call [her].
Mariangela: He hugged me and waited in his car until I got in my apartment.
David: I give the date a 4.5 [out of 5]. It was probably one of the best dates I have been on.
Mariangela: I give it a 4.5. I really would love to go out with him again to get a better sense of where this could or couldn't go.
Interviews by Stephen Lowman
UPDATE: The two met again for drinks and had fun, but no sparks. "It had nothing to do with his politics," Mariangela assures us.
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