Date Lab

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Greg: I probably got to the Melting Pot a half-hour early. I just kind of sat in my car waiting for time to pass, waiting for the anxiety to go away a little bit. I went in [to the restaurant] 10 minutes early and went to the bar.

Natalie: I got there about 7:35. The waitress got him from the bar. He had nice features and was clean-cut, which I like. If I saw him out somewhere I probably wouldn't approach him, though. I usually go for more pretty-looking guys. He had a dozen Gerber daisies for me. I thought that was really nice.

Greg: She was absolutely stunning. She had on jeans and a blouse, but I wasn't really paying too much attention to what she was wearing. She is just really beautiful, which probably made me more nervous.

Natalie: Our waiter sat us way in the back. We have similar backgrounds, so we had a lot to talk about. Both of our dads are retired military. And we both graduated from Virginia Tech.

Greg: I could tell she was very well-educated and has a job she's passionate about. I was attracted to and interested in what she had to say.

Natalie: We talked about high school; I was a cheerleader and he was in the marching band.

Greg: I played baritone, but there was a year I played the flute. She laughed at that.

Natalie: We got fondue with lobster and filet mignon. He didn't like [the dipping sauce] and told the waiter. The sauce wasn't my favorite, but even if I hated it, I probably wouldn't say anything to [Greg], and I definitely would not say anything to the waiter.

Greg: Aren't you supposed to say something as a customer? People tell me I come off as a mean person sometimes. Maybe I don't smile or laugh enough.

Natalie: I am much more positive and cheerful. It might just be the field I am in. He didn't seem that interested in me. I like dorks. I was also in the chess club in high school! But some of his interests were definitely not similar to mine. I think he is also more reserved than I am. I felt like I was asking more questions [than he was].

Greg: She asked me if I wanted kids, and I told her I wanted five. She was like, I don't want any!

Natalie: I was very straightforward: "Are you planning on staying in the area? Do you want a huge family?" These are important things. After he said he wanted five kids, I thought, That is the end of that!

Greg: It was already way past [closing time], and there was no one else in the restaurant. We kind of hurried up with dessert.

Natalie: He walked [me to my] car, and I [offered] him my e-mail address, because during dinner we made plans to send each other our Date Lab questionnaires. But he didn't offer [me his]. He just said that he had fun and that it wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to be. I wasn't sure how to take that. I tried to shake his hand, and [it] ended up being an awkward handshake-slash-hug thing.

Greg: I was kind of indecisive. I didn't want to ask her for her phone number and [have her say] no. I guess I was afraid of being rejected.

Natalie: I give the date a 4 [out of 5]. We had a good time; I just don't foresee a romantic future. I didn't feel like we had a lot in common, aside from our backgrounds. I used to date football players, not people in the band!

Greg: I give her a 5. It is definitely one of the best dates I have been on. I might ask her to go to the Baltimore Aquarium, something where we aren't just sitting for four hours.

Interviews by Stephen Lowman

UPDATE: Natalie e-mailed Greg after the date thanking him again for the flowers, but both say a follow-up date is unlikely.

Single with a passion for food? Sign up at

© 2009 The Washington Post Company