7:30 P.M., PARAGON THAI, CLEVELAND PARK
Shawn: I [got] there about 10 minutes early. They sat me at a corner table right by the window. I ordered a beer and waited. I hadn't been on a blind date in a long time, so I wasn't sure what to expect.
Christina: I was really excited, because I love meeting new people. I took a cab [and] got there at 7:35. When I walked in, Shawn was already there.
Shawn: She's very thin, very pretty; she's got gigantic brown eyes. She's the type of person I'm attracted to.
Christina: At first I thought he might be Indian, but [later] he explained some of his heritage: He's a mixture of Indian and white. It's an interesting combination; he's a good-looking guy. He had a really great smile. I liked his style. He was very well put together.
Shawn: We immediately started talking about how odd this whole situation was. We talked about D.C., about family. We had both been to Australia in the past year, so we talked a lot about that. She seems like an adventurous sort of person. [And] I really found her job fascinating. She's running a survey about the best geo-travel destinations. She gets to talk to people about where they should travel. It's neat stuff. We looked at the menu and thought, "There's no way we can spend the $125 [that Date Lab provides] here, but we'll do our best." I think we both had a really good attitude about the whole thing.
Christina: He likes spicy food, so we were laughing about how I'll try [some, but] if I'm sweating during this date it will be [his] fault. He let me do a lot of the talking in the beginning, which is really sweet. Then I [said], "Now I need to hear more about you." I found out that he likes to surf and snowboard. I don't snowboard, but a lot of the athletic things he was mentioning I was like, "Yep, I do the same." I mentioned this [bicycle] ride that I like to do on weekends, and he was like, "Oh, maybe I'll join you." We never ran out of things to talk about.
Shawn: There wasn't anything deeply personal. It was definitely more on the light and fun side. There was giggling involved on both sides.
Christina: Once I realized how much we have in common, I thought, He's a really cool guy. He's really articulate and bright, which I found attractive. He sounds like someone who is pretty adventurous and open-minded. We ordered our main meal. I think at this point it was 9:30.
Shawn: She was really sharp, a good conversationalist, good-looking, and we had a lot in common. There wasn't that huge spark [you have] when you meet someone you really like. I can't quantify what makes it happen, but it does happen. [But] there was definitely some chemistry.
Christina: [There was] maybe some subtle flirting, just moments when we'd catch each other's eye or smile a certain way. But for the most part it was just two friends getting to know each other. I think neither [of us] wanted to put ourselves out there. I don't want to assume too much or jump in too fast.
Shawn: We got two desserts. Then I noticed there wasn't anyone else left in the restaurant and the waiter was eating his dinner. This was probably 10:30.
Christina: He was heading to Adams Morgan and I was going to Dupont, so we shared a cab. We both said, "It was fun hanging out." Then I just paid my fare and jumped out. I didn't realize until I got back home [that] we didn't exchange phone numbers or e-mail addresses. I don't think it dawned on either one of us.
Shawn: I wouldn't read a whole lot into that. We knew that we could find each other. I'd [rate the date] a solid 4 [out of 5]. We clicked on some level, but I'm not sure if it's on a serious dating level. I think I'd have to get to know her more in not quite such a high-pressure situation.
Christina: [I'd rate the date] a 4. I would hang out again, [but] I'm kind of on the fence about [whether it would be friendly or romantic] because the date was pretty platonic.
Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades
UPDATE: Christina and Shawn got together for a second date (Mexican and mini-golf) and a third (jazz festival). Christina says she's enjoying "hanging out and seeing where it goes." Says Shawn: "There's definitely potential."
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