7:30 P.M., COYOTE GRILL & CANTINA, FAIRFAX
Nate: I got to the restaurant five minutes early. I walked in, and the manager sat me by the door. It was, like, three minutes before Lauren walked in.
Lauren: I walked up to the host stand, and the manager was there. I said, "I'm here for the ... " and I didn't even finish it. He said, "Oh yeah, I know. He's here." So I went around the corner and met [Nate].
Nate: She looked like the typical American girl: blond hair, blue eyes. I was definitely attracted to her physically. [But] I was a little wary. I just don't usually get good responses from girls that look like her.
Lauren: [He's] not really my type. He has a shaved head and, not to be shallow, I usually like guys with hair. [And] I usually only go out with Caucasian guys. That's just how it has played itself out in the past. There wasn't a spark, [but] I was still open to however the night was going to go.
Nate: I think we spent the first five minutes talking about the menu. It wasn't that comfortable. She wasn't really making eye contact.
Lauren: That was probably just me being nervous. We got out of the way first that we were both teachers. I would rather not date someone in the same profession. But it happens. I ordered enchiladas, and he ordered stuffed peppers, and we had a bottle of wine, [but] we really only drank, like, half of it. We were kind of picking at our food while we were talking.
Nate: Pretty early on she [said], "I think you're being really reserved." I was slightly offended. I'm not just going to start dumping out all sorts of information as soon as I meet someone. Later she revealed that she's the type of person who likes to poke and prod. That's totally not me.
Lauren: I got the feeling that he takes himself maybe a little more seriously than I do. We spent most of the time talking about work stuff.
Nate: I was [thinking], This is like a conversation I would have with one of my work colleagues. We had a lot in common, actually. She was a swimmer, and we talked about how I want to get into triathlons. She seemed very interested in me toward the middle of the date; she was leaning on the table toward me and had her chin in her hands and really focused on me. [But] I think she was just interested in hearing what I had to say. There wasn't that much [flirting].
Lauren: It really felt more like a friendship than [anything] romantic. [And] it seemed like we had a different sense of humor.
Nate: In the beginning we were joking about being stalkers. I said, "You'd better not give me your last name." So four or five times she mentioned that she won't give me her last name. I couldn't tell if she understood it was a joke. [But] I'm pretty hard to read; I'm very deadpan.
Laruen: I thought he was being totally serious. I told him, "Even if you don't get it right now, it's going to be printed in the paper." And he's like, "Really?" Clearly I was being a ditz and missed the sarcasm, but I guess I figured at that point in the evening the joking would have subsided a little bit.
Nate: We got dessert, and we probably talked for another 30 to 40 minutes. The conversation was good, [but] it was after 10. We both agreed it was getting late. It got a little awkward at the end.
Lauren: I just felt like we had exhausted our conversation topics. And I do wake up at, like, 5:30. We walked out of the restaurant together. We hugged. We had already exchanged phone numbers earlier, [so] I said, "It was nice meeting you." There wasn't any, "We should hang out again."
Nate: I'd probably [rate the date] a 3 out of 5. She's a smart girl; she's very well-spoken. I don't think it could go anywhere [because of] the humor disconnect, and also I just don't think there was much of a mutual attraction.
Lauren: I would [rate the date] a 3. He's a very nice guy, but it was like meeting a new friend.
Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades
UPDATE: Although a second date is unlikely, at least now he knows her last name.
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