7:30 p.m., Alto Plaza, Centreville
Todd: I got there 10 minutes early and checked in at the hostess stand. Ashley came in five minutes later.
Ashley: I went home after work. My roommate brought me a Slurpee, which is our ritual if either one of us is stressed out or needs a pick-me-up. I went to the restaurant, and Todd was there. We introduced ourselves and went over the basics: where we work, live. He is not exactly my type, but he was cute. I am usually more of a blond fan, but I have dated guys with dark hair. I was happy he was tall. I am 5-8 and like tall shoes. I had on four-inch heels, and I was about 6 feet tall with them.
Todd: She is my type: pretty, fun and funny. It was definitely an instant attraction for me. We had a lot in common. The two things that stood out: We were born the same year, one day apart. And we are both Caps fans. It is scary to meet a girl from Texas that likes the Capitals and not the Stars. Ashley and I both love [former Capitals goalie] Olie Kolzig. She named her dog after him.
Ashley: I'm a big puck head. I go out and watch hockey, but if it's a really big game, I stay at home because I get animated. He showed me a picture of him meeting Peter Bondra. I have a signed Peter Bondra jersey. The conversation was good with a definite back-and-forth, but I had to drag it out a little. He seems like he is shy. I kept asking him questions. I'm used to that because I'm a bubbly person.
Todd: I'm much more outgoing around friends. Once I get to know someone, I'm more talkative. I let her know that. She felt she was talking too much, but I didn't think so. It was probably about a half-hour before we ordered dinner.
Ashley: It was a get-to-know session for me. We talked about our pets. He has a cat. I was surprised, because a lot of guys hate cats. He had a picture of his cat on his phone, so we shared pet pictures.
Todd: I was kind of iffy about getting the cat. I have a male roommate and thought two guys and a cat would be weird. My cat's name is Peanut. My brother named her -- it was supposed to be ironic because I'm allergic to peanuts.
Ashley: I asked him how he deals with it. I could not live without peanuts. He said his EpiPen was in his car, just in case.
Todd: [We] definitely had a lot in common. We both like the same sitcoms: "The Office," "Big Bang Theory" and "Rules of Engagement." We both like old Mel Brooks movies.
Ashley: I was impressed that he liked Mel Brooks. I am the movie-quote guru, but I didn't pull out that many, because it can be intense. He was laughing at all my jokes.
Todd: I could tell she has a real good sense of humor just by her delivery and how she told stories. We were curious about the tequila cheesecake but went with the creme brulee instead. What really had me was when she said she had a fat girl living inside her named Gertrude.