7:30 P.M., BOMBAY CLUB, DOWNTOWN
Eze: I had to put my best foot forward, so after work I went home and got ready. I decided I was going to run a couple of errands, so I ended up being about three minutes late. [But] I was still the first one there. Another six or seven minutes went by, and I started to get a little nervous. I wasn't sure whether she'd be coming.
Shelley: I actually didn't leave my house until, like, 7:15, [and] I got lost, so I was a good 10 minutes late. I got there, valeted the car and went inside. I'm looking around at all the tables, and I saw this old white man sitting by himself. I was like, "That cannot be him; that guy is, like, 55." I couldn't see [Eze] until I actually walked around a little bend. He stood up when I got to the table.
Eze: I was definitely pleasantly surprised. She's beautiful. She's tall, beautiful skin, nice smile. And for lack of a better description, she has this curly 'fro kind of thing. It was wild but tame. It was cool.
Shelley: I'm 5-9, but I wear heels. He's, like, 6-2. That's good. He's handsome, [and] he was dressed nice. Some people, you have this immediate attraction to them, and I didn't have that with him. [But] I just went into it with an open mind.
Eze: I shook hands with her, and we sat down. We just started chatting right away, like we were old friends. We talked about everything, from our interests to, of course, the standard date stuff: Where did you grow up, where did you go to school, what were your experiences? She's born and raised in D.C., just like me. Most of the people I meet have been here for a long time, but they're not really, truly from D.C.
Shelley: We were looking at the menu, and then I started talking about vegetarian meals. I was like, "My church did a fast one time a couple years ago, and it kind of broke me off eating meat all the time." He was like, "What church do you go to?" And lo and behold, he goes to the same church. He mentioned [someone] he knew there and was like, "My sister went to medical school with her." I was like, "Wait a minute, what's your sister's name?" His sister is my [gynecologist]. I was like, "Oh, my God, this is so weird."
Eze: I [thought], Who set this up? There is no way I can have so much in common with a stranger. We had so many shared interests. Even the food: We're both into spicy food, so we shared our appetizers.
Shelley: It was really friendly and just real laid-back and open and a lot of laughs. I didn't get any super-romantic signals from him, but I definitely got a lot of friendly signals.
Eze: I don't know if there was so much flirting. I'm more interested in being friends first with someone. I think that's more important. [But] when we started to talk about our interests and our passions, I was like, Wow, she's really cool. It's so rare to find someone that wants to do something and is actually doing it. People say, "I want to do this" and "I want to do that," but they're not doing anything to place themselves in a position to get to their goals. She's not like that.
Shelley: I think we meshed on that level. I liked his whole vibe. He's very well-rounded: He's had a lot of experiences but still has some D.C. flava. We were talking, and then we looked around and there was no one left in the restaurant. And then I saw the valet guy peeking in the door like, "Y'all, come on." So we were like, "I think it's maybe time to go."
Eze: It was 11. We both had to work in the morning. So we walked out of the restaurant, and I gave her my card, and we hugged and went home.
Shelley: On a romantic scale, I would rate it a 3 [out of 5]. I know we could definitely be friends. [But] I would have to explore more to discover if I was interested on another level. I like to know more about people before I jump all in.
Eze: [I'd rate the date] a 4. I like her style. I don't mean that in a shallow way, [but] she carries herself in an extremely good way. She's the perfect lady.
Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades
UPDATE: Eze and Shelley got together again for an alfresco lunch with live music. "We have a good time together and laugh a lot," Shelley says. Eze concurs.
SHE'S AN ECO-CONSCIOUS, artistic 30-something looking for a multilingual man with dreadlocks. Is that you? Sign up at washingtonpost.com/datelab.