Date Lab

Sunday, November 29, 2009

7:30 p.m., D'Acqua, Downtown

Craig: I got there about 7:20 and sat at the bar. I wasn't nervous about meeting her or the date. I was right by the door, so I heard when she came in. The maitre d' was messing with her, telling her I had already left and he was her date. She had a big smile and was giggling. I thought she was bubbly and cute. That's when I got nervous about the date. I had to put on my A-game.

Sara: Craig saw them teasing me and walked over. He was pretty cute but a little bigger than the guys I usually date. He made a joke right off the bat, so I knew we'd be good.

Craig: They sat us down. She did most of the talking in the beginning, which is rare for me. I think she was nervous. I didn't want to say anything stupid, so I got somewhat quiet.

Sara: I was more nervous about it being published. After a little wine, we loosened up and started making jokes about it. We both would say, "Oh, this is off the record."

Craig: After the wine came out, we really started going back and forth. We promised each other not to talk about work. It's so D.C. to have that be the second thing out of your mouth.

Sara: We got about halfway through dinner without talking about work, but then we were skirting around it when we told stories. So we talked about it a little bit and then didn't really come back to it.

Craig: We were talking about traveling. She mentioned she went to San Francisco for a gay-pride parade. I was glad she said that. She was kind of letting me know what side of the [political] fence she's on, and it's the same side I'm on. That's another very D.C. thing, to talk about politics. I'm glad we avoided direct talk, but that I could pick up on it.

Sara: He made a crack about being against gay marriage. My heart just dropped and I thought, Oh no, I need to walk out. And then he said he was just kidding. That was the closest to politics that we came. Mostly, the conversation was flowing about that stupid first-date stuff. We both went to school here. We both used to bartend in Georgetown. We're both Phillies fans.

Craig: She almost lost a lot of points when she said she didn't like to watch baseball, but then she redeemed herself. She said she likes to go to games but not to watch on TV. By the time we left the restaurant around 9:30, it felt like a date. We started to relax and joke with each other. It felt like less of an interview.

Sara: One of my friends writes for On Tap, so we met her at the Big Hunt, where she was doing this story on Big Buck Hunter, a video game. We didn't actually play, but we posed. He bought me a beer, which was nice.

Craig: It was fun, but I joked with her that this is the most over-exposed date. We had talked about Wonderland, so after a drink at Big Hunt, I suggested we go there. Everyone she knew was at Wonderland that night. I thrive in those situations, so it was fine. And it was our third stop, so we were nice and loosened up. It was a beautiful night, and we sat outside until they closed the patio.

Sara: We walked over toward Columbia Heights to get a cab. We exchanged info and kissed before we got a cab. It was good. When I was getting in the cab, he went in for another, but I gave him my cheek and told him that's all he got for tonight.

Craig: I was only going in for a kiss on the cheek! I think she misread that. It was a very entertaining night. There was lots of laughter. We had an adventure. I'd give the date a 4.5. We'll do it again.

Sara: We've already talked since our date. I know he gave me a 4.5, so I'll give him a 4.2. I have to lowball him a little bit. No, I'm kidding, it was a really good date.

-- Interviews by Kelly DiNardo

Update: Sara and Craig had lunch a few days later. And went to a party together the following week. Oh, and met for drinks, too. "It's going well," Craig tells us. And that's what we like to hear.

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