Date Lab

Sunday, December 6, 2009

7:30 P.M., Islander Caribbean Restaurant, U Street NW

Joe: I stayed home sick all day. Just a cold, [but] the date is the only reason I left my home. I took the Metro, and I probably got there at 7:25. [The hostess] sat me at a table. I proceeded to get myself a beer as I waited.

Tadina: I get off work at 3 because I'm a teacher, so I had lots of time to hang around and get nervous. I got there right on time. [The hostess] brought me toward the back of the restaurant, and I saw Joseph.

Joe: I thought she was going to be black, so that was my first surprise. She was good-looking. I liked her curly hair. [But] I didn't get the love-at-first-sight [feeling].

Tadina: I thought he was really handsome and really tall. I would say he's my type exactly. [But] I was more concerned about what he would say rather than what he looked like, so that didn't relieve any tension. He introduced himself and stood up and shook my hand.

Joe: She sat down and got a drink. And then we just kind of talked about how sweet it was to be going on this date. I felt pretty relaxed. I think it took her a couple minutes to get as comfortable as I was. But she wasn't particularly awkward or anything like that.

Tadina: He was very talkative, a really good conversationalist. He asked me what my ethnicity was. We both looked like we were mixed in some way. I've never dated anybody else who was mixed, but it was really cool to meet someone who [is].

Joe: We both have similar degrees, we have friends in common, we're both from the city.

Tadina: We were kind of picking up on why they matched us up. It was like, check, check, check, we have all these things in common. The conversation was really easy. The only time we looked at the menu was when [the server] kept coming back. She was the one who pushed us to order and finally eat something. We ordered plantains and crab cakes and shrimp for an appetizer.

Joe: There were just a couple of times I felt like I had to throw something out there to keep [the conversation] going. She seemed a little shy. I couldn't gather whether that was just her personality or if it was because it was a blind date.

Tadina: I think I was a little more reserved than I probably would have normally been. It wasn't awkward at all, [but] we do seem pretty different in a lot of ways. He was definitely more daring with food. He wanted to get shark and goat. I was a little reluctant to go beyond the chicken. I tried the goat. I think that was significant. Overall, he's just more adventurous. He wants to swim with sharks and go skydiving. I'm pretty dull in comparison to him. It was a little intimidating.

Joe: We kind of came to the conclusion that we're very different people. I probably would have preferred it if she was [more adventurous], but to each his own. I'm not going to hate on somebody for that.

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