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Date Lab: He's got a plan, but will she be willing to play along?

Sunday, December 20, 2009; W06

UPDATE -- JULY 8, 2010: About seven months after their date, Megan e-mailed Date Lab to report that she and Grant ... are engaged! Here's what she said:

[We] want to thank you for setting us up! We have been going strong ever since that first date and quickly realized that this was something serious. So serious, in fact, that Grant took me back to the scene of the crime, the roof of the W Hotel where we went for after-dinner drinks on our first date, and proposed! I happily accepted and we're getting married next July ... We're so happy to share the good news with you, and will give a toast to The Washington Post at our wedding!

We at Date Lab couldn't be more thrilled -- congratulations you two!

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The report from their Date Lab set-up, which ran in the December 20, 2009 issue of The Washington Post Magazine, is below.

7:30 PM, Potenza, Downtown

Megan: I'm sort of recently single and after a few bottles of wine, [my friends] decided it would be great fun to sign me up for Date Lab. They just thought this was the bee's knees.

Grant: When I signed up [for Date Lab], I was totally like, There's no way I'll get picked. I'm not one of those people who wins things. I got [to the restaurant] pretty early and told the hostesses I'd go to the bar and wait there. I was just feeling that it was going to be a good night.

Megan: [Getting there] was sort of dramatic. The subway stopped working, and they made everyone get off. I ran upstairs and hailed a cab. I felt really bad, 'cause I'm usually really timely.

Grant: The hostess got me when Megan arrived. I thought she was really pretty; she has curly hair. She's my type, definitely. I was like, Wow, that's awesome. She said she was a little late, but I didn't think she was. I didn't even look at my watch.

Megan: I was like, Oh, he's cute! For some reason, in my mind, [Grant] just sounds like the name of a man who has a beard. I don't know why. He didn't have one, which is fine. He's someone I definitely would be attracted to if I saw him out.

Grant: She said she liked white wine, and I [do] too, so that was the beginning of us getting along. Before we knew it, we had launched into all this conversation. She was curious about what I do, and that led into [that] she's in grad school and we both have some things in common about working in the school system. I think it was cool that she asked me questions about what I do as a social worker, because a lot of times it doesn't happen on dates. She seemed generally interested and wanted to know more. So it very naturally flowed from subject to subject. The waiter had to keep coming back to the table, [but] I was just so into her and not really paying attention to the menu. The food was great, but I was more listening to her, and the food was somewhat secondary for me.

Megan: We talked about politics; we're both very liberal. I couldn't date a conservative. We both like to travel, and we're both in the world of education. We found out we have a lot in common. There were no awkward pauses.

Grant: I was flirting in subtle ways, like pretty early on, when we got our wine, I proposed a toast to our adventurous spirit. I think she liked that. When we were taking pictures, I put my arm around her, and it felt comfortable to do that.

Megan: I think we weren't really flirting, but [on a] first date I probably play it a little more cool.

Grant: She liked the idea I had to go down the street to the W Hotel, to the rooftop bar for a glass of wine. [A friend] recommended that as a place to go afterward. [I'd asked him before the date,] If this is going well, what should I do? Do you have any suggestions? She liked that I had a plan [for] if things went well. That became, like, an inside joke between us, because she's a planner.

Megan: He lives way out[side the city], and I was leaving on a flight really early in the morning, but we decided to throw caution to the wind and go out for drinks. I guess we were there for a while, because I realized it was, like, 11:40, and we had to go catch the last Metros. At the top of the stairs before we went on different platforms, we hugged each other and said that we had a really good time, and he asked for my number.

Grant: I wanted to kiss her, but I guess I got kinda nervous, and I figured it went well and I'd have another opportunity. Our trains were coming at the same time, [and] right before they came, when we could still see each other, we waved to each other. I thought that was kind of cool. I knew that she had an early flight [the next morning], [and] I was up early. I texted her, said thanks for last night, it was great, and she texted me back and said that I was up way too early and that she also had a good time. I think I'm going to give [the date] a 5 [out of 5]. I'm going to call her when she gets back and try to do something soon.

Megan: I found him super nice and easy to talk to. I was definitely attracted to him, intellectually as well as physically. [But] we weren't really that flirty, so I'm going to give it a 4.25. I'd like to go out with him again.

Interviews by Elizabeth Terry

Update: Megan and Grant had a couple of phone conversations in the days after their date and were making plans for a museum-and-lunch outing as of press time. "It was just as easy to talk to him [on the phone] as it was on the date," Megan reports. "And I'm excited to see him again."

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Southern belle seeks cute fixer-upper for wine-tasting and college sports-watching. Apply now for Date Lab. Want to know whom else we're looking for? Fan us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @datelab.

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