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Date Lab: With experience, sometimes you just know

Sunday, February 21, 2010; W08

7:30 P.M., ARIA TRATTORIA, DOWNTOWN

Glenn: I don't get nervous about these kinds of things; I'm an optimist. I guess I was there about 15 minutes early. I sat at the bar.

Judy: I was definitely looking forward to it, anticipating the worst and the best. I decided to take the Metro, and I got there just around 7:30. I went in, and they had me wait in the lobby area, then they brought Glenn in.

Glenn: She was a very attractive woman, pleasant and professional-looking -- pretty close to [my] type. Her hair was sort of short, kind of a blond sort of streaky color.

Judy: He looked like a fun person, someone who would be down to earth and easy to talk to. He's a little shorter than men I usually go out with, but he certainly looked well-groomed. And I could see that he was in my age range. That's a positive thing.

Glenn: I introduced myself, and I said, "Let's go have a great time." They led us to a table, and we sat down. The first thing I said to her was, "As blind as this [date] is, we have to have something in common because we have the nerve to do this."

Judy: We ordered drinks and started talking immediately. We talked about marriages, divorces, meeting people at this point in life. We just talked and talked.

Glenn: It was quite a while before we ordered any food. We ordered a couple of appetizers, and then we ordered Caesar salads and a pizza to split.

Judy: I felt like maybe we didn't have a lot in common personally, but just [in terms of] life experience, we had some similarities: having kids, having [past] marriages, the social scene at this point in our lives. We both agreed that we like the theater; we both like to go to restaurants. Our career tracks were different. [But] I could relate to what he was telling me, because when I first got out of college I was in retailing for many years, and then I took certain skills with me and applied them to another area.

Glenn: There weren't any awkward pauses; there was humor and laughing. [But] you sort of get a sense whether there's a love connection or not pretty quickly, and I think we probably would mutually say we didn't feel it. For example, when we were taking a couple of pictures at one point, I stood up and kind of put my arm around her back, and I kind of felt a sense of withdrawal.

Judy: I wasn't really prepared for him to get that close so quickly. If I had felt that spark, maybe I would have wanted him to be closer, but I wasn't feeling that. We did do a lot of laughing. I think that we appreciated each other's outlook on life. He seemed like a very positive person -- optimistic and can roll with the situation -- and I thought that was similar to how I felt about things at this point in my life. [But] it just felt more like it was two friends talking versus two people who might have some potential for dating. I think when I'm first meeting somebody and we start to talk, I can just tell if this is someone who I think I'm going to want to spend more time [with].

Glenn: We got coffee, and we got dessert. It was about 10:15. We were the only ones in the restaurant at that point. I walked her out and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I asked her if she wanted me to walk her to where she had to go, and she said no, she was fine. We didn't exchange numbers or e-mails. I think we both felt it was a nice evening and it's good to have friends, but at this point in life, I'm looking for something other than a friend.

Judy: I would [rate the date] about a 2.5 [out of 5]. He's definitely a warm and friendly person and a great conversationalist. He'd be fun to have as a friend.

Glenn: [I'd rate the date] a 3.5. It was good in every way except lacking that spark. I would have nothing negative to say about Judy -- she was a really good, quality person.

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

Update: No contact since the date, and neither had plans to look the other up. But Glenn says if they ever ran into each other, "it would be friendly."

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