Date Lab: And we hang our heads in matchmaking shame

Sunday, April 25, 2010; W08


Kevin: I had Googled the name [but Date Lab] had spelled it Kajika in the e-mail. That's a boy's name, and I was like, I hope I mentioned that I'm heterosexual, but if not, that's going to be a really fun story. I was the first to arrive, and they seated me. I hung out for a bit and looked at the wine list.

Kajka: I didn't want to be the first one there. I wanted to get there at like 7:35 or 7:40. I got to the restaurant, and the manager came over and said, "We've been expecting you." Then he walks me over, and I do the shake, and [Kevin] does the hug. I don't like that.

Kevin: I sort of noticed when she put her hand up, but I was like, Ah, I'm not that formal. I thought she was really cute. I would definitely be physically attracted to her.

Kajka: He was smaller than people I might go out with, maybe shorter and leaner. If I passed him on the street, I wouldn't even look -- there wasn't anything that stuck out with him. He was just kind of nice-looking, safe, pleasant. I wasn't feeling any instant connection or chemistry.

Kevin: We sat down and ordered a bottle of wine and started chitchatting. We talked about a wide variety of things ranging from celebrity gossip to health-care reform. She was pretty easy to talk to.

Kajka: He said that he's a scientist and he has his PhD and travels for work. We talked a little about travel. I think I started to say "we" when I would talk about traveling. And then I said, "I should clarify that when I say that I'm talking about my daughter." He was totally cool about it, like, "Oh, how old is she?"

Kevin: It was kind of fun to learn about that and what that family dynamic was like. There wasn't much that we had in common. We're both divorced. [And] we both definitely like movies. [But] we were talking about "Alice in Wonderland" and "Avatar," and I asked her, "Did you see the 3-D version?" And she was like, "I have no interest in seeing the 3-D version." And I said, "It's kind of cool; you should check it out." And then she said, "I don't understand why people find that interesting, and I don't understand why people find high-definition televisions interesting, or smartphones." So I kind of accused her of being a bit of [a] Luddite and teased her about that.

Kajka: We ordered, like, 50 little plates. He talked about volunteering -- he's a Big Brother -- totally admirable stuff. [But] it was automatically the friend zone. He wasn't anybody physically attractive that I would go out with. I need a little more edge, a little more excitement. He did mention scuba diving and he did have a leather jacket and he did talk about being in a band. [But] a garage band when you're approaching 40 years old, I don't know what kind of hobby that is.

Kevin: When we were talking about the type of guy she's attracted to, she mentioned that she's usually attracted to guys with shaved heads and tattoos. I'm pretty sure she wasn't being sarcastic.

Kajka: If we didn't have the bottle of wine, [the conversation] wouldn't have been flowing like it was. When we were taking pictures, he was wanting to put his arm around me. So I kind of scooted [away]. I'm not going to put [my] arm around or hug or kiss if I'm not attracted to somebody or feeling any spark.

Kevin: I didn't really notice that. I don't recall putting my arm around her. It might have been that we were close enough so that we could be in the photo [together], but that was about it.

Kajka: It was maybe like 10. Then we realized that we were on the same Metro [line]. So then I was like, Oh, I have to get on the Metro with him, which, again, nice guy, but I was at that point maybe ready to call my girlfriends.

Kevin: As we were walking over to the Metro, it was already clear previously, but it became abundantly clear then, because I said, "That was a lot of fun," and she said, "Yeah, it was okay." I was like, All right, then.

Kajka: At that point, I was pretty talked out. We were standing up in the back of the Metro, and there was a guy sitting down in front of us playing chess on his iPhone and I was just staring at that because Kevin was talking and I wasn't listening anymore. He didn't know it, though. He just got off at the next stop and gave [me] a hug. We hadn't exchanged information.

Kevin: [I'd rate the date] a 2 [out of 5]. She was very nice and it was a fun time, but it was pretty clear that [a romantic connection] just wasn't there.

Kajka: Romantically [it was a] zero, but the date was kind of amusing, so I guess [I'd rate it] a 2.8.

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

Update: Kevin says they made plans the next week to get matching tattoos! He's joking, of course. No contact for these two since the date.

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