Date Lab: Does he pass the grandma test?
7:30 pm, Kellari Taverna, Downtown
Jason: I was a little anxious. I got there around 7:20. The hostess said, "Is there anything I can get you?" I said, "I would love a glass of water and Valium." She completely didn't get it at all. I thought, I'm going to totally flop, because no one is getting my jokes.
Amy: I woke up at 6:30 [that morning] and ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. I did not think about preparing for the date. I just had my things to do all day. I was a little late. [The hostess] walked me to a booth where Jason was sitting.
Jason: She's definitely very attractive. She was dressed very nice, cute shoes, nice hair. She is very good-looking.
Amy: [He was] definitely along the lines of what my questionnaire said: dark, curly hair and Jewish-looking. He was well-dressed and cute. He was smiling and stood up and shook my hand. It was a very good first impression.
Jason: Within 90 seconds, she said, "Sorry to do this, but my grandmother said I can't date anyone too old, so can I ask how old you are?" I said, "Well, I'm 30." She's like, "Okay, that's good." My grandmother [once] went up to a member of Congress and insisted this member find me Jewish girls to date in Washington. [So] we have the same grandmother, or our grandmothers are on the same wavelength. That was a great icebreaker.
Amy: We started with drinks [and] split an appetizer; we had baked goat cheese. I found it interesting that he is kind of an anti-foodie. I think he said something like, "If I didn't have to survive, I would not eat." That was a difference [between us] but not a deal-breaker.
Jason: We had a lot in common. We realized we both work on the Hill; we could talk business for days. Both of us are pretty committed to public service. She is really into sailing. I had taken sailing lessons when I was a kid, the culmination of which was capsizing a boat in San Francisco Bay. I pretended that I was extremely knowledgeable about [sailing] and threw out some sailing terms. At first she was, like, really impressed, but it became apparent I just knew the words but didn't know what they meant.
Amy: I knew what he was talking about, but I don't think he knew what he was talking about. But it made for a very funny story. If I am laughing during a conversation and continue it, that means I'm interested. He had some pretty crazy anecdotes. [Then] he initiated the photography. Not to say that I shy away from cameras, but I liked that he took the lead.
Jason: [The waiter] really wanted us to hold a lobster. It started crawling around. That kind of freaked us out a little bit. It was quite the scene. I should probably find a lobster stuffed animal to send her.
Amy: It was probably 10:30. He said, "Do you want to go somewhere else?" I was getting kind of tired, [but] I was having good time, so I said, "Why not?"
Jason: We had to pull out our BlackBerrys and figure out what was around there. There is no way two congressional staffers are going to get through a date without someone pulling out a BlackBerry. It was her idea to go to 18th Street [Lounge]. We sat out on the patio because it was a nice night but also because we wanted someplace a little quieter so we could hear each other.