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Date Lab: First impressions aren't everything

Sunday, June 27, 2010; W06

7:30 p.m. Cafe Citron, Dupont Circle

Adrienne: I had the day off, [so] it was a relaxing, easy day. It was very hot outside, so I was a little nervous about that, [thinking], I'll show up and be a sweaty mess. I got there about 7:25.

Chris: I had crazy day. It was kind of a crunch to get there. They took me back to a booth, and there she was. I thought she was cute. She has great red hair, this awesome hair. I tend to like girls that show signs of being foreign-born or maybe have something ethnically awesome about their looks. She has more of a homegrown Midwestern look.

Adrienne: I thought he was good-looking and tall. I guess, based on the glasses, I thought he was going to be kind of hipster-ish. I didn't know -- should I stand up, should I not stand up? I ended up standing up, and he gave me this awkward hug and kiss on the cheek.

Chris: I said "awkward," and we both laughed. I tried to draw attention to that as opposed to trying to ignore it. I got a caipirinha, and she got a mojito. She said, "I'm not going to ask you what you do." I said, "Okay, good, let's talk for 15 minutes and then try and guess what each other does." I totally guessed [the federal agency] she works for.

Adrienne: I was kind of close on what he did -- I thought he was a photographer, and he is a videographer. I'm a still photographer on the side. We talked about photo gear a little bit.

Chris: We charged ourselves with getting through all the pictures [on the cameras provided by Date Lab] by the end of the night. That's a good way to do dating in general -- to have goals for the evening. She talked about a surf retreat she had done in Panama. I do a lot of surf travel. They had one of those [paper] tablecloths you can write on. I drew a map on the table. I asked her to plot the course of her life on it -- it was a great way to talk about her history.

Adrienne: We talked a lot about traveling, because that's a hobby we both have in common. He did most of the drawing. The entire table was pretty much covered.

Chris: About three-quarters of the way through dinner, we ripped off a piece of the tablecloth and gave each other our contact info.

Adrienne: He was very entertaining. It seems like he's had a very interesting life and seemed very informed about various topics. That was something I was drawn to.

Chris: I would not say there was a lot of chemistry at first. I thought there was a limit to how interesting she could be. When she first started talking about going cross-country and working on organic farms, I thought, Maybe this is the craziest thing she has ever done and this is her big traveling moment. Then she started to come forth with all this great life experience -- she traveled all over the world, she worked in the Peace Corps, she's a photographer and a scuba-dive master. She certainly got more attractive as the night went on. She's the kind of person that only gets better the more you know her.

Adrienne: I think we had a very nice conversation, [and] I think we were flirting. I think there was chemistry. In the restaurant, he told me that I was more interesting than he thought. I guess I took that as a compliment. And then he mentioned tickets he had to a friend's performance in Chinatown.

Chris: So we skipped out around 10:30. We decided to take the subway over to Chinatown. I thought it would be more fun than taking a cab.

Adrienne: We ran into people he knows, and they mentioned that the show was over. So we went to the Rocket Bar instead to play skeeball.

Chris: She just completely destroyed me. I don't like losing at anything, so even to lose at skeeball, I had to swallow my ego a little bit. By then, it must have been pushing maybe 12:30, and I had to work early in the morning.

Adrienne: I was shocked it was that late. We shared a cab home, and he was holding my hand. I'm going to take that as flirting. He dropped me off first, even though we kind of drove by his house. We both got out of the cab.

Chris: I gave her a little kiss on the cheek and said goodnight, and she said, "I hope we can do this again sometime," and I said, "Yes, that would be nice."

Adrienne: [I'd rate the date] 4.5 [out of 5]. It's one of the better dates I've been on in a while.

Chris: [I'd give it a] 4.5. I'm usually pretty picky. Like I said, she got more and more interesting as the night went on.

Interviews by Nina Patel

Update: Chris has been traveling for work since the date, but he and Adrienne have exchanged e-mails and say they plan to go out again when he returns.

Updated update: In the weeks since we went to press, Chris reconnected with an old flame. He called Adrienne to let her know he and his ex were back together, so it seems that's the end for these two.

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