Date Lab: He manages to charm her ... and her spying family
7:30, Bourbon Steak, Georgetown
Lisa: I signed up [for Date Lab] just to do something different. I [filled out the application] with my sister-in-law [Alysia]; she's a close friend. I'm pretty recently divorced, and I have a young child. So I'm kind of getting back out there. I don't go out to bars a lot, like I did when I was in my 20s. It's a different game. My sister Gina and Alysia and I went down to Georgetown and grabbed a glass of wine beforehand [at] the Guards. I kept looking at my watch; it felt like time was going super-slow. They were like, "Lisa, it's going to be totally fine; you're gonna have a great time."
Joe: I was there pretty early. I went to the hostess stand, and I said, "Hello-hello! I have a date tonight here!" And they're like, "Are you nervous? Would you like to take the edge off in the bar?" So I go in the bar and order a drink. She arrived around three minutes after 7:30. One of the hostesses brought her over to me. The first thing I thought was, Awesome. I can have a lot of fun right now. I got a vibe right away.
Lisa: I [told] the hostess, "I'm here for Date Lab," and she said, "Your date is in the bar; he's very charming, and he's very cute." She walked me over to him, and I gave him a hug, and I said, "Can you believe we're doing this?" and he was like, "No!" Which made me feel good. He was nice-looking; he seemed really friendly. I don't even know what my type is, but he's definitely someone I could see myself hanging out with.
Joe: [The waiter] brought champagne over, so that was pretty cool. It just started out light and breezy. We were trying to figure out how we got matched up. She said that she has a son, and then I was like, Oh! 'Cause I have three kids. You know, parents talk about their kids, you can go on for days. That made the conversation continue pretty well.
Lisa: Yeah, I think it was flirtatious. You know, you can just kind of tease and go back and forth. [Like when the sommelier came over], I said, "I'm a Two Buck Chuck kinda girl. I am not picky about my wine." And [Joe] looked at me like I was crazy and ordered a quite expensive bottle of wine! So I teased him that he was a wine snob. [The staff] kept coming over and saying, like, "Everyone in here thinks that you guys are really hitting it off." We were getting a kick out of it.
Joe: She seemed like a regular girl, not stuck up or snobby. I wouldn't think she'd say I was flirting, 'cause I probably wasn't. It's not my style, because I'm shy. But I think she was: like putting her hand on my arm, or taking a picture and she'll get in real close. It was fun. I was really comfortable being around her, so even though I might be shy, I wouldn't shy away from her.
Lisa: It was all just so easy. Gosh, if all dates were like that!
Joe: As we were getting done, she looked at her phone and [said] her sister and sister-in-law were still in the neighborhood. She [asked], "Do you want to get another drink [with them]?" I said sure. So we [went] up to the bar, and her sister and her sister-in-law were there. At the restaurant. In the bar! And I was like, "Wait, what? Are you spying on us?" You know, jokingly.
Lisa: They told me when I left them [at the Guards] that they were going to get dinner somewhere. I did not know [they] were going to be sitting in the bar we were at! I think they were looking out for me, making sure I was okay.
Joe: They were like, "Yeah, we came in, and we started kind of doing laps around the bar so [we] could see what was going on." And I'm thinking, Oh, my God, not only did I worry about all the restaurant staff knowing, [but] the family was there, too! [But] it didn't bother me at all. They were very funny. They started buying drinks; [we all went] across the street [to] Garrett's. It was a fun way to end the night. [I'd rate the date] a 4.5 [out of 5]. I wouldn't rush off to Vegas and get married or anything, but I'd probably go out again with her.
Lisa: [I'll give the date a] 4.5. He was a really good sport about [Gina and Alysia]. They were like, "Oh, my God, we love him!" He's a nice guy, and I would see him again. Like I said, I'm just getting back into dating again, so I guess I would just kind of see. Gina started texting that we were going to hang out this weekend. I don't know. I'm not going to have my little sister doing middleman work for me!
Interviews by Elizabeth Terry
Update: Joe and Lisa traded texts and became Facebook friends ("Now we know probably more than we need to about each other," he jokes). But his visiting family and her vacation plans have kept them too busy for a second date. Will they see each other again? "I think we might," Joe says.