Date Lab: Are they Carville-Matalin or Olbermann-O'Reilly?

Sunday, October 17, 2010; W16

Filomena, Georgetown, 7:30 p.m.

Jon: [Before the date] I was exhausted. I just bought a house, so [my roommate and I are] fixing it up; we stayed up until 2 o'clock doing housework, which is stupid. After work, [a friend and I] had a few drinks. We met this group of people, and I kinda wanted to stay with [them], but I had to go off and do this date thing! Everybody was like, "Are you nervous?" And I'm like, "Not really, it's just a girl, I think I can handle it."

Briton: I was kind of curious. I love meeting new people. I don't have time to do a lot over the week, because I work and I'm a grad student. I've tried meeting guys at bars, but that never really works out, so I thought [Date Lab] would be a better way to meet people. I got [to the restaurant] about 10 minutes early and got a glass of Sangiovese while I was waiting.

Jon: I walked in and figured that was her before I talked to the host. The maitre d' introduced us. She looked attractive, definitely [my type]. I like brunettes. I was like, Wow, she stands out from all the rest.

Briton: We shook hands. He was a little taller than me, and he was very cute. He didn't look nervous at all, just happy. He was very nice; he paid for my glass of wine.

Jon: We had this gigantic, long table all to ourselves; it was really funny. She didn't seem shy; she didn't seem like she was nervous, really.

Briton: [The conversation started out] pretty standard, like where are you from, where'd you go to school, where do you work. He had lived in England for a year, which I thought was super cool. He had been to Egypt, so I was very intrigued by that. We [talked] about politics, which was fun. As busy and bustling and intelligent as this city is, it's pretty shocking how many people don't talk about politics. He and I are on opposite sides of the [political] spectrum, but [we are] both open-minded enough. We talked about the recent [primary] elections, Obama, the economy, and the Middle East and if what we've done [there] is effective or not. He was in [the Air Force], [so] he would clearly know more than I did. It wasn't like, I'm disgusted with how you're feeling, and it's so stupid. It was more like, I see where you're coming from, but I don't know if I agree. It was refreshing to be able to have a good conversation.

Jon: My friends were like, "Oh, my God, you're an idiot. There are things you don't talk about on a date, and politics is definitely one of them." I feel pretty strongly about my views, but I don't care if someone feels differently. We got into a debate, and she backed up her arguments; she's a pretty smart girl. [Laugh] You know, I'm a war-profiteering contractor [and she's] a bleeding-heart lib. I don't take it personally!

Briton: I don't know if we were flirting. I think we were just getting to know each other and having a good time. When my friends read this, they're going to, pardon my French, [expletive] a brick, 'cause they think I'm just the biggest flirt-bug there is. From my perspective, I think, No, we're just having a standard, quality time. I thought for a 24-year-old guy, he really seemed to have his stuff together.

Jon: I'm definitely attracted to her; I just really got no game when it comes to flirting with women. We really didn't finish eating until probably 10:30, and then we were both really exhausted [and] full beyond belief. She had a paper to write, so she was like, "We could split a cab to the Rosslyn Metro." I paid for the cab -- she said [earlier] that her worst date was [when] the guy went Dutch on her, so I was definitely paying for everything.

Briton: He'd left his cellphone at work, so he asked if he could give me his number. I texted him my number, and we hugged. I give [the date] a 4 [out of 5]. Everything was awesome, the restaurant was perfect, we had so much to talk about, but [there was a] lack of instant spark. I would probably go on one more date with him. I'm just not quite sure yet.

Jon: [I rate the date a] 5. Total 5. We were there for hours without a pause in conversation, so in all it was a good night. I'll probably text her or call her and say, "Do you want to get together this weekend and do something," [like] a group activity with my friends.

Interviews by Elizabeth Terry

UPDATE: Jon and Briton exchanged texts after the date, but their schedules have been uncooperative so far. Briton said they'd keep trying -- when asked whether she and Jon would ever get that second date, she responded,"I wouldn't doubt it!"

Post a Comment

Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company