Date Lab: Is this a practice date or the real deal?

Sunday, October 31, 2010; W06

7:30 p.m., Mezza Luna, Dupont Circle

Scott: I'm pretty new to the city. I have a friend that did Date Lab. He said it was fun; also I hadn't been to many restaurants [in D.C. yet], so I was all for getting a good free meal. I worked, went home and changed, battled through the torrential downpour and made it there about 7:25. She probably got there around 7:50.

Ana: I've never, ever been on a blind date. I was really nervous. I took the Metro to Dupont Circle, and I got a little lost. That was not fun in the pouring rain. I felt bad that I kept Scott waiting. He was really cute. I like guys who are taller than me, with darker hair. I thought he had really nice eyes. He could tell that I was flustered from being late, but he was really nice about it.

Scott: I was trying to get up to shake her hand and say hi, but it took me a little while to try and shimmy out of the booth, so I kinda did a half-stand, half-sit handshake. She was very apologetic. I told her she didn't need to be; it wasn't that big of a deal. She looked cute; she was blond. I don't necessarily have a type, it just is or isn't, and she was kind of in the middle.

Ana: We ordered wine and just started talking. We had a lot in common. [I was] thinking that you guys did a really good job pairing us up, 'cause we're both pretty interested in sports and obviously both have an interest in politics. He was like, "Oh, I work in the House," and I was like, "Oh, I do, too!" We work in the same building, too. I'm sure I'll run into him now.

Scott: To be honest with you, we didn't have a ton in common. I don't necessarily like older girls, but somebody who's just a little more mature. She's 22, just out of college and lives at home, and I'm 24, been out of school for a couple years. I've done a lot. I've been told that I'm sometimes a little too mature for my age. For example, I've traveled a lot, and she hasn't. I was happy to talk about my experiences, but I think it's bad date etiquette to be the only one talking. She didn't really have anything to add to that conversation. She went to private Catholic school; I'm Jewish [and] went to public school. I'm not a religious person by any means, but it's just a different mentality, a small private Catholic school versus a fairly diverse public school. I feel like an old man saying this, but it felt like we were at kind of different phases, even though we're not in that different of a career.

Ana: He's done a lot of traveling, and I haven't, but it wasn't like I was disinterested. It was nice to hear about. I had the option in school to go abroad, but I decided not to because I was a swimmer, and we had a season that went over both semesters. I also thought that I might get a little homesick. I would definitely like to travel, on my own time.

Scott: [We were flirting] a little bit. I wouldn't say a ton, but you gotta be flirting on a date a little bit, otherwise it can get kind of awkward, [like] you're talking to a random person on the street. We were laughing, joking around. We ordered dessert, hung out for a little bit after that, and then we headed out around 10 o'clock. She had to go back to Virginia, and being the old man that I am, [I was tired] after a long day at work. I walked her to the train, gave her a hug and said, "I'm sure we're going to run into each other all the time now."

Ana: He made sure [we knew] our whole names, so we could find each other on Facebook. We didn't [exchange phone numbers] -- he didn't ask, and I didn't know to offer it. I would give [the date] a 4 [out of 5]. My being late and the weather kind of made it suck, but everything about him and the conversations and dinner was great. In college, people don't go out on dates, they meet and they hang out, and maybe when you've been actually "dating" for a few months, then you go on a [real] date. So I think it's good practice for adulthood, to learn how to go on dates and actually function as a real person as opposed to a college student.

Scott: With blind dates, it's hit or miss. You never know what to expect. I don't think it would really work out [for us to date]. If 5 is the best and 3 is just good, I would go with 3. It was nice meeting somebody new, plus it was a delicious dinner. It was fine.

Interviews by Elizabeth Terry

Update: Scott and Ana didn'tget in touch after the date, and more than a week later, hadn't even run into each other in the elevator. Says Ana: "I thought I would have seen him by now, but it's a pretty big building. If we see each other in the hallway, I'm sure it'll be fine."

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