Date Lab: Is it a bad date -- or just a bad match?

Sunday, December 19, 2010; W08

7:30 p.m., Woodlands, Fairfax

Mike: I got there 15 minutes early, so I drove around to check out where we could go after the restaurant. I came in and checked with the host, but I think it's more polite if I wait outside for her.

Wendy: I was 10 or 15 minutes late, [because] I had to stop and get gas.

Mike: She pulls up in this sports car and comes out, talking on the phone, like "La, la, la" and relaxed, not like, "Oh, no, I'm late." She didn't apologize for being late.

Wendy: He was standing out front. He is attractive, in shape and has a nice smile, but physically, he wasn't really my type. He has dark blond hair. I tend to be attracted to the darker, Italian type at first. But I'm always open. I try not to make judgments, because I've learned that people's personalities and commonalities can make someone more attractive to you.

Mike: Usually I date more athletic types. I was not attracted to her when I first saw her. She is kind of an artsy dresser. I [like] more of a Mary Ann than a Ginger: more natural and maybe not dressed quite as much to the hilt. But by end of night, she was definitely more attractive, probably because we were finally talking. It was a vegetarian Indian place. I said, "Hey, I guess you like Indian food." She's like, "I don't like Indian food." [I asked] "Well, are you a vegetarian?"

Wendy: I am not a vegetarian. Most of my friends eat meat, and bacon ... lots of bacon. He has had Indian food a lot. I basically told him to just order whatever.

Mike: I eat a vegan diet. I thought [Date Lab] would have set me up with someone like that. I was like, "If you want sushi or something, I'll pay for it." She was like, "No, it's okay." We chatted to find out why we were matched up. The only thing we could think of is she is a runner. But she is injured, [so] we did not have any recent running things to talk about. She had a good sense of humor, so we could joke about things. That helped.

Wendy: He does paintings, which I thought was interesting. We both have kind of an artistic brain but also analytical; we kind of think the same way. He made a comment that some of my attitudes are kind of Buddhist. We talked about materialism and a sense of not getting too attached to things.

Mike: There was nothing really in common to glue us. We tried to make the best out of it.

Wendy: When we were finished with dinner, he had them wrap it all up. I think it was 9:15. He said, "We can get a drink after this."

Mike: We went over to the sports bar I had reconnoitered earlier.

Wendy: It was all young kids, and they were all really drunk and loud and obnoxious. There was a boxing game that some guy was playing very loudly. [Mike] was like, "Oh, maybe we should play video games." I envisioned him wanting me to play the boxing game. That wasn't going to happen, so I steered it toward a shooting game.

Mike: It turns out she used to be in the military; she used to be a marksman. So she destroys me, of course. There were sporadic moments of almost flirting, but they didn't continue. She grabbed my arm for something when she was emphasizing a word, and she goes, "Oh!" feeling the bicep. That led to 10 seconds of flirty-flirty.

Wendy: It was not any overwhelming chemistry. He picked up the check for the wine, which was very gentlemanly.

Mike: [The manager] was like, "What are you guys doing here?" We explain Date Lab. He says, "I really like awkward situations, so is there is going to be a second date?" I said, "Probably not."

Wendy: He made the comment that we live so far away from each other. It would not be convenient, so there would have to be some extra spark there to want to drive an hour.

Mike: She did, I think playfully so, crack more than one joke about the vegan thing. But I am not offended by that. I was reminded continually that we didn't have that much in common. In the end, it became a joke: I'm the vegan from Ashburn. I'm the meat-eater from Arlington. I would not call the date a bad date. I would call it a bad match.

Wendy: We walked out to our cars, and he gave me a nice hug. [I would rate the date] 3 [out of 5] overall. [For] romance, I would give it a 1. [But] he's funny, he's nice, smart. I had a good time talking to him.

Mike: The person I would rate a 4. [But] I would give the date a 2. Sorry, Date Lab. We're just not compatible.

Interviews by Nina Patel

UPDATE: No surprise here: Mike and Wendy haven't been in touch since their date. We'll have to tally this one in the "mismatch" column.

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