You Said A Monkey Could Make Better Matches Than The Date Lab Editors. We Put That Theory To The Test.
HOPING TO PROVE that we are, in fact, more skilled than your average primate, we turned to Rockville celebu-monkey Armani, who used a highly scientific process to match up Ginger and Matt. (We won't get too technical, but it involved shredding selected photos with his teeth and making hoo-hoo noises -- while wearing a tux, naturally.)
And, no, we didn't tell our daters ahead of time. We may be losing our jobs to a monkey, but we're not stupid.
-- Christina Breda Antoniades
THE DATE: 7:30 P.M., LA TASCA, ARLINGTON
Ginger: Before the date, I sent my sisters a text message that said, "I'm officially going to be sick." I was nervous. I got to the restaurant late, and there was this old guy outside with a piece of paper in his hand, looking lost. Normally I'd help him, but I was afraid it was my date, so I just walked past.
Matt: [I was inside;] I'd gotten to the restaurant first. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was happy to see Ginger. She had a gorgeous smile; she's very cute. She gave me a hug and sat down.
Ginger: I got a good vibe from him right from the beginning. He seemed really happy and friendly. And I could tell he worked out. I said, "I'm so glad you're normal."
Matt: We ended up getting a pitcher of sangria and the meat tapas sampler, and talked about our families. I'm a local, but she got transplanted to this area. We both like classic rock and enjoy going to concerts and being out with friends. I told her a lot of funny stories from my fraternity days.
Ginger: My impression of frats is pure debauchery and that they're disrespectful to women, but the way he described it sounded a lot more innocent and just a fun part of college. We definitely laughed a lot. I will say that neither of us was very sarcastic, and sometimes I can be pretty sarcastic. We might have been holding back. I think we both knew that we found each other attractive. We talked about getting together again.
Matt: I was definitely holding back; I'm very sarcastic. When we took pictures, she was putting her arm around me and vice versa. There was definitely chemistry. We had dessert at about 9:30. I'd mentioned that Virginia Tech was playing [basketball], and she asked me if I wanted to watch it someplace.
Ginger: We walked across the street to Whitlow's. He wasn't paying any attention at all to the game. I said, "I'm totally distracting to you," and he was like, "No, no, it's okay."
Matt: I was definitely more interested in talking to her than watching the game. I don't think either one of us wanted the night to end. It just seemed very natural.
Ginger: Around 1:30, everyone was clearing out, and we were like, "Let's go." He walked me to my car. I had a ticket, the second one I've gotten in a week. He was like, "Okay, we're going to take that [expired county sticker] off, because that's why you keep getting tickets." He had a pocket knife and went in there and scraped the old decal off.
Matt: She gave me a hug. Then it seemed like we both wanted more. So we kissed for a little bit. I'd rate the date a 5. I definitely want to hang out again.
Ginger: I would give it a 5. I really can't think of meeting a complete stranger and having it go any better than that.
UPDATE: In the days following, the two exchanged text messages and talked about a second date. "We both definitely want to see each other again," says Matt. Even after finding out their cupid was a capuchin.
ON THE WEB: Go to washingtonpost.com/datelab if you'd like Date Lab to set you up.