About the daters ...
Craig: I’m well-balanced (not quite one, but think Renaissance man), and I’m comfortable with who I am.
Danielle: Where to start ... kidding. I’ve got a great sense of humor and can bring out a smile even in the most tense situations. I’m also into sports, which many chicks aren’t; I can talk up baseball, football, basketball as good as the boys — don’t test me.
Craig: Can meet me on an intellectual level; is confident but not cocky; is skilled at communication, conflict resolution and negotiation; has a sense of humor; deals well with change; is kind, trustworthy and responsible; has a sense of style; and is patient. When it comes to external traits, if you can get eight out of 10 guys in your office to agree, then that should be good enough, as long as she has a normal BMI.
Danielle: Athletic. Taller than me. Great sense of humor, not too shy but reserved in some aspects. Not afraid to let the hair down in any setting.
Craig: It’d be nice if we shared sports and music.
Danielle: It’d be nice if he shared some sort of appreciation for the arts. I’m also big on family and putting family first, so I would hope he had similar values.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., El Chucho, Columbia Heights
Craig: I got there freakishly early. I was coming from the Baltimore area, so I think I got there around 6. I found the place and started walking around to see what was in the area.
Danielle: I got there around 7:30. I sat down, and they were like, “The person is not here yet.”
Craig I was just exploring, and then I looked at the time, and I was like, Oh, crap. It was probably 7:55.
Danielle:One of the hosts came over and said, “I got a call from the guy — he’s on his way.” He actually got there at 8. He just came in and put his stuff down. It wasn’t even like he introduced himself. I was like, “Are you Craig?” And he was like, “Aw, yeah, I’m sorry, I’m Craig.” I thought he was cute, but it wasn’t like I-could-see-me-with-this-guy type of cute. He had his motorcycle stuff. He drives, like, I call it a crotch rocket. So he had his jacket on and his helmet. I was like, “Oh, okay, that’s cool.”
Craig: She had dreads, glasses. [Looks aren’t] that big of a deal for me. I wouldn’t say that the physical [spark] necessarily has to be there — usually that’s almost the icing on the cake if you will.
Danielle: He did apologize for being late. I wasn’t angry. I had ordered food, so they brought that, and I [said], “All right, so tell me about yourself.” And he started running off what he does.
Craig:We were a little bit all over the place with things — what would you bring if you were trapped on a deserted island, things you do for work, where you go out in D.C. I think we touched on music a little bit: I remember she mentioned she likes country; I tolerate it. She plays the tuba; I play the guitar and the violin. I’d say there were some things in common.
Danielle: It seemed like he’s very close to his family. That’s the same as me. In his bag he had flowers for his mom that he was going to bring her. That was cute. But other than that, there wasn’t really a lot that we had in common. I was asking him about his friends, and he’s talking about co-workers. He lives in Baltimore. That’s definitely not a problem. [But] I was [talking about] Federal Hill and Fells Point, and he really didn’t know of those places. I was like, “Okay, I can tell you don’t get out a lot.”
Craig: A lot of times, I’m either at work or at school, so I don’t like to go out as much. Usually for me what I do for fun is, if the weather is nice, I hop on the bike and take a trip to nowhere.
Danielle: I felt like I was always talking just so that it wouldn’t be an awkward moment. So that made it not as fun. He said he wasn’t socially awkward, and I was like, You might be a little bit socially awkward, buddy.
Craig: I’m more of a listener. But I didn’t feel like she was doing most of the talking. The conversation pretty much kept going for most of the time. There may have been a pause here and there, but people need to breathe and eat.
Danielle: When we started taking pictures, he came out of his shell. He was like, “Let’s look scared; let’s do an excited pose; let’s do an awkward family photo.” That was cool. [But] I had no romantic feelings whatsoever.
Craig: I’m usually the worst person to ask about chemistry, because I’m Captain Oblivious. I’d say around 11-ish we were like, “Let’s change scenery, go look around.”
Danielle: I thought, I work tomorrow. [But] he seemed super excited about it, and I didn’t want to be rude, so we went to Meridian Pint. I had a beer, and he had apple pie and ice cream. He couldn’t drink because he was driving all the way to Baltimore, but I could tell that he’s not really a drinker. He’s more of an apple-pie-at-the-bar kind of guy.
Craig: I think it was probably [at Meridian Pint] that it was a little more [flirty]. It may have been an arrangement issue at the other place, where you’re directly across as opposed to beside the person. We were watching the baseball game for a little bit.
Danielle: We walked back to his motorcycle, and I think he offered me a lift to the Columbia Heights Metro. He offered me his jacket because it was cold, and I was like, “No, I’ll be fine.” He was a gentleman, for sure.
Craig: I probably shouldn’t have given her a ride because she didn’t have a helmet, [but] I didn’t want her to walk the whole way. So we started going, and that’s when I saw the cop. He threw his lights on and pulled up. I’m thinking he’s going to say something about the helmet, but he said it was because of my headlights. The high beam was on. It’s just easier to see with [it on]. He turned his [car’s] high beam on and said: “You see that? You see that in your face? You like that? You need to turn your high beam off.”
Danielle:I wasn’t really nervous. The cop was kind of, like, rude, but he was nice at the same time. It wasn’t bad at all. He told [Craig] to turn the light down, and that was it.
Craig: [After that] I was driving ridiculously slow. I dropped her off, and we exchanged numbers. It was, like, 12:17.
Danielle: I’m like, “Okay, well, give me your digits, so you can at least let me know when you get home.” I have no intention of being like, “Hey, what are you doing this weekend?” But it’s a common courtesy.
Craig: [I’d rate the date] pi. No, I’m just kidding. Three-mid, if you will. I guess [a friendship] would be a place to start. I mean, I had fun.
Danielle: I’d give it a maybe a 2.5. We just didn’t mesh. [But] I’m pretty sure he’s perfect for some other girl that appreciates his soft-spokenness.
UPDATE: After we told Craig the date had been scheduled for 7:30, not 8, he texted Danielle to apologize. “He thought he [had been] two minutes late, but it turns out he was 32 minutes late,” Danielle says. She told him not to worry about it. Since then, no contact.