Date Lab: So tell me, what’s your demographic?
By Ellen McCarthy,
About the daters ...
First thing in the morning ...
Ray: Pray a thank-you prayer, then go to the bathroom.
Valerie: I do a quick 10-minute morning workout and/or spend 15 minutes reading my Bible or morning devotional.
Dating history as TV show ...
Ray: Story line: an intellectually thoughtful guy with a sense of humor who loves and appreciates creative expression and the beauty of the world all around him.
Valerie: Hometown girl marries home-town boy; marriage deteriorates; girl renews herself through Christ, invigorates her career and eagerly anticipates what comes next.
Your type ...
Ray: Emotionally strong and confident but very feminine, soft, with a slender shape.
Valerie: Intellectual, funny, open-minded, spiritual, physically fit and enjoys adventures (tall is good, but not required — I’m 5-10).
Interests to share ...
Ray: An appreciation for the relationship between the natural world and the spiritual presence in all of us.
Valerie: Travel, physical fitness, cooking, Christian spirituality, outdoor activities, music and theater.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., Sequoia, Georgetown
Ray:I arrived 30 minutes early, but there was a nice breeze out, so I kinda walked around by the river. I walked in 10 minutes early, and the front desk people told me she had yet to arrive, so I walked upstairs and sat at the bar. And actually she was sitting right there, so there was a mix-up or lack of communication.
Valerie: It was kind of awkward. The hostess came up and said, “This is your date.” We just politely nodded. And then once we got seated, we started talking. It takes me a while to figure somebody out. I interview people all the time, meet people all the time, so I’m accustomed to bringing people out, asking questions, getting a feel for who they are. He seemed like a decent guy. He’s probably not the image of the guy who would turn my head, but clearly somebody who I could be interested in getting to know better.
Ray: I guess I have certain visual interests or attractions. I like women that are physically fit, either slim build or athletic. And [I] like the natural look, and this crosses all races. You don’t have to have on a lot of makeup and have your hair all done. You can have on jeans and a T-shirt. She was coming from work, so she was professionally dressed. She was attractive — initially probably not [someone I would’ve sought out].
Valerie: There weren’t a lot of pregnant pauses. Initially, we were trying to identify similarities. We kinda speak the same language. We have similar upbringings and things that are common to both of us. We’re both D.C. natives, went to D.C. high schools and D.C. colleges, and he works for the federal government, which a lot of D.C. natives do. One other thing we share is our spirituality. He said he’s trying to get in touch with that place in himself, too.
Ray:I ordered the rockfish. She ordered crab cakes. It was fun [taking pictures]. I like to have fun. I’m a fun guy. I had my arm around her waist, but as far as out-and-out flirting, probably not.
Valerie: There wasn’t any chemistry, but it was very light and comfortable. There wasn’t any urgency to rush together or pull apart. Like an old friend, the guy next door or somebody you went to high school with.
Ray: I felt like there possibly could have been some mature levels of chemistry, where if we were to explore it further, some things could develop. But I was very open and comfortable in my conversation, so some of the things I shared with her might cause her to pause about wanting to enter into something like that with me. I said, “I don’t think I’ve ever dated a woman 40 or above.” I’m sure there’s probably some deep psychoanalytical [reason for] that. For me, it’s just a personal preference.
Valerie: I have no problem with anybody dating whatever demographic they’re comfortable with. And I think that kinda took the pressure off, too, because after he made that revelation, it was like: “Well, I know there’s no romantic possibility for us, ’cause I’m not in your demographic. So, let’s just keep it moving.”
Ray: We shared a dessert, carrot cake and ice cream. We were there until 10:30 or 11. It was late. We had both come from work. As she was walking to her car, I said, “Well, I guess I’m going to have to try and find a cab.” She said, “Oh, Ray, there’s a cab right there.” So we embraced, just had a light hug, and I got in the cab, and that was pretty much it.
Valerie: That was kinda the disturbing thing. We had a very pleasant evening, but he didn’t close the deal. He didn’t ask for my number. And maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I always think the man should initiate the next level. I certainly would have given him my telephone number if he had asked, but he didn’t ask, so I didn’t offer it.
Ray: I’d [rate the date] a 4 [out of 5]. I had a great time. We talked about yoga. I talked about how I was getting over an old football injury. She mentioned she takes yoga, and I said, “Hey, maybe we can get together and share a yoga class.” And she said, “Yeah, no problem.”
Valerie: [I’d rate it a] 3.5. It was a good date. The conversation was good. I have no regrets. I would go out with him as friends. Obviously, that’s all we would ever be.
UPDATE: As they didn’t exchange contact information, it’s no surprise that these two haven’t been in touch since the date.