About the daters
Brag a little ...
Jody: I’m a very modern, youthful woman who has more energy and curiosity than when I was in my 20s. No one has been lucky enough to catch me yet!
Marty: My body — lean and strong. I’m brainy, but everyone here is. I’m more thoughtful and deep than most.
How you’re not D.C. ...
Jody: I’m very liberal and eco-conscious that I would probably be better off in San Francisco.
Marty: I don’t like crowds, bars or conspicuous consumption.
Your type ...
Jody: A ruggedly handsome type, a man of adventure. Someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Someone who is intellectually curious.
Marty: Generally lean, natural, feminine, demure, light complexion usually. High fashion turns me off.
Your idea of funny ...
Jody: Funny isn’t telling a joke but seeing the humor in everyday life.
Marty: Ironic, subtle.
Interests to share ...
Jody: Salsa dancing, museums, concerts, theater, outdoor activities including hiking, biking and rollerblading.
Marty: Nature, travel, animals, movies, current events
The date: Il Porto Ristorante, Alexandria, 7:30
Jody: A few months ago, a former colleague suggested that I sign up [for Date Lab]. I didn’t do it, [thinking] they’d be looking for 20-somethings. Then a couple weeks ago I saw that they were looking for people over 50, and I thought, Okay, we’ll see what happens. Some of [the columns] on Sunday, if I could have [the daters] in front of me I would say, “Just lighten up! Seriously!” Maybe it’s 20-somethings versus somebody who’s older — we’ve been through it before. I got there 10 minutes early. I picked a table that was by a window so I would be able to see him walk in.
Marty: I was a little nervous. I meet people through Match or whatever, and typically that doesn’t get to me, but this did. I got there exactly at 7:30. I went to the maitre d’ and said “I’m here with The Post,” and he said, “Oh, yes, we’ve been expecting you” and showed me to the table right next to hers. I was facing the other way, so I wasn’t looking at her.
Jody: A couple of seconds later, the waiter came back to me and said, “Are you with The Washington Post?” I said yes, and he pointed to Marty. It was kind of awkward! Marty turned, and he was like, “Oh!” And I said “Hi, I’m Jody.” He came to my table. He seemed a little nervous. He was smiling — he smiled a lot throughout the evening, which was nice. I thought he was very nice-looking; he was handsome, [but] I wouldn’t say he was my type. At this age most men have graying hair, [but] I have a lot of friends that are younger, and I still see myself as being younger, sometimes I see white hair, and …
Marty: I think my immediate impression was, Oh, I don’t know. It’s kind of a very visceral thing for me when I meet somebody; it’s like yes or no, and I think it was just kind of, like, a no. I wouldn’t say it was clothing but just an overall look. I’m kind of a pretty natural person myself. That might sound really superficial. The whole Internet/blind dating thing is a little bit of a conundrum, because people that you’re attracted to initially might not be the people that you connect to emotionally, in the long run.
Jody: We seemed to have plenty of things to talk about. He has a dog, and I have a dog, and we talked about travel; we talked a bit about our jobs, where we grew up, we kept the conversation going. I got the sense that he’s just a real gentleman. He did ask me if I’ve ever been married, and I said no; and I asked him if he’d ever been married, and he said no. I said I often get asked how come I didn’t get married, and my comment is always, Well, there’s nothing wrong with me, it’s just, well, I don’t know! It didn’t happen. I don’t mind [talking about that]. After I turned 50, it’s like, who cares? That’s why I started dancing salsa. I don’t care what I look like. I mean, I do, but I’m going to have fun.
Marty: It didn’t really seem like we had that much in common initially. I was like, Salsa dancing? That is not something I do. Anyway, it turned out that we did have things in common. I felt closer to her feeling that she was shy and a little bit sensitive, and I am, too; that goes a long way with me. [But] there were other things we talked about that sort of made me feel more distant. Like the dog thing — she has little dogs and I have big dogs. She said she likes to walk and that she was an outdoorsy person, but it really didn’t sound that way to me. I’m sure she does like to walk. Like through the city. I’m kind of a hiker. And, you know, she has a condo; somebody tells me they have a condo, honestly just makes me think that’s not right for me. That’s kind of weird.
Jody: We [ordered] dessert, and I could have stayed and talked a little bit more because I was enjoying myself, but he kind of took the cue in wrapping things up. He walked me to the parking lot and leaned in to give me a one-armed hug, said it was fun, and he walked away saying, “Now, be nice!”
Marty: I wasn’t, like, freaking out about what was going to happen when we left, because I had the impression that — maybe this was wishful thinking — there wasn’t going to be that awkward moment about exchanging personal information. I didn’t ask her; she didn’t ask me.
Jody: I would give [the date] a 4.5 [out of 5]. I would have given it a 5 if he had said he wanted to get together again. He didn’t feel something for me, but that’s okay. I had a fun evening.
Marty: I would [rate the date] a 3, because it just didn’t feel like a good match off the top. I had a good time, and I really enjoyed talking to her.
UPDATE: Marty and Jody haven’t been in touch since the date, but both feel that doing Date Lab was a good experience. Says Jody: “I wish I could do it again!”