Date Lab: We arranged the date, but not the live audience
By Christina Breda Antoniades,
About the daters ...
First thing in the morning ...
Sadiq: Play all of my words on Words With Friends, Gchat people from my phone, then pushups and situps.
Julie: Turn on the TV and check
Desert-island DVDs ...
Sadiq: Can I count all of the “Simpsons” seasons as one DVD? Because I am. “Castaway” (for the irony factor) and “Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.”
Julie: “Jaws,” “Shaun of the Dead”
Your type ...
Sadiq: Strong, sarcastic, secure, athletic, motivated — basically I want someone like me. I want someone
who can challenge me and keep me on my toes, as opposed to constantly deferring to me and being submissive.
I generally prefer a slim and/or athletic body. I generally find myself attracted
to white girls.
Julie: Funny, tall, laid-back, educated and dark hair.
Dream date ...
Sadiq: Natalie Portman. She (or at least the characters she generally portrays) embodies everything that I’m looking for in a woman. She is gorgeous (of course) but also successful, both in her professional career and her academics (it’s impressive to me that she studied at Harvard).
Julie: Ryan Gosling from “The Notebook,” with a petting zoo.
About the date ...
7:30 p.m., Boulevard Woodgrill, Clarendon
Sadiq:I got there exactly one minute before the scheduled time. I told the host that I was here for Date Lab. The waiter came by later, and I ordered a drink.
Julie:The host took me over, and [Sadiq] stood up and we shook hands. I’m attracted to all different kinds of people, but I immediately thought he’s cute and he had a really nice smile.
Sadiq: Usually I go for blond girls. She’s brunette, but that wasn’t a problem or anything. I don’t shut the door just because someone’s not a blonde. We sat down, and we talked about how fun it is to try to find parking in Clarendon on a busy night. I reprimanded her for being late.
Julie: He said something about me keeping him waiting and how I showed up fashionably late or something. I knew that we would at least hit it off a little bit because he made a joke.
Sadiq: A lot of times people will start off with: “Where are you from?” or “What do you do?” I don’t think we got to that until an hour or an hour and a half into it. I can’t really pinpoint any actual topic of conversation that we had — we just kind of had witty banter back and forth the whole time.
Julie: There was a table of eight people next to us, and they were kind of giggling and looking at us, and there was a lady behind us who kept peeking around the corner. I was like, “Do you know these people?” Then we started taking pictures with the cameras, and we heard them say, “Oh, my God, it’s Date Lab.” So then they started talking to us. They were like, “Well, how is it so far?” And we were like, “Well, we’ve been here for 15 minutes, so we’re not sure.” It was really funny.
Sadiq: There wasn’t a lack of things to talk about at all. [But] we didn’t really go into anything that deep. We didn’t talk about music, we didn’t talk about hobbies, we barely talked about work. When you’re talking so much that you don’t even get to that, I think that’s pretty cool. The only thing we figured out that we have in common is that we’re both not that religious. I think that’s a pretty good commonality to have.
Julie: We finally settled on the calamari for our appetizer, and then we had our entrees. We talked about very random things, stuff that was going on around us, the crazy people who we were sitting next to. We talked about travel a little bit, we talked about food, and we talked about TV a lot because I love to watch TV. I took some funny pictures of him with his food, and the people around us were like, “Did you just stick all of that asparagus in your mouth? She is not going home with you.” And I was like, “Could you stop watching us?” It was funny.
Sadiq: It was pretty easy to see that we both had a really similar sense of humor, and we kind of operated on the same wavelength. I think we’re both extroverted, outgoing people, very sarcastic. I told her that I was worried her [post-date] summary would be something like: “He walked in like he owned the place. He wasn’t that good-looking, but he just kept talking about weird things like how many pushups he could do, and I was bored of him within 45 seconds.” Then she tried to entrap me and asked me how many pushups I could do. I told her that I wouldn’t tell her. Then we decided to have a pushup contest.
Julie: He didn’t think I’d really do it; I didn’t think he’d really do it. So we waited for our “friends” next to us to leave because we were like, “We don’t want to get them too rowdy.” He was like, “You won’t get down and do it,” and I was like, “You want to bet?” So I got down and did some pushups, and then he got down and did some. I don’t know how many we did. We’ll call it a tie, because I don’t want to make him look bad. There was chemistry but I just don’t know that I would call it romantic chemistry. But I also don’t necessarily think that you can have to be able to tell that right off the bat.
Sadiq: I wouldn’t say that I felt sparks per se, but I had a really good time, and I think it would be worthwhile to try to see each other again. I felt like she was on the same page with me there, too. I don’t think either of us were like, “Oh, my God, I love you.” But I think we were both enjoying each other’s company.
Julie: The waiter brought the dessert menu. We shared the brownie sundae, and he got one drink and then we started to wrap up the evening. They were, like, sweeping and putting out the candles. I was like, “I gotta go.”
Sadiq: Usually I’m kind of a night owl, so I would have been willing to go out and continue the evening just because it was very entertaining, but I didn’t get that she felt like it. So I didn’t suggest that we go out.
Julie: We got up and put our coats. We had parked in the same parking garage, so he walked me to my car, and we talked about how much fun we had. He was like, “Do you maybe want to do this again sometime without the disposable cameras?” And I was like, “That would be great.” I gave him my number, and we hugged.
Sadiq: I would [rate the date] like 3.75 [out of 5]. I think it would be cool to hang out again.
Julie: I would give the date a solid 4. I don’t know if there’s a romantic connection, but I would go on another date to find out, because he’s really funny and he’s really nice.
UPDATE: Texts have been exchanged, but a second date is unlikely. “I don’t think you necessarily have to have a huge romantic spark on the first date for things to work out,” Julie says. “But I didn’t feel like Sadiq and I had enough in common to pursue a second date.” He agrees: “It just didn’t work out to romantic chemistry this time.”